December 31, 2009

Diane's Tasha Tudor Tin Kitchen!

Turkey Roasting, Wassail, and Gingerbread Cookies!

In the photograph at top are oranges, lemons, and cider for wassail.
Above, the turkey is roasting in Diane's Tasha Tudor reproduction tin kitchen. Wassail is in the kettle hanging over the fire. Clove oranges can be seen floating in the wassail.

Christmas morn dawned with a thick lovely lacy frost about everything. The frost laste
d all day and with the snow already on the ground it gave one the feeling of a perfect winter wonderland. In the afternoon my husband started a fire and we roasted a turkey on the spit of my new Tasha Tudor reproduction tin kitchen. I put a kettle of wassail on the tripod over the fire and whilst tending the fire and the turkey, we enjoyed delicious wassail (non alcoholic). Some of the frost started coming down from the trees and it was snowing lovely frost. The creek could be heard cheerfully babbling and the smell of the turkey roasting was a delight to the senses! Later, I put a kettle of potatoes on the tripod over the fire to cook. The turkey was delicious!!!




Roasting the turkey before the daylight went over the hill.

I used to teach open hearth cooking at a museum and for years I have been looking for a tin kitchen. When I saw Tasha Tudor's I hoped that I could find one similar to hers as I liked the design of her tin kitchen. Recently I saw that Tasha Tudor and Family were selling reproductions of Tasha Tudor's tin kitchen and needless to say I was thrilled! I just love this tin kitchen and I am so grateful to Amy, Natalie, and Tasha Tudor and Family for seeing to it that I got the tin kitchen by Christmas!



Amelia and Diane are looking forward to St. Distaff's Day in January, a traditional day in the old days, when the spinners resumed their spinning after the Christmastide festivities.


I used to work at a museum before I was married. My dear friends at the museum had a bridal shower for me . Each of the people from each building, such as the farmhouse, schoolhouse, store, blacksmith shop, apothecary, lawyer's office, and printer's office, gave me special gifts with special meaning pertaining to their building. The ladies that I worked with at the farmhouse gave me a box with a gingerbread family cookie cutters and a receipt written out for gingerbread cookies. Someday I will do an article for The Corgyncombe Courant on the other delightful surprises from all of the other buildings. What a fun shower!






These gingerbread cookies taste so good and are delicious with Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea!




Inspired by Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter and Corgyncombe's goats, corgyn, bunnies, and mice, Sarah cut out the above gingerbread cookies freehand without cookie cutters. At top left is a Corgi in a frock, Beatrix Potter's Anna Maria the Rat, a Nubian goat, at bottom left is a Corgi, Corgyncombe's Tillie Tinkham the Mouse, and Beatrix Flopsy Bunny.


Frosting for the gingerbread cookies made from the receipt in "Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book".




Diane made this special little bell cookie and decorated it like Bellinda in the story from the newspaper. Doesn't she look like she is looking down and singing "ding-a-dong-a-ling-a-dong in her silvery tinkle-tones"?


Diane keeps some of her cookie cutters in this small picnic basket.



The mice under the floor boards under the Christmas tree, are dancing around their own Christmas tree.
The big Christmas tree in the parlour was from a previous year.





The last Corgyncombe Full Moon of the decade 2000 to 2009.
A cloudy, snowy moon.


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December 29, 2009

Christmas Memories!

Cheerful Christmas Bells!
Diane in wide eyed wonder gazes in awe up at Santa.
Diane's dark green wool snow suit had grey lambs wool trim
.

My parents would take me to the city where in the department store Santa and his wife would listen to the requests of their little children visitors. My Santa had a real beard and mustache and long white hair. He had the biggest belt buckle I had ever seen and a ring that I'm sure was ruby red. There were also a couple of reindeer who resided with Santa and his wife there at the department store. The store had wonderful big windows with animated Christmas scenes. There were Christmas decorations and lights draped high over the streets. There was music from a loud speaker and from my earliest memory the one I liked the best in the city was "Silver Bells". When we got to the part in the song "As the shoppers rush home with their treasures", we always sang out "As the Shepards rush home with their treasures". It made it so much more personal and fun! Church bells could also be heard chiming the hour from the various churches in the city.


A glimpse of part of Diane's old fashioned village with villagers enjoying a merry skating party. Old fashioned music box music is played near it which is just right for the skating party.




