måndag 31 augusti 2009

I found an old recipe

well, not old at all compared with some of the recipes you can find at Gutenberg, but rather old to be a recipe for microwave cookery. It's a recipe from 1977 for a cheesecake made in the microwave oven. It has a slightly different texture than a traditionally baked cheesecake – not quite as smooth. As I see it, the advantage with making it in the microwave oven is that I ended up with only two bowls and one spoon to clean. I'm usually not in a hurry to get things done – but if your guests will arrive within four hours and you'd like to serve a cheesecake this is quite handy.
The first day we ate it with black currants, the second day we brought it on a picnic and ate it we blueberries picked just before we sat down to eat.

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter
mix crumbs and butter. Press over bottom and up sides of an 8- or 9-inch pie plate. Cook on High 1½ - 2 minutes.

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups dairy sour cream

In a large bowl, stir cream cheese until smooth. Stir in eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in sour cream. Cook on low 10 to 12 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Pour into baked crust. Cook on low 5 minutes or until center is set.
Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours.

söndag 30 augusti 2009

Saturday in England with Gutenberg

¨ Journey over all the universe in a map, without the expense and fatigue of traveling, without suffering the inconveniences of heat, cold, hunger and thirst.
00000000000000000000000 Miguel de Cervantes


Oh yes, he was right Miguel de Cervantes – but I have to admit that there are times when I wish I could leave my comfortable blue chair and see things for myself. Reading, or more correct, looking in "Eng-land, Picturesque and Descriptive, A Reminiscence of Foreign Travel" by Joel Cook made my wander-foot itch. This book from 1882, and with 500 illustrations was one of yesterday's find at Gutenberg.
I'd love to travel all over England with this book in one hand, my camera in the other trying to find the motives and captive them with my camera.
I did it in a very small scale yesterday, I searched for photos on the web, of places pictured in the book. But I found only a few new photos taken from the same (roughly) place as the drawings. The one above of Abingdon Abbey was one of them. And here is the more than 100 years old picture in the book


0It looks pretty much the same, even if the roof has changed and they have added a sculpture between the windows.
It's probably easier to find buildings and compare them with old pictures, than the right spot on a heath or the right bend in a river – a landscape change so much even without malls and highways.



This picture of Thames Head looks quite different than today's view of the same place.

The windows looks a bit different here – but I guess necessary maintenance has changed the look of many old buildings. Different times and different ideals shows, the question about how faithful you should be when restoring old houses always comes up – faithful to how it looks when you start to restore, or faithful to what it looked like when it was built...

If you have time, and you need plenty of time, take a look at the book. I'm sure it must be extra interesting for those of you who live in England – I'm sure you'll find places you recognize. I did, and I haven't traveled a lot in England.


torsdag 27 augusti 2009

onsdag 26 augusti 2009

If you don't hear from me

in a while – this is the reason.
They arrived yesterday.

måndag 24 augusti 2009

Wanted - People for Chronic Illness Inter-Body Exchange Program


The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. NORD is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.
One of NORD's members wrote this the other day. I don't have her name but I have her permission to distribute what she has written. I'm sure many of you can relate to it.
The Inter-Body Exchange Program
You - Have wanted to be able to "lie around all day" like me.
You - Are envious of people with chronic diseases who don't have to work anymore.
You - Wish you could get paid for not working the way people on Social Security Disability do.
You - Wish you could get "free" money.
You - Wish you could catch up on all your favorite sitcoms.
I - Want a break from the 24/7 pain, fever, horrific headaches and constant "sick" feeling.
I - Want to be able to get out of the house for a change and do something fun.
I - Want to have enough money to buy food for a change.
I - Want a break from medical and other creditors calling me all day every day, sending me threatening letters, and the desperate fight to keep my utilities from getting cut off, my car from being repossessed and my house from being foreclosed on.
I - Want to get out from under the criticism and negative scrutiny of others.
I - want to be able to put in an 8 hour day at the office without experiencing horrible pain and sickness after just one hour of being out of bed.
Here's your chance. Limited time offer (I'm sure you will change your mind quickly after the exchange occurs).
With the "Bodily Exchange Program" you will exchange bodies with your assigned partner and experience first hand what it is like to live in a body with a chronic illness and "be on the dole" of welfare.
You will get to lie in bed or on the sofa instead of going to work. You will get "free money" that won't be enough to even pay for housing and utilities, much less buy food or medicines or go to the doctor, but it's "free" (oh, you did pay into that system all those years you worked, but never mind that).
Your exchange partner will have the "pain" of going to work each day and having to "earn a living". It's unbelievable, but most people in our program would give anything to live in your world and have to deal with being healthy and having to work even for just a few short days.
You, yes you, can experience all this, first hand! What an incredible learning opportunity. Get credit from your university for this program if you are a student.
Contact 1-800-xchgabody

söndag 23 augusti 2009


It's always the same branch on the same maple that gets read leaves in mid august.

fredag 21 augusti 2009

Gutenberg and textiles

As a weaver I check out every book that sounds as it might contain anything about textiles – and there are quite a few. This is what I've found the last two weeks.

