November 25, 2011

"An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving"

An Old Fashioned Feast to Be Thankful For!
What a splendid turkey!

Pumpkins grown in the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden for making pies.

Sage gathered from Corgyncombe Garden of Herbs.
In the story "An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving" written by Louisa May Alcott, when the children were left alone due to an emergency, the older girls of the family thought they would continue fixing the Thanksgiving meal. In pondering what "yarbs" would be best to put in stuffing for a turkey, sage was considered but sweet marjoram and summer savory were decided upon. Mistakenly catnip and wormwood were the "yarbs" grabbed in the darkness of the storage area. The catnip and wormwood totally ruined the stuffing!

Diane's 5th great grandfather Eliakim May was 1st cousin to Louisa May Alcott's great grandfather Samuel May.

Crushing sage and thyme for stuffing for the turkey.
The sage and thyme were gathered and dried at the Corgyncombe Herbary.
Displayed on the art stand is "The Williamsburg Art of Cookery" by Mrs. Helen Bullock.

Diane used her Tasha Tudor Reproduction Tin Kitchen for roasting the turkey in front of the fire. Here it is shown with the door open for basting. Isn't that turkey a beauty!

Whilst tending the turkey, Diane's husband kept making toast using the old fashioned wrought iron toaster. The toaster has a swivel so that you can turn it around and toast the other side.

A view of the turkey that faces the fire.
Using the Tasha Tudor Reproduction Tin Kitchen is such a delight!

Regularly the spit is turned and put in the next hole to ensure that the turkey is done evenly all round.

At the proper time potatoes from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden are peeled and set over the fire to boil. Even though a lid is placed on the kettle, these potatoes cooked over the fire have a mild smoky taste that is just delicious!

Cranberries cooking over the hot coals.
Cranberries have to be done the day before if you put them in a mold as they need time to chill and set whilst in the cold.

Some of the acorn squash harvested from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden. Corgyncombe Cottage always has squash at Thanksgiving Dinner.

Cranberry Sauce after being chilled and set in a yellowware mold.
What a pretty addition to the Thanksgiving table!

In the bowl are Red Pontiac mashed potatoes, made according to the receipt in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". The turkey on the platter, all set for carving! Diane uses her Grandmum's platter for the turkey with bay leaves from Diane's bay tree tucked around the edge.
As Tasha Tudor herself said, a turkey roasted in a tin kitchen is "Simply unsurpassed!"

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.

After barn chores pumpkin pie is served with cheese... always with cheese!

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 tin kitchen with a table of Thanksgiving food. In "A Basket of Herbs", illustrated by Tasha Tudor, on the Sage pages there is a lady fixing a turkey to be put in the tin kitchen with hungry corgyn looking on.

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!

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.

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.

Here is the link to Tasha Tudor and Family where you can purchase your own:
Tasha Tudor Reproduction Tin Kitchen.
Click on "Kitchen and Home" and then click on "Tin Kitchen".

Carl Giordano is the talented tinsmith who made Diane's Tasha Tudor Reproduction Tin Kitchen (sold by "Tasha Tudor and Family").

Here is a link to: Carl Giordano, Tinsmith

Tinsmith Carl Giordano makes two different tin kitchens.
The Tasha Tudor Reproduction Tin Kitchen can be ordered through Tasha Tudor and Family.

The Corgyncombe Courant hopes that all of our Dear Readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve!

Cozy and Warm Inside, Icy and Frozen Outside!
Crushing sage and thyme for stuffing for the turkey.
The sage and thyme were gathered and dried at the Corgyncombe Herbary.
Displayed on the art stand is "The Williamsburg Art of Cookery" by Mrs. Helen Bullock.

On the art stand, lit by soft kerosene lamplight, is the Tasha Tudor book "First Poems of Childhood".
The book is open to the poem "Thanksgiving Day" by Lydia Maria Child.

The farm Tasha Tudor illustrated reminds us of Corgyncombe Cottage (pictured above), with all of our traditional favorite Thanksgiving foods drawn round.

Outside, everything was dripping with icicles from freezing rain!

Ice covered Morning Glories.

Frozen in time, the above photograph was taken a previous year.

This morning the trees were covered with beautiful lacy ice.

Whist photographing the apple trees, I looked down and found a purple violet, the same kind I made jelly from back in May!
I hadn't seen any violets for months.
'Twas the only flower in bloom in the garden!

Back to the warmth of lamp lit Corgyncombe Cottage again!

Happy Thanksgiving to the Dear Readers of the Corgyncombe Courant!

We have added more photographs to our previous post.
Here is the link: Remembrances on Veterans Day post.


November 11, 2011

Remembrances on Veterans Day

Hoping the War Will Be Over Soon So We Can See Each Other Again...
Diane's Mum Sally Ann had three brothers in the service during World War II.
The brother pictured above died whilst in the service.
He was only 19 and had a special sweetheart at home who he planned to marry.
In a letter to one of his brothers in the service he wrote that he was hoping the war would be over soon so that all the brothers could see each other again.

In his last letter home he wrote of his love for his family.
Also in the photograph above is one of the Western Union Telegrams sent when he died.
Sally Ann said that at the funeral there was not a dry eye in the church.
Her brother's favorite hymns were played at the service on the organ.
The older two brothers were unable to attend the funeral as one was in Panama and the other in Africa.

Diane never knew or met her uncle but his presence was well known in their home and it always felt like she knew him.

Uncle's Service Photo Album, Fort Andrews, Boston Harbor, Mass. The photograph is of him leaving home after his last leave.

Uncle with his Grandmum (his Father's Mum)
His Grandmum's ancestors in the Scott, Keyes, and Adams families served in the Revolutionary War.

Sally Ann, sad to see her brother leaving to go back to Fort Andrews.

Uncle and his Sweetheart

Sally Ann's baby brother, wearing his aviator hat, posed atop the mailbox in front of the family home. The family mailbox where news from home was sent and news from the three brothers in the service was eagerly watched and waited for.

Letters sent home by the three brothers.

Sally Ann's three older brothers and her father played for dances and special occasions.
The three brothers above all served during World War II.
The brother in the middle is the brother pictured at the top of this post, the one who died in the service.

Sally Ann and her brothers had numerous direct ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War, on both their Mother and Father's side of the family.

Below are links to more stories told by Diane's Mum Sally Ann, to Diane and her daughter Sarah.

Here is a link to the Corgyncombe Courant's post:
Independence Day! Freedom to Pursue What One Loves Doing Best!

Here is a link to the Corgyncombe Courant's post:
Childhood Christmas Memories During the Depression!