Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hot Cross Buns by Winslow Tudor

Hot Cross Buns (from Tasha's Cookbook)

Each Easter Tasha made hot cross buns. She baked them in the large cast iron cook stove, frosted the cross on them, and visitors ate them hot for tea.

Sometimes she brought doves or baby chicks in from the barn for a few hours, and put them near the table in a soft and comfortable nest, especially when children were around. Tasha also put tiny baskets of finch eggs in her dollhouse, to the delight of the young at heart.

Snowdrops

     If Easter came late in the year and there wasn’t much snow cover, Tasha walked her gardens in the warm sunshine to see what was coming up on the southern slopes, usually masses of crocus and exciting snowdrops all budded up in the granular drifts of snow. Sometimes she looked for robins or picked quantities of pussy willow buds and put them in a big stoneware crock on the front porch table. Tasha also brought flowerpots up from the greenhouse with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that had been forced earlier in the year, and put them about the house.    


Easter egg decorating, and the creation of an Easter egg tree, took place each year. The eggs were divided into halves lengthwise with Victorian gold foil or very delicate trim and, thusly framed, each side of the egg was adorned with either a sticker of a bird or flower.


The Easter egg tree was just a sapling, maybe three feet high depending on how many eggs there were, affixed to a board or stuck in a pot of sand to keep it upright. Tasha hung decorated Easter eggs from the branches, ranging in size from goose eggs and chicken eggs to bantam and dove eggs.

Tasha’s cooking, always excellent, excelled on Easter Sunday. The feast was a highpoint of spring, and always a happy time. The longer days and the garden preparing to burst into life, the cool yet promising spring air carrying scents of earth and sunshine, an excellent meal and cheerful conversation all vividly marked the coming year.

-Photos and story by Tasha's grandson, Winslow Tudor

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Seeds

Lupine seeds drying in Tasha's barn.

Seed collecting is a time-honored, and time-consuming, process. But rewarding, as are so many old-fashioned pursuits. There is a pleasant beauty one can find in such a task. I have invited Amy Tudor, Tasha's granddaughter-in-law, as I'm sure you all know, to share her process. 


Basket tucked under her arm, Amy Tudor collects Sweet Cicely seeds in Tasha Tudor's garden near the lower shed. You can see it is high summer in Vermont, quite literally as the Scottish jewel weed blooms high over Amy's head, and the many shades of green are almost too bright for one's eyes.


 Amy shows the lupine seeds inside a pod that is ready to be collected. The pods must be collected at just the right time--dry enough, but not too dry, and before they have the time to twist on their own and spray their seeds.


Of course, a straw hat and handmade basket are necessary tools of the trade, as is a quiet stretch of afternoon to escape into the garden without interruption. The seeds are then dried in the sun or the shade of the barn, and sifted through.






They are then hand-packaged by Christina into tiny vellum envelopes reminiscent of Tasha' sparrow post missives, and inserted into our beautifully designed, BRAND NEW, seed packets! They are just darling!

Seeds are AVAILABLE NOW online (though a few are missing pictures, sorry about that!).
Happy Gardening!