Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sloppy Joes for a Crowd and Surprise Gifts

Hi everyone,

This morning has been a busy one at Ten Gables. I am making Sloppy Joes for 40 people! It is for tomorrow for my church senior group, of which I am leader. We are having an Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social, and dinner.Before ice cream,will be Sloppy Joes on buns with slaw and chips. Then everyone is bringing a choice of ice cream, topping, fruit, whipped cream etc. for the making of sundaes, banana splits, etc. Yum!
The first thing I did was to chop some green pepper, onion and celery and saute. To speed things, I used my little"Chop Chop" machine which you will see later.

Then I set the saute mixture aside and browned about 6 lbs. of hamburger in 2 different pots. You can see it on the stove, just beginning to brown. After it browned, I drained all the fat from it, mixed in the pepper, onion and celery and added some other ingredients. Recipe will follow.

Here it is simmering on the back of the stove, which will do for 2 hours. Then I will cool it, refrigerate it until tomorrow and then heat in a big crock pot for 2-4 hours until taking it to church. We usually only have about 15 to 20 people, but I wanted to have plenty. Any that is left can be frozen for future use.

This is my little chopping machine that really makes chopping onions easy and tear free, is great for celery and peppers as well.

Then when the mailman came this morning, I had surprise cards and birthday packages! What fun! My birthday is on the 30th, but of course I had to open and see what was sent.

From a sister-in-law, Shirley, I received a beautiful scarf made into a purse, with a pretty pin attached to it. It is really nice and the scarf is so luxurious! She also sent a little pocket lipstick case with mirror and two dish towels made into....yes....bloomers! You untie the strings that hold it together and then you have 2 nice dishtowels.

Dishtowels made into bloomers! So cute and useful, too. Just untie the strings.

Then I got a special birthday package from my daughter who lives in Northern Ireland. She has a talent for finding small mailable things that are so cute and novel!

Her packages are always a real treat. This one contained a package of beautiful napkins with a little ornament that says "Forget diets...eat cake. My sentiments exactly!

Also in the package was some nice bath salts scented with rose, my favorite scent;a very sweet magnet that says "If mothers were flowers, I'd pick you". Also, there is the cutest little charm for a bracelet, of a little miniature china tea pot!

It is so much fun to receive packages and gifts and cards....makes getting older quite bearable!

Also got a really nice card and a newsy letter from my sister-in-law Geni and brother-in-law Cliff, which brightened up the day. Love getting mail!

Recipe for Sloppy Joes for a Crowd

5 or 6 lbs of ground beef

1 large pepper

1 large onion

2 or 3 celery stalks

1 and 1/2 bottles chili sauce

4 cups ketcup

1/4 cup vinegar

1 Tbs sugar

1 Tbs. Worchestshire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Saute the pepper, onion and celery. Brown beef and drain well, add saute veggies. Add rest of ingredients and simmer 2 hours. Add extra ketcup if too thin and water is too thick. Serve on buns with cole slaw. Serves 40

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Eagles or Osprey"?

Hi everyone,

I noticed this nesting box built by the power company going toward a town Northwest of us and stopped to take a photo of the baby? birds.

They are the babies because the parent was there before and was much bigger. I can't really tell if they are Eagles or Osprey. The American Eagle has a white head and white tail feathers and the Osprey has a white head and black or dark brown tail feathers, I think. Both are about the same size. I believe these may be Osprey.

It is interesting that the power company finally got so tired of repairs that they extended poles and added boxes on top of the power poles to keep the birds from building on the equipment. Seems to work well, and as you travel, it is interesting to count the nests you see, especially if the large babies are about to fly away from the nests! I have been watching these for a couple of months...they must be about ready to fly away!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Buttons and other treasures....

Hi everyone and welcome to Ten Gables,
I seem to like multiples of certain things, like wood items from the Flea Market or buttons in a bowl.

Here is a little reticulated chrome bowl filled with cookie cutters, a biscuit cutter and a little butter mold.

I'm gathering up some things to put in my antique booth. Always interesting to see what one can find lurking in the corners of my studio.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Blogger's Bloom Day

Hello from Ten Gables cottage,

You may ask what can possibly be in bloom in this heat in South Florida of around 100 degrees!
I am surprised to see as many blooms as I did on the property this hot day. I walked around taking a few photos and after a few minutes I was absolutely burning up!
This photo shows the heat loving moss roses of the window box.

Pentas love the heat, too, and do very well in summer. I love this vibrant red hue!

