what's for dinner tonight?

September 02, 2014

Just a quick little post to show you those hydrangeas and how beautifully they've dried and how gorgeous they look with my Portofino dinnerware.  I've got baskets, platters, bags, vases and bowls of hydrangeas, all over the house, all in different stages of drying, and all looking beautiful at every stage.  I need a lot because I have a project coming up at the end of the month and I'll be using every last one.

It's chicken soup tonight, getting together with friends to talk about an upcoming trip we're planning together.  Maine and Quebec, nice, right?  My chicken soup, it's homemade.  I'm that homemaker who saves chicken bones, chicken carcasses (what a word!), bits of unloved vegetables and throw them all in a baggie and store in the freezer.  About once every month or two I take them out, throw them in a pot and cover with water and simmer away.  You just cannot beat homemade chicken stock.  I think this might make me a frugal cook.  And I think that started 41 years ago when my young and very hungry husband came home and ate the entire recipe I'd cooked that said "serves 8".   Crestfallen, I didn't say a word, but really, I worried how could we afford his appetite?  When I roasted my first chicken and he ate the entire bird that night, I was heartbroken.  "Honey, I was planning on having that be our dinner for at least 3 days.  That's what Joy of Cooking says."  Well, I soon learned that would not be the case in my house with my husband and his appetite and if I wanted the little extras in life, I had to be frugal in the kitchen.  I was saving up for important things; there was always something like cute sandals I just had to buy and I remember I really wanted this gorgeous canister set.  Remember those?  Flour, sugar, coffee, tea?  I simply HAD to have a very pretty set I'd seen at a fancy store I would visit at lunch hour.  I'd wander around the store and daydream and always came back to the canisters.  The lady got used to seeing me and let me put them on layaway; what I could save with my grocery budget I could pay it off and finally bring them home!  They were so delicate in white fluted porcelain.  After a few years, they chipped, then cracked, then were broken and eventually thrown out.  They were too delicate for my kitchen, but I remember loving them so much, and was the first pretty thing I ever bought for my home.

By the way, I have 8 soup bowls and only 5 dinner plates.  If you ever find an Arte Italica Portofino dinner plate during your travels, please let me know!  I need 3 more!  (I'm not so frugal anymore about every little thing, ya know!)  They were discontinued about 5 years ago and are as scarce as hen's teeth.

I have no idea why this soup looks red.  It was chicken soup and was not red, oh well.

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  1. When you come to Maine, you must visit Rosemary's Yarns in Windham and Mother of Purl in Freeport. Absolute musts!

    1. We will drive through Freeport so I hope the 3 non-knitters will let me stop! Thanks for the tip, traveling and shopping at local knit stores is a love of mine!

  2. This company does an excellent job of finding retired pieces: http://www.replacements.com/webquote/AILPORT.htm#7348462

    1. Thanks Marilyn. I am now on their "search" list for the dinner plates. What a site!

  3. Kristen, When in Freeport, try to visit Grace Robinson yarn shop - you will love it!

  4. Kristen, Here are some Maine destinations that are true Maine places, and worth it if you have the time:

    Portland: Old Port is charming. Best restaurant is Fore Street. KnitWit yarn shop is Quince and Co flagship store. Edgecomb Potters is fabulous.

    Freeport: Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster is quintessential place to have lobster

    Rockland: Farnsworth Art Museum - Wyeth Center is fantastic

    Blue Hill: String Theory Yarns

    Have a fabulous trip! Maine is my favorite place in the whole world.


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