November 28, 2009

Tasha Tudor Cards at Christmas Tea

The Corgyncombe Courant is in the Christmas Mood!
'Tis now after Thanksgiving and The Corgyncombe Courant is feeling the festive Christmas spirit! Diane brings out some of her Tasha Tudor Christmas card collection to enjoy at tea with pumpkin pie, cheese, and Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea. Birds have always been a favorite subject for Tasha Tudor at Christmas and throughout the year.

In "Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book" there is a chickadee illustrated on the title page surrounded by nuts, berries, and winter greenery. There are some lovely birds illustrated on the cover and inside "Wings from the Wind, An Anthology of Poems" Selected and Illustrated by Tasha Tudor.

Chickadee and Sparrow

Diane has always loved watching birds, too. In grade school one of Diane's teachers loved birds and always fed them in a tree outside the window. Diane always liked to watch the birds instead of concentrating on school work. Diane received an award for perfect attendance which was a certificate to be redeemed at the bookstore. The second Diane walked in the bookstore she knew which book she wanted... a big wonderful book about birds. The book included a recording of all the lovely bird songs.

The Corgyncombe Courant encourages their dear readers to feed the birds throughout the winter and never forget to feed them daily as our little winged friends depend on us! The birds are always such a joy to watch and to hear! They can also be amusing to watch, like the nuthatch who likes to perch upside down.


November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving at Corgyncombe Cottage

An Old Fashioned Feast to Be Thankful For!
Corgyncombe Cottage celebrated Thanksgiving Day with favorite traditional Thanksgiving food. Diane made pumpkin pies from pumpkins grown in the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden.

The photographs below show the steps in preparing the pumpkins for pumpkin pie.
Extreme care must be taken whilst cutting the pumpkins.

After the pumpkins are cut in two, the seeds are scraped out and the pumpkin is then put on a baking pan and put into the oven. The seeds were dried and saved.

After cooling, the outer skin is peeled off and the pumpkin is mashed.

The pumpkin is then put into cheesecloth and tied up.

The cheesecloth bag is put into a colander in a bowl and pressed with a weight overnight in the ice box to remove the excess liquid. In the morning the cheesecloth bag with the pumpkin in it is squeezed to get the rest of the liquid out.

The pumpkin is put into a bowl and the rest of the ingredients are added.

Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and a little bit of nutmeg make the Corgyncombe Cottage kitchen smell delightfully like Thanksgiving.

The pumpkin pie before baking.

Red Pontiac potatoes from the Corgyncombe Vegetable garden cooked over the fire in Diane's Grandmum's iron kettle. Diane's Grandmum always used the kettle to cook potatoes.

Cranberries cooking over the hot coals.

The turkey and stuffing is done! Diane uses her Grandmum's platter for the turkey with bay leaves from Diane's bay tree tucked around the edge.

Diane will soon have a tin kitchen to roast her turkey before the fire. In the bowl are Red Pontiac mashed potatoes, made according to the receipt in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". Squash was also prepared.

Here is a link to: Our Thanksgiving Page on Our Favorite Things

After barn chores pumpkin pie is served with cheese.

Louisa May Alcott wrote a story called "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving". Diane's 5th great grandfather Eliakim May was 1st cousin to Louisa May Alcott's great grandfather Samuel May.

In Tasha Tudor's "Around the Year", Tasha has illustrated a tin kitchen with traditional Thanksgiving food around it. In "A Time to Keep", Tasha Tudor illustrated a lady basting the turkey in a tin kitchen in front of the fire. Hungry corgyn gather round, hoping for a taste of turkey. "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook" written by Mary Mason Campbell and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, also features an illustration of a woman using a ti
n kitchen with a table of Thanksgiving food.

In "First Poems of Childhood", for the poem "Over the River and Through the Wood" by Lydia Maria Child, Tasha Tudor illustrated Thanksgiving food and a family going over the covered bridge with horse and sleigh to a lovely old house and barn where they will enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. The old house and barn remind The Corgyncombe Courant of Corgyncombe Cottage and barn.

An old fashioned Thanksgiving for those at Corgyncombe Cottage, a delicious feast to be most thankful for!

