Sunday, October 25, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night....

Cue thunder crash!

Much as I love handing out delectable treats to the little goblins, monsters, and witches who visit on Halloween, I'd rather be watching a scaarrry movie whilst eating said treats. My taste in Halloween motion picture fare leans toward those featuring old, dark, haunted houses. That's what I get for reading all those Nancy Drew books in my formative years ;) I like a movie to be creepy, but not disturbing. Unexpected frights that make me jump are fun, but gore is just, well, gory. And isn't it too bad that scary movies don't include eerie theremin music anymore?

Grab some popcorn, turn out the lights, and enjoy my spook-tacular list of
Halloween movie favorites....

The Cat and the Canary (1927) - Spooky mansion, family gathered for the will-reading, and Laura La Plante.

Dracula (1931) - Suave foreign-accented vampire, dames running around in their nightgowns, and Dwight Frye (the old fly-eater).

The Old Dark House (1932)
- People caught in a storm, a creepy family in a sinister house, and Boris Karloff.

Topper Returns (1940) - Ghosts, madcap hilarity, and Joan Blondell.

The Uninvited (1944) -
Haunted mansion on a sea cliff, the scent of mimosa, and introducing Gail Russell.

The House on Haunted Hill (1959)
- Screams galore, eerie mansion, and Vincent Price.

Carnival of Souls (1962)
- Scary man that keeps appearing unexpectedly, creepy organ music, and Candace Hilligoss.

The Haunting (1963)
- Poltergeists, eerie statue in a spooky house, and Russ Tamblyn.

Halloween (1978)
- Murderous maniac, downright scary theme song, and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Oh! What was that noise? Did you hear something too?


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Motherlode of Vintage Enamel Top Tables...

Over the Columbus Day weekend, my dearest and I went on a little autumn excursion which included lunch at Frank & Mary's Restaurant in Stevensville, PA. That's the restaurant in the photo above - an unassuming little place, don't you think? There's not much to the town of Stevensville, but you'll find the restaurant, a vintage linens shop, a bakery, a country store, and a great deal of trees lining the hillsides.

Frank & Mary's serves up some fine eatin', but what I find most remarkable about the place is that all the tables are the vintage enamel-top type. The styles cover just about every decade in the history of this sort of table. Have a look...

And here is my favorite table - very art deco...

Since other customers were trying to enjoy their lunches in peace, I didn't photograph all the fantastic tables in the restaurant . Maybe the next time I'm out that way...

We were seated at a table with a lovely floral pattern whose pull-out extensions didn't have the usual square edge...

Here I am just before I became bold enough to run around like the paparazzi. My autumn-colored vintage wool plaid jacket is a Minnesota Woolens, but it's the same style as the Pendleton 49er.

My dearest had a toothache that day, but he didn't want to give up our annual fall outing. And he's even smiling here - guess that soup really hit the spot.

I had planned on having a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert, but after the huge turkey club sandwich, alas, I had no room.

And so, it was with full tummies that we paid our bill and headed out on the open road again. If you ever find yourself in Stevensville, PA, do visit Frank & Mary's Restaurant. The enamel-top tables and the food are worth the stop.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Harvest... Or 'Out of a Can'

Ah, harvest... a time to begin 'putting up' food for the long cold winter. I had high hopes for trying my hand at canning just one recipe this year. My plan was to pick lots of green tomatoes from the four tomato plants I had and make a big batch of green tomato relish - just like my mom used to make. The plants were loaded with blossoms which became lovely pale green tomatoes. And then I noticed the growing brown spots. My tomato plants had blight! It was with great disappointment that I destroyed the plants - tomatoes and all. No green tomato relish and no first-time canning experience this year. Thankfully, I don't have to depend on my harvest (or lack thereof) to feed the troops through the winter. And thank goodness for grocery store canned goods - they'll do in a pinch!

Speaking of canned goods, I was recently browsing some newly-purchased vintage cookbooks and found a chart that gives a conversion from can size to number of cups and ounces that the can contains. I don't know about you, but I have a few old cookbooks in which recipes call for a "No. 2" can or a "No. 1 can" of something or other. Of course I had no idea how much of that particular ingredient was needed - we just don't refer to canned goods by their can size anymore. Hope you find the chart as helpful as I do!

From the American Can Company cookbook
"Appetizing Recipes from Canned Foods"

Now, the pumpkin patch in our yard is coming along nicely. A week ago, I wanted to bake pumpkin muffins and pumpkin pie, but the pumpkins weren't quite as ready yet. So, a trip to the grocery store was in order and I bought what would be the equivalent of a No. 2 1/2 can of pumpkin (28 oz.). It was enough to make 12 muffins, one pie, and 8 spiced pumpkin waffles. All that sure whet my appetite for making pumpkin things... those ripening pumpkins on the vine better watch out - there may be baked goods in their future!

Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Chips

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Sprinkled on Top

"Judge each day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant."
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Happy Harvest! Happy October!