We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Millie's Downfall - Sweets

Here's another vintage cookbook from my collection. This one didn't have a name written in it, so I had to invent one. Millie is the first name that popped into my mind as I was thumbing through the pages of All About Home Baking. Millie really liked her sweets. I love the way she added her favorite recipes to the book. As if there weren't enough fatty, hi-calorie recipes already!  This one was pasted into the flyleaf:

Then this one was paper clipped on the opposite page. It doesn't have a title. Millie probably thought it didn't need one. She knew what it was. Probably a cake since she's using cake flour. Wow, sift 3 times! That's a little overkill.

Then hiding under the above cake recipe was this one. Maybe it was hiding because it was somewhat healthy. Why eat oranges when you can have cake?

Millie didn't approve of the caramel frosting recipe. She had to add her mother's instead:

Then tucked inside this book, was another little cook book. Equally as caloric. Have you ever seen a more sickening looking cake?

Millie added lots of other recipes here and there in the book. I didn't want to bore you with all of them but they included:
Apple Cream Pie
Satiny Beige Icing
Old Time Pound Cake (she loved pound cake!)
Fluffy Frosting
Strawberry Tart
Spiced Crumb Crust
But let me know if you'd like to check out any of them and I'll be happy to forward them to you. The Apple Cream Pie sure sounds good, doesn't it?

After cooking and eating all of these tempting bake goods, this is how I imagine Millie to look. What do you think? And check out the Queen Victoria tattoo.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Soup's On

Yesterday I posted an avocado soup recipe for my vet, Dr. Jones. And since today is etsy Thursday, I'm going to feature some soup bowls, ones that would be perfect for serving Chilled Avocado Soup.

What a perfect way to serve soup - in vegetable shaped bowls (or mugs as the case might be). Well, avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable. But you have my permission to serve avocado soup in a vegetable mug. Especially mugs this cute. These are from Grits Girlz.

I love these bowls - so vintage, yet so modern. They're actually melamine, but who cares? Can't you just picture that creamy avocado soup gracing these super midcentury bowls? Gorgeous.
These are from All Things White. Be sure to visit this site with everything you can think of in shades of white. A really interesting collection.

My daughter would go crazy for these bowls. She loves anything turquoise.  They're vintage and really, really lovely. The leafy design is incredibly cool. These are from Besom.

Do you have problems with people in your household using your bowl?  Pats Pottery can certainly help you out. She can add your name to your very own bowl. Or you can have the one below that just claims the bowl as yours. No name needed.  No more fighting over whose bowl is whose. 

I'm a sucker for Fiesta or Bauerware anything. And these bowls would be welcome in any collection, whether they're the real thing or not. These are so colorful and sleak. They're from Fish Legs. Absolutely perfect for serving avocado soup.

 And here's a bowl selected especially for Dr. Jones. It's from Barbara Donovon. This cute bowl is wheel thrown with a carved relief design. It's food and dishwasher safe. Don't you just love it?

Check out yesterday's post and try the avocado soup recipe. Which bowl will you serve it in?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lo Cal Avocado Soup

I was at my vet's the other day getting a check up for one of the dogs. And as we were chatting, Dr. Jones asked me if I had a good recipe for avocado soup that didn't include sour cream.

I told him I'd research and see if I could find one. And sure enough, in one of my many avocado cookbooks (I have a huge collection now), I found this recipe. So Dr. Jones, this one's for you:

Chilled Avocado Yogurt Soup
1 large avocado, mashed
1/2 cup yogurt
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of garlic powder
1 tsp chopped chives
avocado slices for garnish

Blend avocado, yogurt and stock until smooth. Add salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder, blend again. To serve, add the avocado slices and sprinkle with chopped chives.
(The recipe also said to sprinkle with crumbled bacon which would be really tasty, but not so lo-cal. So add bacon at your own risk)

photo courtesy of the The California Avocado Commission.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mrs. Snipes of The Ladies Aid Society

I'm still on the tiny book kick. I just discovered this little cookbook that I found somewhere - a garage sale, flea market, estate sale, not sure where.

