view from office window at home

photos on blog are mine unless stated otherwise. please ask before using. Thanks - Betsy

Enlarge pictures by clicking on

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ginter and summer gardens

Seth and I had lunch here and in the sweltering heat took a tour of the gardens this day .  Little boys his age no matter what the temp have so much energy.  I dragged but made it.
This was in July this year,  he has since moved to Arizona with his mom and dad.   Sure miss the lil guy.

Patio area

everything is fresh and very tasty

espaliered on wall of historical home in the garden
view from the front porch

many beautiful flowers on our walk
Shadows cast on the pavement in children's play area of the garden

glass in the garden

I think I have an idea for glass in my garden,
will have to show that later in another post
he was amazed of how large the plant behind him is.

front yard view of historical home

Monday, August 29, 2011

Visit to the Berry farm and a Barn

Once  a strawberry farm .   I took my kids  here to ride the hay wagon to the field , get out, pick berries then ride back to weigh them for purchase.  We always loved getting their homemade doughnuts afterward, or roast hot dogs on the fire pit.
The strawberries aren't being grown  anymore because of disease that took them out.  Ponds and landscaping is what they do now.  A beautiful Christmas shop that I love to visit here and I will post pictures  of their decorations when the season starts.
Here are a few pics of the landscape. My sister Donna, her daughter Amy and son Alex and I took a look around the area together.
The picture of this barn can be rented for Weddings etc.    Barns are popular today for marriages  and it's not easy  to find one.   The one on the farm is for rent and I must say that I think it is beautiful and perfect for a wedding.

adjacent to barn is a covered area
for entertaining and such .  Makes a great wedding reception area.

I like the color of the wood and would love to have a piece to make a picture frame.  Not gonna happen though.

nearby is a waterwheel

The farm can design some beautiful gardens

aah,  so lovely
Blurry,  but I must say I like the way it looks
Amy ,  Her mom Donna and brother Alex
Amy a photographer , her site here She just finished college at JMU and now on to Nashville.   Way to go Amy

Lovely grounds and was such a nice day to take in the beauty of the surroundings.  Cascading petunias, potato vine , etc growing on the roof of structures.  I need to know how this is done.  I love the look.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Whoa !!!! and cottage pie

That's all I could say as I was fixing lunch for Steve and I.   Glasses started rattling and I froze in stairwell,  Steve ran outside.   We were getting ready for a late lunch and it's the first time I tried this recipe for cottage pie,  now known to me as the day the earth shook pie or earthquake pie.
First time I have felt a quake this strong,  scarry.

I will definitely make this again.   We both enjoyed it.  I prepared mine with ground sirloin.    It taste better to me. 
Recipe for cottage pie here by - chef Darren Mcgrady - Recipe: Cottage pie

  •  beef base
  • ------------
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 small (6 ounces each) yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons dried thyme, according to your taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • For the potato topping
  • 2 pounds (peeled weight) red potatoes, about 8, medium
  • 2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (about 5 grinds with the pepper mill)
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan over a high flame, heat the oil and add the finely chopped onion. Sauté until the onion becomes soft and translucent. Add the ground beef and break it up using a wooden spoon. Sauté until the beef has lost all its pink color. Gradually stir in the flour, thyme, water, Kitchen Bouquet, bouillon cubes and Worcestershire sauce.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer the meat (so it is just bubbling) for about 30 to 45 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the meat is fork tender. Remove the pan from the stove and use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to the earthenware dish. The slotted spoon will lift just the beef so it will not be too wet to hold the potatoes.
If there is any sauce left after taking out the meat, cool and refrigerate it. Then reheat it in a small saucepan to serve alongside the finished pie. This recipe can be prepared up to this stage several days before you plan to serve the dish. Cool both the meat and the liquid and store in the refrigerator.
While the meat is simmering, place the potatoes in a large pot and add cold water to about 1 inch above the potatoes. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork (about 20 minutes) Drain off the water and replace the drained potatoes in the pan over a low heat for 1-2 minutes to dry them thoroughly. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or pass them through a ricer.
Stir the nutmeg, cream and egg yolk with the butter, salt, pepper, into the mashed potatoes. Then use the mashed potatoes to cover the top of the dish. Either pipe them, using a wide star tube, or spoon them on and then fluff up using a fork
Sprinkle the top of the potatoes with the grated cheddar. It can be kept for 24 hours at this stage if covered with plastic wrap.
Bake in a preheated oven a 350 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown and the pie has heated through.
Serving Size
4 servings
I copied the recipe from below website
website for recipe

