tisdag 23 juni 2009



The robin sings on the topmost bough of the spreading maple-tree,
Where the cool green leaves to the whispering breeze are nodding merrily;
The sunbeams bright from the azure sky go frolicking here and there,
And the breath of the clover blossom lies sweet on the summer air,

And under the trees so restfully, where the shadows softest lie,
Like a woodland nymph in her netted couch between fair earth and sky,
Behold our dainty darling, safe hidden from friends away,
Content with the merry sunshine, the robin, and breeze to stay.

lördag 20 juni 2009

Gutenberg and I

A True Experience of Child-life.
I was working in my garden one day in the end of June,
The sun shone high in the clear blue sky, and the clock had just struck noon;
I mused o'er my earliest childhood—my earliest friends, and lo,
There rose up the picture of a child in the dear dim Long-ago:
She holds in her arms a puppy, and smilingly shows it to me,
Her cheeks they are rosy and chubby, all dimpled with baby glee;
Her hair is dark and wavy, her brown eyes full of fun,
And she wears a blue straw bonnet to shelter from the sun.
She gathers daisies and kingcups till her pockets are more than full,
And dreams of the far-away city where she soon must go to school;
Her home it is rustic and lonely in the land of the river Ness,
But she loves her rural dwelling, does dear little brown-eyed Bess.
One time—ah! how well I remember, it seems like yesterday,
Dear Bessie came to visit me, just nine years past last May:
Beneath the hawthorn blossoms, hearts full of childish bliss,
We vowed eternal friendship, and sealed it with a kiss;
And I plucked a bright pink rosebud to fasten in her dress—
She was six years old that summer, was dear little brown-eyed Bess.
I remember very little of all she said to me,
But I know we loved each other with childish love and free;
I remember romping gaily around some little ricks,
And fondly giving Bessie a tiny box of bricks;
I remember our long, long parting one autumn afternoon,
And Bessie softly whispering, "Come back and see me soon."
But alas! some wicked fairy was present with us then,
For during the days of childhood we never met again.
Six years went by, and I happened to look at my toys one day.
When I came across a wooden horse with which I used to play,
A little wooden pony I found in the old toy "press,"
That I once had got in a present from dear little brown-eyed Bess
'Mongst the flowers I was dreaming and thinking—Was I ever to see her more?
When roused by a sound I looked and saw a carriage before the door
I ran right out of the garden and up the wooden stair,
Till I came to my own pink bedroom where I quickly smoothed my hair;
At my heart came a rush of rapture as I hastened to brush my dress
For who was down in the parlor? 'Twas dear little brown-eyed Bess.
Once more does our friendship flourish like the flowers in the garden-bed,
And a tall young stately maiden is in little Bessie's stead.
When I look at this stately maiden I think of the bright pink moss,
I think of a foaming brooklet with a bridge of stones across;
I think of a waste of heather, a collie pup, and a cat,
In the arms of a rosy baby with a blue straw sun shade hat.
When I look at this stately maiden I cannot a smile suppress.
While I bless in my heart the good old times when I knew her as little Bess.
=========0=====JEANIE P. H. SIMPSON
If I stopped shopping, cooking, washing and cleaning (hrmmm, not much time to gain there), I still wouldn't have time to spend as much time with Gutenberg as I'd like. Today I stole away from my lists to meet Herr Gutenberg for a few minutes. Of course, I found more than I'll ever have time to read or tell you about. Next week I'll spend more time with my finds – and hopefully I can go on-line so I can tell you about them.

fredag 19 juni 2009


I love this time of the year – yes, I know that I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again.
These nights when it never gets very dark are magical. There are many white flowers in bloom right now and you can see then glow all night.

There are plenty of birds in the magnolia tree.
Midsummer is a rather big holiday here – which I didn't think of when I went grocery shopping yesterday. Our small town was crowded and both grocery stores were packed. It was even hard to find a parking spot, which is very unusual here.

I have to admit that I'm rather stressed – there are so many things that have to be done before we leave for the island. If writing lists were enough I'd be extremely organized by now!

onsdag 10 juni 2009

See you soon!

