December 8, 2016

Autumnal Roses, St. Nicholas Tea, and Van Alen House!

The Queen Bestows a Diamond Upon Tillie Tinkham!
 Laura Lindenwood holding a rosebud from one of the David Austin roses at the Corgyncombe gardens.

David Austin Rose "Mayflower" in the autumn at Corgyncombe.
This rose has a delightful old fashioned rose scent!
My daughter Sarah and I descend from several of the Pilgrims who came on the Mayflower in 1620.


Priscilla enjoys a cup of goat's milk and "Pink Lustre Violet Jelly" cookies.

David Austin Rose "Mayflower" at sunrise with beads of dew still upon its petals.

An October snow at Castle Corgyncombe.

The kitchen fireplace at the Van Alen house, circa 1737, in Kinderhook, "York State".

Amongst some of our early ancestral Dutch families is the Van Alen family.

Laura made some gourd soup for the holidays.

"It is snowing decidedly. We shall doubtless have sleighing for the holidays."
~ "Rural Hours", published 1850, by Susan Fenimore Cooper

Susan oft' times used the word "decidedly"!

"The domain of Santa Claus has very much extended itself since his earliest visits to the island of Manhattan, when he first alighted, more than two hundred years ago, on the peaked roofs of New Amsterdam, and made his way down the ample chimneys of those days."
~ "Rural Hours", published 1850, by Susan Fenimore Cooper

A bowl of chocolates in the Van Alen kitchen.

"But Santa Claus is not a sensible man; he is a funny, jolly little old Dutchman, and he and the children understand each other perfectly well."
~ "Rural Hours", published 1850, by Susan Fenimore Cooper

St. Nicholas Day was December 6th.
Wilma made a Dundee cake for St. Nicholas Tea.
She enjoys tea with Elspeth.

Making clove oranges, also called pomanders, especially near Christmastide, is a most fragrant 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.

Tiles round the fireplace at the Van Alen house.

When lit, the Advent wreath creates such lovely shadows and light on the ceiling at Corgyncombe.

A receipt for Dundee Cake is in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".
I never add the citron nor the raisins as called for in the receipt, but add more than the called for amount of currants and in addition to the almonds in the receipt, add walnuts.
This combination makes the most delicious Dundee cake!

In her cookbook Tasha Tudor says to decorate the top of the Dundee cake with cherries and almonds. I have always decorated my Dundee cakes in a different pattern than those that I have seen Tasha illustrate. I use the cherry as the center with almonds or other nuts around the cherries forming flower-like shapes. I also use the currants to decorate the top of the Dundee cake.

"At present they can only fancy Santa Claus as Mr. Moore has seen him, in those pleasant, funny verses, which are so highly relished in our nurseries:

"His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses - his nose like a cherry ;
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face, and a little, round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly;
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf;
And I laughed, when I saw him, in spite of myself."
~ "Rural Hours", published 1850, by Susan Fenimore Cooper

Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe, has a rose for the Queen.
The Queen will bestow upon Tillie the diamond as big as Tillie's shoe.

Little mouse, little mouse, where have you been?
Gathering roses to give to the Queen.
Little mouse, little mouse, what gave she you?
She gave me a diamond as big as my shoe.
~ Adapted from an old nursery rhyme

Little Alice Parsons in ribbons and lace, with her Mother, who looks like a fairy godmother as she holds a little slipper.
In this fairytale like scene, the Mother's gown and the little slipper take on a radiant luster as little Alice holds a book and looks intently at the little satin slipper.
Perhaps her Mother was telling her the story of Cinderella!

Nearby the dollhouse is our old fashioned table top Christmas tree like my Grandmum always had! The tree is surrounded by an old fashioned fence; it looks like a park in the distance from the house. In front of the dollhouse are little trees and another fence.
The address 863 Park Avenue is above the door.

Alice and her family lived at the real life 863 Park Avenue, built in 1908, and this dollhouse was  found at their old estate in Connecticut. The estate was the family's summer home, the rest of the year they lived in Manhattan, New York.

Some of the photographs and some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant and from our web site and our previous postings elsewhere on the internet.

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Photographs, images, and text copyright © 2000-2016 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson. All rights reserved. Photographs, images, and/or text may not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson.
copyright © 2016 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson