Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Happy Birthday Michigan!

Michigan became a state on January 26, 1837.  We're 185 years old today!  The Detroit Free Press posted this picture on Facebook today.  These are just a few of the edible products Michigan is known for.

Top row L-R:  Sander's Bumpy Cake since 1913
Vernors Ginger Ale since 1880
Coney Dogs 
Jane & Michael Stern wrote in 500 Things to Eat Before it's Too Late, noted "there's only one place to start and that's Detroit."  Nowhere is the passion for them more intense."  At the 2018 National Fair Food Summit, James Schmidt noted that "Detroit is synonymous with the Coney Dog - you simply cannot have one without the other."  Their Michigan popularity dates back to 1914.

Bottom row:  Better Made Potato Chips since 1930
Buddy's Pizza - The Original Detroit-Style Pizza - one of a kind square pizza.

Not pictured are Vlasic Pickles, Kellogg and Post Cereals, Kar's Nuts, Jiffy Mixes, Faygo Pop, Mackinac Island Fudge, the Maurice Salad [originally served at J.L. Hudson's Dept. Store]... and the list goes on.  Gerber Baby Food was even founded in Michigan in 1927.

Raising my teacup in tribute to "the Mitten State."

Every state has food products that they're known for.  What are some food products unique to your state?

Monday, January 24, 2022


Just checking in to say hello and to let you know all's well since I haven't posted in 13 days.  There's not been many exciting happenings to blog about.  

Since my last post, a cousin passed away one month shy of his 62nd birthday.  He was the ring bearer in my wedding.  More recently, one of the girls I attended high school with and who joined our lunch dates [when she was physically able], passed away on Jan. 21st. Death is a sobering reminder that it's appointed to everyone a time to die, and no one will escape it.  I'm so grateful that Christian believers need not fear it.

During Michigan's wintry days [the snow is falling as I type] my hubby and I visited a few antique stores with minimal purchases.  I found another short emerald green vase that I'm collecting for a St. Patrick's Day tablescape - that makes three now.  I'll probably stop at four.

The little Bo-Peep Hall pitcher was used to serve children's beverages in J.L. Hudson Department Store eateries.  I already have a couple, but it was so reasonably priced I bought it.

On the way home from one antique store outing we stopped at a Marshall's/Home Goods Super Store and I bought some St. Patrick's Day cotton napkins.  It's kind of rushing the season, but if I didn't buy them now they'd be gone in March.

At The Whitney, we're looking ahead to the Chocolate Valentine's Tea on February 12th. Our tea blender has created a special Strawberry & Chocolate Black Tea for the event, and my boss and I sampled it last Saturday.  We liked it and gave her the go ahead to make 10 lbs. for us.  

One of the servers at the restaurant gave me a cute Hallmark teacup ornament after the holidays [below].  In spite of the cold weather, The Whitney continues to be busy for Mansion Tea, but from now thru March there's only one seating at 1:30 p.m.  Last Saturday tea was served to 72 guests.

While wintry weather has kept me semi-homebound, my quest for the perfect pinwheel scone has continued.  I received an e-mail from Cristy Bennett, the lady who perfected a pinwheel scone recipe to serve at her home tea parties, saying she decided to send me her recipe since she's no longer doing tea parties and has given up the idea of writing a cookbook.  I did a happy dance! The detailed recipe arrived in the mail and I happily made it.  My hubby and I have been enjoying the scones.  They're addicting!  Cristy said the scones were inspired by a recipe in Taste of Home magazine several years ago.

And that, my friends, is all I have to write about this post.   Take care!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Return Visit and Pinwheel Scones

On December 30th, my hubby and I traveled to Imlay City for an estate sale at the Charles Palmer house [now owned by someone else].  You may remember my blog post about it where I purchased a few Crinoline Lady china pieces.

I received a follow-up e-mail from Aaron's Estate Sales saying they were having a Second Weekend Sale at the Palmer House and everything would be 50% off.  Pictures showed the dining room table still filled with Crinoline Lady china.  

I had to work on Saturday so was unavailable that day, but Imlay City isn't too far from our church, so we decided to drive there after church on Sunday.  

When we got there a sign stated everything was 60% off.  As before, I headed straight for the dining room.  There weren't many shoppers in the house when we arrived and nobody was in the dining room so I quickly took a picture of the table to share.  Dishes were also in two china cabinets and a side board.  As before, I limited my choices, and ended up only buying six bowls and seven plates [two large and five small].  With 60% off, my bill was $32.

