Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More Give Away "Goodies"

Daisy Dip
Marigold Madness
Dandelion Souffle'
Tossed Leaves
Putty Fours
Iced Rainspout Tea
Suggested Menu from Mud Pies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow

Well, yesterday I tucked my babies, my Mother Goose ATC's, into their little envelope beds, wrapped them tight, and sent them on their way to Lenna over at Creative Swaps for adoption. Here is a peek at their little "blanket" envelopes and the next sneak peek at the "goodies" for the Give Away.

These little Fairy Tale creations were so fun to make and so childlike that they brought another wonderful book memory from my childhood. Saturday afternoons were greatly anticipated by me. I knew as soon as Mother and I completed chores that we would head to the public library. I remember when I got my first library card with my very own name on it! The only problem for me was that they assigned books limits according to age and when I got my first card I could only check out three books, now this was an utter tragedy for an early reader such as I was. Then at long last came the anticipated day - I was finally old enough to upgrade my card and I could get ten whole books!

I would just spend hours browsing all those books, reading all the titles and touching the spines. I loved the smell of all those books and the quiet rustle of pages turning, I even loved the stern Librarian who shushed you for the slighted infraction. Bless her heart she was most patient with my constant inquiries and she helped me decide on that tenth book oh so many times. She too was a great story reader and I loved it when she did story time once a month. I thought she must be the luckiest person in world to live in the library. Well, I thought she lived there, because I overheard her say one time, in what I now realize was just a snip of conversation, that, "Yes, she lived here." I think she meant in that city NOT in the library. I did wonder at the time where she slept and I envied her bedtime reading choices.

I think I must have held the record for the most renewed book by the same child in the entire library system. It was entitled: "Mud Pies and Other Recipes" by Marjorie Winslow. This book was my introduction to the world of cooking. It was no ordinary cookbook, it was a magical cookbook to an only child who often only had her dolls to play with, it was a cookbook for dolls!

Here, I ask you to indulge me, I can't possibly leave out a word of the introduction about this delightful treasure that kept me happily occupied much to Mother's relief. This is the description on the book jacket: "This is an outdoor cookbook. Not many supermarkets are as well stocked as a forest or a sand dune or a back yard . The sea makes a nice sink and so does a puddle at the end of a hose. Recipes are included for such delicacies as Tossed Leaves, Bark Sandwich, Daisy Dip, and Honeysuckle Wine. Very young homemakers are instructed to take pains in preparation and serve with a flourish. All dolls who love the sweet feel of seaweed on the tongue and the crunch of pine needles will be welcome guests."

The Foreword continues, "This is a cookbook for dolls. It is written for kind climates and summertime. It is an outdoor cookbook, because dolls dote on mud, when properly prepared.....You can use a tree stump for a counter.....For a stove there is the sun, or a flat stone. And ovens are everywhere. You'll find them under bushes, in sandboxes or behind trees.....Doll cookery is not a very exacting art. The time it takes to cook a casserole depends upon how long your dolls are able to sit at the table without falling over. And if a recipe calls for something, you can use a measuring cup or a tea cup or a buttercup. It doesn't much matter. What does matter is that you select the best ingredients available, set a fine table, and serve with style."
This darling little book had recipes for Appetizers, Soups, Salads and Sandwiches, Main Dishes, Pastries and Desserts, Beverages, and even Suggested Menus. THIS is where I learned to become a gourmet mud pie cook! The recipes are hilarious, my two favorites were Seesaw Salad and Dolly Pops (a rare delicacy when in season). Please humor me once more as I simply must give you these recipes.

First you have to follow the recipe for TOSSED LEAVES: Gather enough green leaves to fill a big bowl. Sprinkle with white sand and freshly ground dust, season with minced grass, moisten with a few squirts of water from a squirt gun, add a pinch of crushed dried leaves, a fist full of pine needles and any red or blue berries from a bush you can find, and toss in some little pine cones. Sprinkle all over with a generous amount of sawdust, then turn the hose nozzle to a fine spray and wave it twice over the bowl. Arrange yourself on a seesaw with the bowl in front of you and a friend at the other end. Toss the salad this way as long as it is fun, or until well blended. Serve on large plates. (This just makes me laugh at the memories it conjures up! Can you believe I actually asked my step-dad to saw something one time just so I could have some saw dust for this recipe?)