I have always loved bells! What a joy as a child for me to find in the newspaper a daily story, written and illustrated by Betty Goetz Knudsen. There were pictures to colour, of Bellinda, a bell who lived in an old church tower and what happens to her as the people in town decide to build a new church. The border that was always at the top of each day's story reminds me of Tasha Tudor borders. I imagined that Bellinda lived in all of the churches in the same city that Santa Claus, his wife, and reindeer resided. How my cousin and I looked forward to each day's installment. I put each day's story in a little book that I made with foil covers. When I coloured this in the first time when I was a little girl, Bellinda was pink, so when I coloured her in again this time she could be no colour but pink. When Bellinda was happy she sang "ding-a-dong-a-ling-a-dong in her silvery tinkle-tones". The people in town when they heard Bellinda sing were so happy because "they all knew that Christmas was coming." Bellinda had friends in the story: Bobbin Robin, the mousekins three, Bootlet Johnny Boy, and the brown and white cow. Does this not, dear readers, remind you of Corgyncombe's Tillie Tinkham the mouse, Chirpy Cheerful the bird, and Bessie the cow?


Later, I remembered the Bellinda story when Sarah was little. I wrote to the paper and asked them if they would consider running it again, as I remembered how much joy it brought to me. I described the story and included a drawing that I drew from my memory of Bellinda the Bell with little mice. I was delighted to receive in the mail copies of Bellinda's story and find my drawing was similar to the picture of mice sliding down Bellinda. The lady at the paper said they couldn't run Bellinda's story in the paper again as it just wouldn't fit in with modern times. How sad that such a sweet story wouldn't fit in! Unfortunately, ones feels as if the city, once reminding one of Bedford Falls, now is sadly like the dreaded Potterville, as in the movie "It's A Wonderful Life." Maybe the world could use more sweet, innocent little stories for children.

I have always loved the movie "It's A Wonderful Life", it shows so poignantly how one man's life affects the lives of others. The younger daughter of George and Mary (Hatch) Bailey, Zuzu, looks and sounds just like Sarah as a little girl. Zuzu and Sarah have the same twinkle around the eyes, especially at the end of the movie when Zuzu's eyes crinkle up in the happiest of smiles. As a bell on the Christmas tree rings, Zuzu says "Every time a bell rings an Angel gets it's wings."

One year on Christmas Eve I can remember going to town with my father to see Santa one more time to make sure that he was going to get everything straight. When I got back home there was a silver metal flying saucer on the picket fence with a big red bow that said "From Santa" and I remember standing there and saying "But that's not right!" I was very upset. I had asked Santa for a specific doll just a few minutes ago. Come to find out our neighbors had left the saucer but I didn't find that out until the next day when I received my specifically asked for doll for Christmas. I soon loved my silver metal flying saucer and how I would bounce, bump, and whiz down the hills at breakneck speed with it and remember fondly the dear neighbors and the sight of the silver metal flying saucer on the fence with the red bow attached with the sparkly snow all around in the moonlight.

Diane on her silver metal flying saucer!!!

I remember one Christmas Eve going ice skating with friends and how exciting and delightful it was to think that the next day would be Christmas. We skated and skated and warmed ourselves in a little hut with hot chocolate. We were out all day and came home with the reddest cheeks and slept soundly 'til Christmas morn.

Even as a baby Sarah would study and analyze detail. Dolls and their houses were always amongst her favorite things. When she saw this old dollhouse she got so excited and started chattering up a storm. When we would ride about the city Sarah would always get so excited when she saw the manger scenes and especially the Baby Jesus.

When Sarah was little we went to hear a quartet playing at an old historic house. We then went out to dinner. Our after dinner plans were altered as Sarah announced that she wanted to go back to listen to the "pretty usic". The event was held on a different day than it had been in years past so it was practically a private performance. Sarah sat on her Daddy's lap with her elegantly dressed bear until the evening's entertainments were brought to an end. The cellist was so impressed with Sarah's attentiveness that she invited her to feel the cello vibrate as the bow graced the strings. In a few years hence, Sarah would start playing the violin and played 1st violin in her own quartet!

Diane's Mum would take her for walks on the old country roads in her little sled.