Below is a picture of my Crinoline Lady "stash".  The deceased lady can rest assured I will take very good care of her treasures.  I'm anxious to use the dishes in a tablescape.  This paragraph and picture is actually a postscript written today 1/12/2022.  Aaron's Estate Sale added one more day to the sale which they called a "Blow-out Sale" lasting only four hours, and it was today.  Everything was 70% off.  I debated about going back a third time, but decided to go.  As you can see in the photo, I got a large pitcher, cream and sugar set, salt and pepper shakers, five dinner plates and a cake stand.  It was definitely worth the third visit!  Now I'm done.  ;-)

In my research I discovered Carlton Ware [UK pottery] made Crinoline Lady napkin rings in the 1930's, but they are pricy so it's unlikely I'll be getting any of them, but it's fun making all these Crinoline Lady discoveries.  Aren't they pretty?  I wish a company would reproduce them.

[Internet Photos]

I finally made the pinwheel scones in the Sweet Shalom cookbook I purchased last July. They were good, but not the texture I was hoping for, so today I baked a recipe from King Arthur Flour.  I'm getting closer to what I want, but still not there yet.  I drank my tea out of a Crinoline Lady teacup and ate the scone from a coordinating plate this morning.

Pinwheel scones are so unique and I haven't found them in any of my tearoom cookbooks except Sweet Shalom.  Have you ever made pinwheel scones?

It's very cold in Michigan today, so a good day to stay in and sip hot tea and eat scones!

Friday, January 7, 2022

The Crinoline Lady and More

On December 30th I wrote a post about the Crinoline Lady china I purchased at an estate sale. Fast forward to January 4th when The Teacup Attic featured a Facebook repost of an article they published in March 2021.  The repost came through my feed, and immediately captured my attention because of my recent acquisition.

[Photo courtesy of The Teacup Attic]

As you can see, the Crinoline Lady in my recent purchase [photo below] is wearing a different dress than the above photo. They're part of several Crinoline Ladies who appeared on vintage porcelain teaware since the early 1900's, and especially in the 1930's thru the early 1950's.

I eagerly read The Teacup Attic's article.  As a history lover, I found it very interesting and contacted Cynthia Boucher [owner of the website and business] to get permission to share it on my blog.  She graciously agreed.  

The Crinoline Lady was also known as Dainty Dinah.

In addition to teaware, Dainty Dinah appeared on all kinds of tins of candy.  She was a beautiful young lady by the name of Alice Scott, all decked out in her crinoline skirt, flowers in hand walking in the garden.  

Her story began many years ago.  She was a North-East English icon - the Angel of the North of her day.  Mr. Horner, a gentleman from Norfolk, England, took over a corner of Chester-le-Street in 1910.  Initially, it was where jam was produced in a steam-powered factory and was originally owned by J. Samuel.  Once George Horner became proprietor of the factory, he converted it to toffee production.  At first, Mr. Horner produced confectionaries under the name "Mermaid."  In 1914 he began marketing the "Dainty Dinah" line of toffee candy.

She was dainty with her dark, moony face that was fringed by an Edwardian bonnet and wearing a crinoline skirt.  It is said that Dinah was modeled on Mr. Horner's chauffeur, Alice Scott, who died in 2001 at age 102.  

Alice Scott was the first model to advertise for Chester-le-Street confectioners.  Born in 1899, Alice lied about her age to get the job of chauffeur to George Horner, owner of the famous toffee factory, when she was just 16.  She later became personal assistant to Mr. Horner, who selected her to be the face of Dainty Dinah.

Her face adorned dozens of posters all over the region as she became one of the North-East's most recognizable faces.  The image was also printed on thousands of tins which were sold around the world and still available on sites like Etsy and Ebay.

Dainty Dinah has been depicted in slightly different versions on teacups and other pieces of china for many years such as tea plates, cake stands, teapots, coffee pots and other tea time accouterments.  She is also referred to as the Crinoline Lady in reference to her voluminous skirt.  

Thank you, Cynthia, for allowing me to share this story on my blog.

Online images of Crinoline Ladies revealed no less than 13 different English potteries that made china pieces depicting them, and I'm sure there are many others.  Japanese potteries also made them.  Their dresses were printed in different colors including pink, blue, purple and yellow.

Sadler                    Colclough                    Morley & Company
Empire                  Mayfair
Imperial                James Kent
Royal Albert         Weatherby Hanley
Royal Stuart         Lingard Webster
Arthur Wood       J. Fryer & Son

There are also Crinoline Lady figural teapots, called Daintee Ladyee, but they are very pricey.

[Internet Photo]

I searched for a book about porcelain Crinoline Ladies but was unable to find one.  If you know of one please share.

Nancy's Vintage China blog [UK] says Crinoline Ladies were the Fashionistas of vintage china.  