sooo goood

I put quite a bit of extra sharp cheese on the potatoes,  I just love cheesy potatoes.

I made a simple salad  along with a few grapes as the sides.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

brownstone bedroom

A mid 1860's Italianate brownstone at 4 west fifty fourth street in New York city. 
In 1877 the mansion was purchased by Arabella Worsham,  a Richmond native.  She commissioned
a New York architect and decorating firm to expand and remodel the structure,  the bedroom shown was included. 

Anglo - American, Aesthetic movement, expressing as one contemporary reviewer described as an effort to persuade people to persue the paths of true art and taste in furnishing their house. ( I got this info from the description posted in describing this room )

Arabella Worsham occupied the mansion a few years.  She  married in 1884, and then sold the house to John D. Rockefeller Sr.
He died in 1937. 

pretty lace bed coverlet and gorgeous velvet red chair
click to enlarge
could not use flash in here,   so it's kind of fuzzy in the low light
stained glass is gorgeous,  wish light could shine through it more so you could really see the colors

ceiling is beautiful. 
stained glass in the chandelier - can't see it here, but the different colors in chandelier cast color onto the ceiling
yep ,   I could sleep in here

Prior to demolition ,  three rooms were removed from the house
and this bedroom was one of them.
A dressing room and this bedroom were given to the  Museum of the city of New York.
A smoking room was given to a Brooklyn museum
The Worsham - Rockefeller bedroom as it is called was given from  the museum of the city of New York in 2008 to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
 my hometown in Richmond , Va.  - here - pictured below
Such a generous gift and so happy to have something this beautiful to see and share with others
reflections in glass window of museum

Monday, August 1, 2011

Last of Petersburg Post

Nice plantings in front of the parking lot .   Flowers and boxwood among other shrubs are beautifying the city, makes for a pleasant stroll on such a hot day.   Don't mind the heat,  it's like a step back in time.

This 1839 Exchange building now the Siege Museum, gives some understanding of what life was like  in Petersburg  before, during and right after the civil war. 
The 10 month siege of Petersburg ( June 1864 - April 1865) was the longest period of time an American city has been under a Military siege. 

for a split second I thought that was a real person in the window of this antique store

Lots of antiques everywhere
very old cobblestone streets
You can see the nice window boxes over flowing with greenery. 

Steve and I ate here at the Hiram Haines coffee House.    From history printed on the flip side of the menu says it was  a hotel in 1814 -operated by  a French immigrant and his wife.  In 1829 Hiram Haines a poet and editor , his wife Mary, a childhood playmate of Edgar Poe took over the business.  Hiram and Poe became friends when Poe moved to Richmond to edit the Southern Literary Messenger.    1836 Poe married his cousin, Virginia Clemm..    There are rooms upstairs that is said the couple stayed in for two weeks on their honeymoon before Poe and his wife returned to Richmond.     
The coffee is served in a coffee press,  nice touch.   I had the Hiram Haines Ravenburger, very tasty chopped beef with flavorings.    My husband had the Poe Panini,  he will order that again.  Thalhimers cake is also on the dessert list,  my favorite.

I purchased a raven of course in the shop adjacent to the coffee house,  called Rivers Edge
We had an Elvis sighting!     Love it
-----------------------------------------------------------------There are so many fine homes ,  quite a few I saw this day in process of being refurbished, the one next door to this house is awful the way the roof has caved

Love this place,  sort of French Quarter like. 
here is a home on the street with a little creek running under it.  Would be nice to sit in the evening listening to the water trickle underneath.
another balcony of iron work

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...