My new cabinet from Carlisle Antique Mall has added much needed storage and counter space to the kitchen in my new home. This morning I made a peach pie for our family brunch. Over the past few months, cooking has literally been put on the back burner, with my attention focused on staging and selling my home in Baltimore, finding and buying my home in central PA, and moving and settlements. Antiquing with family to find the perfect pieces for the log cabin has been delightful! The antique stores near by are over flowing with reasonably priced treasures!
Over the last two weeks I’ve finished unpacking, found the perfect furniture to fine tune and arrange each room, scheduled professionals for upkeep, and I’m ready to get back to creative projects, including cooking, sewing, art work, and entertaining!
Since returning from Cape Cod, I’ve packed all my belongings, sold my home in Baltimore, and moved to a precious little log cabin in an historic district in central PA! The days have been spent unpacking, arranging, antiquing, gardening and finding professionals to get my little home ready for fall!
Family and friends have made the move more delightful than I could have imagined! We’ve shared many meals here already - mostly delivered by loved ones so I can spend my time moving in - not cooking. Yesterday evening the troops showed up with hedge trimmers, clippers and a chain saw, to weed, trim bushes, and trees. Having help is such a blessing and makes getting settled so much more fun! I don’t think I’ve ever felt so welcome anywhere in my entire life!
The former owners gave me a stack of papers at settlement with articles and information from people who have lived here over the span of more than 200 years. It includes a map of all of the plants that surrounded the cabin. Lambs ears, day lilies and lilacs remain, and it includes a list of those that need to be replaced. Many of my favorites are on the map and will be added in time - bleeding hearts, rosemary, foxgloves and more.
Both of my daughters brought me herbs and vegetables they started growing months ago so I’d have a ready made garden when I arrived! I have four huge pots filled with 1. tomatoes and basil plants, 2. a pepper plant, 3. a cucumber (who has already given me 7 cucumbers) and 4. a container with sage, parsley and dill! I’ve also planted a garden behind the house with my gifts of tomatoes, basil, peppers, lavender, marigolds, zinnias, Brussel sprouts and broccoli.
I’ve spent hours unpacking and arranging inside, but the herbs and plants outside are what make the cabin most dear to my heart. The surrounding area, with the the mill, stream and Cumberland County Rails to Trails, offers a wealth of outdoor activities! The fountain, lovely every day, has a Last Friday of the month event, featuring a live band!
One of the members of the Historical Society, located next door, said they have a lot more information about the cabin, the people who lived here, and the events that unfolded during its many years of existence. It’s humbling to live in this dear little cabin, and I’m looking forward to learning more about it!
Heritage Museums and Gardens
Our next stop was the Heritage museums and gardens with over 100 acres of gardens and nature trails! The antique auto display, From Carriage to Classic: How Automobiles Transformed America, featured 26 cars from the late 1800s to the 1960s. An 1899 Winton Motor Carriage, 1910 Sears Model P Surrey, and a 1915 Ford Model T Roadster Pickup Truck were a few of the vehicles on display.
Chasing a Windmill
The first stop was on our trip was Sandwich, the oldest town in Cape Cod, founded in 1637. We toured the Sandwich Glass Museum, founded on July 4, 1825. Deming Jarves, a merchant from Boson, opened his factory, originally featuring blown glass, and shortly followed, in 1827, to include pressed glass.
The Sandwich Glass Museum has an extensive collection of glass, including blown and pressed pieces, both plain and decorated, created over 62 years. The factory closed on January 1, 1888, due to financial difficulties from completion from other factories and a worker’s strike. The factory buildings were torn down in the 1920s and 1940s. A bronze tablet marks the location.
Viewing the glass, and the information on the text through out the museum, gives a fascinating view of the part glass played in our history. Featured pieces range from practical every day wear to elegant, extravagant creations.
In addition to the displays, every hour on the hour, there are demonstrations of different glass blowing techniques. The gift shop features contemporary glass for sale with a wide range of variety and prices!
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh lavender blossoms
I cup (two sticks) butter at room temperature
2 cups almond flour
1 cup flour
Combine the sugar and fresh lavender blossoms using a food processor.
Add the butter and combine. Next add the flours.
Mix until thoroughly combined.
The batter will be soft.
Chill for 30 minutes.
Flour both sides of the dough and place between two long sheets of waxed paper.
Using a rolling pin, roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Work quickly. The dough will get soft again as you work with it.
Cut cookies with a floured cookie cutter.
Remove all the excess dough and return to the 'fridge. This will make it easier to move your shaped cookies.
Gently lift cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment paper.
Chill the cookies on the baking sheets for 30 minutes
Set oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Once the oven is preheated, bake for about 30 minutes. Begin checking at 20 minutes and don't let the edges of the cookies brown.
Cool on a wire rack placed.
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon water.
Mix thoroughly with a fork. Add a little more water if needed.
Keeping the cookies on the wire rack, move them over the sink if your rack fits, or place waxed paper under neath for easy clean up. This can get messy!
Use a spoon to lightly glaze the cookies. Top with lavender blossoms. Let the glaze set up and serve.
My last harvest of lavender and almond lavender cookies to celebrate the summer solstice.
One of the simplest ways to use lavender is to simply gather the stalks of lavender and tie with a ribbon. It's best to cut them as soon as the flowers are in bloom in the spring. Cut them a few inches above the woody growth so you won't harm the plant. Gather first thing in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun becomes intense.
Hang to dry in a cool dark place.
You'll need 6 stalks of lavender
Ribbon - I've been using 3/16 inch lavender satin ribbon for all my projects. It's not too large to over power the lightness of the flowers.
Make two lavender braids using 3 stalks for each braid. When they are braided, bend into a loop. Put the two loops together to form a heart, keeping the flowers on top. Cut off the stems in the back and tie with a ribbon.
12 to 18 stalks of lavender
One egg white, beaten until frothy
1/3 Granulated sugar
Waxed paper or parchment paper
Dip just the flowers of the lavender into the egg whites to completely cover, then dip them into the sugar. Place on waxed paper or parchment paper and let dry away from heat or sun. Use as a garnish with fruit salad, lemonade, or iced tea.
Stir some fresh lavender flowers into your favorite sugar cookie recipe, vanilla ice cream or lemon sherbet.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!