Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chocolate Potato Cake - My Father's Favorite!

Happy Birthday
to my father who would have been 88
on March 1st

My father always felt very self-conscious about his birthday celebrations and wasn't very comfortable with being singled out and fussed over. I think this photo of him taken with his favorite birthday cake sort of shows the shy side of my Dad.
BUT -- let him start talking about his WWII experiences and you just better listen up. He had much to tell. I sometimes wonder if he reflected back on those experiences and related current events to what he was doing during battles, marches, and other wartime experiences. Those years in the Army spent mostly on an armored car, had the most impact on him for the rest of his life. I promised myself that I would not give a long address about my father... I couldn't get it all right and he would be shy once again about my attempts to explain who he was.
I will tell you -- he was a great father and
I miss him everyday.
I love you, Daddy! Happy Birthday!


My Father's Favorite Cake
-Chocolate Potato Cake-

2 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
4 eggs - separate and whip whites
2 c. flour
4 Tbsp. cocoa
 2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
1 tsp. each: ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 c hot mashed potatoes (not instant)
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
Icing: 1 box powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp. cocoa
5 Tbsp. hot, strong coffee

   Cream 2 c. sugar with 1 c. shortening. Add 4 egg yolks and cream well. Sift together: flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 c hot mashed potatoes (not instant)
1 c. pecans, chopped
1 tsp. vanilla
Icing: 1 box powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp. cocoa
5 Tbsp. hot, strong coffee
     Cream 2 c. sugar with 1 c. shortening. Add 4 egg yolks and cream well. Sift together: flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add alternately the milk to creamed mixture along with hot mashed potatoes. Fold in 4 stiffly beaten egg whites, pecan, and vanilla.
     Grease 3 round cake tins and line with wax paper.
     Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Frost when cool.

My father after his last military reunion.

I am linking to

Mis Helen's Country Cottage for Full Plate Thursday

Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Finds for my booth

A shopping trip to Port Lavaca, Texas
brought some real
"finds for my booth"...

The prices were right...
not a huge investment by any means...
but just right for my little booth at
a small antiques consignment mall.

* Indian basket -- real/not real ??
* Kiln rug purse
* Fenton plate
* Ironstone child's plate from England

I'm looking forward to placing these items in my
booth tomorrow morning and
we'll see what happens!

I'm linking to Savvy Southern Style
for WOW Us Wednesdays

Monday, February 27, 2012

Wet a hook, enjoyed the countryside and ate too much!

My husband and I took a weekend off to travel four hours to enjoy some time away. We are so fortunate to have land and and original  homestead still in the family. Otto Peterson from Sweden and his wife, Mabel,  from Kansas (originally from Sweden) raised two sons and farmed and ranched this land. Fish and oysters were plentiful and the two boys grew up helping their parents and enjoying life.
What can be more grounding than to walk the land your ancestors walked?
My husband got to "wet a hook" and even though he didn't catch any fish, he enjoyed the quiet time and the sunsets there were amazing!

The wildflowers were also amazing!
Even though it was quite chilly, the approach of Spring
was everywhere.

A visit to a relative's home treated us to a fantastic meal.
Fried oysters, roasted asparagus, twice baked potatoes with grilled shrimp.. and then I took my spinach and papaya salad to go with it.
I'm sure my husband's ancestors ate fried shrimp, however, the rest of the meal would have probably been a little foreign to them.


Now as for my "fishing" excursion...
antiquing with my husband's cousin was so much fun!

Here are my finds that will be placed in my booth at
New & Again Antiques Mall in McAllen, Texas.

Such a wonderful weekend!!

Linking to...

Mosaic Monday at Litle Red House

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Off to Olivia, Texas!

Olivia, Texas ca. 1915
(Top left photo - reunion at the Mabel and Otto Peterson homestead; top right - Lutheran Church; Bottom photo - Mabel and Otto with son Arvid)

Mabel Magnolia Cavallin, of Wayne, Republic of Kansas married Otto Peterson, from Resville, Sweden. Mabel and Otto made their home in Olivia, Texas. They bought a “pre-fab” home from Sears and Roebuck and assembled it on their home site. Although the house has been sold and removed, the land is still in the family and a new home has replaced the old one. Mabel and Otto had two sons: Arvid Verner the baby in the picture, and Edwin Ludvig. Edwin remained on the property, keeping Mabel and Otto’s home in good condition. Cattle continue to graze on the land. The property is on Keller Bay where fishing can be enjoyed by family and friends. (Taken from the family history book.)

