July 29, 2010

Beatrix Potter Birthday Tea!

The Red Astrachan, An Early Summer Apple
Yesterday, July 28th, was Beatrix Potter's Birthday.
"The counter inside was a convenient height for rabbits. Ginger and Pickles sold red spotty pocket-handkerchiefs at a penny three farthings." - from the book "Ginger and Pickles" by Beatrix Potter.

Tasha Tudor once had a store at her home in New Hampshire, called "Ginger and Pickles".
In Beatrix Potter's book, Ginger the Cat and Pickles the Terrier had a shop called "Ginger and Pickles", that the entire town frequented. The customers at "Ginger and Pickles" always bought goods on credit, never paying for anything as their credit bill became higher and higher. Ginger and Pickles did not have any money to buy food for themselves or a dog license for Pickles, and when tax time came rolling around there was no money to pay their taxes, so they closed their shop.
Their competition, Tabitha Twitchit, who also ran a shop, refused to give credit and, when "Ginger and Pickles" closed, Tabitha raised her prices.
Sally Henny Penny the Hen, decided to take over "Ginger and Pickles" shop, specializing in bargains but without the convenience of credit.
Diane has always loved this story about the store, as she played store in her mother's cupboards when she was little, which included delivering the items using her trike and delivery vehicle. Up the walk, down one side of the drive, up the other, down the walk again, past the house, up the hill, turn around, back down the hill, and start all over again...
When she got older Diane started collecting old fashioned store items...

Above is a photograph of Sarah and Tasha Corgi in the Corgyncombe General Store, which also includes a soda fountain and ice cream parlour. Sarah has enjoyed having birthday parties in the store.

Diane has a huge collection of old price tags, wool union suits, wool muffs, collars, and, as Tasha Tudor always referred to them, "fine boots", made of leather and i
n a multitude of sizes. These items were found one glorious day in a little country store in the mountains, run by a little old lady.

Beatrix Flopsy Bunny

Upon filling her water can Diane thought it was just a leaf in the bottom of the water can and thought nothing of it, until something wet and slimy touched her hand. Diane set the water can down and "it" went back into the water. The camera was fetched and The Corgyncombe Courant photographer Diane, tipped the water can, and photographed it as it emerged.

Ah yes, 'twas Mr. Toad, this brings to mind Mr. Jackson in "The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse" by Beatrix Potter. As Mr. Toad retreated back to a cooler spot in the shade under the porch, a "Babbity Bumble" bee was seen buzzing close by.

We share our apples with Grunhogda the Groundhog, who lives in the ash fill under the Corgyncombe barn ramp.

The Red Astrachan Apple.
There is a tree at the end of our woodshed that produces an enormous amount of Red Astrachan apples. The corgyn like to enjoy one after breakfast. This is an apple that starts producing in July and is known as an early summer apple. The Red Astrachan originally came from Russia.

As you put your cheek next to this early apple you can feel the warmth of the sun and smell that apple fragrance that reminds you of autumn, though autumn is still quite a ways away with lots of warm summer weather yet to be had. They are also a delight to the eye.

"Corgyncombe Carrie" keeps watch over the old kitchen and apothecary.

One day Diane saw out of the corner of her eye empty clay pots moving and clanging and banging on the porch. Closer observation revealed a young Groundhog, probably a descendant of Grunhogda. Diane let her go about her business undisturbed, as Groundhogs can be quite fierce when cornered, and not near as docile as "Corgyncombe Carrie".

Making apple pie cookies.

The receipt for the dough is the "Christmas Cookies" receipt from "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".
Instead of Mince, Diane used Apple.

Apple Pie Cookies, warm from the oven.

A cup of "Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea" and an apple pie cookie for afternoon tea on the garden wall for Beatrix Potter's Birthday!

The Valley

One of The Corgyncombe Courant's all time favorite songs is "Perfect Day", sung by Miriam Stockley. It was used as the theme song of "The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, Beatrix Potter".

Here is the link to:
"Perfect Day" on YouTube.


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