Life and I are out of step for the moment. I wish I could say that life can't keep up with me - but that would be to stretch the truth. Anyway, I have plenty to say - but for may reasons I never manage to get it all typed and turned into a post. If you want to see photos from the garden there are some at my other blog.

måndag 8 juni 2009

Tea with Gutenberg

I found "The Skilful Cook, A Practical Manual of Modern Experience" by Mary Harrison on my last visit to Project Gutenberg. The book is from 1905 – a time when you were supposed to have at least one servant:

But there are some ladies to whom a knowledge of domestic economy ought to be especially invaluable—namely, those whose means are so limited that they cannot afford to engage servants who have had any great experience, and, therefore, who keep only what is called a general servant, a term which often means a woman or
4girl who will undertake to do everything, but who has only the vaguest notions of how anything should be done. They, poor things, have had no opportunity of learning in the homes from which they came. But it will be well for the poor ‘General’ if her mistress can teach and train her; for she will then leave her situation with knowledge and habits that will make her a valuable and useful woman, and be of the greatest service to her all her life.
_ _ _

A really capable housekeeper will not be satisfied with good cookery only. She will be careful to have each dish nicely served, however plain it may be. Culture, or the want of it, will be seen at once in the appointment of her table. This remark does not apply to a profusion of glass, silver, or flowers—these are questions of wealth—but to the neatness and order with which a table is laid, and the manner in which the meal is served.
Some people are particularly sensitive to external impressions; and to them a dinner, or any other meal, however costly, served in an untidy room, with table-cloth soiled, silver tarnished, glasses smeared, and above all a slovenly servant, would be enough to give a feeling of depression that would anything but aid digestion.
A great point to be attended to is to have everything perfectly clean and orderly, however old and plain. Clean table-cloths make a wonderful difference to the look of a table; a few flowers also will do much to give it a bright appearance. Servants should be neat in their dress, and quiet in their movements. If only one is kept, that is no reason why she should wait at table in a slovenly dress and with ruffled hair.

This is a thorough book with fundamental advice.
I have never heard of Vienna flour before – maybe some of my British friends know what it is. Otherwise it sounds as you can use any all-purpose flour and get ordinary rolls.

Vienna Bread.
Ingredients—2 lb. of Vienna flour.
2 oz. of butter.
1 oz. of German yeast.
1 pint of milk.
1 teaspoonful of salt.
Method.—Rub the butter well into the flour, and add the salt.
Make the milk tepid, and mix smoothly with the German yeast.
Make a well in the middle of the flour, and stir in the milk smoothly.
Knead very lightly for a minute, and then put the dough to rise in a warm place for two hours.
When it has well risen, make it into rolls or fancy twists.

If you don't want rolls you might like to try Shrewsbury Cakes and Yorkshire Teacakes.

Shrewsbury Cakes.
Ingredients—¼ lb. of butter.
¼ lb. of castor sugar.
6 oz. of flour.
1 egg.

Method.—Cream the butter and sugar.

Add to them the egg, well beaten.
Then stir in the flour.Knead it to a dough.
Roll out, and cut into small round cakes with a cutter.
Place them on a greased baking-sheet.
Bake in a moderate oven from fifteen to twenty minutes.
Then bake in a quick oven from ten to twenty minutes, according to their size.
When nearly cooked, brush them with a little milk or white of egg to glaze them.

Yorkshire Teacakes.
Ingredients—¾ lb. of flour.
1½ gill of milk.
1 oz. of butter.
1 egg.
½ oz. of German yeast.

Method.—Put the flour into a basin, and rub the butter into it.
Make the milk tepid, and blend it with the yeast.
Strain it into the flour.
Add the egg.
Beat all well together for a few minutes.
Knead lightly.
Then divide the dough in two.
Make each part into a ball, and put them in floured cake-tins.
Put the cakes in a warm place to rise for one hour, and then bake them for about twenty minutes.
Brush them over with a syrup of sugar and water to glaze them.

torsdag 4 juni 2009

An evening walk in the garden


After a sunny and hot Pentecost (Whitsun) – yes we still observe Pentecost even if we had to give up the Pentecost Monday that was a holiday until last year. That because our country (or goverment or some to me unknown authority?) decided that we had to have a national day. June 6th has always been "the Swedish flag's day" but not a holiday – and why we had to turn it into a national day is beyond me.
Anyway, last weekend was beautiful and very summery – I hope that wasn't all summer we get! It is very windy and cold now – "tea-books-and fire-weather".
Still it happens so much in the garden that it is hard to keep up with everything that is popping up or blooming. The tree peonies first flower is about to open, yesterday was too windy to get a picture of anything not cast in concret but this morning I managed while the wind caught its breath.
One of my favorite flowers is shooting star (dodecateon). The first time I saw one was in in the Rocky Mountains many years ago. They don't grow wild here but I've found seeds and we have had them for many years now.

Gutenberg has been slow and grumpy lately – but so have I, so we're a nice pair – but I have some finds that I hope to come back to. The good thing with those finds are that they already are so old, that it really doesn't matter if I write about them today or next week!