Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"Yuletide at Storrowton"

Storrowton Village Museum
with Storrowton Tavern in the background.
On Saturday afternoon we drove over the river, around the rotary and down a street.  That was the path to "Yuletide at Storrowton"!  Storrowton Village is located in West Springfield, MA- on the other side of the Connecticut River.  It's always a treat to visit and go back to the 19th century.  There are 9 antique buildings around a Town Green at Storrowton Village.  These original buildings were all saved from different towns in New England by Helen Storrow and they were moved here, to this location.  It was a time when many items were handcrafted.

Behind the gazebo is one of our favorite restaurants in Western MA- Storrowton Tavern!

A Little History
A walk down the Town Green led us to the Gilbert House.  Inside the first room was a basket of fruit sitting on a table.  Oranges studded with Whole Cloves were some of the pieces of fruit.  This aroma was so good!  The lady of the house was waiting for our arrival!      

Gilbert House
West Brookfield, MA

Turning another direction in the room was another great view!

Inside Gilbert House
The tablecloth, the train under the Christmas Tree and the wallpaper were all so interesting!  Then, we turned again and enjoyed the decorations above the fireplace.

Another view inside Gilbert House
After leaving the Lawyer's Office we visited Potter Mansion.  An old piano inside caught our attention!

Strolling back down the Town Green and brought us to the Schoolhouse.  Walking in, we saw the stern Schoolmaster.  There were chalkboards on 3 sides of the room.  It's always fascinating to step into an old schoolhouse to take another look at the desks and chairs.    

North Center School
Whately, MA

Next door to the Schoolhouse is the Meeting House.  It was the building used for Town Meetings and also for worship.   

Union Meeting House
Salisbury, NH


It's always interesting to take a step back in time.  On Saturday we stepped back and enjoyed our Yuletide visit.   It was great!!!


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

~Mother Nature~

November 2018
~ 4:30 PM~

Sometimes, just looking up in the sky there are such beautiful sights!  Today around 4:30 PM, I walked into our living room to close the curtains.  The sky was gorgeous!  Dark trees and telephone/ electric wires against the colorful late November sky.  A beautiful sight!


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Turkey a la King

Turkey a la King
(File Photo)
It's like clockwork!  Every year! Two days after Thanksgiving I make Turkey a la King for dinner.  This delicious dinner is quick.  Easy, too.  Small chunks of Roasted Turkey surrounded by mixed veggies in a creamy sauce.  The sauce is flavored with Parsley and Basil.  Oh yum!  This is served over toasted bread.  Now, how easy is that to prepare??  Sure, one can bake a Turkey Pot Pie, but why deal with a pie crust here?  Even if you purchase the pie crust.  What can be easier than toasting the needed bread slices to use?

Now you know why this is my go to dinner 2 days after Thanksgiving!  It's quick and easy!  Are you ready to prepare this too?

Turkey a la King
serves 2- 3 people

1/4 Cup Margarine/ Butter (I use unsalted.)
1/3 Cup Flour
1 Cup Chicken or Turkey Broth
     (I use College Inn Light & Fat Free Chicken Broth.)
1 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon dried Parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried Basil
1 Cup Turkey chunks (cooked), cut up, more if desired
2 Cups cooked Carrots & Peas (or Mixed Vegetables)

Sliced Bread, Toasted, 1- 2 slices/ person

  1.  Melt Margarine/ Butter in large skillet/ large pot.
  2.  Remove skillet from Medium heat and slowly stir in Flour.
  3.  Return to heat and slowly add in Chicken Broth & Milk while slowly stirring constantly.
  4.  Continue stirring over heat until sauce is thick and bubbly.
  5.  Add dried Parsley and dried Basil.
  6.  Add cooked Turkey chunks.
  7.  Add in cooked vegetables.
  8.  Stir and heat mixture for 1 - 2 Minutes.
  9.  Serve over toasted Bread.
If you have enough Roasted Turkey to prepare a double batch, it's a great idea to double the recipe!  Any extra portions freeze very well. 

For another dinner, another night- after defrosting, if frozen- I add a little more Milk to the reheating pot.  Stir as it reheats.  

Whenever I prepare this for dinner, we always have cranberry sauce, too!  Sometimes, there may be a little leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving Dinner.   It's almost time for me to start dinner, so I need to take out my large pot.  


