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csziggy's Journal
csziggy's Journal
January 30, 2014

Found a recipe in a 200 year old notebook! UPDATED

The entries in the book are between 1812 and about 1842. This recipe was in the book:

2 or 3 tea cups of sugar
1 or 2 of butter and
1 of pecans
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon of perlash *
3 tea cups flour
brandy to your taste.

*(Pearl ash or potassium carbonate was an early raising agent but when added to fats could make soapy tasting baked goods. Substitute baking powder.)

It sounds as though it would be some sort of cake. I'm thinking of trying it when I get home, using baking powder.

UPDATE - Final version of the recipe - this is my second effort and it got rave reviews at my needlework meeting this morning.

Modern adaptation:
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup (two sticks) salted butter
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or brandy or Irish Mist
2 cups chopped pecans
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in pecans. Add 1 cup flour and baking soda, mix until just blended. Add rest of flour, mix until just blended; scrape sides of bowl, blend.

Drop by teaspoons on ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove to rakes to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Notes: I used salted butter since that is what my husband brought home. I was going to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt but with the salted butter I omitted it.

The original recipe called for "brandy to your taste" but I used vanilla extract with my first try. While the cookies were OK, they needed something. The second time I used Irish Mist and they were much more interesting!
January 20, 2014

A Love Affair with Birds - The Life of Thomas Sadler Roberts by Sue Leaf

I've just finished reading this book and thought some of the birders here might want to check it out.

Thomas Sadler Roberts was my husband's great grandfather and a pioneering ornithologist in Minnesota. He wrote the definitive bird book "The Birds of Minnesota" based very much on his own and his network of friends' observations about birds from his youth in Minneapolis in the late 1800s. He also promoted education about the state's wildlife, especially the birds, and conservation of habitat to preserve the birds he loved.

While the book is mostly a biography of Thomas Sadler Roberts, it also gives insight into the changes in attitude towards the birds and conservation over Roberts' lifetime. It also shows how he used his influence with his wealthy patients and friends to create Minneapolis' Bell Museum of Natural History (http://www.bellmuseum.umn.edu/).

Without people like Roberts and the students he taught and inspired, we would not have the conservation efforts that have helped preserved the small scrap of the natural world he took for granted as a young man. I'm proud that he is an ancestor of my husband!

A more complete review of the book is at http://www.minnpost.com/books/2013/05/love-affair-birds-chronicles-life-thomas-sadler-roberts

January 19, 2014

Anybody here make stuffed animals? A question about noses....

I'm making memory bears from my Dad's old shirts. I've got all the bears sewn, most are stuffed (that's my husband's job), I'm having no problem sewing the stuffing holes shut or sewing the buttons on for eyes.

The problem I am having is with noses. The pattern instructions (I'm using Simplicity 5491, out of print pattern) says to cut a felt nose, stitch it on the stuffed bear, then satin stitch over that with pearl cotton. The pattern doesn't say what size pearl cotton to use. I've got black in sizes 5, 8 and 12, but I'm having no success stitching a good looking nose in any of those!

I've done a lot of embroidery and can do a mean satin stitch on taut fabric with everything from pearl cotton to untwisted flat silk but my effort at satin stitching the nose on an already stuffed bear is horrible.

I'm thinking of bailing on the stitched nose and getting some buttons for the noses. The eyes are 1/2" half ball buttons in a shiny black - I'm thinking a flat black button in 3/4 or 1" might look good.

Any suggestions?

January 19, 2014

Things don't change much - except for style

Other than being a folk song style, this could be performed today and still be true:

January 2, 2014

Working my way through the loss of my Dad

Dad passed away just before the end of August. He'd been very ill in March and had made his peace, happy that he had turned 90, but he recovered and way doing pretty good until a catastrophic event that ended his awareness a week before he passed.

At the same time I pretty much lost my little sister and her oldest daughter. They acted as though they were the only ones losing our father and were very inconsiderate and at some points extremely cruel to my mother. I may never speak to either of them again, I am that angry with their actions.

We're losing Mom, too. At 92 the loss of her husband of 67+ years is accelerating her previously mild dementia. She's still hanging in there, but I can see the deterioration in just the last few months.

47of74's thread about the memory bear that his/her aunt gave his/her grandma (http://www.democraticunderground.com/1234790) made me think about what I have begun working on. My Mom has a memory bear that was made from clothing of our brother in law after he passed and she treasures that bear.

My older sister gave me eight plaid shirts that were my Dad's and I was supposed to find someone to make memory bears from them. Instead I am making them myself. So far I've done the sewing on two of them, but still need to stuff them, stitch the seams shut, and sew the faces on. I'm carefully cutting the collars from the shirts and will button them on each bear.

I started wondering why I have taken this on - I don't really want a memory bear. I don't give a shit if my little sister or her crazy daughter want them. I'm stitching them for my Mom and will let her select who gets which bear. If I do keep one, it may be made from the leftover scraps. mom wants the bears to each be made completely from a single shirt so she won't even notice if I keep one made from the extra bits. With Mom, my sisters, and the grandchildren, there are nine people who might want memory bears - we don't have enough shirts. Maybe I can get two bears from the scraps and someone else will want a mixed up bear.

Tonight I decided that this is one way I am working out the loss of my Dad. I think the hardest day is yet to come. February 2 would have been Mom & Dad's 68th wedding anniversary. At least Mom will have a memory bear from Dad's shirt to hold that day.

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Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 34,135
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