December 25, 2017

Wishing You a Merry Christmas

I want to pop in for a minute to wish you a very Merry Christmas.

I have not been posting for a couple of weeks since being busy with this and that.

We had our family Christmas Dinner on Friday followed by our Country Ham Breakfast on Saturday. 

Hubby is a good helper! 

This is my breakfast table. And I used paper plates. 

And lest you think my house is always neat and tidy! 
Ha ha. 

An explosion of paper, bows, and bags! 

I did not overly decorate the house this year. 
I even kept the tree very simple. 

I picked up a pretty cake stand for my eggnog cake. 
And I will be sharing the recipe with you very soon. 

Thank you for following my blog and being faithful readers. 
I have made so many friends by chatting about things on the blog and sharing my traditional home and lifestyle from south central Ky.  

Thank you for your gift of friendship! 

December 12, 2017

December 9, 2017

Silver, China, & Tablescapes in Lexington, Ky

Visiting Greentree Tearoom & Antiques in Lexington

I was out of town for a couple of days this week meeting up with some very special friends, eating wonderful food, and browsing beautiful antiques. 

Why yes, I do have pictures! :-)

This is the lid of a gorgeous French tureen and soup bowl set.
The other pieces are below. 

On Thursday my longtime friend and I had lunch at the Greentree Tearoom in Lexington, which also is the site of Greentree Antiques

We enjoyed looking at antiques before we were seated for our luncheon. (My friend was actually table shopping, while I was mostly browsing, though I did see a couple of items that piqued my interest.)

I love the matching ladle with the tureen.

The set is offered at $350.00 if you are interested. Just visit the link above for contact information. 

And I love most silver!

The entry was nicely decorated for Christmas. 

We liked this petite dining space...though we were not seated here. Maybe the next time. :-)

When you enter the front door and turn to the left this is the view. 

This antique table was set for a larger group.

I love the hurricanes and greenery! 

Then I spotted my piece. 

The piece that if I could take it home, I would. 

I have just the spot where I could put it. :-)  

The English secretary! 

Look at her! 

Isn't she gorgeous. Swoon. 

The large drawer front drops open and pulls out to reveal tiny drawers and slots for paper, pens, etc. 

We were called to be seated next to one of the serving tables. And look how the chandelier is decorated.  I heard one of the servers say that the moon and star ornaments were from the 1980s. 

Do you see the jam cake with caramel icing? 
It was wonderful.

I am already afraid to get on the scales.

We were served tea, and then the first course. 

Tomato bisque with rice. It was absolutely delicious. 

There were several more seated courses, then you went to the table for deserts. Oh my!

The monthly menu is posted on the website if you would like to see the full menu.

I love white tablecloths on tables too. They say this is an elegant affair

Both of us were very full after our luncheon. 
While this was my first visit, my friend loves to go to the tearoom and has purchased a few antique pieces for their Lexington home. 

The Christmas season is such a fun time to go out and about with friends.  

Merry Christmas y'all. 

And thanks for visiting.

December 8, 2017

Christmas Eve Cocoa & Cookies

Welcome to the Christmas Tablescape blog hop today! I hope you have fun visiting each bloggers' home and seeing their ideas.

December 1, 2017

Changing Out Decorations

Hey all, I have been awol for a few days but back to get busy with Christmas decorating and ideas to share with you. Hubby and I have another busy week ahead of us but I will try to stay in touch better. 

You can always find me on my Instagram account with a daily update. 

OK let's get going on the blog post...:-)

November 17, 2017

My Mother's Kentucky Fried Apple Pies

I know you all are planning for Thanksgiving about now and do not have the time to make these right now maybe, but if you do, they are a wonderful fall dish. I was going to say desert, but they are yummy warmed up for breakfast too.  

I grew up with my mother making these sweet treats in the fall. I am not sure if they are just a regional Kentucky thing or not...but Kentucky folks sure do like these. And I include myself!!!

I have the full recipe below...but here is the story version, because I always have a "story" about everything. :-)

Mother made these treats for my Witches' Tea. I took some quick cell phone pics as she was getting things started...then as I got busy flipping them in the skillet while she rolled the dough my pics quit. ha. oops. 

