Ideas for the 4th
Above: tomato pie, one of the most popular recipes
Tomato and Pesto Tart
Very Best Lemon Bars
Easiest Lemon Icebox Pie
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Red Grape and Pecan Chicken Salad
Fried Green Tomatoes and BLfgTs
Buttermilk Strawberry Popsicles
Independence Day Tassel
Retro Watering Can
Have a wonderful Independence Day weekend!
The style of architecture called 'Bauhaus' in Europe was also referred to as 'International' here in the US. I think the main thing was that it fell under the 'Modernist' umbrella and just helped people envision these particular characteristics better...things like horizontal lines, no fussy ornamentation, cantilevered construction. I've seen different dates for when the International style started and 'ended' but it was mostly between the '20s and '50s.
The Grove Court Apartment building in Montgomery is an example of the International style, and was put on the 2009 Alabama Places in Peril list. The last time we were in town, we drove over to see:
This is how the state described it for their 'Places in Peril' listing:
Constructed in 1947 by local architect Clyde Pearson, Grove Court stands out in the capitol city as a rare example of the International Style. Melanie Betz, architectural historian for the AHC remarks, “Its long rectilinear form, taut plane surfaces devoid of ornamentation, brick and concrete construction, flat roof, cantilever balconies, corner windows and bands of metal casement windows are hallmarks of the style.”
Despite the high level of integrity, the apartments are today in a deplorable condition. The complex had been under contract in 2007 by investors wanting to renovate it into condos, but this promising deal fell through before anything got started.
Now open to vagrants and the elements, and with a demolition notice looming from the city, the future of Grove Court is very much in peril. The current owners now have it on the market. With new ownership and a new renovation plan, this “recent past” landmark in Montgomery may ultimately be saved.
The building is in a "U" shape -- you can see walkways through the trees, and how this area served as a courtyard:
There were 54 one-bedroom, and 27 two-bedroom units. And these trumpet vines are going to take over.
The Advertiser has their own gallery of Grove Court also.
The Fagus Factory in Germany that was designed by Walter Gropius (one of the founders of the Bauhaus/International style) was recently inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. I could spend all day looking at the entire list.
Well, for a long time I've had a thing for decorated houses. Not like decorator's showplace homes or that sort of thing, but, well, you know...
There's Bette Mott's gingerbread house in McComb:
Those hearts in her driveway are the best:
Graceland Too in Holly Springs:
This house in B'ham:
...I could go on forever. This one we found in Clarksdale MS:
The tree in the front yard is painted with stripes:
The driveway reads:
"Mad About G-d
Treat Everbidy Right
Falling In Love With Jesus"
You know these are good people. Only good people would write a hopeful message of their beliefs on a driveway.
"Old Douglas" was the "faithful, patient' camel of the 43rd MS Infantry Vols, CSA...
From what I've read, he wasn't crazy about being tied up so the soldiers would let him roam around, but he never left the area where they would camp. He was a useful pack animal and was loved.
Douglas was killed in Vicksburg...when the 43rd MS Infantry Vols came to Vicksburg with him, a Union Army sharpshooter killed the camel under orders. Not nice.
For whatever reason when I was looking this up earlier, I found an AP article that came out this month about the largest population of wild camels on earth (go ahead & guess where you think it is! no it's not there -- I totally got it wrong too). There are 1.2 million (million!!) wild camels in Australia. Australia! I know. And this is what the AP says the government there wants to do about it.
Yay! My friend Stephanie Dwyer who makes the most wonderful bottle trees ever (she's based in Jackson) was featured in the Frederick, MD News Post this week.
Dear Vanessa Reilly, how smart of you to style your listing in an appropriate, Mid-Century Mod way! Bravo. Love it.
Mason jelly jars made into wine glasses, complete with lids. Huh.
There are an estimated 200,000 oil paintings in the UK national collection -- that is, in museums and publicly-funded institutions -- and the goal is to catalog them all on this BBC site called 'Your Paintings'. About 63,000 are online now.
This is how art that belongs to the people should be: widely and easily accessible.
The NYT did an article earlier this month about the Metropolitan Museum of Art there upping their admission from $20/pp to $25. The concept that museums, like libraries, be free to the public was briefly touched upon. They also made this graph to show what New York museums charge now and what it was back in 2001. Interesting.
This weekend is the Gowanus Jell-o Mold Competition in NYC. Can't wait to see what people bring! Here are some pics from last year: 1, 2, 3. I don't think she competes, but the Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn makes lovely things all year. Jello shots really aren't my thing, but these look so fun for Super Bowl parties and these are positively lady-like!
The artist roster of the upcoming Prospect.2 in New Orleans has been released.
