Monday, October 5, 2015

Quiet evening in

Clearing sky brings hope of sun tomorrow. Quiet evening at Toad Hall.

A sad, sorry, spooky Jack-0-lantern and Halloween Treats

A 1950's family get's ready for Halloween.

"Look Out, Shep, that IS a sad sorry scary Jack-O-lantern"

"And the winner? A Lady Scarecrow"

These recipes from a 1959 cookbook are Halloweentastic. I love the thought of gingersnaps but maybe cut out like jack-0-lanterns, you know, the "sad, sorry, spooky" type. And traditional caramle apples could be improved with adding sea-salt and maybe even broken pits of pretzels to roll them in.

I always think of Popcorn balls when I envison vintage halloween. Why not make a vintage presentation but with a more Gourmet Ball?

Pecan Cashew Popcorn Balls

1 c Sugar
1 c Brown sugar; firm pack
1 c Light corn syrup
2/3 c Water
1 lb Butter
2 c Pecan halves; toasted
2 c Cashews; lightly toasted
8 c Popped popcorn

Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and water in a
heavy pan fitted with a candy thermometer and place over high heat.
Bring mixture to a boil and add the butter, stirring until it has
melted. Continue cooking until the mixture reached 350~, 20-30
minutes. In a LARGE, lightly oiled bowl, toss the nuts and popcorn
together. Carefully pour the hot syrup over the popcorn- nut mixture.
Carefully, but quickly, toss the mixture with a long-handled wooden
spoon to coat the popcorn and nuts completely with syrup. As soon as
the mixture is cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3" balls and
place the balls onto a nonstick or lightly oiled baking sheet to
coool. Store, tightly wrapped, in a cool place. Wrap popcorn balls
individually in squares of amber cellophane, tied up with gold or
orange and black ribbon (these are meant for Halloween). Or pile the
balls together into a basket with red apples and wrap the basket up
in cellophane with orange and black ribbon. Or place the balls in a
brown paper bag and tie with a ribbon.

How about some Peanut Butter and White chocolate Haystacks?

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Popcorn Haystacks Recipe


1 bagpopped JOLLY TIME® Healthy Pop® 94% Fat Free Butter Microwave Pop Corn
1/2 cupchow mein noodles
1/8 cupwhite chocolate or almond bark
12 ouncesbutterscotch or peanut butter chips


Pop popcorn according to package directions.  Open bag carefully and pour into large bowl; discard unpopped kernels.  Add chow mein noodles to bowl. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt baking chips, peanut butter and white chocolate, uncovered, on HIGH (100% power) for 2 minutes; stir well.  Pour over popcorn mixture; stir until evenly coated. Drop mixture by large rounded tablespoonfuls onto wax paper-lined cookie sheets.  Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.  Store in tightly covered container.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Autumn clouds

It was a rather cloudy day but it did start out sunny. The gulls were active today and the hydrangeas are taking on their autumnal shade. The chaise seen to be wondering where their summer has gone. It is getting to be that time of the year.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Coconut pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Yes Please!

All I can say is everything in this photo is beyond wonderful: From the fridge, the color scheme down to the glasses and the turkey itself. We are in that season of warm spices, pumpkins, turkeys, and warm kitchens. Why not add to this wonderment a coconut chiffon pumpkin pie?

Coconut Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
1 envelope unflavored gelatine
¼ c cold water
1 ¾ c mashed cooked pumpkin
¾ cup evaporated milk
½ c water
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
¾ c brown sugar, firmly packed
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites
½ tsp vanilla
1 c shredded coconut, toasted*
1 baked 9 inch pie shell
¾ c cream, whipped and sweetened

  1. Soften gelatine in ¼ c cold water.
  2. Combine pumpkin, milk, ½ c water, egg yolks, ½ c of the brown sugar, salt and spices in the top of a double boiler.  Cook over boiling water 10 minutes stirring constantly.
  3. Add gelatine and stir until dissolved.  Remove from boiling water.  Chill until slightly thickened.
  4. Beat egg whites until foamy.
  5. Add remaining sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff.
  6. Fold in pumpkin mixture, vanilla and ¾ c of the toasted coconut.
  7. Spoon filling onto cold pie shell, and chill until firm.
  8. Before serving, top with whipped cream and remaining toasted coconut.

*To toast coconut, spread thinly in shallow pan. Place in 350 degree F oven and toast about 10 minutes or until delicately browned, stirring occasionally to toast evenly.
Recipe thanks to Ruby Lane.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Halloween "Lassie"

This is the Halloween month, so why not lets start it off with a good ole' Lassie episode containing a 'witch'. I bet witches do make the best pickililli.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cigarette pants vs leggings

Somehow the tight pants of the late 50's early 60's looked nicer and more put together than today's leggings. Is there someway the modern trend could get a nudge towards the classic look of then? They still were a skinny woman's game though, do you think?‪#‎leggingsintocigarettepantsmovement‬

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

1915 Fall Fashion Inspiration.

Fashion for Fall 100 years ago. 1915 fashion has a loose fitted natural waist, long forgiving layers and just pretty draping. This, to me, is fashion FOR women. Because it is comfortable and pretty and open to our own touches with jewelry and layers. It is not sexy tight wasted , low riding, hip hugging, tummy baring, or likely to slip or fall in any 'wardrobe malfunctions'. 1915 you might be a touchstone for my Autumn wardrobe.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ria's Birthday Dinner.

Yesterday, 26 September, was my Sister in law's birthday. She stays at Toad Hall in the Boat House apartment in the Summer and comes down some weekends. She had her birthday weekend off and arrived happily with her kayak and ready for a birthday weekend.

We were lucky that her birthday coincided with a full moon tide as then we get the flats out front so we had a day walking about where we usually swim and enjoying the sea life exposed.

I made a simple Birthday luncheon of freshly gathered mussels from our own little beds, and things from my garden as well as our local Farm stand. I dug some of my potatoes and roasted those with French Breakfast radish and squash (with edible skin) from our local farm. I added olive oil and cut rosemary and dill from our garden.

I made simple pasta and then in a pan with olive oil roasted fresh picked basil, parsley, and tomatoes. Cooked it down just a bit. When the pasta was done I put it in the pan with the cooking basil and toms and mixed it all together. The mussels I steamed with lemon grass from the garden and those when on top of the pasta.

There was also a fresh salad with garden greens and nasturtiums. Hubby and Ria returned from a long walk to the harbour on the flats to the meal and we sat down and eat to our fill. It was a lovely day and the weather was so warm and bright.  A lovely start to Autumn.

Ria"s birthday luncheon was quite good.

A quiet morning

The quiet and calm of the morning is punctuated with the loon's cry. A blue heron takes its place on its rock. Puss and the sea our my only companions this morning. Heaven.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tiny Houses

With the trend to tiny houses, micro cottages, and smaller living, I can't help but love these old house plans. They new back then, when home ownership was a new thing for many people, that small space was affordable but also could be darling. Two of these were obviously inspired by Massachusetts because Duxbury and Eastham are both Ma towns. I lived in Eastham on Cape Cod years ago. Any way, if one is thinking of going small these simple shapes seem adorable with the right siding, trim and proximity landscaping.
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