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

~Happy Thanksgiving!!!~

The Cape (Cape Cod) in Massachusetts is one of my fave places!!  There is nothing like sitting on a beach breathing in the salty air and listening to the waves crashing on the shore.  This combination is so peaceful.

Nauset Beach
at Cape Cod (MA)
When we visit, if we are not sitting at the shore watching and listening to the waves, walking along the beach or enjoying a yummy seafood dinner, it is very possible that we are learning a bit more history about this area of our beautiful country. 

A few years ago (in 2012) I wrote a post:  "The Journey of the Pilgrims".  Every year at Thanksgiving I reread it.  During this time when we are celebrating this holiday, it's interesting to learn a little more and remember the history about the voyage of the Mayflower.

During this time at Thanksgiving, click on my post and follow the journey of the brave people who crossed the Atlantic Ocean so many years ago.  It's always fascinating!!


Happy Thanksgiving!!!   

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Butternut Squash Bread

Butternut Squash Breads- cooling!
It's time to bake Butternut Squash Bread!  Yes, I did write Butternut, not pumpkin.  I do not use pumpkin in the moist, yummy bread that we enjoy on Thanksgiving Day.  Well, not only at Thanksgiving, but anytime I bake it!  The Butternut Squash that was sitting in a carton in our garage had been prepped to freeze.  While prepping the squash, I saved out 2 Cups to bake 2 breads the next day.  One we enjoyed that week and the other is wrapped and just waiting in our freezer to defrost.   

I always make 2 breads.  I double my recipe.  A Butternut Squash Bread is so yummy!  Olive Oil for baking and sauteing and Egg Whites make one light tasty bread.  With each bite, the flavors of Cinnamon and Nutmeg taste so good.

After they cooled, one was wrapped in foil and placed in the freezer to have on Thanksgiving Day.  The other?  Oh, it was cut into slices and we enjoyed each bite of the moist slices that week! 

Now, you may not want to bake 2 breads for Thanksgiving, so my recipe below is for 1 bread.  Double the recipe for 2 breads.  If you have never tasted this treat, bake it and sample it.  It is that good!  

Butternut Squash Bread 

Oven Temperature:  350°F      Baking Time:  55 Minutes


1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Cup Sugar

4 Egg Whites (=  total of 2 Whole Eggs)
3/4 Cup Olive Oil for baking & sauteing
1 Cup Butternut Squash, cooked/ mashed/ cooled- defrosted if frozen

  1.  Spray 1 large bread pan with PAM. 
  2.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3.  Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl.
  4.  In smaller bowl, beat Egg Whites until frothy.
  5.  Mix in Olive Oil.
  6.  Add mashed Butternut Squash to Egg White/ Olive Oil mixture.
  7.  Pour liquid mixture into dry ingredients.  Stir until combined.
  8.  Pour batter into bread pan.
  9.  Bake at 350°F for 55 Minutes, or until cake tester/ toothpick comes out clean when inserted in middle of loaf.
  10.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 Minutes.
  11.  Then, remove from pan.
  12.  Continue cooling on wire rack.
  13.  Later, place on a serving dish & cut into slices.
It has been quite the temptation every time we open the door to our freezer.  However, that Butternut Squash Bread has been saved for Thanksgiving Day!  Onto other baking this week!


Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 11

"The Homecoming G.I."
Norman Rockwell
(May 25, 1945)

Today, on November 11 we thank all of our Veterans!!!


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

100 Years Ago...

Courtesy of the
National Museum of American History
It's voting Tuesday in the United States.  Today, I saw a very interesting post from the National Museum of American History!  Pictured above are the crayons that voters used 100 years ago to mark their ballots when voting in the United States! 

So interesting!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Happy Halloween!!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October Scenery 2018

October brings beautiful colors to New England.  It's always a treat to drive on our streets and/ or take the daily walk and admire the sometimes pale, sometimes bright colors.  I've been enjoying the scenery in my yard and neighborhood, but the Red Sox and the World Series playoffs had me preoccupied!  

The leaves turned color a little later than usual this October, but now we see the change everywhere we look.  The autumn colors in our yard are beautiful!  

Mums beginning to open.

The back perennial garden.

Sometimes, the gorgeous view is ahead.  Other times, we look up to see that leaves have changed to shades of golds, oranges and reds.

Another view!

Autumn in New England is picturesque! 

