Monday, August 26, 2013

S is for Salt Box

Salt boxes... around for centuries in England, Germany and France.  The traditional ones hold one pound (.45 kg) of salt and were designed to be hung on a wall in close proximity to the stove.   Not only was this convenient for the cook but beneficial, as the dry heat prevented the salt from clumping. 
Salt Boxes - vintage items of practicality and beauty!

To see more of these beauties visit   simplycoolstuff


Monday, August 19, 2013


I love shoes.  Actually what I mean to convey is I really really really love shoes.  Yet this photo below gave me pause, showing the lot that was auctioned off to interested buyers.  Bernard Madoff, aka. 'Bernie' apparently also loved shoes and seemingly felt that if the shoe fits buy it, amassing over 250 pairs... You may recall Madoff is a former stockbroker and financier who operated the largest Ponzi scheme in US history.  In 2009 he pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies that defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars. He is currently serving a 150 year prison sentence for his crimes.
It begs the question:  who would ever want to walk in those shoes? 

photo courtesy Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person
in an endless effort to satisfy the need
without ever reaching satisfaction.
                                                                                                Erich Fromm, 1900-1980, German Psychologist

I'll happily walk in my own shoes

Monday, August 12, 2013

R is for Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Company

RRP Company operated in Roseville OH from 1900 through 2005.  Run by the Ransbottom Brothers,  by 1916 it was the largest producer of stoneware jars, bowls and other utilitarian crockery products in the United States.  Marks were varied, including:  R. R. P. Co. inside a four leaf clover impression, Roseville, OH with a crown and number impression, Crown Brand, Old Colony (until 1940), Rustic Ware (until 1960), Luxor with a graphic sphinx, Early American Stoneware, Statue of Liberty graphic impression, and, simply, Made in America.  

The company was founded by Frank Ransbottom, who merged with the Robinson Clay Products Company in 1920 to produce bricks and tile.  The name changed to RRP Co. with the expansion into art pottery and functional goods.  Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Company ceased to exist after 105 years, closing its doors in 2005.  These lovely Made in the USA items are plentiful and still can be found at affordable prices to grace your home with timeless beauty.  

 Hobnail pattern, 1941-1943

Shell Drape pattern

Happy Hunting!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Recipe for Stuffies

In a previous post, I highlighted the lowly quahaug as a symbol of summer in my neck of the woods, New England.  Beyond its Native American history as wampum, this common bivalve, Mercenaria mercenaria is a delectable treat to eat, savoring the melded flavors of the sea.
Below I present a family favorite recipe for baked stuffed quahaugs, from the annals of my mother's cookbook -  prepared with love, savored and eaten with plenty of gusto.  

 Mince clams and reserve juice.  Clean shells and line an oven proof pan with them. 

To olive oil and butter, mince garlic and onion.  Add minced clams,  juice of a lemon and white wine.

Bring to a simmer, adding more juice, crumbled ritz cracker crumbs and tbl mayo.

 Stuff cleaned shells with several spoonfuls.

 Top clams with pat of butter, sprinkle with paprika.

Bake 350 oven, 15-20 minutes, until slightly browned. Serve it up with lemon and tabasco.

Enjoy every last swallow!
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