History repeats itself...
Please enjoy this entry first posted on May 21st, 2013.
More important, try the recipe below. It's delicious!
Ever notice? What goes around
comes around. Tory Burch and
Trina Turk regularly knock off
the contents of Palm Beach and
Greenwich matron's closets. It's
amazing how the things that we
grew up with are back including
stereos, LPs, and even 8-Tracks!
Well... almost everything.
Talk about chintzy
Sadly my mother's favorite style -
"Colonial" or "Early American"
has yet to make a comeback. Ethel
was consumed with maple, chintz,
and knotty pine. During the sixties,
she replaced aqua and rust with a
new "modern" palette of Avocado,
Harvest Gold, and Federal Blue.
Yet everything that Mother loved
was closely linked to the past.
Who knows where her historical
compulsion originated? It could
have been Bringing Up Baby,
Holiday Inn, or Lucy's move to
Westport. Along with Ethel, all
Americans fell in love with all
things revolutionary post war.
And much like Disneyland, it
had no resemblance to reality!
Among the icons of this interior
decor phenomena were spinning
wheels, drums, pot belly stoves,
and militia men. All took places
of honor in our home. Often as
lamps topped with gigantically
ruffled crinoline lampshades.
History repeats itself
By the seventies Ethel embraced all
things Williamsburg. Each spring
we made a pilgimage to mecca. As
she visited Mother would pick up
a plethora of decorating ideas. Thus
upon our new cherry "Queen Anne"
coffee table sat several Craft House,
Ethan Allen, and Pennsylvania House
catalogs. Ready as needed for quick
reference, inspiration, or affirmation!
The crescendo of our colonial compulsion
came when my parents retired to their new
dream home near the James River. For the
next twenty years Mom and Dad strolled
Duke of Gloucester Street every afternoon.
Ethel was never happier than when sitting
on her screened porch in the 90% humidity
surrounded by perfectly trimmed boxwood,
flowering dogwood, and blooming azaleas.
Proof that she was an old fashioned girl.
Proud of her colonial heritage
Ethel enjoyed entertaining in
her colonial abode. For many
years a steady stream of their
northern friends annually made
a pilgrimage down south.
Mother immersed her guests in colonial
splendor. Her table set with octagonal
ironstone, purposefully dulled pewter,
three pronged forks, hurricane shades,
and polished brass. The Smithfield ham
came from across the James River but
Mother's favorite menu item was Cream
of Peanut Soup. Not only a conversation
starter, it's delicious. Take a walk down
Duke of Gloucester Street with Ethel!
Cream Of Peanut Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 quarts good chicken stock
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 3/4 cups light cream
Saute onion and celery
in butter until soft, not brown.
Stir in flour until well-blended.
Add chicken stock
Bring to a boil.
Remove from heat.
Rub through a sieve.
Add peanut butter and cream,
stirring to blend thoroughly.
Return to low heat, do not boil.
Garnish with chopped peanuts.