In researching my recent purchase I discovered the teapot is called "Key to My Heart", symbolized by its heart shape and the gold key on top for the handle.  Lingard Webster had great success in their novelty teapots.  My teapot is from the 1940's [the decade I was born].

In preparing for this post I went downstairs to unpack the Crinoline Teacups I already had. What a pleasant surprise to find four instead of the two I remembered being gifted with.  I used to display them in the family room china cabinet but packed them away a year ago when I changed the dishes in the cabinet.  Three are by Colclough pottery with different backstamps, and the other is by Royal Albert and actually says Dainty Dinah on the bottom. Notice the dresses are different by all three makers.

This could easily become an addicting collection. I will pray for willpower! ;-) Fortunately they're not in great abundance to tempt me.  I rarely see them in antique stores. I'll find a place to display my collection rather than packing them away again, but where???  

Moving on to another subject entirely, although it does have to do with fashion...  Before the holidays, one of the servers at The Whitney and I were talking about how popular black and white houndstooth check is this winter.  Several female guests wore it when they came to tea, bridal and baby showers and wedding receptions.

A few days ago I received an e-mail from Chico's regarding their big markdown sale.  As I scrolled through the pictures, I saw a sleeveless houndstooth shell with a matching cardigan that was 55% off.  The shell was $29 and the cardigan was $49.  So I ordered it and it arrived yesterday.  I wear a lot of black at work so this will be perfect and keep me warm too.  And a lot more comfortable than a crinoline skirt! ;-)   I'm sharing it here in case you want to check out the sale.   Good luck!  No affiliation with Chico's.

I know I'm a day late, but I'm thankful for the meaning of Epiphany or Three King's Day yesterday - the Christian holiday commemorating the first manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi.  The day is much more than the end of the Christmas Season, or taking down decorations.

Regarding Christmas decorations, mine are still up and will be a little while longer.   We enjoy the coziness of the lights on the Christmas tree [which is artificial] and all the lighted houses. All the outdoor lights and decorations are down though.  Are your decorations still up, or have you packed them away for another year?

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

2022 Pantone Color of the Year

I always look forward to seeing what color will be Pantone's Color of the Year, and this year they've chosen Very Peri. The color encompasses the qualities of the blues, yet at the same time possesses a violet-red undertone.  Pantone says it displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression.

In 2018 the color was Ultra Violet - a blue based purple, and in 2014 it was Radiant Orchid - all in the same color family.  I hastily went through my blog posts and pulled out photos of teawares in my collection that are close to those colors.  

January is National Hot Tea Month.  What teacups and/or teapots do you have in your collection in Pantone's Color of the Year palette to use at teatime this month?

I read at Rosemary's Sampler - the blog of Sweet Remembrances Tearoom and Rosemary House [Herb, Spice and Tea Shop] in Mechanicsburg, PA, that the Viola, Violets, and Pansies, are the herb of the year for 2022.  They coordinate with Pantone's Color of the Year. 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

2021 in Review

It's a cold [26 degrees], snowy [about 4 inches - first major snowfall requiring my hubby to get out the snow blower] day in Michigan today.  We went to church this morning and now we're happy to be in for the day.  I made a big pot of split pea soup with the ham bone from Christmas Eve dinner last night, and it was comfort food for lunch today.

Today seemed like the perfect day to go through all my 2021 blog posts and pick favorites for a Year in Review post.  So here we go...

January - A winter tea luncheon for a friend.

February - Celebrating my birthday with a Tiramisu Cake and a Valentine's Dinner for Two - hubby and me.

March - St. Patrick's Day Treat and Celtic Santas and Nutcrackers

April - Celebrating the Birthday of Queen Elizabeth, II [April 21st]

May - J.L. Hudson's Presentation at Independence Village, Plymouth, MI

June - Celebrating our 55th Wedding Anniversary at River Crab Restaurant

July - Last tea at Sweet Shalom Tearoom in Sylvania, Ohio with Amy, Sandy and Teresa.  After 20 years in business the tearoom permanently closed its doors in 2021.

August - Mark & Whitney's Wedding with Granddaughter, Isabella [Izzy]

September - Gone With the Wind Presentation and Autumn & Apple's Tea at The Whitney

October - Safari Tea Luncheon with Cousins and Dedication of our New Church Building

November - My hubby's 75th Birthday Dinner, First Snowfall of November and Thanksgiving Day

December - Reading A Cup of Christmas Tea at The Whitney and Christmas Candlelight Service

And just like that, the year was over!  Hope you enjoyed the review.  It's very quiet in blogland.  Everyone must be recouping from the holidays.  Hope you're all well and enjoying the blank slate a new year brings.