Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tea Quotes- For the love of teacups!

     The teacups' siren's song has lured me countless time into thrift shops, yard sales and antique malls. I heard it first when I was a small child. The dainty porcelain maidens rested neatly behind glass cupboard doors in our formal dining room. My mother, a Polish immigrant, had a collection of about ten mid-century sets which she allowed me to touch and hold but once a year. She would pull them out from the cabinet for their annual washing (a ritual she swore kept the porcelain from becoming too dry and brittle) and gently soak them in a  lukewarm, sudsy bath. It was the 1960's and we lived a half a block from the city of Detroit where racial tensions had reached their peak. The Vietnam war raged on, a new breed of rebellious, long-haired teens were erupting and the sweet innocence of the 50's was fading fast. I didn't know my mom and the neighbor ladies she would share a coffee-clatch with would be the last of the stay-at-home moms. I didn't know that the world was about to change. I only knew those simple little teacups with their cheerful florets, meticulous details, and soft-as-butter colors made me very, very happy.
      I think they made my mother happy as well. She had survived a Nazi war camp, had lost her family in WWII and was living in a foreign country. It would be safe to say the teacups were a bittersweet reminder of the formal, yet secure, years she spent living as a displaced person in a  convent in Austria. She escaped the life as a forced laborer and became a war nurse, trained by the nuns in a Catholic hospital. By day she tended the wounded in a crowded hospital ward. At night she retreated to her 'home' amongst historical religious paintings, marble floors and pillars, gilt adornments and all the simple, yet elegant surroundings that the church and convent had to offer. Fine porcelain was the norm.
     Today, as I gather a cheerful brigade of vintage cups and saucers I am transcended to the place in my mind where those happy, childlike thoughts dwell. I often think about what good use I could possibly have for these tiny bearers of good will and if, indeed, I will ever find a way to share the pleasure they bring to others in need of a moment of simple goodness.

This was probably my favorite set as a child. I love the detail, the colors and the promise of spring it represents. Now I use it like a super model, posing it with flowers and backgrounds that compliment its design.


Somehow, the dishtowel in the background of this photo was spared over the decades. When I found it in my mothers' old linens I immediately recalled it. I've always been fond of blues and purples together and the sweet fruit motifs remain imbedded in my mind as first perceptions of 'art'.





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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Turkey, Cheese, Artichoke and Pesto sandwich in MAINE

A Great Sandwich Combination...turkey, artichoke, cheese and pesto!

While visiting Camden, Maine one sunny day, we came across a great deli that served outrageously delicious sandwiches.

 It is called THE CAMDEN DELI website and the view from our upper deck table was as good as it gets.

The prices were reasonable and the staff was very pleasant. We will definitely return when we travel through Camden again! In the meantime, I had such a craving for a sandwich like the one I ordered that I gathered similar ingredients and made a knock off sandwich that is slightly different, but every bit as scrumptious.

I entered the ingredients into a website calculator and used a photo imaging program to paste the image of my sandwich together with the nutrition label. It's high in protein (20 g) but I will have to figure out how to reduce those carbs just a bit before I can add it to my  low carb diet plan! (is it possible to slice a bagel thin in half?)  :)

EDIT: I found a great solution to the carb. problem. It's  HEALTHY LIFE brand Sourdough bread. Tastes great! 16g carbs and 70 calories for 2 slices. (that is 8 carbs and 40 calories LESS than the bagel thins...therefore this sandwich is 310 calories and 23 carbs)

Cooking directions:
Butter a skillet, brown both sides of the bread/bagel thin and warm the turkey. Place turkey, Havarti cheese, artichokes and a dollop of pesto on bottom slice. Cover with the top slice and heat until cheese is melted.

Besides EATING, we enjoyed touring and hiking throughout the beautiful coast of Maine, including Acadia National Park.

We took a boat tour, which I highly recommend. Although it does seem it would be 'touristy' it was far from it. Highly educational and interesting! We learned about history, ecology, geography and of course, lobsters. Plus, there is no other way to see the sights (seals on rocky islands, the lighthouse on the state quarter, etc.) or travel to smaller island unless you take a boat!