The old log house where Margaret lived, whose roof had mossy grown,
Reposed amid its clump of trees, a queen upon her throne.
The landscape round smiled proudly and the flowers shed sweet perfume,
When Margaret plied the shuttle of the rude old-fashioned loom.

The world has grown fastidious—demands things ever new—
But we could once see beauties in the rainbow's every hue;
The bee could then find nectar in a common clover bloom,
And simple hearts hear music in the shuttle of the loom.

The picture that my memory paints is never seen to-day—
The April sun of by-gone years has lost its brightest ray:
A fancy-wrought piano in a quaint, antique old room,
But Margaret sang her sweetest to the music of the loom.

She wore a simple home-spun dress, for Margaret's taste was plain,
Yet life was like a song to her, with work a sweet refrain.
The sunshine filled her days with joy, night's shadows brought no gloom.
When Margaret plied the shuttle of the old old-fashioned loom.

Her warp of life was toiling hard, but love its beauteous woof.
The web she wove, a character beyond the world's reproof.
O girls of wealth and beauty vain, who dress in rich costume,
How sweet the shuttle's music of this rare old-fashioned loom.

The world may grow fastidious in art and nature too,
And say there is no beauty in the rainbow's every hue;
And yet the bee finds nectar in a common clover bloom,
And I still love the music of the old old-fashioned loom.

000000000000000000000 Cotton Noe

The weave as a metaphor for life is has become rather trite – and although I haven't read all of the poems in Cotton Noe's book "The Loom of Life" from 1917 - I wouldn't say that he adds anything of interest to the subject. But he is new acquaintance to me, and new – although old – authors are always interesting to explore.

"The Story of the Cotton Plant" by Frederick Wilkinson, from 1898, has some interesting illustrations as well as facts.

Fig. 3

The subject of the early myths and fables of the plant in question has been very fully treated by the late Mr. Henry Lee, F. L. S., who was for a time at the Brighton Aquarium. His book, the "Vegetable Lamb of Tartary," shows indefatigable research for a correct explanation of the myth, and after a strictly impartial inquiry he comes to the conclusion that all the various phases which these fabulous concoctions assumed, had their beginnings in nothing more or less than the simple mature pod of the Cotton plant.
It will not be necessary to consider here more than one or two of these very curious beliefs about cotton. By some it was supposed that in a country which went by the name "The Tartars of the East," there grew a wonderful tree which yielded buds still more wonderful. These, when ripe, were said to burst and expose to view tiny lambs whose fleeces gave a pure white wool which the natives made into different garments.

By and by, a delightfully curious change took place, and it is found that the fruit which was formerly said to have the little lamb within, was now changed into a live lamb attached to the top of the plant. Mr. Lee says: "The stem or stalk on which the lamb was suspended above the ground, was sufficiently flexible to allow the animal to bend downward, and browse on the herbage within its reach. When all the grass within the length of its tether had been consumed, the stem withered and the plant died. This plant lamb was reported to have bones, blood, and delicate flesh, and to be a favourite food of wolves, though no other carnivorous animal would attack it."

In Fig. 3 is shown Joannes Zahn's idea of what this wonderful "Barometz or Tartarian lamb" was like. Now, mainly through an imaginative Englishman named Sir John Mandeville, who lived in the reign of Edward III., did this latter form of the story find its way into England.

This illustrious traveller left his native country in 1322, and for over thirty years traversed the principal countries of Europe and Asia. When he came home he commenced to write a history of his remarkable travels. In these are found references to the Cotton plant, and so curious an account does he give of it, that it has been considered worth reproduction in his own words: "And there growethe a maner of Fruyt, as though it weren Gourdes: and whan ther been rype men kutten hem ato, and men fynden with inne a lyttle Best, in Flesche, in Bon and Blode, as though it were a lytylle Lomb with outen Wolle. And men eten both the Frut and the Best; and that is a great Marveylle. Of that Frute I have eaten; alle thoughe it were wondirfulle, but that I knowe well that God is Marveyllous in his Werkes."

No wonder that many accepted his account of the "Vegetable Lamb" without question. When a nobleman of the reputation of Sir J. Mandeville stated that he had actually eaten of the fruit of the Cotton, was there any need for further doubt?

But my favorite illustrations and stories did I find in "The Child's World, Third Reader by Hetty Browne, Sarah Withers, W.K. Tate. It contains short stories about both cotton and wool as well as linen and silk.

"I want a warm plaid dress," said a little girl. "The days are colder, and the frost will soon be here. But how can I get it? Mother says that she cannot buy one for me."

The old white sheep in the meadow heard her, and he bleated to the shepherd, "The little girl wants a warm plaid dress. I will give my wool. Who else will help?"

The kind shepherd said, "I will." Then he led the old white sheep to the brook and washed its wool. When it was clean and white, he said, "The little girl wants a warm plaid dress. The sheep has given his wool, and I have washed it clean and white. Who else will help?"

