Thursday, December 23, 2010

Teacup Giveaway Winners!


Our warmest thank-yous to all of the beautiful, touching, wonderful entries in our contest! It was such an outpouring of excitement and Christmastime spirit to read through all of the comments. There is no way we could choose winners on our own, so we hosted a completely random drawing. Our six winners have been randomly chosen this morning from all 655 entries (including phone and email entries)!

Our biggest congratulations to the following fans who won:

 Teacup A: Lauree French, whose granddaughter Annabelle's birthday was yesterday! (Happy Birthday, Annabelle!)
Teacup B: LilieM (submitted as an anonymous), whose birthday is TODAY! (Happy Birthday!)
Teacup C: Lila 
Teacup D: Diane Shepherd Johnson from Corgyncombe Courant
Teacup E: Shirley Kallevig
Teacup F: Linda Grant

If you haven't heard from us already, please contact us! We want to ship your teacups out as soon as possible. Though I must admit, I will be rather sad to send them off to their loving new homes because they looked so pretty decorating my office!

Thank you again for entering, and may you and yours enjoy a cup of tea this Christmastime.
From Cold Vermont, 
Natalie

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December Giveaway

 {First Snow: November 27, 2010}

Oh, gifts to be finished, goodies to be baked, decorations to pull out, family to visit with...

Amidst the business of the season, one needs a quiet moment. A moment of reflection, to ponder the true meaning of the season, to reflect on the simple gifts. To see the beauty of the snow falling outside, the quiet purr of the animals at our feet, the warmth from the woodstove, all filling our souls with goodness.

Tasha knew how to relax. With her single, unique pink luster tea cup, she would take that quiet moment. Every day, always, a moment. But especially now, as the snow lays a quiet blanket over our ambitions for awhile and takes us indoors, we hold all of our memories and blessings close.

(Click on the picture to make it larger and see the designs!)

Now is your chance to win your very own special, single antique pink luster tea cup! We've collected a few special pieces and are giving them away this month. Six winners will win one cup each! A perfect way to enjoy your Tasha Tudor Welsh Breakfast Tea. Enjoy a cup and learn more about Pink Lusterware, one of Tasha's favorites, here.






How to Enter: Leave a comment on the blog with your email address (so we can contact you!!) and the letter of your favorite cup (though we can't guarantee it). One entry per person, please, open to US and Canadian residents. We are also accepting phone or email entries for those who don't have access to the blog. Just drop us a line or leave a message saying you'd like to be entered! Deadline for entries is midnight on December 22, 2010.

Spread the word, re-blog, and tell your friends!

Newfane Heritage Festival

{You can tell I love the Newfane Heritage Festival!}

One of our favorite events every year is the Newfane Heritage Festival in Newfane, Vermont. This year's event did not disappoint. Though cold, the weekend was pleasantly sunny and held a few wonderful treats.

 {the Boston Children's  Theatre Show Choir}

Marjorie Tudor worked with the Boston Children's Theatre Show Choir, a non-profit entity, to bring the greater Boston area's talented young singers and their show tunes to the Newfane Town Green.


The crowd loved the performance! Marjorie's connections with the Boston Children's Theatre and the Boston Children's Theatre Show Choir continues to thrive. It's so exciting...more news to come on this Christmas season's performances.

It was such a beautiful fall weekend. Columbus Day weekend, the traditional Newfane Heritage Festival weekend, is often the very best time to come "leaf peeping" in New England. The sun shines (well, there was that one year we had snow....but we'll forget about that...) and the jewel tones of the trees radiate. Everyone is in such a festive fall mood!

{The view down our road}


A scene like this just makes me miss Tasha. Don't you think she'd look so lovely sitting here under the shade of the fiery tree, spinning away? This was the scene where our generous Jenna was spinning and teaching others how to spin.

{tools of the trade} 
The out-of-print Heirloom Crafts may be available in our Rare Book Section!

Dear little Ellie brought her sunshine smile (and penchant for dogs! she just loves dogs, and there are plenty at the Festival)...

{How cute is Ellie in her fun pink outfit from friend and fan Charlotte? with Nana Marjorie Tudor, and her favorite stuffed corgi....a girl after our own hearts!}

Come visit us next year! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ellie Turns One

{the birthday girl and her mommy}

Dear Friends,

Almost two months ago our dearest little Elizabeth Rose turned one year old. Can you believe it? Time sure flies! She has brought such grace, laughter, and happiness to all our lives. We only wish that her Great Granny Tasha could be here to see her grow up each day.

