Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Celebrations · Izannah Walker birthday · Izannah Walker Reproduction Doll · Unboxing

Happy 205th Birthday Izannah Walker ~ The After Party

September 25th, 2022

All the little cloth girls and I were so glad that you could join us yesterday, as we celebrated the 205th anniversary of Izannah Walker’s birth! It was a joyful day in the doll’s very tall house! Today is much quieter, since there were plenty of English muffins left over for breakfast and quite a bit of cake for dessert too. The doll’s also received another birthday delivery from Mr. Twigg and his faithful horse and wagon. Thankfully this parcel was much easier to bring inside.

This evening’s after party is a chance to sit back, relax with friends and chat about all the tea party particulars. ❤

The little christening pincushions shown throughout the doll’s house.

The Little Christening Pincushions Shown Throughout the Doll’s House

If you have been curious about the small decorative pincushions that Sarah Alice and Isabeau were making you will be able to read more abut them in my upcoming article about the history of infant pincushions, titled Welcome Little Stranger which will be in the December 2022 issue of Early American. The article also include instructions for making some of your own. The all three versions pictured, as well as other larger pincushions are included in the article.

Baking for the Tea Party

Sourdough English Muffins

Yes, I did make really tiny sourdough English muffins from scratch, then cut and toasted them in a hot skillet! The jelly and jams that the dolls served at the tea party were also homemade, wild violet jelly made from the violets that I picked from my farmyard this spring, black currant jam made with currants from my garden, and peach jam made with peaches from a local farm. I added a generous pinch of cinnamon to the peach jam to make it taste like peach pie. If you’d like to make your own English muffins I suggest the King Arthur recipe, which is the one I use. I made my own sourdough starter using wholewheat flour. When I bake these sourdough English muffins I use at least 50% wholewheat flour. https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/sourdough-english-muffins-recipe

Prairie Stack Cake

Tillie Lamb’s Gingerbread Layers

This is the recipe that I used for the gingerbread layers of the doll’s latest birthday cake.

Rum Gingerbread

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

2- 1/2 cups flour

1- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup hot water

1/4 cup rum

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Combine butter, sugar and egg.  Stir in dry ingredients alternately with the molasses, water and rum.  Pour into a buttered 9 x 12- inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  You may substitute buttermilk for the water and rum.

front side
2nd side ~1 teaspoon nutmeg – 2 cups nuts ~ which I never add – 1 tsp. vanilla

Pumpkin Cake and Spice Cake

Here is the hand written recipe card that I copied from my mom’s recipe for Pumpkin Cake 40 years ago. The recipe for the spice cake came from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book that she gave me in 1975. I substituted raisins for nuts in the spice cake because the dolls and I like it much better that way.

Cake Frosting

Use your favorite cream cheese buttercream frosting ❤

Alphabet Cookies

Fun Fact

I had to open eleven out of twelve individual packs of Mini Alphabet Cookies to be able to spell Izannah! Surprisingly there were abundant “I”s and “Z”s. The letter that took the longest to find was “N” followed by “A”. I purchased the cookies at Aldi.

Settle by Seth Tudor

The Mysterious Delivery of the Large Wooden Settle

At the end of the birthday celebration the unseen Mr. Twigg leaves a large wooden settle at the front of the doll’s house. Mister Twigg is the little cloth sister’s neighbor who runs a delivery service along with his trusty horse and large wagon. Mister Twigg delivered my birthday present to the dolls. The settle was lovingly made by Seth Tudor, Tasha Tudor’s son. It is 1/3 scale and is a miniature version of a settle that was in Tasha’s house. He makes them in three different scales. This particular size will also work for American Girl’s dolls. The three drawers on the bottom are functional. I’m fairly sure that you can reach him through https://www.tashatudorandfamily.com/ , though I contacted him through the Take Peace Facebook group that I am a member of.

The little cloth girls and I will be painting their settle a custom color once the girls stop squabbling over exactly what that color should be!

Flowers

All of the flowers came from my gardens ❤

One Final Surprise!

The dolls were quite thrilled when Mister Twigg came again today to deliver a parcel. It was a lovely birthday present from their dear friend Kay, who often spoils them with holiday gifts ❤ Thank you Kay!

