I went to stay with my grandfather a couple weeks ago. This is the beautiful place where he lives, on the farm that has been in our family for 140 years, in the house rebuilt in 1895 after a fire took the original. From top to bottom: Tuesday morning, our treehouse on Friday morning, the shower in the coal furnace room, Wednesday morning, Poppy’s puzzle gallery and closet, some other favourite things of mine, the barn and him, and a subtle snow dusting. Today my grandmother Dorothy would have celebrated her 82nd birthday, she was pretty.
Loligo (top) is a rad, independent screenprinting studio in De Beauvoir, London. I think everyone could use a moon cushion in his/her life, or a print with the colour peach in it. And speaking of London artmakers, Damien Hirst’s Spot Paintings exhibition is happening now and there’s no excuse to miss it as it’s up in 11 locations worldwide including London, New York, Paris, Beverly Hills, Geneva, and more, see here. I’m heading to Brooklyn for a quick weekender to see it and maybe catch a bite at The Meatball Shop while K is going to try out the third St. John Restaurant—the one at the hotel. Yum!
Appropriately so, as I’m in my hometown and K’s mom is cooking for him in London, I will share all the yummy recipes that made me the chubbette I am. Last week Mother and I made my very favourite Pennsylvania Dutch meal—chicken pot pie. The name originally comes from the old German term bot boi which was some sort of thick chicken stew and we Dutchies bastardized everything, so this is no different. Regardless, it is darn delicious and a winter must-make. Also made here, a salad of romaine lettuce with hot bacon dressing. “Kumm esse!” is how you should call everyone to the table.
INGREDIENTS// BROTH: 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts / 2 quarts water / small onion, chopped / 2 chicken bullion cubes / fresh parsley / salt & pepper / dash poultry seasoning / 5 medium potatoes, peeled & cubed / DOUGH: 2 cups flour / 4 tsp. baking powder / 1/2 tsp. salt / 2 Tbsp. butter / 8 Tbsp. milk / 2 eggs
INSTRUCTIONS// Wash chicken and add to water. Add onion, bullion cubes, parsley, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Simmer for 45 mins to an hour. Add potatoes, simmer 25 minutes more. Remove chicken, cut in small, stringy pieces and return to pot. To make dough, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Blend in butter. Add egg and milk to make dough soft. Roll out on floured board about 1/8-inch thick and cut into 1-1/2-inch squares. Let dry a bit. Add dough to pot, make sure you stir it a lot, and gently simmer for about 30 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls, pour apple cider vinegar over individual servings before consuming. Makes enough for maybe 6 people, and the leftovers taste even better.
HOMEMADE HOT BACON DRESSING// If you’re not local or can’t cook, WosWit sells online here.
8 slices bacon, fried hard, broken into crumbs / 1/2 c. sugar / 1 Tbsp. cornstarch / dash salt / 2 eggs, beaten / scant 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar / 1-1/2 cups milk. Put all ingredients in a saucepan and boil to desired thickness, stirring constantly. Also recommended on spinach or dandelion.
And wine-tasting. Dietrich’s Meats reminded me how everyone around here unassumingly eats in the head-to-tail fashion, which is quite trendy right now in London’s food scene. I’ll spare you the misc. meat photos, but you’re missing out on the great snap of Pop posing with a smoked pigs head. Speaking of, he (Poppy, my grandfather) and I are heading to the 96th Annual Farm Show tomorrow. Supposedly, they have 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits, 290 commercial exhibits, and the best strawberry smoothies around. Meanwhile, back in London, K can’t seem to shake the night shift out of himself and he hasn’t seen the sun in days. Chewing gum photo by C. Eiche.
It all happened rather fast, but our blog posts have been spotty as K is back to nonstop work and I am now in my hometown, anxiously awaiting the possibility to return to the UK with a visa. Now, a mix of blog theme from either side of the Atlantic. I’ve been here 2 days, am enjoying the comforts of home and family: have already used the laundry dryer, eaten scrapple, tickled the ivories a bit, and drove mum’s car on the right side of the road (Benny & I also narrowly avoided about 15 deer in a 10-minute drive last night). Best yet, there was my favourite lebanon bologna sandwich waiting for me in the car at the airport and a Union flag in the stuffies in my old room.
Happy 2012! We rang in the new year with some lovely new friends (and many drinks) but were lucky to have old friends Justin, Dan, and Annika visit us from Seattle a bit ago, too. Annika got to extend her stay, so we took a day trip to Bath, a 1.5 hour train ride west of London. After a proper lunch of fish & chips, we sang Christmas carols at the Abbey, toured the Roman Baths (very excellent, not to be missed), and attempted to shop the famous Christmas market, but it was so overcrowded, we had to give up. It sure was pretty, though. Market photo by Parrys International.