Ten Gables Cottage

Ten Gables Cottage
Ten Gables Cottage

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comfort Food...Navy Beans

Hi everyone and welcome to Ten Gables,

After deciding that I need to eat less meat and more fruits and veggies, for health reasons, I thought I would cook a big pot of healthy beans for protein. So, at the market, I looked at all the packages of dried beans and selected Navy Beans. I did not want to season them with either salt or meat, so how in the world would I get them fit to eat???

First, I washed them, looking them over carefully for bits that might not be beans. Then I put 1 lbs. of beans in a large pot with 8 cups of water and brought them to a boil. I then let them boil for 2 minutes, turned off the heat and let them sit for 1 hour. Next I poured off that water, washed them again and put them in 6 cups of fresh water. Now, what to add!! I added several leaves of celery, a dash of salt substitute, pepper and a mixture of herbs and spices called "Better than Salt". I then added a package of no sodium beef broth seasoning. I am not trying to be a strict vegetarian, but don't want the fat in meat and I am allergic to pork, so do not eat ham, which is traditionally what one would use to season dried beans. Well, let me say that these beans turned out delicious! They were soft and cooked just right! I simmered them about 3 hours. The seasoning was good, too, not overpowering but you knew there was thyme, garlic, celery, a little basil, maybe a bit of sage and whatever else that made them yummy. I had enough to freeze some for later, too. A nice alternative to meat! Best of all, not full of salt.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pink Depression Glass Collection

Hi everyone,
I hope you are having a nice Sunday and I sincerely hope you are safe from the Hurricane called Irene.
I have inherited a good many pieces of Pink Depression glass from various relatives and then added some to my collection myself. It first was found in Oatmeal containers as premiums during the Depression. It has been called "the poor man's glass" because it could be purchased in five and ten cent stores and mail order catalogs, as well. It was made in amber, green, pink, blue, red, yellow, white and crystal. There are also many different patterns. I like to use mine with the table covered with an old quilt and fresh pink roses in the center. Nowadays, you can find it in any antique shop, some colors easier to find than others, and all fairly reasonable.

This piece makes a good "spooner". Grandmothers everywhere used them on the kitchen table to hold spoons at the ready for that good cuppa tea or coffee!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Hawaiian Luau

Hi everyone, Yesterday our church seniors had a nice little Hawaiian Luau party and pot luck meal. We decorated with lieu's and had some entertainers (sorry my photos are dark due to the subdued lighting for the party.

It was fun to dress in our tropical prints, etc and one brave lady donned a grass skirt and taught us some basic hula moves!

The food was superb...we had lovely baked pineapple casserole, several meat dishes, banana bread, banana cream pie and much more.

Going through the buffet line.

I took a big basket lined with lettuce leaves and filled with all kinds of crisp veggies and Ranch dip served in a green pepper. The little white flowers were cut with a cookie cutter from turnip slices and the centers were made of carrots. In the photo, a lot of it has already been eaten!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Walk around the Property

Hi everyone and welcome to Ten Gables,
I took a little walk over the 5 acres today after finding out that an avocado tree had a big limb break off it. The tree is loaded with avocados and I suppose the weight of the branch made it fall. Then, I continued on (in the heat) and found that the rainy weather we have been having has made everything very green and lush and more flowers have bloomed. I found another squash ready to be picked! So, here is my little tour and you can just look at all the photos without my witty comments! Click on any you want to enlarge. Cheers.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Very Green Lizard

Hello from Ten Gables Cottage,
It is a slow, easy day here today, nice and hot, so I went outside to see what I could photograph and put on the blog.

Not much is in bloom now and there is nothing much new to report.

But here is the greenest little lizard I have seen in a while! Of course they change colors and usually are kind of hidden in their surroundings, but this perched on the white railing, and his color really showed up!

When he spotted me he leaped off the post and hastened over to a wicker chair, and I wondered if his color would change. So I waited and waited and waited. It got sooooooo hot and NO, his color remained green, so I gave up and came in to post him.

Cute little fellow and we are so used to them in Florida, that we hardly bother to pay any attention to them.

Have a good weekend, Egretta

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bloom Day...Garden Blooms and Easel Blooms

Hello everyone from Ten Gables,
Today is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and I have some garden blooms for you and also some Easel Blooms, paintings I have done of blooms. Hope you like them!

First I couldn't resist photographing this little butterfly so busy on the Mexican Petunias!

Once again I am drawn to the beautiful lilac color of the crape myrtle. The blooms are beginning to fade just a bit, but still very showy.

One of my all time favorites is the Zinnia, which loves hot weather.

The Desert Rose is blooming. I have had it in a big pot for years, and last winter the cold almost got it. But it is back and is blooming prettily now.

Now for some of my painted blooms. For you who do not know, I am an artist and you can see lots more of my work on http://egrettawells.blogspot.com/. It is called Paintings by Egretta Wells. I do many flower paintings and wildlife, still life paintings, etc., so take a look!