Pick a dandelion from the lawn carefully, so as not to disturb the fluff. Hand it to your doll and tell her to lick. (I tried this one myself one time and spit fluff for an hour afterward!)

Once I got my grubby little hands (and trust me this mud pie business is a grubby little business) on this book I was hooked into becoming the hostess with the mostest! (Yes, my two dear friends P.H. & S.B., THIS is where I learned my Martha Stewart skills!) Mother took me to a local five and dime store called Sterling's and bought me a little tin set of doll sized bake ware. Now I had a real oven, no bush for me, we had a charcoal barbecue grill with a half hood and adjustable rack and it was on wheels. I'd just haul that thing all over the backyard to the sunniest spot and that was my oven. I became very adept at substituting ingredients and my mud pies and mini muffins were always decorated with flowers, berries, and leaves.

I also had a little set of fabulous dishes that were white plastic with little pink roses on them that I used to set my table with. They were one of those huge box sets with all the extra goodies like silver plastic forks, knives and spoons, plates, cups, saucers, sugar bowl, creamer, and tea pot and tea tray, plus it served six! There were always fresh flowers(weeds) for my table and mother would on occasion let me cut some of her roses or gardenias. My grandmother gave me some old embroidered linens and beautiful floral hankies for table cloths and napkins. I occupied myself for literally hours on end with this carefully propped up cookbook.
I secretly wanted to soil it because I was warned continually that if I ruined the book we would have to buy it and I wanted to own it in the worst way, but alas, I was always a compliant and obedient child who had been taught to take care of things, especially if they were not your things. The much coveted book remained unsoiled and sadly I out grew the allure of it, until last year. I can't say exactly what made me think of this book at the time but I decided to try and track a copy down for myself and I found one, a first edition, with the same exact cover I remembered from my childhood. I ordered it and it sits atop a shelf on my writing desk facing forward where it makes me smile just to see it.

Now you may wonder how all this rambling down memory lane relates to the GIVE AWAY, well, this brings me to the next two items to go into the "goodie" box. In honor of happy memories, things that make me smile, and recapturing that childlike feeling and exuberance over something as simple as mud I am including in the box a new reprinted copy of this delightful volume. I wish it could be a hardbound original like mine but alas hubby might have heart failure if I purchase two such pricey items, but I guarantee it will make you smile and that is the true gift I want to be included in the box - a smile when you need one! Just pull out this little volume and read the ridiculous recipes or better yet, when no one is looking try one for yourself and recapture that joyful, playful, childlike spirit that we grownups so often forget we still have within us. If you feel silly slip slappin' in the mud alone, maybe you have a child in your life to share this little volume with, if not then just go out and borrow one and make some mother love you all the more for a little free time.

The second item for the "goodie" box is in loving memory of my beloved pink and white plastic china set. I found these darling little rose embellished butter pats in a bag of strange stuff, said bag was a steal at 50 cents! I scurried to the counter hoping the sticker still said 50 cents and not five dollars, yep, I was right, score! Would these not be great for serving mini cup cakes on or perhaps a favorite fancy chocolate or how about a gourmet cookie? Maybe you have a special little someone in your life that might enjoy a mini tea treat on these or you could just display them and let them remind you that it is OK to indulge on occasion, to allow yourself to have fun, laugh, and to not take this gift we have called life too seriously.Most of all I want these little gifts to be about what Scripture says is "good medicine"- having a merry heart. I can think of no hearts that are more merry than those of children. Having a merry heart means being joyful, offering fun, being festive, cheerful, and lively. Marjorie Winslow knew how to foster these things in her little daughters hearts by teaching them creative play. Can't you just imagine the exuberant giggles of glee as two little girls, along with their mother, created "gourmet" recipes in the backyard? These young homemakers "were instructed to take pains in preparation and serve with a flourish." To have a joyful heart we have to take pains in preparing our hearts to be joyful, which really is a choice. My prayer for you dear readers is that you would give joy in good measure to those around you and that in return it will be given back to you in good measure, pressed down, stirred together with fun, festivity, cheerfulness, liveliness, and overflowing, served with a flourish!


