lördag 31 oktober 2009

Reading today

Matinée d'été
Paul Albert Besnard

fredag 30 oktober 2009

Reading today

Éduard Manet

torsdag 29 oktober 2009

Reading today

The Blue Book
William McGregor Paxton

onsdag 28 oktober 2009

Reading today

Girls Reading
Eugène Carrière

tisdag 27 oktober 2009

Reading today

Annelies, White Tulips and Anemones, 1944
Henri Matisse, 1869-1954

måndag 26 oktober 2009


I always marvel at October, how it can be so full of opposites. It's as if, since the leaves are doing some-thing so dramatic and carefree in changing all those colors, the Earth thinks it can get away with anything, and runs around irresponsible and mad for a month or two before it goes to bed.
........................................... Fredric S. Durbin,
............................................................................. Dragonfly

Reading today

Lili Reading
Theodore Earl Butler

söndag 25 oktober 2009

Reading today

Portrait Of The Artist's Mother
Franz Marc, 1880 - 1916

lördag 24 oktober 2009

Saturday with Gutenberg

Have you always wanted to learn how to make popcorn balls? Now you can learn how. First you have to buy a Pop Corn Ball Press.
Makes Balls 3½ inches diameter, has brass cups top and bottom, so arranged that the ball is pushed out of the cup at each operation.

Any Size Ball made to order.Price complete any size Ball, $35 00

If you find that too expensive there is a Hand Ball Press.

2 in. diameter Price $4 00
2½ " ... " ..... " .. 4 00
3 ." ... " ..... " .. 4 00
3½ " ... " ..... " .. 5 00
4 ." ... " ..... " .. 5 00
Egg Shape 3⅛×2¼ ." .. 5 00

And of course you need (the kind I would like to have – when I told a friend that, she said "if I only had known that last week when we throw out four of them!)

CORN POPPERS—Made Very Strong.
½ Peck $2 00
1 Peck 2 75
½ Bushel 3 75
1 Bushel 4 75

Now when you have all the equipment at hand you can start.
Roast the corn berries over a smokeless fire in a corn popper (get our price for corn poppers); keep shaking until every berry has burst; boil sufficient sugar and water to the degree of feather, 245; add to each 7 lbs. syrup, four ounces of dissolved gum arabic; wet the popped corn in this syrup, and roll them in fine pulverized sugar until coated all over, then lay them aside; when dry repeat the coating process in the same manner until they have taken up the desired thickness of sugar. Weigh or measure sufficient coated berries, according to size of ball required, moisten them with
thin syrup, partly form the ball by hand, then put it in a pop corn ball press and press tightly into shape, then form into balls in the usual way with pop corn ball press.
This, you can learn from:
Confectioners' and Candy Makers' Tools and Machines
which is one of today's finds.
Even if I'm not very fond of sweets, and wouldn't dream of going to the trouble of trying any of the many recipes, I find the illustrations wonderful. I don't need a candy cutter, but am intrigued by this picture of one. But if you need to cut 1500 pounds of candy per day – you should consider getting one!

PATENT CANDY CUTTER. For Cutting Caramels, Japanese Cocoanut, and all kind of Bar Candies.
Cuts all thicknesses up to one inch, and all widths up to one and one-quarter inches.
Moving Bed of Machine is 32 inches long and 9 inches wide. Will cut 1500 pounds of Candy per day.
One of the handiest and most useful all round Machines a man can buy.
Price, $75 00
Or if you're dreaming of making buttercups (which I don't even know what it is) this is the place for you.
This Machine is used for Cutting Buttercups, and a large variety of other Candies. Has saw teeth for making crimped edged buttercups. Very quick working machine.
Price, $19 00

These beautiful candies are very popular; they are pleasing both to the eye and the palate when they are well made, but they must be kept air tight or they will soon lose all their attractiveness and become a sticky mass, as they have a great tendency to "sweat." In order to prevent this as much as possible it is advisable to use a little borax in each boil. The process is
simple enough, but must be worked quickly, in fact the beauty depends upon the rapid manipulation of the sugar over the hook; keep the eye fixed on the color; as soon as it becomes a glossy satin with a close grain it is finished; lift it off the hook immediately and return to the slab for casing. Do not carry on the pulling operation until it becomes spongy, and be careful not to use too much color; the tints should be light and delicate when finished. Machines are made for cutting buttercups, price $6.00 and $14.00, each machine. Crimped edge machine, $20.00 each. Get our price list.

7 lbs. Best White Sugar.
2 lbs. Fondant Paste.
1 lb. Desiccated Cocoanut, fine.
Green color.
1 teaspoonful Cream of Tartar.
1 quart water.Borax.

