Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rainy Day Banana Bread

Hi Everyone, I hope you are having a fine Saturday. It is rainy here in South Florida and we need it, so it is a good day to stay inside and bake something. I made a loaf of banana bread.
It is really yummy with a nice crust, and toasted it tastes wonderful with a little butter, of course. Here is the recipe:
Cream together 1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 beaten egg.
Add 3 cups ripe, mashed banana
Now add 2 cups flour 1 tsp. soda, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 cup nuts (optional).
Bake in a greased and floured loaf pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
It slices well and is very moist with crispy crust.
Tea time.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Blogger's Bloom Day"

Hi Everyone, I loved this yellow hibiscus so much, I got it on twice! Kidding, I just messed up!
But it is gorgeous.
These pentas are a little fuzzy, but the color is so pretty, I had to include them!
Love the zinnias. Lots of mine have died now and I have plenty of seed. I just keep scattering them about and more have come up! They will grow here practically year around. I still haven't got the old plow painted barn red, like I plan to do. It is just too hot. 
I noticed the thermometer on the back porch showed 100 degrees earlier! It is in the sun, but it is in the low 90's and just too hot to get outside and work! Hope you have a lovely Bloggers' Bloom Day!
Bloggers' Bloom Day is hosted by http://maydreamsgarden.com/ 

Monday, August 13, 2012

"The Finished Painting...My Table Garden"

Hi everyone, I hope you are having a wonderful Monday! I finally, finally finished this ambitious painting! It is an oil, 16 x 20, larger than I have been doing all summer. I really enjoyed painting larger..somehow it seems more viable art than doing some tiny thing. I used a nice pot of Angelonia on the right, the tall purple spikes. I will now plant them in the garden and hope they continue to bloom for a couple of months. I still have lots of zinnias in the garden and as they die, I pull off the seeds and scatter them, getting more. They are so easy to grow and give so much color.
I love the shadows of the leaves on the pots in this painting and the folds of the fabric at the bottom. My "table garden" is no more...I have dissected it, ate the fruit, am going to plant the potted plants and throw out the now spent zinnias. When you entertain guests, why not set up your own still life arrangement as if you intend to do a painting, and use it as a buffet centerpiece? Wouldn't something like this be pretty on a table with dishes of food placed around, instead of the food dishes simply placed on a flat cloth!  Let's get creative!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Painting, painting, painting...

Hi Everyone, I have been busy in the studio doing a fairly large oil painting. I am using water soluble oils and my medium of choice is walnut oil. There is very low odor and the painting dries a little faster, probably than regular oils. I haven't painted a whole lot in oils for years and years, as I was allergic to turpentine and linseed oil. I'm not sure about the paint itself....I feel a little wary, but am proceeding and we will see!
I sat up a still life with some potted plants and a bouquet of zinnias. I still have lots of work to do before I will call it finished.
So far I like what I have done. I have to work on the flowers some more and the fruit. I am beginning to like the look of the shadows on the pots. I have worked on this about 3 days now, off and on. It may take another 3! I find that I need some breaks fairly often and am doing some other creative things, such as making some jewelry. There are not enough hours in the day!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Making Muscadine grape jelly

Hi Everyone, A friend brought me a container of Muscadine grapes from her garden and they were great to just pop in your mouth and eat, but I was afraid some would spoil before they were eaten, so I decided to make jelly.
I rounded up some jars, washed and poured boiling water into them to sterilize them.  I covered the grapes with water in a large heavy pan and cooked them until the hulls popped open. Then I mashed the grapes and strained the juice out into a  container. I had 5 cups of beautiful grape juice. Next, I added the juice with 1 package of fruit pectin and brought to a rolling boil in my heavy pan.  I cooked it 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Then I added 7 cups of sugar, brought the mixture back to a boil and boiled 1 minute longer. It foams a little on top, so I spooned off the foam, and  poured  it into my clean and sterilized jars. Meantime, I had melted paraffin in a double boiler, so I poured about 1/8 inch of paraffin on top the jelly to seal it. Here it is cooling in the jars.
I had a bit left, so I poured it into a bowl and left it to jell.
Here is a spoonful after it jelled and YUM, was it tasty. And pretty, too. The color is just lovely.
This shows the paraffin hardened and sealing the jelly underneath it. I then put tight lids on the jars and they are ready! All I need now are some scones and butter and a cup of tea!
I haven't made jelly in a very long time and I forgot how easy and rewarding it is!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I love Pizelles....great for Tea Time!

Hi Everyone,  I finally bought a Pizelle maker! It is somewhat like a waffle iron except it makes a very thin Italian cookie that is so delicious! As you can see in the photo, the pizelle maker presses a pretty design in each cookie....yes, you only make 2 at a time!
The recipe calls for 6 eggs, beaten until smooth; add 1/2 cup cooking oil and 2 teaspoons (or more) of  pure anise extract and you can add some anise seeds if you wish. Mix in 3 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 and 1/2 cups sugar.  Now drop 1 level tablespoon of dough on the center of each pizelle  mold, shut the lid and bake only 20 seconds. After a few, I got a rhythm going and dipped them in confectioner's sugar while hot and transferred to a rack to cool.
Here they are cooling. It makes about 60 or so.
The Pizelles are thin and crispy, with just a hint of that wonderful anise taste. They don't taste really sweet, but just right to go with a cup of tea.
Pretty on my Country Roses dishes!
Now it is tea time. Won't you join me?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

" Glass for my Booth and Crochet Beauties!

Hi Everyone and welcome to Ten Gables, 
I was lucky enough to get some pretty pieces for my Antiques booth at the Rustic Star. I got the lovely pressed glass pitcher above, very heavy and gorgeous, plus it has 5 glasses to match. I think the pattern is button daisy.
I got two green pressed glass goblets or maybe wine glasses, with gold edging around the top. They are very heavy and very pretty. I think they would be stunning with little battery tea lights in them. Do you ever use those little battery tea lights? I love them because there is no candle mess and no danger, either.
I got this footed dish by Nippon. It is encrusted with a pretty gold design and is fragile, but in perfect condition. Will it be hard to part with these treasures? You bet!
This is a pretty crocheted pot holder with a red rose in the center, far too pretty to use!  I hope Janice, my blogger friend sees this and the basket below. She is a talented crochet artist! 
She might like this little basket. I found it at my old antique shop, admired it, and my friend, Beth (owner of the shop) gave it to me! So this will not be sold.
I need to starch the handle so it will stand up. A glass fits inside it and I thought it would look great with some flowers in it and I will incorporate it into one of my paintings!