Thank You for being a part of our twelfth annual Izannah Walker Birthday Celebration ❤ ❤ ❤

Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Celebrations · Izannah Walker birthday

Happy 205th Birthday Izannah Walker! “Welcome! The dolls and I are so happy that you could come to this year’s party…”

Welcome! The dolls and I are so happy that you could come to this year’s party! They’ve assigned me the task of being the official greeter, since they are all rather busy at the moment. Just between the two of us, they are running a bit behind. It all started when Sarah Alice decided they should make something special for Izannah’s birthday…

Earlier this month…

“Isabeau you are so good at sewing! Would you be willing to help me make a special surprise for Izannah’s birthday party?” asked Sarah Alice. “Something pretty to decorate the parlor, that we could keep out all year long to remind us of our very own dear Izannah?” “I might be able to.” hedged Isabeau. “Is it really something we will have time for? The party isn’t all that far away” Sarah Alice assured Isabeau that she had the perfect project in mind and that if they worked together she was positive that they could have it finished in time for the birthday tea. “I don’t know if Izannah’s mother was given a christening pincushion when Izannah was born or not, but I think we should make her one now.” “Two hundred and five years later?” asked Isabeau very gently. “Yes” said Sarah Alice “It will be a wonderful way for us to show that we remember her and still love her.” “That is a lovely idea” agreed Isabeau. So the two sisters snuck away to the parlor, whenever they thought their other sisters were busy, to work on their birthday surprise.

Unbeknownst to Izabeau and Sarah Alice, Izzybelle had been peeking in the parlor window and listening at the door as the two sisters worked on their birthday surprise… I’m sure you must know just how little sisters are, they always want to do the very same things that their older sisters do. So you won’t be at all surprised to learn that Izzybelle started thinking about something special that she could do for the party.

Yesterday…

“Charlcie what kind of cake are you baking for the tea party?” asked Izzybelle in a very innocent voice. “Ismay and I have decided that it would be nice to make a pumpkin cake this year.” replied Charlcie. “Your pumpkin cake is very good, but do you think that it is special enough for a Grand Birthday Tea Party?” replied Izzybelle “Birthday cakes should be very special!” “Don’t you think it would be much nicer if we each baked a layer of cake and put them all together, just like we talked about for Izannah’s 199th birthday party?” “Oh Izzybelle, I really don’t think we have time to do that now, since the party is tomorrow. You know that we are all very busy getting ready. Hannah and Eliza Jane are dusting everything, Zanna is trying to catch all the dogs and give them a bath, Sarah Alice and Isabeau are busy in the parlor and Emma Blue and Tilly Lamb are out in the garden trying to find enough flowers to decorate the house.” said Charlcie. Upon hearing this little Izzybelle looked so sad and disappointed that Charlcie began to relent. “You might go out to the garden and ask Tillie Lamb if she would have time to come bake a layer or two of her famous gingerbread. If, and only if, she is willing to add baking onto her chores, we might try to make a stack cake…” “Shouldn’t we all bake a layer? It would be so much more special if everyone made one!” wailed Izzybelle. “Absolutely not, that is completely out of the question! There is simply not enough time for that. Be happy that Ismay and I will each bake layers and that Tilly Lamb might.” said Charlcie quite firmly.

(The story, which I am very fond of, goes like this; each family invited to a wedding would bring one layer of cake, all of the layers were stacked together to form the wedding cake. I’ve also heard this cake called a prairie wedding cake and have seen reference to each family bringing a different flavored cake layer. 

https://izannahwalker.com/2016/09/25/happy-199th-birthday-izannah-walker-part-4-blow-out-the-candles/ )

“Oh my goodness! We have layers of cake everywhere!” “It’s getting very late, I’m so glad we only have one more layer to bake!”

Eventually very late last night after Izzybelle helped clean up the kitchen floor and was firmly tucked into bed, all the layers of pumpkin, gingerbread and apple spice cake were baked and stacked one on top of another …and if the stack seemed to artistically lean to one side everyone was much too tired to care.

After such an eventful day, and an extremely late bedtime, I’m sure you can understand why the little cloth sisters are still putting the finishing touches on the tea party preparations. Oh! It sounds as if Charlcie has just finished toasting all of the English muffins and that Izzybelle is headed up to the parlor with the jam! They have finally gotten everything just the way they want it and are ready for guests. Let’s go join them in the parlor.

