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Butler-top

I  have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years.  Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some are inherited, some were purchased at antique malls and thrift stores  – all are precious to me.  Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays.  Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years.  Each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post a COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.

My collectibles this week are from the Butler County (Hamilton, Ohio) Fair.  This has remained one of our favorite fairs for over 50 years because it has never changed from being an oldtime county fair.  My only complaint about the present-day fair is they no longer have harness racing.

One of my favorite collectibles from 14 years ago is a coverlet with all of the things I love about a fair – horses, farm animals, displays, the midway, fruit and vegetable exhibits.  It comes out every year to display on the couch and usually winds up wrapped around one of the grandchildren.
Butler-throw

Another favorite which I’ve had for about 20 years is an original photograph from the year they built a new grandstand – 1913.  Click on pictures to enlarge.

Butler-1913

In later years I received a gift of a copy of the complete panoramic photo of that glorious day in Hamilton.

Butlr-long-1

I love the old touring car and all of the dressed-up clothes the people were wearing.

Butler-long-2

Butler-long-3

From about the same era, I have a Ruby Glass tiny cup with the inscription - Butler County Fair – 1915.

Butler-ruby-1915

My older daughter and I visited the fair yesterday to check out the exhibits by her and the younger daughter.  They accumulated a pile of ribbons including a blue ribbon for the younger daughter’s knitted shawl and a Best of Show for the older daughter’s crocheted doily.  It’s the 164th year for the Butler County Fair and it’s still the best fair in our area.

Leb-14-race

My older daughter and I went to our first fair of the season – our Warren County Fair in Lebanon, Ohio.  The day was beautiful with bright, sunny skies and an 80 degree temperature.

I’ve exhibited many times in the past, but this year I left it all to my daughter who entered several needlework, jewelry and crocheted items.  As always, she did well with 7 blue ribbons and 3 second place awards.

Leb-14-N-best

I looked at all of the displays in the large building that housed the needlework, quilting, knitting, sewing, cooking, crafts, etc., exhibits and then found a seat near the racetrack while my daughter went to visit all the animal barns.

I’ve loved harness horses for as long as I can remember and always feel a sense of contentment watching them on the track.

Leb-14-tracj2

I was able to watch three exciting races, close enough to the track to hear the hoof beats, and we started back home, both of us happy with our first fair of the season.

fair071614-top

I  have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years.  Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some were inherited, some were purchased at antique malls, gift shops or thrift stores  – all are precious to me.  Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays.  Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years, so each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post a COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.

The first county fair of the year in our area is happening this week (Warren County – Lebanon, Ohio) and it’s time to bring out my fair collectibles.  I have quite a few since I’ve been a fair enthusiast all my life.  The top two vintage banners are for our local Cincinnati (Hamilton County) fair and the Ohio State fair, hanging on an old cane won many years ago.

Since my father trained and drove harness horses, fair time is synonymous with trotters and pacers in our family.  I have a nice assortment of commemorative glasses and mugs on my kitchen shelf (along with a doll that won a prize for her pretty dress about 30 years ago and some small spoons).

fair071614-kit

Although they are not fair activities, I display my items from the Little Brown Jug (the World Series of pacers) ….

fair071614-brnjug

…and the Hambletonian (the World Series of trotters) along with a 1976 commemorative bottle from the Fairfield County (Lancaster, Ohio) fair.

fair071614-hamble

I’ve exhibited many times at fairs in the past but this year have left it to my older daughter who took a few of her antiques to Lebanon.  Can’t wait until tomorrow night to see how she did – and to watch a couple of harness races.

 

Mist Mint Mousse

MistMint-top

I first made this recipe from Family Circle Magazine in 1986 as a small pie.  The recipe at that time was doubled and placed in an 8-inch baked pie shell.  I noted in my dessert recipe binder:  “12/23/86 – Shannon loved this.”

Daughter Shannon was 16 years old then and loved rich desserts.  Now, she tries to avoid the extra fat and calories of pie crust, so I used the adapted recipe below and made four servings of light, refreshing mousse.  Using low fat cream cheese and whipped topping along with non-fat condensed milk helps trim it down a bit, too.

MIST MINT MOUSSE

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)*
  • 1/2 tsp mint extract
  • One drop green food coloring
  • 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/3 cup Andes chocolate mint baking chips

MistMint-place

*Save remaining milk in a covered jar and freeze for future use

4 dessert dishes

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese and condensed milk.  Whisk in mint extract and food coloring.

MistMint-bwl

Stir in whipped topping and Andes chocolate mint chips.

Spoon mousse into four pretty dessert dishes (about ½ cup each).
MistMint-4svg
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4 servings

 

Dicky-brush-top

I  have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years.  Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some were inherited, some were purchased at antique malls, gift shops or thrift stores  – all are precious to me.  Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays.  Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years, so each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post a COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.