Why am I writing about all of this?

Because on a whim, my husband and I have decided to
drive to Olivia for the weekend... just us!
It's only a five hour drive north.
No reunion, no masses of people, no schedule.

It's called

"R & R"

This is a sunset view of Keller Bay. My niece, DeAnn, a talented professional photographer, took this amazing picture of the bay where my husband's father learned to fish, making his own cast nets. Keller Bay was a wonderful place to raise a family.

My husband and I at the end of the pier on Keller Bay which was designed and built by family members. The new house is located in that cluster of trees.
(One of the times when I wonder what I was thinking when I bought this blouse!)

So be thinking about us this weekend.

We'll be:

* fishing

* eating at our favorite restaurant
(BEST fried shrimp and BEST fried corn on the cob)


* antiquing at two of my favorite stores!


I'm linking to
The Charm of Home
for this reminds me of the charm at the
Peterson Homestead in Olivia, Texas!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Anniversary Clock

The "Anniversary Clock"...
or so it was named by my family
when it was presented to my grandparents.
It was to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniverary.
I've always wanted to highlight it in a vignette.

My grandparents in earlier years...

And then in later years when they made a trip
to visit us in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

I'm linking to Marty's 104th
"Table Top Tuesday"
on her blog A Stroll Thru Life


Ivy and Elephants for
"Wow it Wednesday"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Estate Sale Jackpot!

My friend Lynne hosts the BEST estate sales!
These are my recent purchases at probably
the toughest estate sales she has done...
her parents'. They're downsizing (big time.. they were owners of a wonderful antiques store in Pharr, Texas)
and preparing to enjoy their "golden years".
I love these pieces that I bought.
I find Roseville, Weller and Hull very appealing.
Would you say I hit the jackpot?


I'm linking to
"The House in the Roses" for the first time.
Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Friday, February 17, 2012

From Hearts to Shamrocks

From Hearts




I'm not sure why but I get such a kick out of St. Patrick's Day.
As far as I know I have not even a wee bit o' Irish in me!
Oh well... maybe it's just that the color green has always been a favorite of mine.

And then, it's possible that I've always loved this photo of my late father in a kilt...

The next four weeks will be full of activities for sure... as have the past four weeks. (Do you often wonder how you can ever slow down your life?!)  There will be Lenten activities at church, lots of family birthdays, St. Patrick's Day -- which means I'll have to find an opportunity to make Colcannon -- a mashed potato and cabbage concoction that is dee-licious! And there will be family reunion projects which will include work on the family tree, family history book and practicing some Swedish recipes. Oh my! I'm leaving it there so as not to be too overwhelmed.

I adore cloches so I quickly put this together. I used my Fostoria American cake dish with a cloche I bought at an antiques store. (It's not antique... I just liked it!) If you are a Hobby Lobby enthusiast, you'll recognize just about everything inside the cloche. This will probably be added to before it's all said and done.

I'm linking to
The Charm of Home


I'm also linking to
My Romantic Home
for Show and Tell Friday

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Days of the Heart

February... "Days of the Heart"
(Sounds a little like a soap opera, right?!)

I rarely do much decorating for Valentine's Day
or St. Patrick's Day, even though I do love those
special occasions. I guess it's "jet lag" left over from
Christmas! lol

Well, looka there... it's a rabbit on the hutch mixed in with
the red and white theme with the hearts!
I just bought it at an estate sale and love it.

So how is your decorating coming along??

I'm linking to "It's a Very Cherry World" for

Between Naps on the Porch for
"Tablescape Thursday"

Little Red House for
"Mosaic Monday"

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Redecorating my kitchen counters!

I try to redecorate my kitchen countertops periodically, but
when I get really serious about redoing...
I remove everything!

This is phase 1

I flipped the "coffee corner" and moved it to the opposite
side of the counter. Tomorrow morning is going to be
r-e-a-l interesting when I wander into the kitchen in
my early morning stupor to concoct our morning
cuppa joe.

And here is the new coffee corner!
I think I'm really going to like it.
The little lamp will remain on  24/7 as
I like a little light on at all times.
It's just a nightlight bulb.

Phase 2 is still to come.

Oh... and if you think that white can opener needs to be
removed... I'm getting there... my three sons gave it to
me one Christmas 10 or 12 years ago.
Funny the things you can be sentimental about!

Stay tuned...

This week I will be linking to...