"We will," said the shearers. "We will bring our shears and cut off the wool."

The shearers cut the soft wool from the old sheep, and then they called, "The little girl wants a new dress. The sheep has given his wool. The shepherd has washed it; and we have sheared it. Who else will help?"

"We will," cried the carders. "We will comb it out straight and smooth."

Soon they held up the wool, carded straight and smooth, and they cried, "The little girl wants a new dress. The sheep has given his wool. The shepherd has washed the wool. The shearers have cut it, and we have carded it. Who else will help?"

"We will," said the spinners. "We will spin it into thread."

"Whirr, whirr!" How fast the spinning wheels turned, singing all the time.

Soon the spinners said, "The little girl wants a new dress. The sheep has given his wool. The shepherd has washed the wool. The shearers have cut it. The carders have carded it, and we have spun it into thread. Who else will help?"

"We will," said the dyers. "We will dye it with beautiful colors."

Then they dipped the woven threads into bright dye, red and blue and green and brown.

As they spread the wool out to dry, the dyers called: "The little girl wants a new dress. The sheep has given his wool. The shepherd has washed the wool. The shearers have cut it. The carders have carded it. The spinners have spun it, and we have dyed it with bright beautiful colors. Who else will help?"

"We will," said the weavers. "We will make it into cloth."

"Clickety-clack! clickety-clack!" went the loom, as the colored thread was woven over and under over and under. Before long it was made into beautiful plaid cloth.

Then the little girl's mother cut and made the dress. It was a beautiful plaid dress, and the little girl loved to wear it. Every time she put it on, she thought of her friends who had helped her,— the sheep, the shearers, the carders, the spinners, the dyers, the weavers, and her own dear mother.

onsdag 19 augusti 2009


I went to take tea with the three little fairies
Who live in the depth of the hazel wood.
And what do you think we had for supper?
Oh! everything dainty and everything good.

There was tea in a buttercup, cream in a blue-bell,
Marigold butter and hollyhock cheese,
Slices of strawberry served in a nutshell,
And honey just brought by the liveried bees.

We sat 'neath the shade of a silvery mushroom,
All lined with pale pink, nicely fluted and quilled,
And around us the cup-moss held up its red goblets,
Each one with a dew drop like diamond filled.

We ate and we drank and we chatted together,
Till the fireflies lighted us off to our beds;
And we all fell asleep in our cots made of rose leaves,
With pillows of thistledown under our heads.

söndag 16 augusti 2009

Waiting for Brian

I'm waiting for my brain (Brian) to return. He left together with my oomph some time ago.
Meanwhile I'm dozing – not looking half as cute as my darling.

måndag 10 augusti 2009


Some of you might remember how I put my life at stake last year – to rescue some of the cherries before the birds finished them all. Yesterday I braved the law of gravity and swung myself to the top of the tree. My darling gave me a pitying look when I dragged the ladder out, as to say, why bother with a ladder – just climb that tree, it's so easy.

This is what I got yesterday, and there are still berries up there. But before I try to reach them I'll take care of what I have.

tisdag 4 augusti 2009

I'm trying to catch up on life – and I'm not very successful.
Whether I succeed or not I hope to be back here in a couple of days.
You can see today's photos here.

lördag 1 augusti 2009

I won't emigrate

– but I did consider it for a fraction of a second the other day. My friend brought me 500 g of English Breakfast Tea, tea she bought at Taylors of Harrogate when she visited England some time ago – and I can't but wonder why we can't buy good black tea here.

Kristi's favorite torte - one of them

Kristi writes:
...although I don't find the book with the recipe I usually use for the toasted hazelnut torte. But here is another one, very good.

3/4 hazelnuts toasted and ground after the outer brown part is rubbed off. 1/2 pound unsweetened chocolate. 1/2 pound sweet butter. 1/2 pound sugar. 6 egg whites. a pinch of salt. butter flour and Mocha filling (to follow) and whipped cream...............

soften the chocolate in a double boiler. cool it. whip butter and sugar until foamy and then gently whip in the softened chocolate and hazelnut flour...whip egg whites and fold into the choc.hazelnut mix.butter a baking sheet 17 by 12 inches. flour it lightly. Pour in the cake batter. Bake in a 375degree preheated oven. Cool and remove carefully from pan and cut the cake into 3 equal pieces. Put mocha filling between layers and frost top and sides with it.

Mocha filling. 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup very strong espresso coffee, 1/4 pound semisweet chocolate softened, 1/3 pound of butter, 6 egg yolks...

Boil sugar and coffee about 4 or 5 minutes until syrupy. Cool. Mix in chocolate and butter. While constantly stirring add the egg yolks one by one and continue stirring until the filling thickens. Cool.

There is no flour in this cake. I have seen Jewish Hungarian recipes for it that do include pulverized matzoh.

Thank you Kristi, I'll try this recipe soon!