 {Ellie plays with one of her presents, a puzzle}

Elizabeth Rose is such a fun little girl...she gives the best big smiles, points to everything she finds interesting or pretty, and is a rather discriminating eater. Her personality just shines through.

 {Ellie smiling and pointing with Daddy, Winslow}

{Sophia waiting for lunch}


Amy and Winslow planned a lovely autumnal celebration for their little girl. Hay bales served as seating for family and friends, whilst a trough became a table base. So clever and pretty.

 {Christina, Amy, and Natalie trying to distract Sophie from eating hay}


The (adult!) guests dipped apples into a copper pot of homemade caramel. I just love how Winslow whittled real sticks to use as handles for the caramel apples.


Ellie politely tried some of the cake that Winslow made, but only once she was given a spoon, she did not want to use her hands!


But her best, most wonderful present was the rocking horse! She smiles so much when she rides it, I wonder if it's more fun for her or for those of us watching her. She just makes our hearts so happy.

Happy First Birthday, Elizabeth! We love you!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Flowers of Our Labor


Dear Friends, 

This post is quite late as we have already had a few near-frosts here in Vermont! Brrr.....I needed to remember those glorious late-summer days...

We really wanted to keep Tasha's vegetable garden alive, and came up with the idea of a community garden. So this summer, we all got together on Wednesday mornings and gardened, almost like a CSA (learn more about CSAs here!). We all pitch in with the work, then share the harvest. The family atmosphere really brings to life all that Tasha was so fond of...warmth, family, the spirit of togetherness, and simple pleasures. It feels so good to work together, and then see the reward. How many opportunities do we have to do that in our daily lives? So few!

{ready for harvest}

I have to admit, it was one of my favorite times of the week, because I got to watch Sophie and Ellie! It's loads of fun to just garden together, run after the little girls, and share about life while staking tomatoes or weeding....(or running into the amazing, giant Cercropia caterpillar like we did one week...or discussing the porcupine damage!). Tasha always did what she called a "tour de estate" and that is the first thing we do each week!


A month or so ago, we had some lovely zinnias, calendula, and of course goldenrod (a few foxgloves! a few sweet peas!). After we garden, we all eat lunch together back at the Rookery, outside on the picnic tables Seth Tudor built if the weather cooperates. I spent some time outside after lunch making a few bouquets for each of us to bring home.


Tasha always managed to create such perfectly lovely bouquets that mine don't begin to hold a candle (have you seen some of them in Tasha Tudor's Garden?)

But ah, the flowers of our labor smell so much sweeter! Don't you agree?
From a sunny, but chilly, day in Vermont,
~Natalie

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tiny Painted Turtles

 {our painted turtles just making their way through the ground to the surface}

Dear Friends,

Remember back in May, I mentioned that Seth Tudor had seen a few painted turtle nests? And if you came on our garden tours this summer, you saw the nests carefully marked off with bricks and a sign. Well, on September 7th, we happened to all be gathered when the nests started to make a rustle. I can't believe how lucky we were! Nearly twenty teeny-tiny painted turtles emerged, one after the other, their faces dusty and their bellies burnt orange. Oh, how Tasha would have loved to capture these in watercolor!



A quick dip in the rain barrel brought their trademark colors to life. Aren't they just the cutest little things? About the size of a quarter I'd say, though some were a bit smaller and some a bit bigger.

{Sophia with her daddy, looking at the little turtle}

Of course, Sophia was fascinated. She kept yelling, "They're so cute! Awww, look how cute they are!" which was quite entertaining, and I'm sure a bit startling to the sleepy little turtles!

{Sophia and her mommy, watching the turtles make their way out of the ground}

We safely transported them to the pond so they wouldn't have to brave the trek themselves, and watched them swim out.

{Sophia letting the turtles into the pond}
I can imagine Tasha dropping everything to do many quick sketches to save for future use. I think she would get those colors just perfectly vibrant in her illustrations. I can see the turtles peeking out of her flower borders near the edges of ponds, or a sweet tow-haired child enthralled with the prospect of watching them swim out. Tasha painted from real life. And when we live with nature, it never ceases to amaze and invigorate us with simple pleasures, if we take the time to alert our senses.

Take the time, dear friends!
~Natalie

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Newfane Heritage Festival

Hello friends!