So many visitors come to enjoy the scenery, but we are very fortunate.  The beautiful scenery is in our backyards!


Monday, October 29, 2018


2018 World Series Champs!!!



Friday, October 19, 2018


FuN in October!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Saving Zinnia Seeds

This summer and now in autumn we've been enjoying the colorful, abundant Zinnia blossoms in our gardens.  Shades of pink, yellow, orange and white blossoms were admired day after day.  Now that October is here it is only a matter of time when a frost will end the Zinnia season!  It has not happened yet, but that is in the near future.

For that reason I've been snipping off the colorful blossoms to save.  Then, they are dried.  Cut down tissue boxes make great storage boxes for the blossoms to dry out.

Looking at the first box of my collected colorful blossoms, I noticed that there were no white ones.  Another trip to the garden and a few more blossoms were snipped- this time only white ones.

The flowers are now dried, so next week the seeds will be harvested from the dried blossoms.   To do this:  Pull the dried petals off the flower and "tear drop" shaped seeds will be found.  These are the seeds to plant for next year.  I will store them in a labelled sealed envelope.  Next spring they will be planted in our gardens. 

This has become a tradition with me- saving the Zinnia seeds.  After saving and then planting the saved seeds for about 5 years, the flower blossoms will become smaller.  That is my clue to purchase new seed packets to plant the next year.  Then, the saving and replanting starts again.

Happy Gardening!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sights in Autumn!

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!
Yesterday was a beautiful autumn day!  Today is too!  The end of September is here, so it's the perfect time for the annual visit to Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow (MA) for the bushel of Butternut Squash.  Nothing like purchasing the delicious orange veggie direct from the farm where it is grown.  It's a tradition to take the short drive and make the purchase.

The greenhouses are filled with assortments of pumpkins, too.

Inside a greenhouse.

Sights of  the Fall season are everywhere.

Another collection!
The cornstalks show us that the fresh native corn season has - ended.

More decorations for Autumn!

The bushel of Butternut is now in our garage.  It just would not be autumn if we did not make this purchase.  A few at a time the squash will be prepped.  The mashed yummy vegetable will be placed in freezer bags to enjoy during the other months of the year.  There's always a special place for it on our Thanksgiving Day dinner table.

Is Butternut Squash Bread in my future, maybe, also??  Sure is! 

These are some of the sights of Autumn in Massachusetts!


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Freezing Green Pepper Strips

Last September when fresh local Green Peppers were available to purchase at roadside stands or in the grocery stores, I did not purchase any to freeze.  Every year I do, but it just never happened.  Oh, did I ever miss them this past winter whenever a recipe called for chopped Green Pepper!  I always like to freeze the pepper strips and use them in entrees whenever that veggie is an ingredient in a recipe.  No, I don't like to purchase that veggie in the cold winter months.  They just never look that good in the grocery stores.  Because I did not have them, it seemed that I needed them!  Well, this past week I took some action!  The first 5 Green Peppers were purchased/ prepped and found their way into our freezer.  Three days later 5 more were purchased and 5 more little bags of pepper strips were prepped and frozen.    

It's quite a simple process.  After cutting the Peppers into strips, the strips are placed in sandwich bags and then in a large freezer bag.  Whenever one package is needed, it is at my fingertips.

* * * For me 1 fresh Green Pepper = 1 little sandwich bag of ready to use Green Pepper strips.

Freezing Green Pepper Strips
  1.  The Green Peppers are rinsed under cool running water.
  2.  Then, dried.
  3.  Using a cutting board, the tops are cut off and discarded.
  4.  Then, cut the Green Peppers into large pieces.  Discard seeds and inner pulp.
  5.  Cut the large pieces into strips.
  6.  Place Pepper strips into sandwich bags and close.
  7.  The filled/ closed bags are placed in a Gallon sized freezer bag, labelled and sealed.
  8.  Store in the freezer. 
Reaching into my freezer and taking out a bag of Green Pepper strips to use will be a great find this coming winter!  Ten bags should be enough.  This is definitely the time of year to purchase the fresh local Peppers to freeze.  If you have the opportunity to do this, it is worth the small effort!


    Tuesday, September 18, 2018


    What a great surprise!  The Monarch Butterfly returned to visit our Zinnias in our side garden.  It challenged me to take a photo as it circled around me.  Then, it landed!  Snap!!!