Yessss to this article about Alice Lee, sister of Nelle. Like "Atticus Finch in a skirt": wonderful!
When we got back from vacation, where I saw that beautiful patisserie book and checked out one here, one of the recipes was for something called a Fraisier. The nice thing about the book was that it not only featured and had pictures from inside those gorgeous shops, the shops had shared some of their recipes.
The shop that made the Fraisier was Stohrer , the oldest patisserie in Paris. The founder, Stohrer, was the personal patisseir to Louis XV's wife, Marie, since 1725. When Marie married Louix XV, he became the court's top pastry chef until he left to open his own shop on rue Montorgueil.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
When I saw the picture of the Fraisier in the book, I just had to make it. It was *beautiful* -- and I had just made strawberry jam so I thought of a way I could incorporate the jam into the dessert. This is the way I do recipes...not going by the original recipe but changing it here and there so it reflects what I know or are familiar with. If you have interest in making the Stohrer version of a Fraisier, it's on page 29. This is my version:
1/2 cup sugar
just shy of 1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
Creme Au Beurre
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 large egg whites
1-1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
strawberry jam, about 1/2 to 2/3 cup
strawberries -- approximately 10-12 large, maybe more/less
Preheat the oven to 375*.
Prepare a standard-size jelly roll pan with parchment paper lining the bottom, and butter the sides.
I could not find ground almonds at my grocery store, so I purchased blanched almonds and simply ground them fine with my hand blender.
In a small/medium pan, I put some water on to simmer, and above that in the pan (but not touching the water) my Kitchenaid stand mixer bowl.
Inside the Kitchenaid bowl, place the sugar and eggs and whisk over the simmering pan of water about four minutes so that it is fluffy.
Put the Kitchenaid bowl back into the mixer and let the machine beat the eggs/sugar further on medium speed for another eight minutes. This will make the mixture even fluffier.
In another bowl, combine the flour and almonds. Now add that to the bowl with eggs/sugar.
Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan making sure it is nice and even, and place into the 375* oven.
Bake for 12-18 minutes until it is a nice golden yellow.
While the batter is cooking, make the creme au beurre (butter cream).
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and water, and bring it up to soft ball stage (I always stop at 238*).
While that is coming up to temperature, in a Kitchenaid bowl, beat the egg whites until they are almost stiff.
Once the syrup is at temp, while the Kitchenaid is still going, pour in the hot liquid and confectioner's sugar, and keep the Kitchenaid going until the mixture is nice and fluffy and cooled down to room temperature.
Now add in the butter a bit at a time until well incorporated.
Note: if the butter cream seems a bit too 'loose' feel free to add extra confectioner's sugar while mixing to keep it nice and together.
Put this butter cream into a large Ziploc bag. Put in the refrigerator to keep it cool until ready to use.
When the biscuit genoise is ready, take it out of the oven, cut it down the center to make two equal pieces:
Now place one half of the biscuit genoise on top of the other, and cut off all edges so they are perfectly even. Take the top half of the pastry off and put away for a moment. Now spread 1/2 the strawberry jam evenly over all the top:
Cut the tops off the strawberries, then cut them in half lengthwise. Now place them in this fashion so their cut surface is facing out:
Take the butter cream out of the refrigerator, cut off the tip of the bottom of one side of the Ziploc, and pipe half the butter cream over the strawberries:
Place the other half of the biscuit genoise on top, spread with the rest of the strawberry jam, then once again with the rest of the buttercream, and top with a pretty strawberry...
Perfect for a happy picnic here at home!
One of the favorite desserts I've made ever.
We couldn't be in Destin and not do our usual trip down 30A -- it's the road with the 'new urbanism' communities: Seaside, WaterColor, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach...
One of the most interesting homes along that stretch is Charlie Hilton's (he owns three hotels in PCB) home, at Paradise by the Sea:
We've watched this house being built for what must be eight years now. The architect is Arthur Dyson (some pics of it at his site), Dean Emeritus at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
He writes of the home:
Nestled amid the sand dunes on the Gulf of Mexico at Panama City, Florida, the Hilton residence contains 9,500 square feet of living space. Primary rooms are suspended on concrete pods at various levels within a greenhouse structure of coral-tinted reflective glazing. One interior stairway encircles a glass-enclosed elevator, while another winds around fully grown native palms. The top lacuna of an exterior two-level saltwater swimming pool fountains into the lower basin, then enters the interior by flowing beneath the edge of a glazed wall. Tiered roof wings sweep upward, forming a series of clerestories that shield the open floor plan from excessive sun exposure while presenting unobstructed views of the oceanfront during daytime and allowing stargazing at night. Remote-controlled fabric panels placed strategically over the glazing provide additional solar protection.