 {picture courtesy of the Newfane Heritage Festival from 2009}

If you're looking for a wonderful excuse to get out and enjoy the foliage, drive up to Newfane, Vermont for their 40th Annual Newfane Heritage Festival. Tasha Tudor and Family will have a booth on the Common like we have for many years. I'll be there all weekend, with some help from all of my friends: Amy, Marjorie, Jenna, and Kathleen. It's one of my favorite events of the year! The church makes fantastic pies (with cheddar!) and the Carrot-Ginger Soup is delicious (did I mention the fudge-covered apples?).

 {image courtesy of the Boston Children's Chorus}

We also have an extra-special event happening at the Festival on Sunday....Tasha Tudor and Family is hosting the Boston Children's Theatre Show Choir! This talented group of young folks from the greater Boston area will be performing from 12-2 on the Common.

If you are in the area, we highly recommend that you stop by to see them (and us!). 

It's going to be a great weekend to enjoy the area and season that Tasha enjoyed so much, and we'd love to see you! Tell us you saw the Rookery Ramblings post :-)

From Vermont,
Natalie

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Giveaway Announcements!

 {I think someone snagged a cupcake while they were waiting to hear who won!}

The time has come to announce winners!! Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments and for following our blog. We are glad you're joining in and can't wait to keep sharing behind the scenes with you! 


Let's start with the winners of our "Making Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt" booklets. We have five winners:

1.) Natasha at GourmetSailor (thanks for following!)
2.) Robin's New Song
3.) WF Deb
4.) Shelly (posted as an anonymous)
5.) Tiff at Folded Gingham


The winner of the Tasha Tudor Cookbook is:


Caroline! Who was going to be making the raspberry cakes, too! (How did they turn out, Caroline?) She'll be able to do plenty more cooking/baking now!



and last but most certainly not least, the winner of the Old-Fashioned Hand-crank Ice Cream Maker is.......


Rebecca's Tea House!

All winners, please contact us immediately so we can get your prizes out right away! We will try to contact you,  but I did not see email address for a few winners!
Thanks again to everyone who participated. Be on the lookout for our next giveaway in a few months!

On a sunny but chilly September day,
Natalie


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tasha's Birthday Celebration

 {Natalie waiting for the festivities to begin, in a dress handmade by Marjorie Tudor}

Thank you SO much for joining together on August 28th, (aka Tasha Tudor Day), what would have been Tasha's 95th birthday. It was so wonderful to know that so many were celebrating and remembering with us. Whether you had a snatched moment for tea in the middle of a busy afternoon, or a whole day of festivities, I hope Tasha Tudor Day brought you a bit of the quiet, comforting pleasure that Tasha's world and work evoke. 

 {Sophia with handful of cookies, watching Winslow}

Seth, Marjorie, Winslow, Amy, Ellie, Christina, Sophie, and myself celebrated on Saturday with some good old-fashioned hand-cranked ice cream and a picnic! But wait...we didn't make just any old ice cream. We made Once-A-Year Cheesecake Ice Cream (recipe by Leslie Newman of Food & Wine, available here)!

{once-a-year cheesecake ice cream}

Oh what a delectable, indulgent treat! Even Elizabeth Rose Tudor got in on the action:

{I love this picture of Elizabeth Rose Tudor at 11 months old, wearing a dress gifted by her Grammy and Grandpa who brought it back from Germany!}

{Natalie cranking ice cream rather energetically!}

I baked some of Jen Tudor Wyman's Raspberry Coconut Cupcakes, her recipe for the month on our website. They were the perfect indulgence (and the bright pops of berry were refreshing!) with our Cheesecake ice cream.

{Raspberry Coconut Cupcakes}

So delicious that they were quite difficult for a two-year-old to resist!

{Sophia}

Since a few of us on the Tudor property are gluten-free, I attempted to make this recipe gluten-free. It actually worked out marvelously. I used Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix (mine was Hodgson Mill) in place of the flour, and added an extra 1/4 cup, and that was it. Everyone said they'd never have guessed they were gluten free.

{with Anna's Swedish ginger thins, one of Tasha's favorites}

Now, I know you are all anxiously waiting to see if you've won anything, and we will be announcing that just as soon as we can this week.

{Meggie is also impatient to know the winners! Or maybe she was just wanting Marjorie to share some ice cream with her!}

As we head into autumn,
Natalie