I used to take Sarah for walks in her little sled. You can hardly see the sled for all the blankets and bundles. I always thought she looked like a little seal in this photograph. The white blanket that covers her is one that I handspun and knit. We hung a little brass bell underneath on the front of the sled.
How we loved the bell as it sang "ding-a-dong-a-ling-a-dong" as we went along. Sarah and I have always loved bells!


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December 26, 2009

Delivery Men Bringing Tasha Tudor Delights!

Christmas Calendar Inspired by Tasha Tudor
Pressed sugar cookies. Making Christmas cookies whilst it is snowing and blowing up a storm outside is so cozy.

Diane made some sugar cookies and sprinkled them with sugar like those in the photograph above, for Tasha Tudor.

A Corgyncombe White Christmas.

Earlier this week, before Christmas, whilst I was making cookies, Corgyncombe Cottage had a huge package delivered. The delivery man commented on the poor driving conditions in the Corgyncombe hills and valleys and couldn't wait to get out of there and home where the weather was better. He said that Corgyncombe was notorious for treacherous weather. We brought the box into the house and we went outside again. We saw the delivery man driving past the house with somewhat of a panicked look, he couldn't get out of my icy driveway. I hollered to him that when it is icy or muddy we sometimes back up the barn ramp and get a running start and by all means don't stop once you get going. He didn't understand what I meant and he went clear down by the lower barn door and set there with his wheels spinning and spinning and spinning. I had visions of inviting the delivery man in for an afternoon of cookies and goat's milk. When I went around the corner of the house I was surprised to see two men in brown uniforms bearing many gifts. The delivery men in brown uniforms were wise men indeed, as they walked in on the snow, instead of coming down the icy driveway. They were watching the unfortunate first delivery man with interest as his wheels kept spinning and spinning. After they saw to it that I got all of my packages all over the fence and into the house, then somewhere out of nowhere, I'm not quite sure where, the delivery men in brown uniforms pulled out some interesting gizmos. The delivery men in the brown uniforms immediately went into synchronized action, as they knew just what they were doing, putting these gizmos, that had cleats on the bottom, under the tires. The two delivery men in brown worked well together. Inch by inch, by moving these gizmos up each time, the first delivery man was up the icy hill. I asked the angels in brown where do I get some of these gizmos as I have had my own troubles when the barn ramp is drifted in with snow, of getting up the hill. They just said it was something that brown uniform central control gives their drivers. I'm going to have to look into this one, as I want a pair of these miracle ice extractors!

Sarah whilst gathering greens found a bird's nest and showed it to Tasha Corgi.
 The Johnsons always cut their own Christmas tree and use a tarp and rope to haul it in.
 The Advent Calendar, "O Holy Night", illustrated by Tasha Tudor. On the 24th the stable doors open to reveal the Baby Jesus sleeping with mice and birds gathered round. We love the shadows and light and glow from the shining star and the colour in this Advent Calendar! It truly looks like "O Holy Night".

Shepard and Elizabeth caroling near the wassail kettle.
 Charlotte making Christmas cookies for the carolers.
 

Oh, and what was in that huge box? With the delivery men gone, and more cookies in the oven, we proceeded to open the big package, that was wonderfully packed to keep the contents safe. It took awhile but safe and sound my beautiful new Tasha Tudor reproduction tin kitchen was extracted from the huge box. A big part of my job where I used to work at a museum, was open hearth cooking. Oh, what a delight! I love it, love it, love it, and it is made extra special because it is just like the one Tasha Tudor used for years! Thanks to Natalie, Amy, and Tasha Tudor and Family for making sure it got here by Christmas!

I couldn't wait to use it...

 
One of Diane's favorite movies during the Christmas season is "White Christmas".


This movie makes Diane think of her father in the Battle of Bulge in December in World War II. When Bing Crosby sings White Christmas in front of a scene of a little town with a church (that looks like Vermont and reminds us of a Tasha Tudor illustration) it is very touching to see the soldiers thinking of home whilst the music box plays and Bing sings. Another favorite scene is towards the end of the movie when the long awaited snow has finally arrived and people waving with a horse and sleigh go by.

Tasha Tudor's Advent Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Christmas Calendar.
Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Calendar to Count "The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:

The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 25 round red windows covered with holly until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window will change to the photograph of the day. The windows of the day are done alphabetically, going from A to Z and feature the dolls and their animal friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate Christmastide joy!
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December 22, 2009

Christmas Delights for Children and Mice!

