Jun 272013
 

Let Freedom Ring

Our bell from the S.S. President Cleveland.

Our bell from the S.S. President Cleveland.

Kenny and I always read Dear Abby every day in our newspaper, old farts that we are! We’re running late today due to a heavy shopping list for the holiday next week, lots of good BOGO deals and lunch at a new restaurant in town and I did want to get something in before the day was over and this seemed so appropriate for this week to get the word out. Carmella LaSpada wrote into Abby a story that I had never heard before about President John Kennedy proclaiming the ringing of the bells nationwide on Independence Day in 1963, with the words “Let’s ring freedom bells!” The lady who sent this to Abby, said she was a White House special-projects aide at that time and remembered how exciting it was when the bells rang throughout the nation. She was writing to Abby to get the bells ringing but once again on this upcoming Fourth of July and for all the ones hereafter and she hopes to resurrect this proud tradition.

According to Carmella, we are to ring bells at precisely 2 p.m. (I assume EST) in honor of the 237th anniversary of our independence. She would like to encourage churches and all other buildings with bells to let them ring out at this time for all to hear.

Although we do not have millions of followers as Abby does, we are hoping that our readers on cooking-with-mama will share with everyone that they know and maybe with just a little help from us there will be many more bells ringing. She goes on in her letter to Abby, that the first groups to support this effort included baseball teams, National Cartoonists Society along with the, Iron Workers, Firefighters and Sheet Metal Workers unions. Also mentioned were other AFL-CIO affiliates.

Carmella LaSpada is also the founder of No Greater Love and you can find her at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Greater_Love.

At 2 p.m. next Thursday Kenny and I will be ringing out with an old brass bell from the S.S. President Cleveland that he brought home for me one day as a surprise, knowing how much I love old bells; and let me tell you, my whole neighborhood will be able to hear it ring. So, no matter what kind of bell you have, whether it be a dinner bell or a doorbell, let them be heard next week in honor of our independence. As Abby so aptly answered to the letter, “engraved on the Liberty Bell are the words, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof”.

S.S. Cleveland Ship

S.S. President Cleveland Ship

So thanks to Carmella and Jeanne Phillips’ Dear Abby column, for whom I would have not known this story, maybe we can add a few extra bells! God bless America!

Need I say more!

Need I say more!

Mar 042013
 

Our New Stove

Well folks, this weekend didn’t go as well as the first meal I cooked which went off without a hitch!

Our first meal on our new stove!

Our first meal on our new stove!

I wanted to make breaded BBQ pork chops in the oven and did manage to over-cook them just a little, but they still were edible. You see, my old oven door did not shut tight, so I usually had to cook the food in it, a little longer. I had some left-over mashed potatoes and I decided to make some potato pancakes and bread them with the same breading I used for the chops, only to over-cook them with my heat being too high! Again, my old stove top burners did not totally work so I had to cook them at a higher heat, hence the overly browned potato cakes, but again, edible. And no, I did not take pictures of the chops and potatoes!

 

Where my old wall oven was has now been transformed into my cookware closet and it is so nice not to have to bend over and dig to get to all my pots and pans! When I had them stored under the stove top, the pans I didn’t use to often, were in the tee-total back of the cabinet and I hated it! My frying pans are all made of cast iron and with old age kicking in a little, it was a pain pulling them up from underneath, I seriously think someone has been putting more weight to them just to remind me that I’m not as young as I used to be, ha ha! Now all that is left to do with the cabinet, is try to figure out what kind of door to put on it as it will have to be custom made!

Old wall oven1

Old wall oven!

New shelves=Storage!

New shelves=Storage!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The area around the new stove is another slight problem as my kitchen is horseshoed and now we have to finish off the counter top around it where Kenny cut the opening for the stove to fit in which was cut in the curved area. Not in a super hurry to do this as we want it to look like it was always made this way. Between Kenny and I, we usually come up with pretty good solutions in these kind of circumstances (yes two heads are better than one, especially when one half is a female, ha ha)! All kidding aside, Kenny does do really well in the carpentry department and of making use of materials on hand, just look at my pretty cabinet that was nothing more than a big empty hole! We love doing projects like this together, and as we save left-over wood from other projects, we did not have to buy anything to make this cabinet that I already love. Very smart decision not to replace the wall unit!

Before new stove!

Before new stove!

After new stove!

After new stove!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am very anxious to start doing more baking and now I can actually cook in the amount of time the recipe calls for instead of winging it, hip hip hooray! I have yet to try the convection oven and figure I had better get used to the oven first before attempting that one.

Well I’m sure that there will be more stories in the future and for now, I just wanted to get in some pictures of my new pride and joy and some of the work we had to do to welcome her to her new home in the woods!

 

Jan 032013
 

The Hotel Saint Francis Cook Book

Hotel St. Francis

Hotel St. Francis

A present I received this Christmas was a 1919 cook book from the Hotel St. Francis in San Francisco, by chef Victor Hirtzler. My sister thought it might be interesting for our cooking site and upon reading the menus, it was definitely not my cup of tea. I thought I’d share some of the different menu items with you, I would assume that this hotel catered only to the upper class in it’s early days and some of the foods on the menu are things I’d have to google to see what the hell they are as I have never heard of quite a few of them.

Chef Victor Hirtzler

Chef Victor Hirtzler

Breakfast menus weren’t too bad with only a few odd balls like cactus fruit with lemon, broiled pigs’ feet, broiled Yarmouth bloaters, calves’ liver with bacon (for breakfast?), Finnan haddie in cream, broiled salted mackerel, and baked beans, Boston style. I am not a fan of fish for breakfast and certainly not baked beans, even if I did like them! Some of the breakfast items were more on the normal side, well at least as far as I am concerned, such as omelets, fruits, scrambled eggs with bacon, boiled eggs and griddle cakes, now we’re talking!

The lunch menus contained a lot of different eggs dishes too and if I have eggs for breakfast, I’m really not into them again for lunch on the same day! Assorted Hors d’oeuvres were also served on the lunch menu along with some more odd foods to me such as Yarmouth bloaters, planked shad and roe, fried white bait (remoulade), and calf’s head, a la Francaise. Folks, I’d have to eat nothing but eggs and veggies in this place back in it’s time, oh and maybe a few desserts too!

Dinner also contained some new listings to me such as cream of green corn, pannade soup, cream of frogs’ legs, fish dumplings with white wine sauce and cold goosebreast with jelly.

In the back of the cookbook, they put some selections from their menu files such as the Patek-Newman wedding which took place on August 24, 1913 and other various banquets and their menus. Other banquets included were the Mr. Charles Schwab on May 15, 1913, Prudential Insurance Company of America on February 15, 1916 and the Telephone Pioneers of America held on September 21, 1915

My new, old cookbook is in great shape (doubt if it was used much with these menus, ha ha) and I do love having it in my library! I’m sure it will stay in as good of shape as when I received it as I won’t be cooking with it, just looking at a few things here and there to share with you now and then.

My new/old cookbook!

My new/old cookbook!

Enjoy………..

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