Friday, April 17, 2009


The newest issue of Hemmings Classic Car features the Nash Rambler. Its even smaller cousin, the Nash Metropolitan, is one of my dream machines. Imagine the sheer incongruity of my dream garage: 1, a black 1968 Dodge Charger; 2, a blue Cadillac from between 1914 and 1930 (not quite brass radiator); 3, a two-tone, pink-and-white or turquoise-and-white 1954 Nash Metropolitan. Muscle, Beauty, and Girly!

....while riding in my Cadillac, what to my surprise
A little Nash Rambler was following me, about one-third my size....

Junior Cookbook Thursday- Hotdog Wrapups

The 1978 edition has several variations on how to prepare and serve hot dogs. Maybe they were particularly popular in the 70s, but I'm too young to remember!
This recipe had the advantage of using bread instead of regular rolls, and since we're trying to make food come out as even as possible before moving, anything that doesn't require buying anything additional is good.
Cheese went on the bread, then the hotdogs, and they were baked after having the bread held closed with toothpicks. It's pretty quick, and it makes a slightly different taste to the frankfurters than when they are boiled or grilled.
I thought of my mother's old favorite broiled cheese sandwiches when some of the edges of the cheese were browned. That was never something I cared for, however, but she does! I thought the finished product was all right, not stellar but reasonable.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Anne Frank's Diary

I'm reading The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition. You may or not be aware that the original book was considerably edited, for several reasons. Her father, Otto, felt that some of her discussions of her mother Edith, Edith's and Otto's marriage, sexual matters, and even of some other people, were not appropriate for the public. Later, with Otto's approval and editorial help from others, a complete edition of the diary was published. (I think that was published right when my eighth grade English teacher had the class reading the earlier version, for what it's worth.)

This is like reading an almost entirely different book. Some sentences I recall from previous readings are worded differently, as well as entire passages that I've never read before. I'm also glad that I had recently read The Hidden Life of Otto Frank and have gthat much more background about the building. It is difficult, even with the floorplan in the book, to picture the Secret Annex and the rest of the building at 263 Prinsengracht, but I've read enough now to understand somewhat.

Nothing about the Holocaust is ever an easy read, but I do recommend these books.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Really late about Junior Cookbook Thursday!

This past Thursday we made Scalloped Salmon from the 1958 edition. Cracker crumbs and canned salmon made up the bulk of it, and it was surprisingly good when complete. Bluebonnet actually helped get most of the salmon out of the can into the bowl and of course she stirred.

I think can sizes have changed somewhat over the years, because the recipe called for a 7 oz can of salmon and what we found in the store was 6oz. Ergo there was a little too much of crackers in the dish, but that can be easily altered. This might be a good thing to repeat.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vintage pattern dress for Bluebonnet

All three of us will be in the wedding of My Knight's best friend, hereinafter known as Harley Guy, and his dear fiancee, whom I'll call Color Girl. It'll be a pretty retro (creatively anachronistic, if you like) wedding. The pattern I found for Bluebonnet's flowergirl dress is actually from the 70s but I think it will work for soemthing older. I'm trying it out now in some fabric left over from one of my own dresses, a blue-and-yellow vertical stripe cotton. That dress has been a favorite of mine for about five years. Bluebonnet's dress will look pretty cute with rickrack around the bottom.
There's still enough fabric left that I think her ragdoll will have a matching dress, too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Once-a-Year Citrus Cake

Every year for about ten years I've made a certain "Rainbow Citrus Cake" some time in the spring. I can't really call it a tradition, because it has moved around from one occasion to another over the years. I think the first time I made it was for Mother's Day, and then it stayed as a Memorial Day staple for several years. 2008 saw it grace a PEO luncheon table.
I've been making desserts every week for the Wednesday suppers at our church here in Virginia, and I plan to make the citrus cake for tomorrow. There's nothing special about tomorrow, as compared to any other Wednesday, but I want to get a chance to make it once here.
To describe it as "once-a-year" may be a bit misleading, because I try so many new recipes that very few things are made more than once in any given year. Something that does get made each year is usually a favorite, and those that are several times a year are definite favorites.
The citrus cake is labor-intensive, and the finished product doesn't freeze well, which is why it has to be for a group. A tricy part is dividing the batter into thirds and getting them even! Each third gets a different citrus rind and color to match. The filling between layers is lemon, and the frosting is orange.

I think I'll make up some part of it this afternoon.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April Showers and all that

The sky was iron-grey early this morning, and we had a good thunderstorm between 8 and 9 a.m. It was still raining for a good portion of the morning when Bluebonnet and I set out for our errands. Happily, however, I have a nice new colorful umbrella that I was given for my birthday. I am of the opinion that umbrellas ought to be colorful. What's the sense of having a black umbrella to add to the colorlessness of a rainy day? They should also be large.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Book Sale Pt. 2

We found another Carolyn Haywood on the return trip! That alone made it worth the going. We also found several other good books, both picture books and others. One I couldn't pass up was Round Trip by Ann Jonas. It's a fascinating picture book about a day trip- when you come to the back of the book, it literally turns around (or upside-down, to be more precise) and the pictures are standing on their heads, turned into something else entirely. As I recall, it was a Reading Rainbow book years ago, and I'd had it out of the library when I was a little girl. Delightful to find the same thing now.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Before Nabby beat me to it, I ought to say that today is my husband's and my fifth anniversary. That seems startling, in one sense, but not so surprising in others. He's missed a few years for deployments or training, so our anniversary isn't that big a deal in truth. I have written small "updates" each year in the section of the book that was our wedding guest book, an idea that I think L. decided she'd adopt too.
That brings me to another point- it's really not needed to have something that's sold as a guest book for that purpose. Any nice book will do, but I think it's important to have that. Unless you have a very small wedding, you won't remember all of the people who were there. Guests often have something special to say. And it's a wonderful way to remember people who are gone. Alas, in only five years gone there are at least four lovely people who have died, including the Epples, whose messages are there in our guest book.

L. also had the Epples' favorite flower, daffodils, on the guest book table at her wedding, in their memory. I think that was very special.

Book Sale Pt.1

The county Friends of the Library is having their book sale this weekend, so we went over yesterday and will likely go again tomorrow. We came away well, with several additions to my collections (including the ever-elusive Carolyn Haywood!) and some for our homeschool and general reading shelves. We also got two cds, one of Christmas music and one of carousel music. All in all, a successful time. I hope we'll find more.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

CPSIA rally is happening now

Live streaming at