1 House 100 Years

Preparing For The Centennial Of A Place That Matters

Month: November, 2012

Architectural Salvage…My Kind of Black Friday Sale!

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Although Black Friday is not a day when I look forward to being anywhere near a cash register, I was surprised to find that one of the few architectural salvage business around, Caravati’s in Richmond, had a Black Friday sale today. I was honestly just glad that they were open!

It’s the kind of place that is inspiring just because of all of the rescued house parts that you can find there. Even though I didn’t leave with any purchases, I left with some good photographs and lots of ideas along with some “do’s” and some “no how, no way’s”!

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These photographs were taken November 2012. Although I really didn’t plan this, they all seem to share the same color palette with browns, maroons, and violets balancing out golds, yellows, and yellow-greens.

The Best Collards of My Life! (Or Cabbage Or Kale)

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Although this blog is intended to be about renovating my old house, part of what makes a house a home is the kitchen and food smells that originate there. With the holiday seasons coming up, I thought that I would share one of my favorite kitchen garden recipes. I’ve thoroughly tested this recipe with collards, cabbage, and kale from my own garden. I’m not particularly skilled with writing recipes, so please bear with me! If there’s any “secret” to this recipe, it’s using chicken broth instead of water (which doesn’t add any flavor).

  • 1 bunch of collards
  • 1 carton (32 oz.) chicken broth (may not need the entire carton)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 chunk of leftover country ham (or 1 tablespoon of bacon grease)

Prepare collards by washing and cutting off the tough center vein of each leaf. You won’t need to do this on the smaller, more tender leaves. Stack them up and cut them into pieces that are about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch.

In a 5 quart Dutch oven pour in about half of the chicken broth add salt, pepper, and ham. Bring to a boil, and add the collards. With kitchen tongs, help the collards get used to being in the pot…just lift the from the bottom and put them on the top, until they are all wet and beginning to wilt. You may need to add more chicken broth, but just enough to just keep them covered.

Move to the back burner, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for 2 hour, until done. If you’ve used a chunk of leftover ham, you’ll have a great meal, just add some freshly baked cornbread!

This recipe uses just the ingredients shown in the photograph. The items in the wicker basket are optional. In the wire basket (which I use for harvesting from the garden and rinsing) are collards, kale, and cabbage. You can prepare this recipe with just one of these or a combination of all three…whatever you have available. Cabbage and kale together make an incredibly good combination!

Optional ingredient: pressed garlic and finely chopped onion can be added with the collards, or they can be sautéed in a small amount of olive oil (or bacon grease if you are using that instead of ham) before adding the chicken broth. Some people like to put vinegar or hot sauce on their collards, but not me!

Quilt Holder, $808.50…Quilt, Priceless

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A very good friend of mine surprised me today with a handmade quilt that had taken over a year to complete from planning, gathering fabrics, piecing, and finally quilting using multiple styles. The design was based on my organic garden in the backyard. It is a remarkable work of art.

There are squares for my favorite vegetable and even squares for my grape vines at the garden entrance paths. They have been quilted with sunflowers, one of my favorites that I’ve grown every year. There is a border of vegetables in postage stamp sized squares to represent my compost pile.

There is a random border of sticks and twigs, to remind me of the different fencing material that I’ve used to keep out stray cats. There’s also a border of squash and gourds like those that grew up all over my fencing the first time I ever tried growing them.

The printed vegetable fabrics and plaid fabrics are enhanced by the white sashing. These bright colors counterpoint the muted, earthy colors that I’ve used in the sunroom. With autumn slowly turning to winter, this is a great way to help bring the color of my spring and summer garden indoors.

After receiving this incredibly artistic gift, I went out looking for “something to put under it” and was able to get a comfortable love-seat and ottoman for a really great price at a family-owned furniture store, Hearn’s Furniture in Smithfield, that was just “a short country drive away.”

This photograph was taken November 2012.