Bush zinnias are doing well too and are great little "bloomers".

Just as I snapped this photo, a puff of wind moved it, but there are roses in bloom, too and I wanted you to see this pretty color.

Again, the wind made this one blurry, but the lavender color crape myrtle is stunning. It blooms later than the pink, but is really putting on a good show presently.

Not to be outdone, the pink crape mrytle has huge long spikes of blossoms and is really stunning!

Happy Blogger's Bloom Day! It is always the 15th of each month. Please check out http://www.maydreamsgarden.com/ to see more about it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Old Florida Adventure---looking for painting subjects

Hi everyone and welcome to Ten Gables,
Yesterday, my friend Beth, and I went on a little Old Florida Adventure. I wanted to find some interesting subjects for paintings and Beth had some things in mind she wanted to do, so off we went. We stopped at a country store for for refreshment and I spotted this beautiful begonia on the porch.
There is a crystal mine about 15 miles from our homes and we wanted to find it and see what it was like. I have been thinking about taking my two grandchildren out there for a "dig". Well, we liked to never have found it, but it was a grand place when we did. The picture shows Beth on top of a mound of shell rock and full of minerals and crystals. We picked up a few little crystals, but next time, we will take shovels and buckets.

You won't believe where we headed? To an old cemetery where Beth wanted to do some
tombstone rubbings. She came prepared with some interfacing material and a charcoal pencil.
The old stones were from the 1800's and were very interesting. Here is a photo of her as
she does a rubbing.

You may ask what in the world is she going to do with them? That is what I wanted to know!
She plans to make collages of them using some copies of old photos, bits of antique lace, etc.
It sounds interesting!

Below is one of the cemeteries we visited. Yes, we went to two!

It was soooooo hot yesterday; I thought I would bake while Beth just had a ball getting her

These Brahman cows found us as fascinating as we found them. I started gathering ideas and photos to paint from. These trips always get me excited and ready to paint!

At Keanansville, an old railroad town, that has little left in it, we found the old bank building, which is no longer used. Such a cute building---made me want to open a gallery there! Of course it is in the middles of nowhere, with very little traffic going by.

Here is the Heartbreak Hotel, which is old but has been restored. It opened again a couple of years ago and didn't make it, so now is closed and for sale. It is so neat with a gift shop downstairs and beautiful rooms upstairs. I guess the rumor is that Elvis stayed here once.

The little old post office there is so special. It still contains the old mail boxes and the inside is just as it was in days gone by. I am glad it was never destroyed.

So, I have some new ideas for paintings and must get started!

Ready to go!

But where do I put all these paintings I do? I sell some, but not all and my studio, even though large is quite full of paintings, stacked everywhere!

I even have paintings on my grandmothers old coal burning stove that I brought from Kentucky with me when I moved to Florida. It has so many memories, but I really have no where to put it except in my studio. So I just display things on and around it!

Time to get to work! Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of our adventure day. Beth and I really enjoyed the day.

Have a creative day! Egretta

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Best Banana Bread

Hi everyone,

What do you do with overripe bananas? Well, you make banana bread! I wish we had internet smell because this smells divine! Ready for tea here at Ten Gables. Below is this most delicious recipe!

Best Banana Bread
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 Eggs
4 Tbs. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups bread flour
1 tsp. soda
2 large ripened bananas, mashed

Cream sugar and butter, add eggs and buttermilk and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and soda and mix well. Add mashed bananas and if you want you can add 1 cup nuts. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes 1 loaf.
Delicious spread with soft cream cheese!

Have a happy weekend and don't forget to go to church...makes the whole week better!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rain makes a big difference....

Hi everyone and Welcome to Ten Gables,
The grass was totally brown a little over a week ago, and then we started getting afternoon rains and a few storms. Now the grass in the back "40" (really 5 acres) is green and pretty. In fact I mowed yesterday for two and 1/2 hours on a big ole John Deere.

Now the Caladiums are looking much better and holding up those big leaves on strong stems, when before they could hardly hold themselves up!

Even though the wind from the storms, frayed some of the banana tree leaves, it still looks great and is growing away! I don't know how long it takes to get bananas, but I am hoping maybe this year it will produce.

The orchid color crape myrtle is starting to bloom now. It is about 3 or 4 weeks later than the pink ones, but it is really pretty. The buds first look pink, but then the flowers are a lovely soft orchid color. They look "pinker" in the photo then they really are.

The glories of Summer!