“What a wonderful party!” “I’m not sure if we’ve ever had a better one!” “I ate far too much cake…” “Zanna, would you please pass me another toasted muffin and the wild violet jelly?” “Does anyone else hear a horse and wagon coming up to the house?” “What?” “Are you sure?” “Well it certainly sounds like Mister Twigg and his delivery wagon.” “Are we expecting him?” “Maybe he’s come for the party!” “Yoo-hoo Mister Twigg!” “I think he is leaving.” “Zanna let’s go see if he left anything.”

“Why on earth would Mister Twigg leave this here?” “Just look at the size of it!” “How are we ever going to move this into the house?” “After we say good-by to all of our guests we’ll have to get the rest of the girls to help”

“You know Eliza, this is really quite a comfortable settle.” “It is indeed Tillie, though I’m still surprised we managed to get it in the house and up all the stairs!” “We never would have managed it if we didn’t have so many sisters…” “Wasn’t this just the nicest tea party?” “Yes, and this having this surprise birthday present delivered at the very end was such a treat!”

The dolls and I hope you have enjoyed celebrating Izannah Walker’s 205th birthday with us! This is out twelfth year for our annual virtual party. If you would like to look back at some of the other celebrations just type Izannah birthday in the search bar. For those of you who have attended before you may remember that I do always make it a point to have dolls available for sale as party of the festivities. This year I only have two, who are sweet wonderful dolls, both dressed in brown. I also have one party dress for sale. Some years I have more, but this has been one of those years. I’m sure you know what I mean, as we all have them! Times when everything seems to happen all at once… The good news is that there are dolls for sale today! Please return here at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time to meet my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls. The dolls and the party dress will all be sold on a first come basis.

If you would like to know more about what went into creating today’s party, read the recipes used for the food, and find out more about the infant pincushion that Sarah Alice and Isabeau made then you will definitely want to come back on Monday evening at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time for the After Party!

Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Celebrations · Holidays · Izannah Walker History · Reference Materials · See Me in Print · Videos

Welcoming May with Open Arms!

May is always a favorite month here in the farmyard! All of the flowers and fruit trees are waking up from their long winter naps, the birds are busily building nests, the greenhouse is filled with hundreds of tiny seedlings, and the little cloth girls are venturing out of the doll’s house to help with spring chores.

In addition to all of the normal cheerful activity here at Thyme Forgotten Farm, this May also brings some wonderful news!

I am extremely honored to announce that I have been juried into the Early American Life Directory of Traditional American Crafts for the 43rd time! ❤ The Directory issue will be out later this summer, and I will post more details then.

Another magazine related announcement that I know you will all be very interested in is the May issue of Antique Doll Collector will feature a wonderful article, Waiting for Izannah – One Doll’s Journey written by Laurie W. McGill.

In case this latest article makes you hungry to read more Antique Doll Collector articles about Izannah’s dolls and those of other female cloth dollmakers, here is a list of the ones that have previously appeared in Antique Doll Collector magazine, including the two articles I wrote for ADC. ❤

The last bit of very exciting Izannah Walker news that I have to share is an excellently researched blog post written by Kathy Duncan! She has unearthed some very interesting bits of Izannah Walker history that I found fascinating and that I am sure my fellow Izannahaphiles will absolutely want to read. Here is the link to Kathy Duncan’s blog Flimsies and Frippery. ❤ ❤ ❤

May Day

As some of you may remember, all the little Izannahs and I love May Day and generally try to do something special to celebrate. Yesterday was no exception. The dolls and I decided to enjoy a beautiful day and spend time working outside in the gardens. Sweet little Izzybelle is undoubtedly the most enthusiastic garden helper of all, but to be honest she has had her share of unfortunate garden “occurances”. You might recall the tale of Izzybelle and the Runaway Tomatoes 

Izzybelle and the Runaway Tomatoes!

I’m sad to report that yesterday was unfortunately not one of Izzybelle’s better days in the garden. Let us just say that she is no longer allowed near the sprayer & the vinegar, and leave it at that. In the midst of all the chaos… erm excitement, the other dolls and I quite forgot to photograph our “celebration”.

Once everyone was all clean, tidy and safely back in the very tall house we settled down with our scrapbook and looked back at some of our previous May Days. Afterwards all the little cloth girls drank comforting cups of warm milk and went to bed early, as it had been quite an eventful day!

