Hello!

Welcome to American Homestead. I'm happy you have found my blog. Make yourself comfy and see what's been happening around here. I write about the things that interest me ~ creativity, travel, food, nature and a happy life. I'd love to read your comments.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Choose Love



While gardening today I found this heart 
shaped rock, I took it as a sign.
 My heart goes out to all the loved ones of 
the victims of the terrible massacre in Orlando.
 Hatred in all forms must stop. Make a conscious
 effort to spread more love around ~ to your family, 
your community, your country, our world...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Little Fox


Every time I visit my family in Grand Haven, Michigan
I buy one of these etched wooden utensils.  I do this for
a variety of reasons:

1. I like wooden utensils.
2. I like to support small businesses.
3. I love the folky, funky designs.



The reason I purchased this particular utensil was based
on something that had happened to me the day before I
was in Grand Haven.  I was driving along a road near the
area where I hike and I thought I saw a baby kitten in the
grass on someone's lawn.  Then I realized, that wasn't a 
cat!  It was a baby fox!  I reversed the car and went back 
to the spot but I could only see the spot in the lawn that
must be the "foxhole".  The baby was no longer sticking 
its head out.  I figured I better not go investigate because
Mommy or Daddy fox might not like that.

Now I will think of that little fox whenever I use this
wooden utensil.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Silver Haul!


It's that time of year when the garage sales start up and 
I'm always ready to go treasure hunting.  A church near 
my house was having a rummage sale and I stopped in to
look around.  I saw this bag of silverware marked $5.


The first thing I noticed was this server that was
sitting on top of all the other items.  I thought the
rest of the bag was probably filled with assorted
forks, knives and spoons but I was interested in the
server.  In an antique store this item alone would 
probably cost at least $15 so I figured $5 was a 
good deal.


When I got to the car I looked in the bag and laughed.
I guess someone else likes butter knives as much as
I do!  I use butter knives often and not just for butter,
when I serve triple cream brie or other soft cheeses
or dips, I like to give each person their own knife.
When I was a little girl I always liked to use the butter
knife from my Mum's silver set ~ it just made the meal
more special.

While watching a movie this afternoon I got them all
polished and looking beautiful.


They are mostly silverplate but I did find some 
sterling.  There are even a few that match
 ~ not that that matters...


I love the little shields on this set of 6, perhaps I
should have them engraved with our initial.


These two will go to someone I know with the
initial B.


There was even one M ~ made just for us!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mid-Century Atomic Snowflake


While I was out treasure hunting recently, I came
across this Mid-Century Meat Platter by Inland Glass.
I took a photo and sent it to Kate saying, "too bad you 
are a vegetarian, this would have been perfect for you."
She asked, "would I have to use it for meat?"  I figured,
no, you could serve anything on it so I got it for her.
This is not just a perfect find because she likes this sort
of style but also if you notice the edging is in black and
gold and Kate is a proud Purdue graduate and those
Boilmakers are wild about their school colors.  This
pattern is known as the Atomic Snowflake which I
find wildly amusing.  It is so Mid-Century.  I'm (luckily)
too young to have had A Bomb drills in my childhood
classrooms, we only had firedrills.  But I remember my
siblings talking about air raid drills where they were 
told to get under their desks.  Ah ~ the good old days!


It also came with a stand so you could keep your
dinner warm with candles under the platter.  I guess
it's good Kate is a vegetarian since our modern tea 
light candles don't fit...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Elle's Kitchen: Cinnamon Toast


I was out of state this week and yesterday I got
home in the afternoon, played with the puppy dog,
headed down to the big city with Trishie for a lecture
 by Frank Abagnale at the IMA and then we met Kate
 for a very late dinner before heading home to an end of
 day telephone call with Mr. Wonderful and off to bed!
This morning I woke up and let's just say, the cupboard
was bare,  nothing for breakfast...  there were a few pieces
of bread so I went old school and made cinnamon toast.

This is a favorite of mine from when I was a child but I
haven't had it in years.  It is so simple and most people 
have everything they need in their kitchen.  

Toast the bread until it is light brown, spread with butter
and let it melt a bit then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon
and gently mix the butter, sugar and cinnamon together.

This is something my Mum often made for me when I was
a child.  When I was old enough to make it myself I 
remember we had a spice jar with the sugar and cinnamon 
already mixed together ~ I don't remember if this was a
commercial product or just something my Mum mixed up 
herself to make it easier for me.  

It was still delicious!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Quiltmaker's 1000 Blocks Book Mystery



A while back someone had told me I was a 
part of this book but I had not heard from
the publisher so I wasn't sure.  A few weeks
ago I visited Lolly's Fabrics in Shipshewanna,
Indiana and noticed they had the book so I
took a peek.


On one of the opening pages showing some
of the blocks, there was one of mine.  It's the
top row, second from the left.  I checked the
index and my name and two page numbers 
were listed but when I visited those pages,  my
blocks were not there.  I thought maybe it is not
the page number but the block number ~ tried
that and nope, that didn't work either.

So when I got home I contacted the publisher 
and found out I am indeed in the book but there
was an editing problem with the page numbers
which will be corrected in future issues.


Here is one of the blocks called Dutch Treat,
it says it is on page 85 but it's really on 87.


This is my other block called Felicity, it says 
it is on page 77 but it is on page 79.


This is the quilt I made using the Dutch Treat
block, I call it Going Dutch.



This is the quilt I made using the Felicity block,
I call it Felicidad.

If your guild or shop would be interested in a class
for either of these quilts, send me an email:

ellen.americanhomestead@gmail.com







Thursday, February 4, 2016

Elle's Kichen: Orange Raisin Scones


On Sunday nights we are watching the final
season of Downton Abbey.  Last Sunday we 
had a late dinner and made it a tea.  Of course,
when you have tea, you should have scones.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 tabl. orange zest
1 tabl. baking powder
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
cinnamon 


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Spray a baking
pan with Pam.
Whisk flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, orange zest,
baking powder and salt in a large bowl.


Add butter and cut into the flour mixture
with a pastry blender or 2 knives until
mixture looks like coarse meal.


Add the raisins.


Whisk the sour cream and egg together in 
a small bowl.


Add sour cream/egg mixture to the flour
mixture and toss until mist clumps form.


Pour flour mixture onto a lightly floured
surface and gently knead just until dough
comes together.  Divide in half and form each
half into a 4'' round.  Sprinkle with cinnamon
and the remaining sugar.  Gently press this 
into the dough so it stays in place.  Cut each 
round into 4 parts and transfer to the baking
sheet.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until
golden brown.  Cool and serve.


They were delicious!