Cool Stuff – Home & Family

My Family Recipe Book

There once was a woman named Virginia Elizabeth Williams Gray. People called her “Jennie” Gray back in the 1800’s. She was my other great-great grandmother. Whereas, Evelyn Day Bruner was my great-grandmother’s mother, Jennie was my great-grandfather’s mother. We shall call her the tree trunk. Because she is the basis for a very wonderful tradition that links the many branches of my family. She is the basis for a family […]

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Grandma’s Pudding

Grandma Pellegrini has these faintly pink glass bowls in her house. She’s had them since the 1930’s. She and her sister (my great-aunt) lived together in New York City when they were working girls. I like that she still has them. She served me a pudding in them that I would like to tell you about, because it was a spectacular pudding. She has a way with puddings, she really […]

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R.I.P. Lucy (a.k.a. I hate coyotes)

I had a nice post about pudding that I was about to share with you today. But I need to vent. So I hope you’ll indulge me. The pudding will have to wait until Monday. I hate coyotes. They offer nothing and take everything. On the plane ride two days ago I was watching a news story about how they are becoming so aggressive that they are coming into people’s […]

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Loretta Had a Sex Change

Loretta has had quite a colorful life in her seven months as a bird. As you remember, she started out as the one “rare breed” sent to us in the little box with all the other Rhode Island Reds that arrived at the post office. She was called a “Buff Laced Polish Chicken” and she was pretty and yellow while the others were all orange. She was always a little […]

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Yellow Corn Bread with Grandma P.

A few weeks ago Grandma Pellegrini sent me an email. Yes, she does email. She also does facebook. It is the dawn of a new era. She said: “I’m just sitting down to enjoy my soup and my latest triumph in the kitchen.  I decided this morning to put my various cast iron baking pans to good use.   It entailed a major restoration, cleaning, and seasoning.  After several hours of […]

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Nature’s Strange Happenings

This is a sampling of what comes out of the chicken coop at Tulipwood. Very strange indeed. On the left is a “pullet egg,” in between are some version of medium and large eggs that you would find in the grocery store, and on the right is a “double yolk” egg. Pullets are chickens that have just started to lay, which happens in about 6 months. They start out by […]

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My Great-Great Grandmother’s Recipe Book

I found my version of gold tucked away in an old drawer. It was a tiny black book. And when I read the cover, I had to know more. So I investigated, and guess what I discovered… this was my great-great grandmother’s recipe book! Her name was Evelyn Day Bruner. She lived in Brooklyn but was born in the mid-west. It’s tattered in a charming kind of way. “Well-used” shall […]

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Deviled Eggs and Other Trickery

When you have eighteen chickens and thirteen Guinea hens in your life, there are a lot of eggs to contend with. It is definitely a nice problem to have. I went on a quest recently to find eggs in the store with yolks as bright as the ones my chickens produce, and I have yet to find any. I know their diet in the Winter means a paler yolk, but […]

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Happy New Year!

I like fireworks. My brother really likes fireworks. As a six year old he made us go into dark alleys and backrooms in Chinatown stores to buy fireworks from “toy store owners.” When we first entered, they “didn’t have any” and shrugged us away. But if you lingered in the store a little longer you would suddenly be tapped on the shoulder and ushered into a creaky chamber where a […]

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A Christmas Party

Tonight I’m going to my favorite dinner of the year. It is at my Godparents’ mother’s house and it is “The Feast of the Seven Fishes.” It is an Italian American tradition and will include baked mussels, steamed mussels, baked clams, minced clams, salt cod, crab and avocado salad, prawns in more forms than you can imagine, maybe some lobster, and some things that I’m forgetting. And there will be […]

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