Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rhubarb Pie

I noticed the farmer's market this weekend still had rhubarb available, and an overabundance of beautiful strawberries. They were just calling to me! 
Tasha Tudor was quite fond of her rhubarb plants, being sure to scoop them up and transport them from garden to garden. There are several plants in the gardens today. According to Winslow, she preferred the tender, young stalks for pies, and made hers open-crusted and quite unlike anything Winslow has tasted since. In fact, he stated with much conviction that it was the only rhubarb pie he ever liked. Unfortunately, he told me this after my pie was already made. Not to mention, that's quite a standard to live up to! I decided I'd better eat my entire pie myself and not let him judge it against Tasha's! Most especially since it was double-crusted, included strawberries, and {horror of horrors} was in a foil pie plate. Both of my beloved pie plates were left at friends' homes, so a dig to the very back of the cupboards revealed a foil tin that would simply have to do.

{this is our Early American Sauce Spoon. I love mine!}

And after an egg wash, a sprinkle of sugar, and a good bake in the oven...

And then it was gone in a day and a breakfast. 
{because everyone knows cold rhubarb pie is the best for breakfast}

Receipt from Organic and Chic, with King Arthur Flour's Gluten-Free flour crust receipt. If you are looking for a gluten-free pie crust recipe, I highly recommend this one. It rolled beautifully, and was even flaky after baking!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things We Like: Hunter Wellies

 {Tasha Tudor's Wellies}

We have finally encountered a day of sunshine here in Vermont! Like many of you, we've been swinging from 90-degree weather to 50-degree weather, complete with April or October-like deluges. Our trusty wellies have been given an unseasonable workout!

 {Welly owners left to right: Josie, Ellie, Sophie, Jenna, Amy, Natalie, Christina, Tasha}

We all love our wellies here, from tiny baby Josie's first pair, to Tasha Tudor's cracked and worn pair. The majority of ours are Hunter Wellies. The company has been making fine wellies since 1856, and even the Queen approves. We bet her corgis love running alongside hers as well!

We're hoping they'll get to dry out a little bit soon. If you're inside from the rain, you can shop Hunter wellies here. They come in so many colors...Christie over at Grammy's House blog got a pair in Orchid after asking me what kind mine were. You can see hers here, in her sweet post.

In the meantime, things are drying out for a bit today between rainstorms, and we've got gardening to do!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First Tea on the Porch

 {Seth Tudor carries the picnic basket to the tea table on the back porch for the first tea of the year on June 7, 2011. Update 6/15: This basket belongs to Marjorie Tudor and is one of her favorites due to the beautifully carved handle.)

Tuesday brought our first official afternoon tea (lemonade) on Granny's porch! We were all so excited! This tradition is full of happy memories, and this occasion was no exception. Marjorie brought out our favorite picnic basket and juiced all of the lemons, Amy and Ellie picked some mint, and Seth carried the basket of goodies through the garden to the porch.

{a jar of simple syrup waits to be stirred into the lemonade}

 {Ellie plays in Tasha's garden while we set up tea}

The spread looked so delicious that little Ellie could hardly wait...

{so adorable!}

We made Tasha's receipts for blueberry muffins (adapted to be gluten-free) and homemade lemonade. Both recipes are in Tasha Tudor's Cookbook, available here. The tempting combination of cinnamon, sugar, and blueberries made Seth proclaim, "These are very good!" Of course, I told him it was his mother's receipt :-)

As usual, tea time is a time to share the stories of the day....the triumphs and foibles. Conversation centered on the new trellis Seth built to replace the old one on the middle terrace, and how poor Marjorie had stubbed her toe in the garden.

Winslow took in the conversation while eating two (three?) muffins. "If they're there for the eating..." he said when I handed him the second or third. Indeed, they were. And we all looked out over the garden, content and reluctant to leave, as the 4 o'clock sun decided it might offer us a bit of shade for the rest of the afternoon.

Projects and a Call for Pictures!

We've been sewing up a few little things here with the A is for Annabelle fabric...

This re-usable snack bag will be perfect for Ellie's crackers (or my ginger snaps!)...use it a few times, then throw it in the wash inside out. Can't you see this tucked into your daughter or granddaughter's lunch box? I made Amy one when Ellie was little, and she kept it handy in the diaper bag with a few extra pacifiers. These are one of my favorite little projects because they are quick, useful, and pretty. And no more wasting a handful of plastic baggies each day at lunchtime!

Now, I know all of our fans and friends are much better sewers than I am, so we want to see your projects made with the A is for Annabelle fabric! Did you complete the Quilt Kit? Are you working on sewing up a summer romper or did you make an Easter dress for a dear little girl? A crib sheet set for a new little one? Curtains for your crafting room? A few little snack bags to make the workday happier?

Send your photos to us at fromtherookery (at) gmail (dot) com. We'll round them up and do a post with your Tasha-inspired projects. Be sure to include your first name and a story about your project.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Easy Entertainment

 {Sophia, Elizabeth, and Amy; May 2011}

How to keep two little girls entertained on a garden tour? Let them hide and giggle under a tablecloth to their hearts' content.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Child's Eyes

                                           {Sophia in Tasha Tudor's garden, May 2011}

The wonder of a child is a great blessing to behold. Dandelions may not be much compared to the glory that is Tasha's garden. But to Sophia, and to those of us who are lucky enough to witness her discovery, dandelions are a special gift, a precious bouquet to be carried with awe. I think this is one of the most universally appealing aspects of Tasha Tudor's work: she brought us all these little moments in life. She captured them and gifted them to us with trademark charm, delicacy, and delight. Tasha knew how to see with a child's eyes.