Thursday, February 22, 2007

Feminine Artistry

" . . . writing notes or answering the telephone, painting dainty bits of dinner cards, or arranging flowers from the hothouses, or helping Marjorie to find out what was the matter with a dress . . . and suggesting how a touch of color, or a different arrangement of drapery would bring about the effect she desired . . . in all these things Patty had a knack, a talent. She was artistic in everything she did, and knew exactly how to arrange a room or put on a hat for the best effect that was in it."

--Grace Livingston Hill, The Tryst

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

When the College Boys Come By

Boy, it sure is nice to have a cake on reserve!

"Mrs. Reed had baked a large dark chocolate with translucent layers of chocolate jelly between, with the secret intent of taking it to the Woman's Exchange and selling it as a start toward a regular business for herself, unbeknownst to her children. But she brought it forth now, thankful that she had it to give, and Rilla hurriedly rolled lemons and cracked ice and prepared a delightful fruit lemonade."

--Grace Livingston Hill, April Gold

Monday, February 5, 2007

Supper on the Side Porch

"There was a big brown bean pot standing on a little side table. It was steaming and rich with molasses, and had been simmering in the oven all the afternoon and now was sending out most delicious fragrance. There were big thin pink slices of cold ham, delicious fried potatoes with a tang of onion in them, puffy hot raised biscuit, baked apples with the thickest richest cream imaginable and squares of golden sponge cake for dessert.

The side porch was wide and spacious and turned a corner of the house, so that the space allotted to the table was large enough for a room. The outlook was over meadows to the mountains . . ."

--Grace Livingston Hill, Beauty for Ashes

Baked Beans (America's Cook Book, 1940)

1 qt. navy beans
1/2 lb. fat salt pork
2 t. salt
1 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. dark molasses
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. Worcesersthire sauce
boiling water

Wash and soak beans in cold water overnight; drain, cover with fresh water and cook slowly until skins break. To test: take a few beans on tip of spoon and blow on them gently; if skins break and curl back, they are sufficiently cooked. Turn beans into bean pot. Pour boiling water over pork, scrape rind until white, score in 1/2-inch strips and press into top of beans, leaving only rind exposed. Mix salt, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce; add 1 cup boiling water and pour over beans. Add additional water to cover beans, if necessary. Cover and bake in slow oven for 6 to 8 hours, adding additional water to keep beans just covered; uncover last half hour to brown pork and beans. One small onion may be placed in bottom of bean pot.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Cooking for Sunday

" . . . as for me, I like to do as mother always did. I always have the cake-box and bread-box full of nice fresh things, and make a pie, perhaps, and cook a piece of meat, or have some salad in the ice-box; and then it is the work of but a few minutes to get the nicest kind of meal on Sunday. It is easy to have a beefsteak to broil, or cold meat, or something to warm up in a minute if one cares enough to get it ready; and it really makes a lovely, restful time on Sunday to know all that work is done."

--Grace Livingston Hill, Cloudy Jewel