Wednesday, August 26, 2015

O is for Osage-Orange

O is for


Fruit of the Osage-Orange

The Osage-Orange or Bois D' Arc tree

is native to the Red River drainage areas

of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Osage-Orange or Bois D'Arc Tree with Fallen Fruit Below on the Right

 It is also widely grown in many parts of the US. 

 These trees were often planted to create 

a hedge row or wind break. 

Yellow-green Fruit of the Osage-Orange or Bois D'Arc Tree

Historically significant, the Osage-Orange was the

primary tree used for the "Great Plains Shelterbelt" WPA Project

which President Franklin D Roosevelt launched in 1934.

Clusters of Fruit on a Bois D'Arc Tree

The Native Americans of the Osage Nation 

used the strong, but flexible wood of the 

Osage-Orange to craft bows for hunting.

More Horse Apples Ready to Fall

The Osage-Orange produces the most interesting 

lime green spherical fruit in the fall. 

They are often called horse apples, 

though horses don't eat these.  

They are basically an inedible fruit. 

Fruit From the Osage-Orange

Once the grapefruit size balls of green ripen,

they fall to the ground.

The fruit of this tree is filled with a sticky sap,

so they feel a bit sticky to the touch.

Close Up View of a Horse Apple

 Unlike a smooth grapefruit, the horse apples are bumpy. 

 They are covered with clusters of rounded bumps 

like clusters of kernels of corn on a cob.

Osage-Orange in Parc De Proce, Nantes

In 2011 while visiting 

Parc De Proce in Nantes, France,

I saw hedge apples scattered about the ground.

Much to my surprise I looked up to see the

park had Osage-Orange trees labeled

as coming from America.

A young child found them to

be the perfect ball to kick about.

Me, I find them to be the perfect organic touch

for fall in one of my dough bowls.

Click here to read more about the 

Osage-Orange tree and horse apples. 


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

N is for Napoleon

is for

Vintage Bronze Souvenirs of Paris Aside a 

Vintage Avon Bee Skep Cologne Bottle

It's no secret that Paris has long been my favorite 

destination, and over the years I've collected 

my fair share of Napoleonic memorabilia. 

Kathryn Crisp Greeley's, 


advocates using one's collections to set a special table.

I decided to do just that when I selected 

Napoleonic Memorabilia 

as my topic for a CAMEO meeting 

at my home several years ago.

Those of you who follow HFTS might remember the post I shared here about CAMEO, a small antique club of which I'm a member.  

Collecting Antiques and Memorabilia 
and Educating Ourselves

The structure of our small group is such that each member is responsible for presenting or arranging a presentation on a topic of interest to share with the group at one of our monthly meetings.  

Collecting Napoleonic Memorabilia

simply happened over time for me.

Napoleon's famous N and bee motif 

show up in many things and always catch my eye.

The pottery pieces you see in the photos 

are mostly French faience produced in the 

last part of the 19th century or the first half of the 20th century.

Small Bust of Napoleon, CA 

Dinner Plate, HenRiot Quimper

Vintage Letter Openers Atop 1900 Edition of L'Aiglon, 

A Play In Six Acts Based On The Life Of Napoleon's Son

Performed At The Knickerbocker Theatre 

New York, October 1900

Petite French Faience Vase, CA 

Napoleonic Bee Vintage Silk Fragment, c1880

Napoleon and Josephine

 Sweet Little Souvenirs 

Chateau de Fontainebleau, 2011

Serving a light brunch, I used the opportunity to follow Karhryn Greeley's advice: "Mixing antique collections with contemporary tabletop pieces adds drama and the unexpected."  With my collection as the central focus of my tables, I could easily pull select pieces to share with the group as I presented my topic.

You can see the original post in full here.

Vintage Tiara ~ A Gift From My CAMEO Friends

If you enjoy historical fiction and the subject is of interest, I highly recommend reading Sandra Gulland's trilogy about Josephine.  It's a new look at this fascinating character of French history.

I reviewed each book in the links below.

~ Napoleons ~

Layers of Mille-Feuille and Vanilla Cream 

Topped with Fondant

Perhaps this post will inspire you to begin a memorabilia 

collection of your own on a theme that interests you.

When you host your next dinner party, gather up a collection 

to use as a theme.  I found it fun to see my pieces grouped 

together, and your collection will no doubt spark conversation.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

M is for Monkeying With a Name

My Traveling Tote and I 

have been monkeying with her name.

Miss Mary Mack Illustrations Used With Permission ~ Songs For
An excellent resource for both parents and teachers!

Anyone remember this jump rope rhyme?

It is one of my favorites and the one

my first grade students loved to chant

as they jumped rope during recess.

It's what came to mind when I

purchased the mini bag in the spring of 2010,

so I named my little bag with the big

sassy button, Miss Merri Mac.

She is the perfect bag for an evening out.

You might recall that

when Patti @ Pandora's Box first 

suggested the Traveling Totes Series,

she asked us each to give our totes a name.

Forever a fan of the Courtly Check pattern,

I hastily named my Traveling tote, Miss CC.

I've decided she deserves better!

So let it be known,

my Traveling Tote is officially now

Miss Merri Mac,

and the sassy cocktail bag, Miss Mini Merri Mac.

Hope you will join us for our next series

Tales of the Traveling Totes #3,

September 15th.

Our girls plan to venture out for a day in the park.

You can read all about her previous

adventures by clicking the following links:


Friday, August 7, 2015

L is for Lemon

L is for Lemon

"Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."

Not so Peter, Paul, and Mary.  
Have you tried my lemon meringue pie?

My favorite recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie 
 is from JOY OF COOKING, Scribner, 1997.

Lemon desserts are the 
perfect choice for hot summer days.

Use your favorite lemon pie recipe to 
make individual lemon tartlets.

You can top them with berries instead 
of the meringue for a bit of summer color.

Or fill pâte á choux puffs 
for a tasty lemon cream puff.

Then sit back with a cool drink 
and enjoy the fruits of a lemon tree.

So when you find yourself 
with a bowl of fresh lemons or limes . . .

Make a pie!

~ A Lemon Meringue Pie ~
Make it with a "mile high" meringue like I do.
Just double the egg whites!
Pretty vintage hankies for napkins   
and served on MacKenzie-Childs' ceramics.
Ahhh, a refreshing summer treat!