This book isn't really tiny - it's 4" x 6" so I'd consider it a small book. It's actually an address book that's been converted into a receipt book/cookbook. I had to do some sleuthing to figure out who the book belongs to. Since it's from 1889 and a lot of it is written in pencil, it was difficult to make out all of the writing. But in really faint writing I can see that Mrs. Snipes was the industrious owner of this little treasure. Oh, actually she was the treasurer of the Ladies Aid Society of the M.E. Church of Plainfield, Indiana.

Here's the receipt part of the book:

The ladies sure did enjoy some high brow music. Most of their money seems to have been spent on concerts. Pretty steep prices in those days - $13.41 & $17.30. They must have hired the entire Plainfield symphony!! Those ladies were cultured.

They also spent $15.00 for furniture for the parsonage (is this where they held their meetings, or were they donating furniture to the parson?)

They must have had a grand Thanksgiving Supper for a total of $18.85. Of course, we don't know how many members were served but I'd guess that back in 1889 you could feed about 150 people for this amount.

There wasn't a photograph of Mrs. Snipes in the book, but I'm imagining that she looked a little like this:

Is this a Mrs. Snipes or what? Can't you just imagine her keeping the expenses for the ladies aid society, then running home to her kitchen, donning an apron and baking some yeast biscuits?  Mrs. Snipes also looks like she would enjoy a musical interlude now and then.

In my fantasies I imagine that Mrs. Snipes was a friend of Mrs. Reagan (perhaps the grandmother of Ronald?). Mrs. Reagan was kind enough to divulge her secret cake recipe for inclusion in this little informal cookbook. I'm thinking that the Ladies Aid Society were planning to publish a cookbook to raise funds for their next Thanksgiving Supper or maybe another concert. And Mrs. Snipes was keeping the recipes in this little book until they could find a publisher.

Then the cookbook never got published for lack of recipes - there's only about 10 or 12 in this book, hardly enough for a reputable cookbook. So Mrs. Snipes put the little book away and several years later her grandson found it and scrawled his little autograph on one of the pages hoping that Grandma would see it:

The only recipe that is legible enough to include (in case you want to try a recipe from 1889) is one for Persimmon Pudding. Want to try it?

1 pint persimmons
1 pint milk (rub through sieve!)
2 eggs
2 large spoons flour
1/2 tea sp all spice
1 pint water
1 quart milk
1/2 cup sugar
Beat eggs - add flour and spices. Then mix and sweeten to taste.

Maybe you shouldn't try this recipe. Why is there a pint and also a quart of milk? Maybe I'm reading the recipe wrong. See what you think:

Maybe Mrs. Snipes changed her mind about the pint of milk and changed it to a quart. I don't know but somehow I don't think this pudding would ever pud.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tiny Books from Etsy

My last post was about a tiny Peruvian cookbook that I purchased at a Molé cook-off in Olvera Street. I'm pretty partial to tiny things. When I was little, I had a collection of tiny ceramic pitchers (I actually still have them). Now I have collections of tiny chairs and tiny shoes. And I think I'm going to start adding to my collection of tiny books, starting with the Peruvian cookbook.

Since it's Etsy Thursday, I decided to see what I could find when searching for tiny books. There were so many, I had a hard time choosing which ones to feature.

Here's a small sampling of what I found:

These darling tiny book earrings are from junque treasures. Wouldn't you be a hit wearing these to your next book club meeting?

And here's something to wear with them - a beautiful necklace from Karen Dubois. What a great Valentine's gift for an avid reader.

I chose this one because of the bright colors and fun graphics. I'd love to keep notes in this little journal. You'll find this colorful tiny book in the shop of ivy lane designs.

This set of 3 handsome journals with the orange stitching is from ShePinTea. They measure 1.9" x 1.7" and each contain 56 pages. They're so cute I can hardly stand it. Have to have them and they're only $5.00. Now that's a real deal.

I'd really like to have this set of nursery rhyme books. According to The Toy Box these books were given with a purchase of Buster Brown shoes some time in the 1950s. I bought Buster Brown shoes, I never got one of these books!!  They're  3" x 2" and include some really sweet illustrations.

I really shouldn't start another collection, but I sure am tempted. How about you?