If you would also like to sit and remember May Days with us click on the links below and imagine that you are turning the pages of our scrap book with us ❤

Looking through our scrapbook and remembering past May Days

Happy May Day!

Sending Sweet May Day Wishes

For the First Day of May
Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Doll Clothing · Restoration and Conservation · Unboxing · Videos

So What WAS in the Bottom of Those Boxes? A Fun Look at More of the Contents From Yesterdays Unboxing Video, and a First Peek At My Favorites

Guess what I found in those boxes???

Emma Blue is just as happy as I am with some of the contents I found! ❤
antique dolls · Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Celebrations · Holidays · Videos

Wishing You All the Magic of the Holiday Season! Happy New Year!!!

All of the dolls who live here at Paula Walton’s A Sweet Remembrance wish you a New Year filled with all good things! To celebrate New Year’s Eve the little cloth girls would like to share their holiday photo album with you ❤
We Wish You a New Year filled with Peace, Love & Contentment!
antique dolls · Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Celebrations · Izannah Walker birthday

Happy 204th Birthday Izannah Walker ~ Tonight’s Bedtime Stories ~ Buzz Goes Fishing & The House That Jack Built A Diverting Story for Children

Buzz Goes Fishing

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Special Announcement! There are only two days left during my annual celebration of Izannah Walker’s birthday and you do not want to miss either of these exciting events!!! Please join us here on http://www.izannahwalker.com at 8:00 PM Eastern time tomorrow Wednesday, September 29th, 2021 for an extremely wonderful evening that all of you who love Izannah Walker’s dolls need to see ❤ I will be sharing information about two antique Izannah Walker dolls that are going to be for sale. (No, they aren’t mine and I will not be releasing the information before tomorrow nights post. Their photographs and descriptions are still a work in progress. ) On Thursday evening at 8 PM Eastern time I will introduce you all to my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls and offer them for sale.

antique dolls · Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Celebrations · Izannah Walker birthday

Happy 204th Birthday Izannah Walker ~ The Family Birthday Party

Did you know that dolls are ever so much happier when they have a kind and loving child to play with? That is especially true for our heroines, the little painted cloth sisters, who live in the very tall wooden house.

One of their most favorite things in the whole world is when their current child, the granddaughter of the dollmaker who they live with, comes to play. Out of all of the play days in the entire year, the Family Birthday Party is the most special, and the one they look forward to with great anticipation every September.

Due to “school days” their own dear little girl can not always attend the birthday party that the sisters give every year in honor of their “mother”. The cloth sisters know all about school, as tucked away in their very long memories are days filled with playing “school” with all the other children that have been important parts of their lives. Their young friends have often pretended to be the “teacher” and the doll sisters have made believe that they are the “pupils”.  At other times one of the sisters has been chosen to be the “teacher”, which unfortunately has led to some hurt feelings among the others. However we will not dwell on that in our present story, for it is a happy one that each and every sister loves…

The doll sisters are not quite clear on exactly why their child must go to school on certain days, for in their world one day flows into the next like a sweet lovely daydream, and if you do not do something today, surely it can wait until tomorrow. For there is always a tomorrow in their lives because little cloth girls never have to grow up. Growing up is something else that they don’t quite understand, though it does sound quite awful, and Izzybelle is convinced that it must hurt dreadfully!

But enough of such serious thoughts! Today is the Family Birthday Party, when their own dear girl will come to call. She will help the sisters decorate their very tall wooden house and fill it with flowers and paper dolls! She will undoubtedly bring them all a wonderful present to share, and she will help them blow out the candles on the Birthday Cake at their tea party! It will be almost as good as Christmas Day itself!

The dolls and their girl did indeed have a wonderful party, where there were a great deal of flowers, paper dolls hung up on bright red string, sweet treats galore, stories read, and yes ~ a special present for them all to play with! A Hitty doll and her book!!! All the little girls, both cloth and real, are looking forward to playing with their present. ❤

“This is you” she said, pointing to Charlcie, “and this is me.” as she indicated tiny Izzybelle…

As you may suspect, all of the little Izannahs and I are excessively fond of bedtime stories! They positively insist on at least one story every night before they will quiet down and go to sleep. You are invited to come join us for a selection of nightly bedtime stories in celebration of Izannah Walker’s 204th birthday! Our celebration will begin Saturday, September 25th, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, and it will continue at 8:00 p.m. every evening through the end of the month, culminating in the unveiling and sale of my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls on Thursday, September 30th. You especially WILL NOT WANT TO MISS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHTS STORIES! We do so hope you will be able to join us each evening for a story that is sure to bring you sweet dreams! 

antique dolls · Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Celebrations · Izannah Walker birthday · Recipes

Happy 204th Birthday Izannah Walker ~ Sunday Evening in the Doll’s House

It is a clear crisp Sunday here at the little cloth sister’s very tall house. They have had such a busy day, playing and running outside in the gardens, that they are all quite ready to gather in the kitchen, make toast in front of their hearth, warm pans of milk for cocoa, then settle down for tonight’s bedtime story.