Miss Sandy

P.S. To sign up for the Give Away just leave your name in the comments section and see full details here. You may be wondering how I will select a winner, I am keeping a running list of those who sign up under the comments section of each Give Away post. I assign a number in the order of the date and time the comment was left and will use a random number generator to choose the winner. Number assignments will be posted on October 27, 2007 in a special post.

Photos: My 1st Edition copy of Mud Pies and Other Recipes; 2-7 ATC Envelopes; 8 Mud Pies, and yes I made them myself! 9 Dolly enjoying her mud pie; 10 Reprint of Mud Pies and Other Recipes for Give Away; 11 Vintage Butter Pats for Give Away; 12 Dolly and her guest enjoying cupcakes


Susie Q said...

Oh how magical your blog is and what a joy it has been to read your words and see your photos! I came here via Lidy's blog post and am so blessed to have found you.
I needed a smile tonight and I have found one here.

I doubt I can express how beautiful it all is...and your creations fill my heart! Pure magic!

Your giveaway is so generous but your blog has already *given* away so much to me tonight!

I will be back often and I thank you for such a lovely visit!


Anonymous said...

An ENCHANTING visit, as always. Thank you for sharing with us. Every little bit makes me want to keep coming back. I have collected children's books for years. I love to read the innocent language and simple-time ways that are long gone, in these treasures. Thank you for keeping them alive.

Becky K. said...

I am first time reader sent by Lidy's blog.
She is absolutely right you are an awesome writer and the photos are great.
I was taken back to my introduction to the Library and cannot help but think how "smart" it was to keep us wanting more from the Library. It made it special...
I always feel guilty if I pick up a single plate or saucer just because I love it, but no more! They are good for many things!
Blessings on your day!
Becky K.

Lenna Andrews said...

Dear Miss Sandy,
I am enchanted by your blog & your writing. Yes, as you yourself even say, sometimes your post is a long one! None-the-less sometimes it needs to be to explain, and furthermore I am really enjoying following your artwork for my Mother Goose swap - AND your give-away that was inspired by it. The whole idea- the ATCs, give-away and your writing about it feels very magical and joyful to me.
thank you for adding this to my day. : ) lenna

Lizzy said...

You've got the most delightful blog! And I just looked at the ATCS in a previous post, and they are stunning. Truly gorgeous!
That cookbook brings back memories of my "cooking adventures" in our backyard as a child... Oh, such happy memories!

Pamela Jane said...

another smiling memory recounted delightfully

The Old Painted Cottage said...

What a delightful blog..I enjoyed my visit. And thank you for visiting mine!


karen benson said...

I just found your blog, it is lovely!!!! Enjoy that beautiful baby! Please enter me in your give away, I love pretty goodies! Thanks for sharing! karen b...

Lenna Andrews said...

Dear Miss Sandy, or should I say Hannah : ))
I recieved your ATCs today. They are even more special in person than they are when I view them online. Thank you for the time, effort and love you put into creating each of them. I will watch over them carefully until it is time for them to be adopted. In return, you will receive some wonderful ATCs that looking for a new home. Thank you!
- enjoy your time with your gorgeous grandson!

Joanie said...

I have so enjoyed this trip down your Memory Lane!
I'll be back!
Joanie Hoffman

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

What a treasure your blog is and to think that I'm rediscovering it. This is simply enchanting. I have a vague memory of consuming an entire mudpie at about age 3. I don't recall reading the recipe in a sweet little book like this, though.

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