These are two collectibles that I remember seeing over 80 years ago.  The parrot wall pocket (marked “Made in Czechoslovakia” hung on the wall of our one-room flat in downtown Cincinnati.  Mother had very few “collectibles”, barely getting by on my father’s WPA salary in the midst of the Great Depression.  I wish I had asked her where the wall pocket came from originally – probably one of her better-situated-financially aunts gave it to her.  I can remember when I was a toddler, Mother would take the wall pocket down and give it to me to hold while I fell asleep – kind of a security blanket.  She used to play a hand game with my little sister and me that involved a song about “Dicky-Bird, Dicky-Bird, fly away” and we called the wall pocket “Dicky-Bird”.  Mother would say, “Now, take Dicky-Bird and go to sleep”, while she sat nearby rocking my sister and singing one of her well-loved ballads like “Barbara Allen”.
Dicky

Somewhere along the line the parrot was dropped and broken.  I don’t recall ever taking anything else to bed with me.

Mother was very proud to have owned a brush just for me and my curly dark hair, and kept it at hand to also brush my little sister’s straight blonde hair.

brush-alone

It’s made of metal and  the back shows a lot of brushing went on at our place.

brush-back

What amazes me is that Mother managed to hang onto these two items through many moves, three devastating floods and for almost 60 years.  They were passed on to me when she died in 1991.

Lillian and Mother - 1933

Lillian and Mother – 1933

muff-top

I first made this bread in 1995 from a magazine clipping.  In my binder, I had it marked “excellent”.  Note that there is no oil or butter in the bread, that it requires no hand-kneading and that it only needs one rising.  This is an easy, fast bread to make and gives good results.  Bread is delicious fresh from the oven with butter or toasted in the morning for a quick, tasty breakfast.

NO-KNEAD ENGLISH MUFFIN LOAF
2 Tblsp. fast acting dry yeast*
6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
¼ tsp baking soda
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
½ cup water
2 cups milk
Cornmeal for sprinkling in pans

*I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast. I buy it in bulk (454 g) and the package says that it is made in Canada. I understand it is packaged under the name “Instant Dry” for distribution through stores like Sam’s, “Rapid Rise” in the U.S. and “Quick Rise” in Canada. The “Instant Dry”, “Rapid Rise” or “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot water.

Grease one 9-inch loaf pan and a pie tin for rolls OR two 7-½ inch loaf pans and one mini-loaf pan.  Place a teaspoon of cornmeal in each pan and tip/swirl to have cornmeal cover bottom and sides of pans.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place yeast, 2 cups all-purpose flour, soda, sugar and salt.  Beat to blend dry ingredients.

Heat water and milk to 130 degrees F.
muff-milk

Add heated ingredients to dry mixture in bowl.  With paddle beater, mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Remove paddle beater and insert dough hook.  Continue to beat for 6-1/2 minutes, adding 4 cups of flour a little at a time.  Dough will be very stiff and sticky.

muff-batter

Divide dough among the pans to form very craggy, rustic loaves.  Cover with a tea towel and  let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place that is free of drafts (I put mine on top of my microwave which sets under a cabinet).

muff-pans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake loaves for approximately 20 minutes for the mini-loaf, 15 minutes for rolls, 30 minutes for the 7-½ inch loaves and 45 minutes for the 9-inch loaves or until bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom – 190 degrees on a bread thermometer.

muff-therm

Cover with a piece of foil if top is browning too fast.  Remove bread from pans immediately, cover with a napkin or a tea towel and let cool on a wire rack.

Yield:  One 9-inch loaf and rolls (number depends on size) OR two 7-½ inch loaves plus one mini-loaf

muff-bot

52kit-top

I  have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years.  Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some were inherited, some were purchased at antique malls, gift shops or thrift stores  – all are precious to me.  Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays.  Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years, so each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post a COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.

When I was newly-married and setting up my first apartment in 1952, I had loads of beautiful wedding gifts to use, but I felt I was lacking something.  I stopped after work as a secretary for P&G  in downtown Cincinnati and went to Newberry’s 5&10 store to buy three items:

 

A baking rack which I did not receive among my many gifts

A baking rack which I did not receive among my many gifts

 

A vase to match my lovely wedding gift Poppy Trail china

A vase to match my lovely wedding gift Poppy Trail china

And for no particular reason other than it matched my newly-painted kitchen, a chubby yellow pig planter.

And for no particular reason other than it matched my newly-painted kitchen, a chubby yellow pig planter.

I still use the rack and vase all of the time, but had to borrow the pig back from my youngest daughter who had claimed it for her kitchen when she married 19 years ago.

For dime-store purchases, these three items have held up very well.

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