“That is not a story!”

As they were working in the kitchen I heard Charlcie say “I know the perfect story for tonight! We should read The Birthday Cookery Book!!!” There was an immediate protest from Izzybell, who exclaimed “That is not a story!” Ismay concurred “I’m not quite sure that a Cookery Book can be a bedtime story…”, but sweet faithful Isabeau staunchly defended Charlcie by saying “I don’t see why not, reading it will certainly give me sweet dreams!” Hannah and Eliza Jane agreed, and so it was decided that tonight story would be:

The Birthday Cookery Book 

by a 

Lady Dollmaker

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This is the little cloth sisters favorite birthday cake! Some years it is flavored with vanilla, but they are also very fond of using coconut, eggnog, lavender, rose, or violet flavoring instead.

I like this best with ground vanilla beans. 

1 1/2 cups butter

1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 cups flour

pinch of salt

3 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Cream butter & cream cheese.   Add sugar and cream well.   Add eggs one at a time and beat well.   Stir in flour and salt.   Add vanilla.   Bake in a 10 inch tube or bundt pan.   Start with a cold oven and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

Rose Geranium Pound Cake (a slightly different version of Cream Cheese Pound Cake)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups butter

1 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese

3 cups sugar

6 eggs

3 cups flour

pinch of salt

3 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. rose water

organic rose geranium leaves

Butter and flour, or spray a 10 inch tube pan with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange washed and dried rose geranium leaves, top side down, in the bottom of the pan. Cream butter & cream cheese.   Add sugar and cream well.   Add eggs one at a time and beat well.   Stir in flour and salt.   Add vanilla.

Carefully spoon batter into a 10 inch tube or bundt pan.   Start with a cold oven and bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours.

Stir powdered sugar, vanilla and a bit of milk together, to make a glaze, and pour over warm cake.

Pound Cake

Beat one Cup of Butter to a Cream, slowly beat in one and one third Cups of Sugar.  Add one Teaspoonful of Mace and beat in five whole Eggs, adding them one at a time.  Sift in two Cups of Flour, turn at once into a greased and floured Pan or Mould and bake slowly for one Hour.*

*I baked my cakes in a 300 degree oven, 30 minutes for the doll size cakes and two hours for the larger version.

Apple Cake

from Shirley Shaker Village

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1-1/3 cups flour

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

3 apples, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup currants or raisins

powdered sugar

ground cinnamon

Cream butter and gradually add 1/2 of the sugar, beating well.  Beat egg with remaining sugar, add to first mixture.  Sift in flour, salt and baking powder alternately with the m ilk.  Flavor with vanilla.  Add apples and currants or raisins.  Beat well to mix and turn into a well-buttered 9 inch cake tin, square or round.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon, and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 30 minutes.  Makes 1 cake.

Washington Cake

Beat together 1-1/2 pounds of sugar, and three quarters of a pound of butter; add 4 eggs well beaten, half pint of sour milk, and 1 teaspoon of saleratus*, dissolved in a little hot water.  Stir in gradually 1- 3/4 pounds of flour, 1 wine glassful of wine or brandy, and 1 nutmeg, grated.  Beat all well together.  This will make two round cakes.  It should be baked in a quick oven, and will take from 15 to 30 minutes, according to the thickness of the cakes.

*use baking soda

Rum Gingerbread

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

2- 1/2 cups flour

1- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup hot water

1/4 cup rum

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Combine butter, sugar and egg.  Stir in dry ingredients alternately with the molasses, water and rum.  Pour into a buttered 9 x 12- inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  You may substitute buttermilk for the water and rum.