This is a watercolor of sunflowers.

A small acrylic painting of a lovely pink geranium.

I did this painting from a rose I picked in the garden.

This watercolor is loosely done and has an interesting background. Wish I had some of these right now in my garden. Take a look at another garden bloom blog that I like. It is http://www.maydreamsgarden.com/

Thanks for looking. Egretta

Paintings by Egretta Wells http://egrettawellsblogspot.com/

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An American Tradition...Quilting

Greetings from Ten Gables Cottage,
It is another nice hot day here in Florida, a perfect day to stay indoors in the air conditioning and read, quilt, paint, etc. I thought I would show you a quilt I made plus one I am working on. First here is a painting I did of my grandmother as she worked on a quilt. I remember how at one Christmas, she gave every grandchild a quilt she made THAT YEAR! That would have been 10 quilts! All hand made! What a wonderful treat that was and I still cherish mine!

I decided to make a vintage hanky quilt, as my mother and grandmother owned many hankies and of course, used them very little, as disposable tissues seemed to take their place. I made each square separately and then whipped them all together, so it was easy to take a square with me where I went, to work on it.

This square is one made of Irish hankies! There are hankies from Paris and from London in this quilt.

Hankies are so pretty! It is fun to hunt for them in antique and thrift stores, at yard sales and flea markets. My stash numbers about 100 that I haven't used yet. I have already made 4 hanky quilts and have another started!

The squares are quilted before they are sewn together , so these quilts are fairly speedy to make.

I don't always just lay the hanky out flat. Sometimes I fold them in different ways, making an angel or a butterfly or just folded over to hide a tiny hole or spot. Many times I will put more than one in a single block.

Now here is the current quilt I am working on. It has lots of applique of vines, flowers and leaves with small blocks pieced together on each side of the vine strips.

I have it on the round quilting frame and try to quilt a small bit every night.

This will be a king size quilt. I plan to scallop the edges and bind it with a pastel color. The backing is white.

Quilt making is a tradition in my family. My grandmothers on both sides of the family were quilters and my mother was a wonderful quilter. I feel like I am just beginning to learn, but it is a rewarding thing to do and something to pass on to future generations.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vintage Purse Collection

Hello Everyone,

It is too hot to be outside today, and besides, it is going to start storming any minute! So I thought I would share my Vintage purse collection with you! This first one I call, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and it is a vintage basket with lucite handle and has been decorated with pretty handmade silk roses!

This one is a gorgeous lucite purse with a nice handle. It opens on top; now how adorable is that. I carried it to church and a lady near me could not keep her eyes off it; she clearly did not understandy why I was carrying something so old and "out os style". To each his own, I say!

The one below is a lucite clutch with a cut glass look. Adorable! I love the rhinestones set in the side of it, too.

This purse looks exactly like a rolled up magazine! I bought this new in the late 50's and have carried it many times throughout the years. People think you are carrying a folded over magazine and they are shocked when you open it and get out a tissue. Quiet a conversation piece, this! Pardon the upside down photo of it!(To see it better, just stand on your head!)

In the late 50's and 60's, decoupage was very much "in" and many people bought baskets with tops to decoupage on, or wooden boxes to make into decoupaged purses. This basket purse I have had many years and have carried it until it is almost worn out! I love the sea gull on top and whoever made it, certainly put many coats of varnish over the print. It is lovely!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When is your favorite time in the Garden?

Hi Everyone,

It remains so very hot in Florida and the rest of the U.S ! I, for one, am not able to do much gardening or trimming, etc. but I have a wonderful gardener one day a week here at Ten Gables, who doesn't mind the heat and who does a beautiful job trimming plants and mulching.

Just before the sun is going down, when the shadows are long and the day is winding down, is my favorite time in the garden.

Last week the gardener worked on the area around the patio and even though some plants had died because of the heat and earlier drought conditions, he was able to make the area neat and attractive. Above you see the trimmed boxwood hedge and the pretty tree he keeps sculpted to perfection. The banana tree has done well after freezing last winter. I suppose it loves the heat!

This "scrub" tree which just appeared here as a tiny start has grown handsomely and gives a natural focal point to the garden. The birds love it. Perhaps they are the ones who brought a seed and dropped it here so they would have a little tree in which to rest!

The Plumbago loves the heat and has been blooming profusely for a few months. I have an old oriental garden ornament in front of it, which weathers so lovely. I happen to love the patina of rusted metal!

This little fellow is an ornament given to me as a gift and it looks cute in the garden beside a caladium.

You can see how the gardener spread the mulch and made the ground look tidy.

The Plumbago from a distance showing the garden stepping stones. Late in the evenings, as the sun goes down is my favorite time in the garden. It has cooled off a bit, and the birds are quieting down getting ready to quit their activities. It is so quiet and peaceful. When is your favorite time in the garden?