The process began a couple of days before she made the actual pies...because she had to cook, simmer, and then let the apple filling sit in the refrigerator. 

For these pies you begin with dried apples. 

I think my mother bought these at the Amish store in Casey County Kentucky. (My dad told me of remembering his mother drying sliced apples on a piece of tin roofing. I learned something new.)  You could use your own dehydrator also. 

Mother told me that she spent half of a day "cooking down" these apples. She put one bag of apples in a large pot on the stove top. Or a cast iron skillet if you have one large enough. 

To the pot of apples she added enough water to cover the apples. At this point, she cautioned that you must be careful to not let the apples burn. You must monitor the cooking process all day. :-) Add more water through as you go along.  This will be a low  temp, and slow process.

After the addition of water she then added half a stick of margarine, sugar...and cinnamon. (She mentioned that sometimes she uses apple pie spices.) 

I have not given you specific amounts because it seems to be one of those recipes that you do by taste...(the addition of sugar and spices.) It's an old country recipe...! (My great grandmother made cakes, biscuits, etc with out a paper recipe.) 

Once the apples have cooked ....put them in a large covered bowl to rest for a day or two in the refrigerator. You want the spices to soak into the apples. 

My mother uses plain biscuits for her dough. Some might make pastry dough. Some might make homemade biscuit dough. My mother has always used biscuits. She said not use flaky type biscuits. 

Let's make pies!

Mother said her pastry sheet kept slipping so she just washed her counter really well, spread flour on it, and began. You can see how the "cooked down" apples look above. 

Flour the rolling pin and counter really well. 

Then roll the biscuit as thin as you can. (Looks like a tortilla to me.)

She rolled that poor little biscuit several times before she was done.

At that point she added a few tablespoons of apple mixture on one half of the biscuit. 

She brushed water onto the edges of the biscuit before she folded it in half. Then she crimped the edges with a fork. 

The next stage is the cooking!

Mother likes to use an electric skillet. She pours a little bit of canola oil into the skillet (1/4 inch) and when the oil is hot she puts the pies in. (Caution to young cooks...Do Not walk away from oil heating in a skillet.)

Here is the tricky part. This is kind of like cooking have to get the swing of the oil and skillet temperature so that you do not burn the biscuits. The biscuit must be cooked till done, but not burned. 

Dad bought mom a new electric skillet, and the first batch of pies got a little too dark, but we ate them anyway. ha! We got the hang of the new skillet. 

At this point mother and I had a division of labor. She rolled and filled the biscuits and I did the frying and flipping. To get the "fold" section of the biscuit cooked I stood it up on the fold and leaned it against the edge of the skillet. It worked!

This is what you want your fried apple pie to look like, above. That warm golden brown fried apple pie with a sweet cinnamon apple filling is just one of the best things in life. 

I do not have a picture of them plated up because I just got busy. I took my treasures home and put them into the refrigerator to await my party guests. 

They can be warmed before serving...but I let them just come to room temperature. Of course the best way to eat them is right out of the skillet. ha ha! Truly. 

Like I is a simple country recipe. Sometimes those are the best! I know that we love them in my family. I always loved for my mother to make those in the fall every year. This year was no exception. I love her Kentucky fried apple pies. 

Here is mom's recipe!

Mother's Kentucky Fried Apple Pies

One bag, appx 4 to 5 cups, of dried apples.
Half a stick of margarine, or butter
One cup of sugar, or to taste
Cinnamon, or apple pie spice, to taste
4 tubes of plain refrigerator biscuits
Flour for dusting rolling pin and counter
Canola oil for electric skillet. 

How to...
Place apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon, in large pot or cast iron skillet. 
Cover apples with water. Slowly cook down over three or so hours. Adding water as needed.
Put cooked apples in covered dish in the refrigerator for a day or two before making pies.
Roll each biscuit out paper thin. 
Add apple mixture to half, brush water on edges, then fold and crimp. 
Place apple pie into skillet with no more than 1/4 inch of canola oil and slowly fry till golden. 
Remove each pie from the skillet and drain on paper towels. 
Store in the refrigerator if there are any left at bedtime. 