Sorghum Gingerbread

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

12 teaspoon cloves

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup lard

1 cup hot water

Stir the dry ingredients together.  Mix the lard, butter and hot water together and when melted,pour into the flour mixture.  Stir well, then add the eggs and molasses and stir again.  Spoon the batter into a buttered and floured baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Quince Marmalade

This marmalade is a delicious treat spread on freshly made toast, and eaten as a bedtime treat like the cloth sisters like to do!

Boil the quinces in water until soft, let them cool, and rub all the pulp through a sieve: put two pounds of it to one of sugar, pound a little cochineal, sift it through fine muslin, and mix with the quince to give a colour; pick out the seeds, tie them in a muslin bag, and boil them with the marmalade; when it is a thick jelly, take out the seeds , and put in pots.

I usually pick the fruits from my quince bushes and make them into juice, by slowly simmering them with just enough water to cover, mashing them, then straining the juice.  Then I use the juice, along with thinly sliced quince from my trees to make the marmalade.  This year I read a recipe that called for grating the quince, instead of slicing it.  It worked very well and went much faster, as you do not need to peel the quince before grating.

Slowly cooked quince usually turns a lovely pinkish, red color on it’s own.  If it doesn’t you can add a drop of food coloring, rather than the cochineal.

Quinces are very high in pectin, so you usually do not need to add any, other than your quince seeds in a muslin bag :), but if you are worried about your marmalade setting up, the new Ball brand powdered pectin is very easy, flexible and forgiving to use.  It also lets you easily adjust for varying size batches of marmalade, jam and jelly.

Chocolate Yeast Bread

This dark dense chocolate bread makes a wonderfully indulgent breakfast.  Loaves keep well at room temperature for several weeks during the winter, or may be frozen.  If by some miracle you have any left long enough for it to get a bit dried out, it makes an amazing bread pudding!

6 cups flour

2 cups warm brewed coffee

1 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa

1 cup Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips

3 Tbsp. active dry yeast

1/2 cup melted butter

Measure all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Add warm (110-115 degrees) coffee and cooled melted butter.  Mix by hand with a large wooden spoon or use an electric mixer with a dough hook.  When your dough is completely mixed, shiny and smooth, stir in chocolate chips.  Turn out into an oiled bowl, lightly oil top of dough.  Cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled. 

Punch down, and shape into heart shaped loaves on parchment or silpat covered baking sheets. 

Alternately shape into smooth loaves and put in heart shaped terra cotta bread pans.  Cover loaves and keep warm to rise.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or build a brisk fire and ready reflector oven or dutch oven.

Slash tops of loaves in an X using a sharp knife.  Bake for 20- 40 minutes depending on the size of your loaves, being careful not to burn.

Yeast Gingerbread

6 cups flour

2 Tbsp. yeast

1 Tbsp. baking powder

3 Tbsp. ground ginger

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups warm Earl Grey tea (I used Earl Grey Extra from Simpson and Vail)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. orange oil

2 Tbsp. rum

Measure all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Add warm (110-115 degrees) tea and cooled melted butter, molasses, orange oil and rum.  Mix by hand with a large wooden spoon or use an electric mixer with a dough hook.  The dough will be soft and slightly sticky.

Turn out into an oiled bowl, lightly oil top of dough.  Cover with a clean cloth and set in a warm spot to rise until doubled.

Punch down, and shape into heart shaped loaves on parchment or silpat covered baking sheets.  Or shape into rounded balls and put in a heart shaped cast iron muffin pan. Cover loaves and keep warm to rise.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or build a brisk fire and ready reflector oven or dutch oven.

Slash tops of loaves in an X using a sharp knife.  Bake rolls for 15 – 20 minutes. Bake bread for 20- 40 minutes depending on the size of your loaves, being careful not to burn.

Shrewsbury Cakes

This is a somewhat different receipt for Shrewsbury Cakes, as it has the addition of sweet dried Zante currants, which are not normally found in other receipts. You may also make these cookies as drop cookies, or form them into a log, chill and slice them, rather than making them as cutout cookies as other receipts direct.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or ground mace

1 large egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ to ½ cup of Zante currants soaked in hot water to plump them, then thoroughly drained

In a small bowl, beat the butter until light. Gradually add in the sugar and nutmeg or mace and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then add the flour and beat just until blended.

On a sheet of wax paper, roll the dough into a long, 2-inch diameter log. Wrap in the wax paper and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. (It is important to use wax paper as this dough is very sticky.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter four baking sheets (or two sheets twice).