Here is a link to a YouTube video where they prepared pumpkin for pumpkin pie using a similar method with the cheesecloth:

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch on YouTube

It has more instructions on cooking times and preparation.


November 26, 2009

Carmella Lucille Returns to Corgyncombe

The Scent of Romeo's Cologne Doth Linger...
A Clove Orange.

Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's honeymoon with her Romeo has come to an end.
Here is a link to: Carmella Lucille's Honeymoon

Romeo was especially upset to see her leave as another of his honeymooners had left earlier in the day. Romeo looked longingly after Carmella Lucille and called to her. Carmella Lucille and Romeo said loud goodbyes before she was whisked away in her carriage.

Once at home, the memory and scent of Romeo and his cologne doth linger, especially at milking time when Diane has to sit near Carmella Lucille for the twice daily task of milking.

At times like this, when Romeo's cologne permeates the air, a stop by Corgyncombe's "Emily & Ethlyn's Potions & Perfumery", where lavender, rose, and clove oranges are favored fragrances, is in order. According to the "American Dictionary of The English Language" by Noah Webster, 1828, a potion is: a draught; usually, a liquid medicine; a dose.

Making clove oranges, also called pomanders, especially near Christmastide, is a tradition at Corgyncombe Cottage. After the cloves have been put in all round the fruit, it is rolled in an orris root and cinnamon mixture. Orris root is a ground powder from the rhizomatous roots of Iris Florentina.

Iris Florentina

In the old days people used herbs, tussie mussies, and pomanders to cover up unpleasant odors.

Yesterday, whilst in a hurry, Diane went to the hardware store wearing her coat she wears to the barn for chores, with a quick touch of rose perfume. Needless to say, there was still a little of Romeo's scent about it, amongst the roses. But little matter, as the farmer that stood by her in the store smelled just like a cow. This brings to mind a country character from Diane's childhood, an old man farmer named "Irie" who frequented the old country general store on the corner. Irie's presence was known even before you entered the little old country store. Once you got in the store, the scent of cow was overpowering! Diane's Mum would turn up her nose and say that "Irie's pants are so stiff with caked on manure (some dried, some fresh) they could stand alone!" Diane does believe they could have stood alone. Diane doubts that a tussie mussie or pomander could have helped old Irie much.

Today is Thanksgiving and the air is filled with the delightful smells of pumpkin pies, turkey, and woodsmoke.

The Corgyncombe Courant will have more on Thanksgiving at Corgyncombe Cottage, later.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our dear readers!


November 21, 2009

Tasha has Ten O'clock Tea

Kindred Friends at Tea
At Corgyncombe Cottage Diane, Sarah, and little Tasha have morning tea. Blueberry muffins and Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea are served. Enjoying tea with kindred spirits and chatting about kindred interests is something to "Take Joy" in!!!

Diane and Sarah enjoyed teas and elevenishes with Tasha Tudor and discussed many of their common kindred interests.

Little Tasha was named after Tasha Tudor because The Corgyncombe Courant was reminded of the portraits of Tasha Tudor when she was a girl painted by her mother Rosamond Tudor.

The Corgyncombe Courant is delighted to announce:

The 4th Annual
"The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things",

A Calendar to Count "The Days Until Christmas" featuring the Dolls at Corgyncombe.

The Corgyncombe Courant editresses Diane and Sarah were inspired by Tasha Tudor's Advent Calendars and delightful dolls!

The Calendar will commence December 1st and will continue on through each day to Christmas!

The Corgyncombe Courant hopes that you will come by The Courant each day starting December 1st for a bit of Christmas cheer!


November 19, 2009

Carmella Lucille's Honeymoon

News from the Barn: Just a "Ricochet Romance"
Carmella Lucille
Yesterday, Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille was packed up for a honeymoon trip. She took along a bag filled with food for several candlelight dinners and a bottle of her favorite udder cream "Udder Comfort", which "softens and soothes" and has the delightful fragrance of peppermint... her favorite perfume.

Upon arriving, Romeo's odorous "cologne" filled the air. Carmella was led down the ramp and down the aisle to a pen next to her Romeo. Little does Carmella Lucille know that her Romeo will just be a "Ricochet Romance", as he has had and will have several other does visiting for a honeymoon.