Process.—Put the sugar, water and cream of tartar in the boiling pan and boil up to crack 310 in the ordinary way; while the pan is on the fire, take the fondant paste and work into it the desiccated cocoanut, with a little essence of vanilla, and lay aside till required. When the boil has reached the required degree pour the sugar on the slab, color it light green, and when partly cool, pull over the hook until it becomes a delicate satin tint; return it to the slab, press the boil out, lay the fondant paste in the centre and case it all around with the pulled sugar; now carefully work the one end of the boil down to a point as for
sticks and draw it out in lengths, required thickness: lay them on the machine and press gently until cut through; the buttercups are then ready for packing. It is advisable to work small boils of these goods, as the casing being boiled soon gets brittle; keep turning the bulk round on the plate so as to keep the fondant paste exactly in the centre.

7 lbs. Best White Sugar.
2 lbs. Fondant Paste.
1 lb Desiccated Cocoanut.
1 lb. Raspberry Jam, boiled Stiff.
1 teaspoonful cream of Tartar.
1 quart Water.Carmine Color.Borax.

Process.—Work the jam and cocoanut into the fondant paste; boil the sugar, water and cream tartar to crack; pour on oiled slab; color light rose tint: when partly cool, pull and work off as in the preceding recipe and cut with buttercup machine.

7 lbs. White Sugar.
2 lbs Fondant Paste.
1 lb. Black Currant Jam.
½ oz. Tartaric Acid.
1 teaspoonful Cream Tartar.
1 quart Water.Borax.
Purple Color.

Process.—Work the jam, acid and color into the fondant paste, boil the sugar, water and cream tartar to crack, and work off as already described.

I did spend a lot of time reading this book as I didn't find much else I was interested in today. The only other book I've looked at was "The Century Handbook of Writing", 1927 by Garland Greever and Easley S. Jones

I'm sure I have plenty to learn here – but it will take me a long time to get through it.

Reading today

The Mother and Sister of the Artist
Berthe Morisot, 1841-1895

fredag 23 oktober 2009

Reading today

Quiet Afternoon
Fernand Toussaint,

torsdag 22 oktober 2009

Reading today

Desire Dihau Reading a Newspaper in the Garden, 1890
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1864 - 1901

onsdag 21 oktober 2009

Reading today

A Quiet Read
Edwin Harris

tisdag 20 oktober 2009

Reading today

Reading Woman
Georg Nicolaj Achen
1860 - 1912
One glance at a book and you hear the voice
of another person, perhaps someone dead
for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage
through time.
.............................. Carl Sagan

måndag 19 oktober 2009

Reading today

The Reader
Pierre-Auguste Renoir,

söndag 18 oktober 2009

A gray day

Also days like today, when it is gray, are beautiful in a subdued way.
But it is nice to come back home to tea with scones and blueberry marmalade by the fire.

There is another art theme on my Swedish blog – with very little, if any, text.

Reading today

Elizabeth Reading
August Macke, 1887–1914
No entertainment is so cheap as reading,
nor any pleasure so lasting.
............................. Mary Wortley Montagu

lördag 17 oktober 2009

Reading today

Monk Reading
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

fredag 16 oktober 2009

Reading today

Interior with Young Man
Vilhelm Hammershøi, 1864-1916

Good books don't need anyone lobbying on their
behalf, they just need someone reading them.
..................... Carolyn Hax
I still find plenty of paintings that I could use in "Today's window" – and I might show some of them someday. But there are so many other paintings that are waiting to be admired (and some to be laughed or snort at) so I've decided to start a new theme, reading pictures.

torsdag 15 oktober 2009

Are you a burden upon community?

Every woman, high or low, ought to know how to make bread. If she do not, she is unworthy of trust and confidence, and, indeed, a mere burden upon the community."
...................................................Cottage Economy
....................................................William Cobett

I'm relieved to learn that I'm not a burden upon community.
I thought that almost every woman knew how to make bread in 1821. But when I started to think about it, I realized that people who could afford servants, probably didn't know how to bake. The queen – was she a mere burden upon the community? (Guess some people would say yes). Interesting thought.
But most girls were brought up like little Ruth, in the story below, to become good wives and mothers.