Cut the dough log into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place the slices about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are light golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. The dough will spread — be careful not to crowd the cookies

Mace Shortbread

3 cups flour

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

1-1/2 cups butter

1/2 tsp. yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 tsp. mace

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

*Proof yeast in warm water for 5 minutes.  Measure flour, powdered sugar, mace and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl.  Add slightly softened butter and mix until all of the butter is worked into the dry ingredients.  Pour proofed yeast/water into bowl and beat until thoroughly incorporated.  Cover bowl with a clean dry cloth and set in a warm place for 1 hour, then chill for 30 minutes.

Roll dough out on a well floured surface to a scant 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with heart shaped cookie cutters.  Emboss the cookies by stamping them with new, washed rubber stamps that have been dusted with flour.   If desired, lightly brush ground nutmeg into the stamped designs before baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes, until just starting to very lightly brown at the edges.  Cool completely before removing from cookie sheets.

* 18th century shortbread receipts call for the addition of barm (yeast).  I followed this tradition when I developed this recipe.  I love mace and decided to add it, along with nutmeg to the cookies (both spices are part of the seeds of the nutmeg tree).

Scottish Shortbread

1 pound butter

1 cup sugar

4 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar.  Add flour a little at a time until it makes a stiff dough.  Pat into a large cookie sheet or 9 x 13 pan, or roll and cut out with tin cookie cutters.  Bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) for 30 minutes or till golden.  If you baked one large sheet, cut it into squares as soon as you remove it from the oven and cool in the pan.

Cobblestones

(Fanny Pierson Crane, Her Receipts, 1796, adaptation)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1- 1/2 cups sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup cracked chocolate (pieces)

Cream together butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla and stir well.  Mix dry ingredients together and stir into creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate.  Drop from a heaping tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet 3 inches apart.  Bake in a medium hot oven for 12-15 minutes.

Eli Whitney’s Grandmother’s Chewy Ginger Cookies

Eli Whitney (1765-1825) dearly loved these cookies that his grandmother made.

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon each of cinnamon & ginger

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 cup molasses

1/4 cup sour milk

4 cups flour

Blend butter, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  Add sugar and beat until smooth.  Add the egg, molasses and sour milk.  Gradually stir in the flour.  Drop from the tip of a teaspoon on to greased baking sheets.  Let stand for 10 minutes, then flatten cookies with a glass covered with a damp cloth.  Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 12 to 15 minutes.

Birth-day Pudding

Butter a deep dish, and lay in slices of bread and butter, wet with milk, and upon these sliced tart apples, sweetened and spiced.   Then lay on another layer of bread and butter and apples, and continue thus till the dish is filled.  Let the top layer be bread and butter, and dip it in milk, turning the buttered side down.  Any other kind of fruit will answer as well.  Put a plate on the top, and bake two hours, then take it off and bake another hour.

This receipt (aka recipe) is from Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book by Catherine E. Beecher.  Catherine Esther Beecher was born in 1800 in East Hampton, Long Island.  She founded the Hartford Female Seminary in 1823 as well as other schools for young women in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.  She wrote A Treatise on Domestic Economy (1841) and Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt-Book (1846).

Snow Ice Cream

fresh clean snow

milk

sugar

vanilla or other flavoring

Put in as much milk as you would like to achieve the consistency that you prefer.  The sugar and vanilla are added to suit your taste.  Stir well and eat immediately.

On the next snowy day take a few  moments to try this recipe and make a lasting memory of your own.

Mrs. Wolter’s No-fail Pie Crust

1 cup Crisco

3 cups flour

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons vinegar

4 -5 tablespoons cold water

1 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, cut Crisco into four with a pastry blender until small size peas form.  Add eggs, vinegar, water and slat & mix with a fork until blended and dough forms a large ball, or use floured hands to mix dough.  Makes three crusts.

Maids of Honor

This receipt for these sweet, chewy little tarts, adapted by several centuries of American cooks, probably came from England originally.

Pastry

1 c. flour

1TB. Sugar

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ c. butter

1/4c. milk

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Sprinkle the milk into the mixture, tossing with a fork and form into a ball.