Carmella Lucille's Romeo

Here is a link to part of an "I Love Lucy" episode on YouTube, with Tennessee Ernie Ford and Teensy and Weensy:
Teensy and Weensy sing "Ricochet Romance"

The barn is kind of lonely now at milking time. All at Corgyncombe, including the goat kiddles, look forward to Carmella Lucille's return.


November 17, 2009

Calico Beans and Tasha Tudor Gingerbread

Raking Leaves and Cooking Over the Fire
During the Autumnal season, when the leaves had fallen, Diane's mum would have a huge leaf pile awaiting Diane when the bus brought her home from school. Ah, such joy! A sea of leaves to swim in, hide in, roll in. The math book would be thrown aside and hunted up later.

In "Seasons of Delight" and "Around the Year" by Tasha Tudor, there are illustrations of children having great fun playing in the leaves with their canine friends!

At Corgyncombe, the sea of leaves are raked up and deposited on the fields. Whilst raking leaves, Diane makes Calico Beans and gingerbread over the fire.

The meat and onions cooking.

Calico Beans over the fire.

In the photograph above, the gingerbread on the bottom has been baked and the one on top has yet to be put in the Dutch oven. The receipt for the gingerbread is in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". Instead of water, Diane used Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's milk and instead of raisins, Diane used currants. This receipt is quite similar to the receipt that Diane would make in the morning over the fire when she had kitchen duty whilst working at a museum. One day, when Diane had afternoon parlour duty, after baking gingerbread in the morning, a tour bus load of French Canadian people came through the old house. The tour was treated to a taste of the morning's gingerbread and the museum afternoon kitchen lady said that the little lady in the parlour had made it that morning. Whilst the tour ladies were in the kitchen discussing kitchen things with the afternoon kitchen museum lady, the tour ladies' husbands, who had delighted in the gingerbread, high tailed it into the parlour where they closed the parlour door, smiled and pointed to the hearts cut in the door, set down next to Diane, put their arms around her, and all of them proceeded to propose marriage to her! The tour ladies finally came in and retrieved their husbands!

The second gingerbread is done baking in the Dutch oven over the fire.

Both gingerbreads are out of the oven.

Calico Beans and gingerbread made over the fire for a delicious Autumnal treat. Diane's husband has always loved her gingerbread!

A lovely Autumnal sunset!

Little Ethlyn Corgi likes playing in the leaves just as much as Diane did when she was a child!


November 11, 2009

The Corgyncombe Courant Salutes Veterans!

"With a Zeal and Fervor"...
Illustration of Paul Revere's Ride from "Stories of American History and Home Life"

The Corgyncombe Courant reports on an article found in an 1901 issue of "The Otsego Farmer":

The Otsego Farmer, January 11, 1901
"The firemen have much improved their hall by repainting and papering it and covering the floor with matting. Last Saturday evening, at the regular monthly meeting, there was an unusually large attendance. After the business meeting the veteran fireman, O. E. Taylor, by invitation, recited Paul Revere's ride, rendering that grand old poem with a zeal and fervor which elicited much applause."

Oh, how The Corgyncombe Courant reporters wish they had been there to hear the poem recited with "zeal and fervor" by a grandson of Revolutionary War soldier Elias Taylor and great grandson of Revolutionary War Soldiers Joseph Peters and Nathaniel Swift. O. E. Taylor was a great great uncle of Diane's and Elias Taylor was Diane's 4th great grandfather. Elias Taylor served under Gen'l George Washington. Joseph Peters and Nathaniel Swift were both 5th great grandfathers of Diane.

The Corgyncombe Courant is sure that many others in attendance at the firemen's hall were also descendants of Revolutionary War soldiers and one can imagine the roar of applause in response to such "zeal and fervor".

The Corgyncombe Courant reporters have gone out on the Corgyncombe Cottage lawn on Independence Day and read "The Landlord's Tale, Paul Revere's Ride".

Some favored lines, read with much "zeal and fervor" from the lawn at Corgyncombe...

"Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal-light, -
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm."

continued later in the poem:

"A hurry of hoofs in the village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat."

Some of The Corgyncombe Courant reporters' Revolutionary War soldier direct ancestors were:

Levi Adams Sr.
Serg. Levi Adams Jr.
Benjamite Greene
John Hale
Stephen Harrington
Henry Head
Cyprian Keyes
Nehemiah Lyon
Eliakim May
Joseph Peters
Jared Robinson
Ziba Robinson
William Scott
Stephen Smith
Nathaniel Swift
Thomas Weaver
Elias Taylor

There are several other Revolutionary War soldiers that The Corgyncombe Courant Genealogy Department is researching, also.

Diane's great great grandfather Carlton P. Taylor served for the Union in the Civil War. He was brother to O. E. Taylor mentioned above, who with "zeal and fervor" recited "Paul Revere's Ride".

Truman Head, a close relative to Diane's 4th great grandmother Martha (Head) Robinson, was a famous and legendary sharpshooter for the Union in Berdan's Sharp Shooters. Truman Head was known as "California Joe". (Not to be confused with Moses Milner who was also called "California Joe".)

Here is a link to a photograph of Truman Head:
Truman Head Photograph

Here is a link to an engraving in Harper's Weekly:
Engraving in Harper's Weekly

Before World War II Diane's father helped his parents on their farm "Lug Tug Hollow" and he also worked for the elderly widow lady next door.

About 325 years after his ancestors left the old world Diane's father returns. Here he is, way a top the tank, looking somber as he approaches enemy lines somewhere in the Rhine Valley.

Following in the patriotic tradition of his ancestors Diane's Father left the life of a farmer and volunteered for military service in World War II. After he completed his training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was sent to Europe. He was a gunner in the U.S. Third Army, Company "B", Patton's Troubleshooters, 702nd Tank Battalion.
Staff Sergeant

Diane's father served valiantly in the Battle of the Bulge. Diane and Sarah are very proud of his skill and service! The Corgyncombe Courant is thankful to all the Veteran's who have served and are serving for the United States of America. The Corgyncombe Courant prays for the safety of all of our country's soldiers serving today.

The Editresses of The Corgyncombe Courant


November 6, 2009

The High Big Old Barn at Corgyncombe

The Barn We Call The Ark
The Corgyncombe Barn with the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden at one end.

The big old barn is 45 feet high and 80 feet long. A couple of years ago the barn received a new roof. It was a big project but very satisfying when accomplished.

Click on the links below to see more photographs of the Corgyncombe Barn:

Barn Page 1
Barn Page 2
Barn Page 3

A Corgyncombe Moon and the old barn's weather vane.


November 2, 2009

Lefse Over the Fire

From Thanksgiving Leftovers
Red Pontiac Potatoes from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden. Diane used the previous year's potatoes from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden for this last spring's planting. The potatoes have yielded an abundant crop! Potatoes can be used for many different dishes and are great for leftovers.

Potatoes in the process of being riced.
In "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook", Tasha speaks of putting potatoes through a ricer to mash them.

Lefse is a traditional Scandinavian treat, especially during the holidays.

Receipt for Lefse

5 cups of riced potatoes
1/2 cup of Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's cream
1 pat, equivalent to 3 tablespoons, of Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's butter

Mix the riced potatoes, cream, and butter together.

Add 1/2 cup flour to each cup of riced potatoes. Work the dough as you add the flour.

Roll out a ball of dough and put it on the griddle over the fire.
In the background you can see the lefse over the fire.

Whilst cooking over the fire the aroma that smells like potato chips fills the crisp Autumnal air.
Let the lefse brown on one side, then flip it over.

You can add whatever you want on the lefse and roll it or fold it to eat. Above, Diane has added some of her favorite Thanksgiving things, such as stuffing and cranberries. Diane likes her stuffing with a little turkey liver and heart added.
Here is a link to our web site "Our Favorite Things":
Thanksgiving Page

Diane likes to make and mold her own cranberry sauce. The receipt for cranberry sauce is in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".

Diane's husband prefers to butter his lefse and top with cinnamon and sugar.

A full November Corgyncombe Moon.