If we don't get a chance to visit with each other before next weekend, let me wish you, your family, and friends a nice Thanksgiving...and safe travels to get to your meeting spot. 
Gobble Gobble!

November 12, 2017

Rustic Farmhouse Table for Thanksgiving

This post contains affiliate links.

Inviting someone into your home is an act of hospitality, but inviting them into your kitchen, to eat, is a more personal invitation of hospitality. 

We are entering the season for hospitality and and Thanksgiving and I would like to extend a welcome to you to come sit with me in my kitchen for a cuppa and something sweet. 

November 2, 2017

My Witches' Tea

I know that it is after Halloween, but I thought you all might like to see some of the photos from my Witches' Tea. 

The day for my Witches' Tea arrived with grey skies, gusts of wind, and rain...but that did not dampen our spirits!  We had a my group usually does!

In the invitation...I mentioned that my witch guests could dress up as much or as little as they liked. Well, I have a fun bunch of friends and everyone dressed the part. We had funny, scary, fashionable, and creative costumes. 

October 30, 2017

A Thanksgiving Table With Rustic Elegance

The Thanksgiving Tablescape Blog Hop continues! 

If you have not seen the newest links please take a minute to stop by. So many gorgeous tables by the most creative tablescapers. All links at the bottom of this post. 

Welcome to my home today. I love to create pretty tables for family and guests whether it be in the dining room, in the kitchen, or on the back porch. Join me for a tour of my table creation. 

This post may contain affiliate links.

October 20, 2017

How to Stack Ironstone Platters

Hello, and welcome to a lesson in Ironstone stacking. 

I might be a little late getting into old ironstone, but I am learning, and the collecting bug has "bitten" me.  

It began innocently enough when many years ago a friend gave me a gorgeous English ironstone pitcher as a thank you for helping her. 

A few weeks ago I found four gorgeous old platters to add to my collection.  

They are the real deal. Old. Have markings. etc. 

This one is a little rough. 

 But this bit of pretty is just perfect. 

I was not sure where to put the new platters so I just stacked them on the counter (with cloth inbetween) and placed a small tureen on top. I filled it with some pumpkin filler for a bit of fall color. 

This was just a quick placement because I was not sure where these new pieces would go. Like so counters catch everything. ha!

But the new ones kept staying on the kitchen counter. :-)

After some browsing on Instagram for #ironstone, I saw what others were doing for displaying and storing their platters. 

Stacking. They were stacking their platters. Hmmm. I did not know that was an option, or a thing. :-) 

These are the recently purchased pieces. (above) 

Then I went to the china cabinet and pulled some out and began a real stack. There are five here. 

Stacking is tricky because the platters must be of similar shape, and they need to nest together nicely. You don't want too much pressure on the rims. 

I had to stack and restack to get just the right fit. Take your time when you try this. Don't rush and try to make something just "sort of" fit together. 
I like for the weight to sit on the centers/bottoms. 

I did not want anything to rub or put too much weight on another.

I put thin dishcloths between each platter to help cushion the rough bottoms from the smooth tops.

And then I wondered...How high can I go? 

Another Instagrammer encouraged me to go higher. So I did! 

I began with one of my largest platters and went all they way to my smallest.  

I began with three. 

I added a couple of more to make five. 

Then three more brought my stack up to eight.

Some platters were rejected because of improper fit. They went back to the china cabinet. 

All of my platters in this stack are a form of oval. 

Stacking sure makes for easy storage, or display. 

They are occupying a chunk of countertop real estate...but I like how they look. 

They become architectural....against my black pearl granite. 

Ironstone is very heavy so hanging pieces on the wall would require a very trustworthy system of hanging. 

I would love to have a rack in the kitchen just for my platters, but the lack of wall space makes that challenging. 

For now...I guess I will "stack." IF my collection should grow, I will have to rethink my display and storage options. 

Are you a stacker? 

If not, how do you display and store your dishes?

Until the next time...

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