Filling

2 eggs lightly beaten

2TB. Dry sherry

¼ c. sugar

4 tsp. Flour

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¾ c. almonds, finely chopped

Fruit Jam

Mix the eggs and sherry. Combine the flour, sugar, & nutmeg, stir in egg mixture. Add the almonds. Roll the pastry about ⅛ inch thick and cut into circles that will fit a 1-¾ inch muffin pan, or into the size needed for your tart pans. Spoon a dot of jam into each shell and pour the egg mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Makes about 24 small tarts. 

Van Cortlandt Manor

George and Martha’s Favorite Mince Meat Pie

5 pounds beef, ground

1 pound beef suet, ground

2 pounds raisins

2 pounds currants

1 tablespoon cloves

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 tablespoon pepper

4 cups sugar

1 lemon, juice and rind

1/2 poud citron peel

8 cups apples, chopped fine

Cook the ground beef and after it cools, add all of the other ingredients.  Blend thoroughly and  set aside.

Boil in a large saucepan:

1 quart apple cider

1 quart brandy

2 tablespoons butter

Pour over the other ingredients.  When cool, pack in jars, or cover the bowl well and store in a cool dry place.  Allow to stand for at least 24 hours before using to make pies.  Will keep up to 6 months if  canned in sealed canning jars.

Makes 8 – 12 pies.

George Washington had a definite weakness for mince meat pies.  Martha found it well worthwhile to make up a large batch, for if planned wisely, it only had to be undertaken once each winter.  She recommended not eating these pies at night before going to bed, if the eater valued his slumber.

Receipt from The Early American Cookbook Authentic Favorites for the Modern Kitchen by Dr. Kristie Lynn & Robert W. Pelton.

As you may suspect, all of the little Izannahs and I are excessively fond of bedtime stories! They positively insist on at least one story every night before they will quiet down and go to sleep. You are invited to come join us for a selection of nightly bedtime stories in celebration of Izannah Walker’s 204th birthday! Our celebration began on Saturday evening, September 25th, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, and it will continue at 8:00 p.m. every evening through the end of the month, culminating in the unveiling and sale of my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls on Thursday, September 30th. We do so hope you will be able to join us each evening for a story that is sure to bring you sweet dreams! 

Antique Izannah Walker Dolls · Celebrations · Izannah Walker birthday

Once Upon a Time… A Storybook Celebration of Izannah Walker’s 204th Birthday

Once upon a time…

Once upon a time there were nine little painted cloth girls who lived in an excessively old, and very tall wooden house that seemed to reach all the way up into the sky, or at the very least up to the rafters. All of the girls were sisters, who had been made quite a long time ago by a talented woman who cleverly invented her own way of creating dolls. Naturally they all thought it was the very BEST way, and they secretly pitied any dolls that were made differently, though they were much too well behaved to say so out loud.

Years, and years, and even more years had gone by since the doll sisters had first been new playmates for sweet young girls and boys. It had been so very long ago that they remembered those days best when they were dreaming…  Now in their waking life they lived with another dollmaker, of whom they were quite fond, because she loved them and took good care to make sure that they were safe and happy. 

… and the sisters were very happy indeed! For they loved living together in their very tall house, with it’s kitchen on the bottom, it’s very gaily painted parlor, it’s warm and cozy pink bedroom, and it’s pointy little attic way, way up on the very tip top!

Even though the cloth sisters were actually quite old, if you are the sort of person who cares about such things as years and arithmetic, they still thought of themselves as young girls. For that is what they truly were in their heart of hearts!

So the girls spent their days playing with each other, and with their current dollmaker and her granddaughter. They enjoyed laughing and talking to one another, taking walks in the flower garden and playing hide and seek among the vegetables. They took turns doing the chores that needed to be done all around their very tall house, and every year without fail they had a special birthday party for their original dollmaker, for she was truly their mother, and all good children remember their mother on her birthday!

Happy 204th Birthday Izannah Walker!

As you may suspect, all of the little Izannahs and I are excessively fond of bedtime stories! They positively insist on at least one story every night before they will quiet down and go to sleep. You are invited to come join us for a selection of nightly bedtime stories in celebration of Izannah Walker’s 204th birthday! Our celebration will begin this evening Saturday, September 25th, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, and it will continue at 8:00 p.m. every evening through the end of the month, culminating in the unveiling and sale of my latest reproduction Izannah Walker dolls on Thursday, September 30th. We do so hope you will be able to join us each evening for a story that is sure to bring you sweet dreams!