Christmas Calendar Inspired by Tasha Tudor
Little Sarah on the antique rocking horse.
As our dear readers can see, we have always loved old fashioned things! This is the same dress, pinafore and hat that Tasha illustrated Sarah wearing in the "Sarah" card, Sarah sitting on a bench in the garden with a cat. On the rocking horse she is wearing her high button shoes. Sarah had her own button hook and used to climb the steps by her Mum's high bed and she would hook up her high button shoes.

Tasha Tudor illustrated some splendid rocking horses and a horse on wheels in the 1975 version of "The Night Before Christmas". There is two page colour illustration in the book with a Christmas tree surrounded by Christmas toys, such as a rocking horse, a doll house, a doll riding in a carriage, a doll with a trunk full of clothes, a toy sheep, a jump rope, a copper kettle, a doll sofa, a tea set, a miniature wash set and drying rack, a sled, a drum, a wagon with blocks, a Jack-in-the-box, toy soldiers, a cow on wheels, a bubble pipe, a ball, and a toy dog on wheels.

In the 1975 version of "The Night Before Christmas" illustrated by Tasha Tudor, Tasha wrote to Sarah:
"To Miss Sarah who wears fine boots! Love from Tasha Tudor"


Little Precious helps steady Frizzy's Baby Doll on the rocking horse.


Tillie Tinkham and her mouse friends at Corgyncombe enjoy a cup of Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea and some crumbs in the mouse house underneath the floorboards.

'Tis such a delight to find on a card, illustration, or book done by Tasha Tudor, a mouse house underneath the floor boards. What wonderful, charming old fashioned lives these mice live with their bed, table, cupboards, and storerooms. In the 1975 version of "The Night Before Christmas" illustrated by Tasha Tudor, a delightful mouse house can be found under the floor boards of the parlour, beneath the parlour Christmas tree, on the page "Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." A mouse house under the floor with mice dancing around their own Christmas tree can be seen in the Christmas Festivities Cards and Advent Calendar Festivities on the Tasha Tudor and Family web site.




Tillie Tinkham in a striped stocking hung on the mantel.

The Corgyncombe Courant has had an unexpected delay in the progress of the Calendar due to the naughty naughty Corgyn who helped themselves to the goat feed and now are requiring extra extra necessary outings and clean ups. The Corgyncombe Courant appreciates your patience.

Tasha Tudor's Advent Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Christmas Calendar.

Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Calendar to Count "The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:

"The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things"

The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 25 round red windows covered with holly until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window will change to the photograph of the day. The windows of the day are done alphabetically, going from A to Z and feature the dolls and their animal friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate Christmastide joy!


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December 21, 2009

Dundee Cake for Tea from "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook"

Christmas Calendar Inspired by Tasha Tudor
Diane made several Dundee cakes to enjoy at Christmastide at tea, with Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea. Dundee cakes are made in November and put in cold storage and then used at many Christmas teas. The receipt for Dundee cake can be found in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". The receipt is also on the "Tasha Tudor and Family" web site. Here is the link to their: Receipt Page


The Advent wreath was briefly lit before hanging. The hand-dipped candles fill the old kitchen with the fragrant aroma of beeswax.


Tasha Tudor illustrated Sarah with the little tree in the snow with a moon overhead and Sarah feeding the goats in the barn. There is a sweet little corgi at Sarah's feet. The feeding the goats card is featured in the video "Take Peace, A Corgi Cottage Christmas with Tasha Tudor".


The Advent wreath in the making.


The children in the pantry illustration by Tasha Tudor is in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook" and the book "Take Joy". It is such a delightful scene with so many of our favorite things. There are canned goods, apples, potatoes, crocks, yellowware, kitchen utensils, cookies, and a Dundee cake with cherries on top to the right.


Charlotte enjoys her Dundee cake at tea, with Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea.




Charlotte's copper kettle.

Tasha Tudor's Advent Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Christmas Calendar.

Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Calendar to Count "The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:

"The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things"

The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 25 round red windows covered with holly until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window will change to the photograph of the day. The windows of the day are done alphabetically, going from A to Z and feature the dolls and their animal friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate Christmastide joy!


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