Interior spaces flow freely without walls or partitions, while scale and volume are tempered through the placement of palms and other tropical flora. Level changes rhythmically establish area separations and maximize direct ocean views. The varying colors and textures of terraces, walls, planters, and pools avoid sharp definitions of boundary, integrating the the interior and exterior of the home into a sense of contained movement. The gestures of the form join harmoniously with the surrounding swell of seabird, ocean waves, and sand dunes that embrace an exceptional building site. Everything set forward for the program by the clients indicated a desire for fluidity. All the exterior benefits of the site, such as sea breezes and ocean sunsets, are integrated into the residence to establish a refuge from the hectic pace of a busy business life and create a soothing place to relax, read, and write.
Best: these driftwood horses by Heather Jansch at Alys Beach:
Music to my ears: Av came in one day and said "let's go on vacation at the top B&B in Destin, which got great reviews on TripAdvisor and Frommer's too" (he knows I believe in TripA and Frommer's). Well, he actually said it better, and made it sound more fun than just that, but be still my little heart, #1 B&B! He set us up so the boys had quality time with Mimi and Papa here at home -- it's an adults-only property -- and we were off for a multi-day mommy/daddy date!
The Henderson Park Inn is known as a B&B but it's more like a boutique hotel (you're not actually staying at someone's home) -- it looks New England-y, right?
When we checked in, there was a tray with a rose, wine, and grapes, and music playing in the room. The room itself was very nice but I usually spend a good amount of time on the balcony especially in the early morning and in the evening, and it was pretty small.
Overall, very nice though. We had reservations that evening to have supper at the hotel and that was good; the best part about the food there, though, is the breakfast each morning. There are cooks to make your custom omelet or Belgian waffle, and other stations with grits and grillades, all kinds of breakfast meats, breads, fruits, juices...I really enjoyed breakfast (which is included in the stay) best of all. Also, each day they take your order for a boxed lunch (also included) so you can take it anywhere. That was nice too.
There's a communal refrigerator with water and cold drinks, and a cabinet with candy bars that you can get whenever the mood strikes. Another cabinet was full of dvds and board games. Somehow, late night wine-fueled games of Scrabble are hilarious.
So pretty -- and one of the very nicest things about the hotel is that one side of it adjoins Henderson State Park which means the beach isn't terribly busy. We had *such* a great time sitting in the beach chairs, playing in the water, and walking in the sand. Aaaaahhhhh vacation....
...which isn't to say we didn't do our share of other things in Destin and elsewhere, but our stay here was just blissful.
Best part: coming home to our sweet boys who had a fabulous time with their grandparents but were thrilled to see us back too!
Love the dog mansion, Alabama. The Cubix is also pretty great.
There is a *great* set of pics of the Kildare mansion (on the National Register) in Huntsville here from when it was for sale; if you ever thought of photographing since it's been purchased, consider your willingness to be in the public right-of-way and get water hosed, hit with a rock, followed by a truck, yelled at, or simply blinded by a light from an upstairs window. How very, very strange.
The NYT ran their own piece about Kathryn Tucker Windham.
A couple of weeks ago, I tie-dyed around 30 shirts for the boys' daytime summer camp. Whew (instructions here if you're interested in trying it). On the way out of Pottery Barn this week, a PB Teens catalog had a tie-dye comforter on the cover, so the next time I find a nice but boring white comforter cover I might try tie-dying it. In the neighborhood: three of the *cutest* beach balls we got at PB Kids for Shug's upcoming birthday pool party.
FoodandWine.com purchased rights to publish my pic of a koolickle for their piece on state fair foods. Curiously, this was a koolickle I had in Mississippi; had no idea that koolickles had 'migrated' up to North Carolina.
Beautiful home in Andalusia, AL:
A little over a year ago, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its list of the "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" and the Threefoot Building in Meridian was on it, due to threat of demolition. Last month, it looked worse than ever:
On the Trust website:
In 1930, the citizens of Meridian, Mississippi, had never seen anything like the newly dedicated Threefoot Building, a shiny, 16-story Art Deco skyscraper that was the tallest building in the state.
Named for its owners, a successful German-American family in Meridian, the building was admired for its decorative polychrome terra cotta and granite exterior and lavish interior details, including marble flooring and wainscoting, cast-plaster walls and ceilings, and etched bronze elevator doors. Although the Threefoot family lost their prized property in the Depression, the building was a mainstay of downtown Meridian for decades until it closed in 2000 because of deterioration and extensive upper-floor vacancies. Hopes were buoyed when the building's owner, the City of Meridian, began negotiations with a developer who planned to renovate the building and turn it into a hotel, but the City later abandoned that plan.
Late last year, the MDAH made possible a $150k grant for a seismic study on the foundation and ground of the Threefoot building.