1950s Housewife

50's

What is it about this picture that makes it so appealing?

Yes, besides my rendering of it through Illustrator.

Is it her starched apron? Her perfectly coiffed hair? The sublime suggestion of breakfast in bed with a smile? No, it’s all of those at once that make her so amazing!

Does anyone else attain to this? Not sayin’ it’s possible, just that it’s incredibly cool. Of course, if I was carrying the tray, the toast would be burnt.

There goes my dream of being the perfect homemaker.

Folding Fitted Sheets

Oh what a joy to behold,

A sheet.

Folded,

By one who knows how to fold.

I’m sure I can’t be the first person to wax poetic on the subject of folding sheets… or maybe I am. But really, there is something so incredibly satisfying about a really nicely folded fitted sheet.

That is why I am sadened to find that there are many people in this world who have no idea how to fold a fitted sheet. There are far to many crumpled bottom sheets sitting in the linen closets of the world simply for lack of instruction.

I can’t remember if it was my mother or grandmother who taught me this, but either one would be thrilled to have a little more order spread to the rest of the world, so here, step by step, is…

FOLDING FITTED SHEETS

sheet1

Step 1:

Turn sheet so that fitted portion is facing you and put your hands into each top corner, grasping the corners with your fingers.

sheet2

Step 2:

Fold sheet in half and tuck one corner into the other so that one is completely consumed by the other, repeat with bottom half.

Sheet3

Step 3:

Smooth sheet and fold in half horizontally, with fitted portions on the inside.

sheet4

Step 4:

Fold in half one more time, with the squared off corner on top. If you desire a slightly smaller fold, fold rounded corner into the center first, then finish with squared corner.

Sheet5

Voila! A Sheet worthy of something Shakespearean.

Homemade Bagels

Chewy

I LOVE bagels. The chewy texture and the plethora of uses for them, sandwiches, mini pizzas, or just plain toasted with cream cheese they’re always tasty. (Although the last option doesn’t always work out so well, as the main site pic testifies.)

So without further ado or fuss, BAGELS!

(Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Baking Book)

Ingredients

2 large Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 1/2 cups Water

5 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

1/4 cup Vegetable oil

4 Eggs

7 1/2 cups Flour plus extra for  kneading

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 large Egg, beaten

Toppings of your choice

In saucepan combine potatoes and water, bring to boil, and cook till tender, about 10 minutes drain and reserve water. Use potatoes for something else.

Measure 2 cups of the potato water into a large bowl and let cool to warm. Dissolve yeast in water and let stand till foamy about five minutes. Add oil and eggs, whisking. Whisk in 2 cups of the flour and the salt till smooth. Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon 1cup at a time till a soft dough is formed, turn out on floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.

Start

Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise till double, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough and transfer to a work surface. Cut  into quarters with a sharp knife or bench scraper and cut each quarter into thirds. Roll and form each piece into a 10 inch rope and shape each into a bagel pinching together and lightly rolling the ends. Set aside and cover with  kitchen towel, let rest till puffy about 15 minutes.

till puffy

Set oven on 425 degrees F and line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large pot boil water and using a large slotted spoon gently lower three bagels into the water. Simmer 1 minute, turn over, and simmer 1 minute on other side. Transfer to prepared pans.

Boil

(I know there are four, I was making small bagels.)

Brush bagels with beaten egg and sprinkle with toppings, if using.

brushing bagels

Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

cooking

Enjoy with any number of toppings, or  simply toast.

Sucsess

And for once get it right!

Island “P’in-cess” (According to my Daughter)

princess

Playing with Illustrator and hand-painted tissue paper.

A Family “Tree” Eric Carle Style

Be-U-ti-ful!

Here it is! This is the top-secret thing I was working on before. I made it for my parent’s wedding anniversary and it turned out great!

The happy couple

It’s made in the same way Eric Carle makes his illustrations for books like “The Very Hungery Caterpiller” Which just celebrated it’s 40th anniversary!

The grans

I’d go into detail about how I did everything but Eric explains it SO much better than I ever could. You can check it all out right here.

By the light of the moon...

New York, Greeks, and Bagels

YUM!

WOW.

I made these a while ago but haven’t posted them till now and looking at them makes me really want to make them again! These are SO easy to make (for bagels) and so delicious!

They also make a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. With cream cheese, with tomato soup, or like this…

Greek Goodness

This is like a Greek bagel sandwich. It reminds me of my favorite bagel shop, Mike’s, on 5th Ave.  in Brooklyn.

I walked into Mike’s one of my first days in New York and the proprietor, Augustus, or “Gus” as everyone called him, looked up from a frank conversation with a friend across the counter to greet me with a “How you doin’?” I kept my composer with difficulty, wanting to squeal in tourist-like glee, but at that moment I knew that I was indeed in New York, and that I was gonna like it there.

The rest of my stay I frequented the bagel shop often, bringing some crocheting to enjoy with my morning coffee and bagel, while I watched Gus and his Greek costumers from the neighborhood advise, joke, and sometimes argue amongst themselves and with members of the middle eastern community that also frequented the shop. When it once got particularly heated Gus pointed me out and “Hey fellas! There’s a lady!” I felt incredibly cool.

I love New York.

The sandwich is basically feta, tomatoes and thin sliced red onions on a bagel. I never had one at Mike’s, but I think Gus would approve.

Did I just get completely side-tracked? Yes, yes I did.

Next post I’ll teach you how to actually make the Bagels.

Carmen’s Taquitos, Revised

Is this wrong?

To revise something as famed and beloved as Carmen’s Taquitos must be what it felt like for the first person who changed the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Why bother?

Because this is good, so good that my husband thinks it may be his favorite. And that’s sayin’ something.

But I won’t go so far as to rename them, that would be wrong. However much the taquitos have changed, at their heart they are still Carmen’s.

Carmen’s Taquitos (Made with Sweet Potatoes and Pork)

4 dozen Corn Tortillas

Oil

1 1/2 pounds Pork cooked and shredded (Use some leftovers from your taco pork)

1/2 small Onion, diced

1 teaspoon  Coriander

Salt and Red Chili Pepper

2 medium Sweet Potatoes, grated

Reheat pork and and cook onion in saucepan for five minutes and add coriander, potatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Cook till potatoes are cooked about five minutes more. (Stir well to keep potatoes from sticking.)

Lightly fry and drain the tortillas in the oil (I use a deep fryer, if you don’t have one you can use a deep pan with about a cup of oil.)

Stuff the tortillas and roll tight, (How full you want them is up to you!)

Deep fry till golden.

Serve with mango salsa!

Unfortunately in a mad frenzy of file cleansing I deleted the pic of the taquitos… so you’ll just have to take my word for it that they were awesome!