We keep coming back here for creative inspiration.
Date with myself today brought me to Sellwood, a tiny little town known for antiques. We frequent this town because it’s only a short drive away, has a great park, and several fantastic cafes.
Anyhow. I sat down for a bowl of delicious wanton soup and idly listened to the sound of the world.
The amazing thing about this amazing antique register is that it’s still in use!
I noticed the beautiful colors on these fading hydrangea only because I happen to sit next to it.
This hat I got at the beach the other day is keeping me much cooler by fending sun off my face. Why didn’t I get one of these things like years ago?
When I got home, I made tea for Immi in her panda bear mug to go with her cute little bright pink macaroons.
And just in time, the machine legs for the table is all done too! Cleaned, rust proofed, buffed and sealed. The ironic and challenging part was making it look like I found it exactly like this.
My favorite part of it is the brass plate affixed to one side on one of the pair. I didn’t even know it was there until I started cleaning it.
Here’s the photo of the antique machine leg I have been cleaning up. This picture was taken last week, after cleaning just the top part. Today, I did finally finished cleaning the whole pair. Whew. Seriously, cleaning up 100 years worth of greasy dusty build up — gently — was seriously a hard work! I still have to buff it up a bit, and then coat it with rust converter (this is a point I debated for some time because I hesitate to modify it, but in the end, I think it is the best way to preserve it), and then clear protective finish. I’m looking forward to seeing it as a finished table at some point!
The reason why I’ve been a little quiet here (and everywhere else really) is that we’ve all been sick! Todd brought home a cold 2 weeks ago and then Ashland, then I, and then Immi and then even Lucian got it. It’s been over a week since the rest of us got it, but we still have yucky cough and general lack of appetite and tiredness. This is the first time we’ve all been sick (even counting years before Lucian!).
Anyhow. I have been experimenting with easy bread baking. I have adjusted the method and recipe this time around to cut the rest time of dough to 2 hours (followed by refrigeration so that the dough can be used anytime in the following week). I know that 15 – 18 hour rest time is not an inconvenience to many people, but speaking for myself, I have no idea what I will be doing much beyond next hour so option to refrigerate gives me much better flexibility.
Amusingly, the resulting bread tasted exactly the same as the one I made from the original recipe. Though it looks somewhat better this time. I have some more experiments to conduct, I’ll let you know when I come to any kind of conclusive conclusion!
This is the antique (…as in old, very used and then neglected!) dutch oven I got for cheap and restored recently to bake bread in. The pot is fabulous now, I love the hammered texture. The slow slow cooked beef stew I made with it recently turned out quite well too.
Meat sauce (…it has too much tomato to qualify as bolognese, it also won’t have any cream in it) simmering in my *favorite* pan. It’s a 9-in skillet by Griswold from 1930’s. My mom and I found it while antiquing in Portland area.
I’ve been very fond of cast iron cooking since just shortly before it became trendy on cooking shows years back. I found a 6-in skillet manufactured by Lodge in the camping section of a tiny hardware store (now you can buy one at any kitchen shop) while living in NH and I totally fell in love because it was just so cute! I was surprised but very happy when it started popping up in virtually every show on FoodTV (…which I watched religiously back then) just a few months after I got mine. Since then, I’ve gotten several more Lodge items, and my super nice All-Clad stainless pans remain sadly unused (I still use the pots and saucier…). Honestly, I was never unhappy with quality of Lodge products…until we found this Griswold one. The iron cast is so much smoother which makes it almost comparable in non-stickness as tephlon pans (but with out being TOXIC) and is also a lot prettier to look at.
…I’ll add here that Cast Iron cookware isn’t just cute to look at. I’ve since found them to be durable, easy to use, adds trace amount of iron in your food (helpful if you are a bit anemic like I was) and everything tastes much better cooked in it.