"Company coming to-morrow and not a crumb of cake in the house!" said Mrs. Brown one morning. "Jane's gone and there's all the sweeping to do, the baby to take care of, and three meals a day to get!"
"Mother, mother dear," called Ruth from the next room, "do let me make the cake. I should like nothing better. It would be great fun."
"Great fun! Now that is what one says who knows nothing about it. It would be better to go without any cake at all than to place before our friends some that they cannot eat," replied the tired mother.
"When I was at Aunt Fanny's," said Ruth, "she taught me how to make a kind of cake that we all liked. Uncle John said he could eat all I could make. Do let me try, mother dear."
"Oh, Ruth, what a tease you are. Well, it will keep you quiet for a while and I suppose you must learn somehow."
Then Ruth ran into the kitchen in high glee. First she looked at the fire in the stove as Aunt Fanny had taught her to do. More coal was needed. So she had to go down cellar and bring up as much as she could in the hod. She opened the draughts and put on a little coal at first. When that had kindled she put on a little more. She took a whisk and swept out the stove oven. Then she put more water into the kettle on on top of the stove. Soon it was time to close the draughts. She put her hand into the oven to feel how hot it was just as she had seen her Aunt Fanny do.

When the stove was as she wanted it, Ruth ran out to the barn and found four warm eggs in nests among the hay. These she brought into the house, and breaking them into a bowl, began to beat them up quickly. Next she took a yellow dish from the dresser and put into it one cup of butter and two cups of sugar. For a long time she mixed these two together until they were "all one," as she called it.
Next she put the four beaten eggs into the bowl with the butter and sugar, and beat them until her little hands ached. Then she measured out three cups of flour and sifted it into another dish. With this she put two teaspoonfuls of baking powder, and then sifted flour and baking powder together. After this was done, she added a little of it at a time to the mixture of butter and eggs, beating away until all the flour had been used up. Then she put into it a teaspoonful of vanilla essence and added enough milk to make a thick batter. Little pans shaped like hearts and rounds, and one large round pan were then well greased, and the beaten up cake put into each pan until it was half full. Then the pans of cake were set into the oven and in ten or fifteen minutes all the tiny "hearts and rounds" were baked a light brown, while the large pan had to stay baking ten or fifteen minutes more.
A very happy child was young Ruth when she took out her pans of cake.
Her father, mother, brothers and the "company" who arrived the next day thought it the "nicest cake ever made by so young a little girl."

From "Pages for Laughing Eyes", author unknown.

lördag 10 oktober 2009

No noble life - or Nobel Price

I wish I had some noble reasons for being absent from my blog – like writing an opera, biking around the world, or maybe receiving the Nobel Price. But my only excuse is inertia.

I'm finally starting to understand that the summer I've been waiting for won't come – not this year. It has been wet and cold in my part of the country – the wettest summer since 1840! And the fall is not making up for it, we've had some sunny days but it has been cold and windy. The kind of days that looks inviting from inside – but once you're out, all you want is to get back in.

måndag 5 oktober 2009

söndag 4 oktober 2009

Saturday with Gutenberg

Winged lute that we call a blue bird,
You blend in a silver strain
The sound of the laughing waters,
The patter of spring’s sweet rain,
The voice of the wind, the sunshine,
And fragrance of blossoming things,
Ah! you are a poem of April
That God endowed with wings.
...................... E. E. R.

utenberg had a lot to offer yesterday – it will take me a while to check it out. So far I've mainly looked at the pictures.
"Birds Illustrated by Color Photograph [March 1897] A Monthly Serial designed to Promote Knowledge of Bird-Life" has interesting articles as well as wonderful ads. Not to mention that you could use the big initial letters as monograms. Considering that the photos are from 1897 they are surprisingly good – but I have a feeling that the pictures were arranged with mounted birds. Some of the backgrounds and branches are, if not identical close to it.
"Old French Fairy Tales" from 1920 by Comtesse de Ségur and with illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterrett is a charming book with illustrations characteristic of the period. Take time to look at her illustrations for "Arabian Nights".

The third books is a book for tourists: "The Beauties of the State of Washington, A Book for Tourists" by Harry F. Giles. I love the vignettes – a kind of detail you seldom find in modern books. I've only been to Washington once – on a day tour from Oregon – so I already knew that this is a state I'd like to see more of. Like I said another time – when I read an old book about England – I would like to travel in this area, with this book in one hand and a camera in the other to try to capture the same views.


The state of Washington is rapidly developing a system of roads which, finally consummated, will rival in skillful engineering and commercial importance the French highways, and in scenic grandeur the mountain passes of Switzerland. Easy approaches are being constructed to every town and hamlet and into every farming community. So vigorously has the work been pushed that Washington now outranks every other state, except Colorado, in the facility and directness with which its mountain recesses may be reached. Upwards of 50,000 miles have been already completed, presenting altogether a labyrinth of broad thorofares, boulevards, and country highways. The most important highways built and maintained at state expense are the Pacific, the Sunset, the Inland Empire, the Olympic and the National Park.