79th Birthday Countdown – Day 5

My oldest daughter, who lives with me, loves to celebrate birthdays.  This is what I found on my kitchen table on Thursday morning.

This is one of her hand-crocheted doilies in the most delicious colors – the picture doesn’t do it justice.


Last evening, I was telling my daughter that I had been disappointed not to find a mini-quilt rack on our recent trip to Amish Country in Holmes County, Ohio.  I have been seeing them in displays at quilt shows and in quilt shops, but there were never any for sale.  She suddenly left the room and returned with exactly the rack I wanted – she had managed to sneak it out of a shop and into the car while we were in Amish Country.  It’s designed to hold up to a 12×15 inch piece, just the right size for a mini-quilt that I’m already planning in my mind.

Countdown Day #1

Countdown Day #2

Countdown Day #3

Countdown Day #4

Vintage Doily Holder

I posted the last couple of weeks about vintage handkerchief holders here and here.  I thought I might use the idea to make a holder for two crocheted doilies that my grandmother had made back around 1945.

The funny thing at the time was that no one in the family knew that Grandma could crochet.  Then, one day, without a pattern, she picked up a crochet hook and a ball of thread and made a beautiful doily that was flat in the center and had huge ruffles that stood up all around the edge.  Of course, each daughter and granddaughter clamored for one and soon we all had a gorgeous doily or two in our homes.  The problem was that none of us knew how to starch and iron the doilies to make the ruffles stand up, so periodically, Grandma got one of our doilies back to launder and iron for us.  She was always amazed that everyone loved the doilies so much and we were amazed that she came up with this skill in her late 60s.  We figured she must have learned to do it as a child, although she didn’t remember where she might have picked up the knack for crocheting.

The two doilies I have are in such delicate condition that I’m afraid to put them on a table, much less try to starch and iron them.  Instead, I insert them in their holders and hang them safely on the wall.

I printed a vintage snapshot of Grandma on fabric along with a note about when the doily was made.  This was appliqued onto the quilted circle.  I embellished the piece with a couple of vintage buttons and I like to use drapery hooks to display my wall hangings.

A pocket holds the doily without damaging it and also hides some of the worn and unsightly places.

I especially like this small doily as a Fourth of July or patriotic decoration.

I love to look at the old photo of Grandma and her pretty doily and remember all the good times.

Mother and Grandma Helen, ca 1945

Bailey’s Marbled Cheesecake

irishkitchenHappy St. Patrick’s Day with a view of an old-fashioned Irish kitchen.  This picture was snapped on a visit to a Folk Farm cottage in Ireland.

I was looking for a recipe for something extra-special for St. Patrick’s Day and found it on Razzledazzle Recipes.

I love Bailey’s Irish Cream and when I saw a cheesecake that included 3/4 cup of this lucious drink, I knew I had a good choice for a St. Paddy’s Day dessert.  The cake is large, thick, rich and can feed a big group, depending on the size of the slices.  The only change I made from the original was to use unsweetened chocolate squares because I didn’t have any semi-sweet on hand.  The cake turned out wonderful.


Preparation time:  About 30 minutes

Total baking time for cheesecake:  1 hour, 5 minutes

Cooling time:  2 hours, 45 minutes

Butter bottom of 9″ springform pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chocolate Graham Base

  • 4 Tblsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 9 full graham crackers, crushed


Combine butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl.  Stir in graham cracker crumbs.  Press evenly over bottom of buttered 9″ springform pan and bake @ 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Remove pan to rack to cool for a few minutes, then butter the sides of the pan.

Turn oven heat up to 450 degrees F


  • 24 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 one-oz. squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually beat in sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Blend in Bailey’s Irish Cream.

mixingPour one cup of the filling into a small bowl and stir in the melted chocolate.

chocPour half of the plain filling mixture into the prepared pan on top of the baked crust.  Dot with half of the chocolate mixture.  Repeat with the remaining half of filling and half of chocolate mixture.  Make a marbled design by gently swirling the batter with a knife.

Bake @ 450 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Lower heat to 250 degrees F and continue baking for 55 minutes.

Remove pan to rack and allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the cake and loosen the sides of the pan.  Allow to cool an additional 30 minutes in pan with sides loosened.  Remove from pan and cool about 2 more hours before serving.

onrackDelicious at room temperature or chilled.  Refrigerate leftovers.

servingMy oldest daughter brought me three gifts for St. Patrick’s Day – one of her hand-crocheted doilies, a tiny needle felting Irish cottage and a vintage Scottie planter in my favorite shade of green.  What a nice St. Patrick’s Day!