October 27, 2009

Charlotte Visits Early Church

Genealogy and History
Charlotte visited an old church similar to the one where Diane's 4th great grandmother Rachel, was Christened. Unfortunately the original church where Rachel was Christened was torn down. Rachel is an old family name in Diane and Sarah's Van Alen and Quackenbush families.

It is a beautiful church, whose founding goes back to the mid 1700s. Diane's uncle photographed and studied the history and dates of many early churches and some not so early. Diane has decided to also study and document churches. This goes hand in hand with The Corgyncombe Courant's genealogical studies, as there is oft' times a graveyard near the church. More times than not The Corgyncombe Courant will find an ancestor or relative in most of the cemeteries. Sometimes the founding of the church is earlier than the date of the actual church building.

Charlotte had a lovely time visiting the old church on a beautiful Autumnal day!


October 21, 2009

Autumnal Splendor!

Charlotte and Sarah Delight in Autumnal Beauty
Charlotte dons her cape and bonnet and loves to go out and about in the beautiful Autumnal weather. Above, she is sitting on a moss covered log near Corgi Creek. Behind her, leaves can be seen falling from the trees. Charlotte was made by a very talented doll maker who also made the old fashioned clothing that Charlotte is wearing.

Lovely Autumnal leaves at water's edge on Corgi Creek. Green forget-me-not leaves can be seen under water.

Charlotte has found a purple aster and lavender in The Corgyncombe Garden of Herbs. Isn't the moss on the log lovely?

At the stone wall Charlotte stops to admire the Hen and chicks that has put forth most delightful and unusual pink flowers.

Sarah with her basket of apples, walking in the crunchy and fragrant Autumnal leaves. The leaves rustle about the skirt of Sarah's frock.

A collection of Autumnal loveliness next to Sarah's shawl.

Charlotte has wonderful shoes and stockings made by the talented lady who made her.

Above, a favorite Autumnal landscape.

Charlotte likes to observe the Autumnal apples and leaves. She is considering what she can make with the delicious apples she has picked.

How pretty Charlotte's bonnet is.

Tasha Tudor illustrated "A Brighter Garden" a collection of poetry by Emily Dickinson. We named our Corgi Emily after Diane's great great grandmother Emily Jane (Jones) Shepard and Emily (Jones) Shepard's cousin Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, as well as Emily Dickinson's mother Emily (Norcross) Dickinson. Tasha did such lovely illustrations in "A Brighter Garden". There is one illustration of a little country church with beautiful Autumnal landscapes round.

In the photograph above, Tasha Tudor's book "A Brighter Garden" is displayed in the Corgyncombe Library with Sarah's antique bonnet, antique shawl, and a basket of apples from the apple tree that the little wren calls home. The illustration in the book has a lady wearing a bonnet and shawl, holding a basket of apples with her faithful dog alongside, pausing to enjoy the Autumnal beauty.

Above, some of our favorite Autumnal landscapes.

Below, Sarah is picking some apples from the tree where the wren built a nest in the bird house this past summer. Sarah reminds us of Jo in Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women". Diane's 5th great grandfather was 1st cousin to Louisa May Alcott's great grandfather Samuel May. When told that Diane and Sarah were related to both Louisa May Alcott and Emily Dickinson Tasha Tudor said that it was to "no end impressive". Tasha also illustrated "Little Women" written by Louisa May Alcott.

Charlotte's stone wall and pumpkin.

The antique vest that Sarah wears reminds The Corgyncombe Courant of the old fashioned wool garments worn by the March girls in the 1994 movie version of "Little Women". Sarah's Mum handspun and knit Sarah's wool mittens. Sarah holds a turkey feather that she has collected for her Mum's straw hat. Turkey families can oft' times be seen whilst walking about the acreage.

Mellow Autumnal leaves make you wish Autumn could last forever!

Charlotte sitting on her stone wall holding her pumpkin.

Tasha Tudor called carved and lit pumpkins "pumpkin moonshines". Above is a sweet pumpkin moonshine that the Johnsons carved and photographed several years ago. He reminds the Johnsons of their boy Eliakim May Corgi when Diane was about to give him his tummy elixir and he decided not to take it! The pumpkin also reminds the Johnsons of the moon! The Johnsons prefer to carve sweet pumpkins.


October 19, 2009

Pressed Sugar Cookies

The Corgyncombe Bakery
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 large pat of Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's butter
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

You cannot substitute margarine for butter as the margarine doesn't make the dough firm enough.
Tasha Tudor wrote to me about how white goat's butter was and she said "I use it in all my cooking! Delectable!"

Heat oven to around 375 degrees.
Cream together the sugar and goat butter. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. Mix in flour and baking powder with a wooden spoon. The dough will be quite firm. Chill the dough in the ice box for a bit.

Take a ball of dough and press with a mold that has been dipped in flour so it won't stick. Cut around the mold to remove the extra dough that has been pressed beyond the mold.

Making printed butter pats and pressed cookies makes your kitchen tasks more fun!

Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for around 10 minutes and let cool on a rack.

The cookies have been cooling and are ready for tea. Diane gave Tasha Tudor several of these cookie molds. The cookies are sooo delicious and make the kitchen smell delightful! Diane has many cookie molds and has chosen an Autumnal theme for today's cookies.


