Thursday, October 28, 2010

She Was a Creature of the Night...

and she was waiting for her Count to awaken from his sunlight sleep...

In honor of Hallowe'en, I thought I'd share one of my favorite vintage photos, purchased years ago when my collection was meager. I love how the photo portraits of the 1920s and 1930s evoke so much "atmosphere." This one, in particular, has always fascinated me - from the amazing velvet gown that looks like midnight on a moonless night to the wall sconces that almost appear to be dripping and the mist outside the door with the swirling scrollwork. Is it any wonder that I hear Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake whenever I look at this photo?

Okay, who's up for watching Dracula (the 1931 version, that is) now? ;)

Wishing you all a haunting Hallowe'en and a spirited Samhain!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Foliage and Antiques Make a Winning Combination!

I've often wondered why "leaf peeping" and "antique-hunting" go so well together....

On our way to the apple orchard a couple weekends ago, we made a stop at one of our favorite little country antique shops, Dokter's Treasures & Trees. The neat thing is that it is a tree farm in addition to an antique shop. In fact, we get our Christmas tree here every year. But let's not think about the winter holidays just yet. I'm still enjoying the beauty of autumn!

I thought I'd share some of our photos of Dokter's wares, the fall foliage, and a few interesting sights from our autumn excursion...

Oddly enough, I have green lawn chairs similar to those in the photo.

This gives new meaning to "outdoor hot tub."

On the table of goodies in the background, I found a black feather chignon clip still in its original round clear plastic box!

It seems somehow more substantial than a "clip."

A bit of fall decor next to the doorway to the shop.

Since there were quite a few people inside this tiny shop, I didn't take any indoor photos. However, there were lots more good things, as well as a refreshment table with apple cider, donuts, and cookies.

We also found a couple yard sales on our sojourn. I didn't see anything to buy at the first one, but they had these adorable little burros in the pasture just waiting for their picture to be taken.

And somewhere along the way, we spotted this tiny vintage camper hiding way back in the woods.
A bit spooky, don't you think?

Geese, who will soon be winging their way south.

And here are the vintage goodies I brought home from the antique shop and one of the yard sales.

Cookie cutters and head gear - does that seem an odd combination to you too?

Speaking of odd, I'll leave you with a photo of my swell bumpy pumpkin, acquired at the apple orchard we visited...

I love my weird pumpkin - can you tell?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Fall Things...

One of my favorite vintage magazine covers includes a few of my favorite fall things...

McCall's, September, 1944

...going to an orchard for apples and cider, seeing the sky a shade of blue that only happens in autumn, having a fun fall outing as a reason to wear cute overalls and braids.

This weekend, my mister and I will be off on our annual October excursion for apples, cheese, maple syrup, and hopefully a bit "leaf-peeping" (see this post about our swell lunch stop on last year's trip). At the moment, the fall foliage isn't too fabulous in this area. The recent rain knocked most of the leaves off the trees that had already turned, but I must say, I'm still hopeful.

Our autumn excursion always includes stops at Jayne's Orchard, LeRaysville Cheese Factory, and Back Achers Farm, as well as an interesting lunch spot. In past years, we've sometimes just stopped at a roadside rest to enjoy a snack of apples, cheese, and cider. Yum!

One of my most favorite fall things is seeing the asters in bloom. I love the purple petals with the yellowish-orange center. Here's one of the spots in my yard where I have asters blooming even as we speak...

Hope you're enjoying this autumn season too, wherever you may be!

Friday, October 1, 2010!

Tastier than an Experiment in Terror, don't you think? Okay, okay, let's just say they're equally tasty. ;)

Yesterday, I bought a small jug of locally-made apple cider, thinking only of enjoying a nice cold glass of the autumn manna. Then, an idea came to me... Apple Cider Pancakes! Could it be done?

After searching a bit online, I only came up with apple cider pancake recipes that called for "pancake mix" or Bisquick. Well, I'm more of a "from-scratch" kinda gal, so I thought why not experiment with one of my tried and true vintage cookbook recipes.

I started out with the pancake recipe that I normally make for Sunday breakfast - Sweet Milk Griddle Cakes from my oft-used and well-loved The Lily Wallace New American Cookbook (copyright 1941, 1943, 1947, 1950).

Now, here's my Apple Cider Pancakes version...

2 cups flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on your preference)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons maple sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups apple cider
1 egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Mix and sift (yes, I do sift - makes a lighter texture!) flour, salt, baking powder, maple sugar, and cinnamon. Mix together beaten egg, cider, and melted butter. Combine with dry mixture and mix well. Drop by tablespoons or pour from a swell vintage batter bowl (the kind with a spout) onto hot griddle (greased well if it isn't cast-iron, otherwise grease lightly). Brown on both sides. Serve hot with butter and real maple syrup (I also think a ginger syrup, blackberry syrup, or cinnamon syrup would be tasty).

As much as I love my well-seasoned round cast-iron griddle, someday I'd like to have either a vintage stove with a "griddle in the middle" or a vintage six-burner stove that I can use a two-burner-sized rectangular griddle on. But, it'll do for now. ;)

Here come the bubbles...

Nicely browned, although I think the cider and/or the maple sugar make the pancakes a darker shade of brown than the usual milk/white sugar recipe...

Sage & Thyme Chicken Sausages (organic, even) for "on the side"....

Now that's a fine fall feast fit for family and friends...

Happy October!

Apple Cider: Jayne's Orchard, West Auburn, PA

Maple Syrup: Back Achers Farm, Rome, PA