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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sepia Saturday #174 Newspapers for Kids

Here's our prompt photo for this week's Sepia Saturday.

When I saw it, I immediately thought of a photograph of my daughter when she was about 10. We had taken a mini vacation to Long Beach, Ca (about 1 hour from our house) just to get away. I had some sort of coupon to stay at this ritzy hotel, so why not live it up?

This was Megan's first time having room service. She seems to be enjoying that waffle so much she got a little whipped cream on her nose. She's pretending to read the newspaper just for the photo. I guess to show how grown up she feels during her hotel experience.

Now Megan is 38 and she doesn't read a newspaper (not that I know of anyway). She gets her information on line just like most 20 and 30 somethings. These "kids" will never know the joy of reading a real newspaper.

But some clever inventor has come up with a way for kids to enjoy and understand a newspaper. This is an app which allows children to hold a smartphone over the newspaper to see a child-friendly version of the text. 


Or maybe everyone will just grow up to be dummies like these:

Store window in Bilbao, Spain

For other stories that are black and white and red all over, click here Sepia Saturday.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sepia Saturday #173 Toulouse the Chef

When I saw the photo prompt this week of the boy holding the two geese I never thought I’d be able to find an old family photo to fit this theme. No one in our family hunted.

But what does Toulouse-Latrec have to do with this week's theme?

The photo of the geese reminded me of a cookbook that my sister had in her collection:

Who knew that Lautrec applied his exuberance and meticulous artistic technique to the art of cuisine? He invented recipes and cooked new dishes as beautifully as he painted his Parisienne surroundings.

Toulouse, after cooking and consuming a delicious dinner

He planned his meals carefully and made beautifully decorated menus.

Here’s his recipe for Confits D’Oies Du Languedoc

(For non French speakers, D’Oies means geese and Du Languedoc is a region of France).

Take four geese fattened to the point when they can no longer move about, cut them in four, removing wings and legs but leaving the skin. Set aside the fat livers. Scrape and remove all the fatty tissues and let them melt on a gentle heat in a large copper pan.
Drop in the carcasses, the wings and legs.
Salt the pieces, arrange them in big stoneware jars and pour over them the liquid fat.
You have in this way the preserve which can be kept for several months.
It can be eaten cold when it comes out of the pot, with no further preparation after the goose grease has been melted.
But people prefer to serve it either with peas or with a tomato sauce, or in a cassoulet, or with rice in stock, a second cooking being usually recommended.

Mmmmm. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
Wouldn’t you give about a million dollars to sit down to one of Toulouse’s dinners and take home one of his beautifully decorated menus? The menu itself would probably be worth a million dollars!

Take a gander at some other goose stories by clicking here: Sepia Saturday.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sepia Saturday #172 Windy in Patagonia

This week's Sepia Saturday theme is hiking. I've never been much into hiking or mountain climbing, but my daughter sure is. In 2007 she and her then boyfriend, Martin decided to go to Patagonia.

I was a little worried about her. Why couldn't she go to Paris or Rome or some normal tourist place? No, she had to be extreme. She jumped out of a plane, swam with the dolphins and hiked all over New Zealand, traveled alone all around India.

They went on a hike to the Torres del Paine mountains seen above. It does look beautiful and I can understand why people would want to go there. But not this person. I'd rather sit in my armchair and just look at the photos.

You'll see why when you view this Youtube post of Megan (with hiking poles) and Martin on their "little hike", I thought OMG that looks so dangerous. You'd never catch me there. She did manage to make it back in one piece. Will a mother ever stop worrying?

Take a hike over to Sepia Saturday to see other climbing adventures.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sepia Saturday #171 California's Version of a Castle!!

California is a fairly new state. Wiping out first the native American population and later the Mexicans, California didn't have enough time to build castles as this one in Wales:

So instead of these old, beautiful relics, we have instead new castles fashioned after the lovely historic ones.

I give you for an example a castle we stumbled upon yesterday on our way back from an Indian casino (ironic, isn't it, that the native Americans who are left are now all thriving from the gambling casinos? What great revenge!) We wanted to take a break from the tedium of taxes and celebrate that we had finally sent ours off to the accountant. How best to celebrate? Go and lose a bunch of money at a gambling casino!

On the way back from the casino what should we behold than this sign along the side of the road:

I thought this would make a great post for this week's castle theme. Don't you love this sign with the attractive reflector light on top.

We drove down the gravel road with lemon trees bordering each side only to come across another hastily made sign. This one was all done up with glittery lettering and seems to be a favorite spot for birds to perch:

Our anticipation of seeing a real Cupid's Castle was building to a crescendo pitch. "Oh I think I can see it off in the distance. It kind of looks like a castle."

Then we got to the gate and entryway and sure enough, each rock column was topped with a cupid. This must be the place.

We kept driving and finally arrived. Here it is - Cupid's Castle:

That little shed in the foreground kind of spoils the effect. But you can clearly see by the turret that this is a bonafide castle. Maybe not quite as gorgeous as Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland, but for California, it's pretty darn authentic.

Climb the steps and just beyond the welcoming lions (what, they ran out of cupids?), there's the entry to the castle.

Cupid's Castle has seen better days. It seemed very desolate and I doubt if anyone has stayed here in years. If you click here for their website you'd think it was a different place: and it's worth it just to see the owner, Connie win the 2009 Irish Stew Cookoff!!  Cupid's Castle.

We left this fairyland and found our way back to reality - especially when looking in our wallets. What happened to all our money??

Jump over the moat and click here for more castle stories,  Sepia Saturday.