October 13, 2009

Stones: From The Butt'ry to Ye Old Burying Ground

The Corgyncombe Butt'ry and Family Turf
The Butt'ry in old houses was oft' times on the north side of the house because it was the coolest side of the building. This is so at Corgyncombe Cottage. The Corgyncombe Butt'ry is on the north side of the cottage. Corgyncombe Cottage acquired the sandstone sink in Connecticut where Diane and Sarah's ancestors, the Stanclift family, dwelt. In the above photograph Diane has a colander full of washed carrots from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden.

The Corgyncombe Courant knows that their readers are wondering why we going from the Butt'ry to the old graveyard...

Gravestone of James Stanclift (1712-1785). In the border on the sides it looks like thistles and vines were carved.
Gravestone carving was a tradition in the Stanclift family. The stone in the photograph above was carved by James Stanclift Jr. (b. 1756) for his father James Stanclift (1712-1785). Diane's 6th great grandfather James Stanclift (1712-1785) also carved gravestones, as did his father William Stanclift (1686-1761) and grandfather James Stanclift (1639-1712) before him. In the graveyard, near the gravestone that is pictured above, is a stone that James Stanclift (1712-1785) himself carved for his son Thomas who was wounded in the Revolutionary War and though he made it back home he died soon after from the wounds inflicted upon him. The stone of the gravestones and the Corgyncombe Butt'ry sink are the same reddish brown sandstone. The sink, which was from a very old house in the area the Stanclifts lived, could well have been made by one of the Stanclifts.

Whilst here in the Butt'ry you will notice some handmade goat's milk soap on the sink. A goatie friend of Diane's made the soap and of course Diane wants to make some of her own. The friend recommended "Milk-Based Soaps" by Casey Makela and for cheese making, "Home Cheese Making" by Ricki Carroll.

In the Butt'ry, on the shelf amongst the yellowware, is "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook" written by Mary Mason Campbell and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. The book goes throughout the year, featuring receipts for different celebrations and contains Tasha's delightful colour illustrations for New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, May Day, Afternoon Tea, Weddings, Anniversaries, Picnics, Fourth of July, Birthdays, Quilting Bee Thimble Tea, Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The Corgyncombe Courant's favorite colour illustration is the corgi in the butt'ry surrounded by delectable Christmas treats and includes many of our favorite things.

Some carrots from The Corgyncombe Cannery... delicious for winter soups, stews, and casseroles. And now, dear readers, another batch of carrots needs pulling and preparing for canning. The Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden has carrots in abundance.


October 10, 2009

Charlotte's Homemade Goat Cheese and Crackers

The Corgyncombe Bakery
In Charlotte's cozy kitchen, she has mixed up some dough for making crackers. She has used butter that she hand churned from the Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's cream. In the above photograph, she has rolled out the dough, cut out the crackers, and is pricking designs in them with a fork. On the cookie sheet in front of her are some crackers that have been baked in her old fashioned wood cookstove.

Charlotte used a pretty butter mold to print her pat of butter. Charlotte's delightful little apron was found in a basket of old doll clothes in the charming old fashioned store that Diane and Sarah have to go up a mountain and down again to visit. Our doll Amelia wrote a story about our visit to the old fashioned store and we will have to feature it on The Corgyncombe Courant sometime.

Charlotte transfers the crackers onto the cookie sheet.
The crackers are then put into the oven.

Charlotte has made some cheese using Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's milk, and added chives from The Corgyncombe Garden of Herbs.

Charlotte enjoys the cheese with her crackers!


October 5, 2009


Three Little White Holy Bibles
At the end of September, there was a strong thunderstorm with hail. Suddenly the sun brilliantly came out and before I even saw it, I knew it would be there. I grabbed my camera and ran out the door and there it was, the most beautiful rainbow! Whilst photographing it, I remembered a comment I made to Paula over at Rose Cottage by the Lake, about a small white Holy Bible on her vanity and how it was just like mine. I told her how my grandmother gave my cousin and me the Bibles for Christmas one year when we were little girls. I remember sitting on Grandmum's old dark stairway looking at our Bibles with the flashlights that we had also received. The Bible had lovely illustrations and one of them was of Noah coming out of the Ark with the rainbow overhead and a dove flying with an olive leaf in her mouth.

Our dear friend Paula over at Rose Cottage by the Lake and her new blog Southern Rose Cottage, had a birthday the other day. She looks so lovely and so radiant holding her sweet little friend Pearl the Poodle.
Here is the link:
Southern Rose Cottage

Here is the link to her previous blog:
Rose Cottage by the Lake

I thought of you, Paula, whilst photographing the rainbow and we wanted to share the beauty of this rainbow with you through The Corgyncombe Courant. We know you had a happy birthday and hope for you many more to come!

Our big old barn at Corgyncombe, with the rainbow o'er, reminds us of Noah's Ark. I call our barn "The Ark". Doves nest high on the beams of the old barn and oft' times can be seen flying out the highest window on the end.
I love to go in the end door of the barn and before I go in, I look up at the roof on starry nights, as the barn looks so high it could almost touch the stars.

We have an old kerosene lamp and in the spring when the sun comes through the cottage window just right the prisms fill the room with lovely rainbows. When we give the lamp a little jiggle we have dancing rainbows on the walls. We also take a prism off and walk through other rooms making rainbows. We mentioned our rainbows on the wall to Tasha Tudor which inspired Tasha to get a prism and walk through Corgi Cottage making rainbows on her walls. What a pleasant thought, making rainbows at Corgi Cottage!

My grandmum had our names engraved on our little white Holy Bibles so my cousin's and mine wouldn't get mixed up.