Friday, April 26, 2013


Here is a little tour of the cuisines of France, "Ranch", and China via vintage postcards.

This first postcard shows original artwork, all pen and ink.  Notice the date on the lower right side as July 18, 1915.  Do you know French?  Please interpret this for all of us.  Here's what I think the menu consists of:  hors d'oeuvres, beef  Zossen (?), peas and potatoes Douvellas (?), ham, salad (perhaps ham salad?), pineapple pudding and desserts.  Sounds good to me!

Next, we have "Country" cuisine from the Old Hearst Ranch in Pleasanton, California.  What I really enjoy about this menu are the prices.  Imagine paying $2.50 for "Roast Ranch Turkey - Walnut Dressing; Dude Ranch Breakfast and Radio Show and Colorful folk dancing exhibition and guest participation".  While they advertise this as a dude ranch with country food, Thursday night features German foods, and Friday night features Indian food.  I'm also showing the back of this postcard since I love the woman on the back with the beach ball.

Finally, below we see Chinese food on a vintage postcard.  The full menu costs only $1.25!  It sounds like a delicious meal!  On the back of the card it states: "Visit our Cafe equal to a trip to China."  The restaurant was located in San Francisco.

I hope you have enjoyed these few little menus.  

Friday, April 19, 2013


Here is it, April 19, and it is still snowing as I look out the window.  It is lovely but, believe me, nearly ALL Minnesotans are absolutely tired of winter!  Fortunately, we have the beautiful Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul to visit.

The new Ordway Garden just opened up and I helped at one of the opening events.  That gave me an opportunity to walk the grounds.  First, I visited the Japanese Garden.  One of my fellow workers stated that in the 25 years she's been working in the Japanese Garden, this was the first time she was able to see the garden in the winter.  To her knowledge, the garden has never been open to the public in the winter.  As you can see, it was lovely.

 The Japanese Tea House - outside (above) and inside (below) with tulips.

The Ordway Gardens are new and were built to house the large bonsai collection at Como.

Finally, the Spring Flower Show is going on.

This is a coin operated machine.  Put in a quarter and watch the action.  Lovely!

Friday, April 5, 2013


What to do with "leftovers"!  Make scones!  Okay, not ALL leftovers make good scones; but leftover cranberries are great in scones.  Some people don't like scones because they've eaten them at coffee shops and they are very, very dry.  Homemade scones are so much better; and they are so easy to make with whatever you have on hand.

Preheat oven to 400ยบ.  Line a cookie sheet with silpat or parchment paper.  
In a medium bowl whisk together:
*  3 cups all-purpose flour
*  1/2 cup sugar
*  1/2 teaspoon salt
*  1 tablespoon baking powder
*  2 teaspoons of cardamom 
In a small bowl whisk together:
*  1 cup canola oil
*  3 large eggs
*  1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, and use a spatula to combine ingredients.  Add:
*  1-1/3 cup of lightly chopped fresh cranberries
Stir lightly to combine.  Drop by spoonfuls to make 12 scones.  Sprinkle tops with:
*  "Sugar in the Raw" or other course sugar
Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  

(1) These are terrific warm from the oven or refreshed in a microwave oven.  They freeze easily so you can make a batch and NOT eat them all at once!  
(2)  Many of the ingredients can be swapped out for what you have on hand so don't be afraid to mix and match.  Use fresh fruit (apples, strawberries, pears...), dried fruit (craisins, raisins, apricots...), nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts...), different spices (cinnamon, nutmeg...), different flavorings (vanilla, orange, lemon...).