May Day ~ Fun Finds

A beautiful and bountiful bouquet of treasures to welcome May

We.love.vintage

This is a special Sunday edition of Fun Finds Friday because it’s May Day!  When I was in elementary school, we made little paper baskets and filled them with paper (or real) flowers to hang on people’s doors for May Day.  This friendly activity may have gone away, but May Day still is a celebration that spring has arrived.

Enjoy these sweet May Day finds from the Etsy Vintage Team…

il_570xN.957780304_16t0Vintage Postcard

flowers in color1948 Gardening Book

il_570xN.895435390_o6ly1960s Flowered Hat

flower pinFlower Basket Brooch

il_570xN.599347229_ngxpFlowerpot Novelty Fabric

tiered trayBlue Ridge Pottery Tidbit Tray

blossom girlCeramic Figurine

il_570xN.923072821_qwddDamascene Rose Print

il_570xN.715850933_nzevHandmade Vintage Button Bouquet

bud vaseMilk Glass Bud Vase

blue flowerPeriwinkle Flower Magnet

il_570xN.1003179827_ayih HappyVintage Iris Tin

Happy May Day, everyone!

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The Easter Bonnet – Still in Fashion?

Girl in MIrror Easter Hat crop

Just the mere mention of an Easter Bonnet and my memory swells with favorites from my childhood. Sometimes the hat was brand new and sometimes it was a hand-me-down from my older (and wiser she tells me) sister – but it was new to me. I waited each year for Easter so I could show off my latest treasure and I felt like a princess as we headed to church on Easter morning. I think I walked just a little taller and straighter those days to show off my finery.

Easter Family Photo(Yes, that’s me with the goofy grin on the right hand side of the picture)

Alas, I wonder now if the Easter bonnet has gone the way of hand written notes – a thoughtful pastime so seldom now enjoyed. That got me thinking about the tradition of the Easter bonnet – off to do some research on the subject.

Easter Christie Girls

An Easter bonnet represents the tail-end of a tradition of wearing new clothes at Easter in harmony with the renewal of the year and the promise of spiritual renewal and redemption.. Ladies purchased new and elaborate designs for church services, and in the case of Easter, taking the opportunity of the end of Lent to buy luxury items. Easter Bonnets come from European traditions of wearing flowers on a hat to celebrate spring.

Easter Art Fancy Hat

The icy grip of winter gives way to the warm days of spring. The landscape is reborn as Mother Nature adorns it with lush green grass, bushes, budding trees, and colorful wildflowers. A sense of euphoria envelops the people who act out their traditional rites of spring.

Easter Bonnet

In Roman times, young women celebrated this season by wearing wreaths of laurel and olive leaves, intertwined with flowers. Some believe this symbolizes rebirth, hope, and a new beginning.

Easter laurel wreath headband

See more at: http://www.hattales.com/discover/hatstorians/how-the-easter-hat-(bonnet)-evolved/

Now, in a more casual society, Easter Bonnets are becoming harder to find, as fewer and fewer women bother with the tradition. Still, modern Easter bonnets for children are usually white wide-brimmed hats with a pastel colored satin ribbon around it and tied in a bow. It may also have flowers or other springtime motifs on top, and may match a special dress picked out for the occasion. – hey, wait – that’s just what I had as a child of the 50s and 60s.

Easter bonnet verse

I know that in towns large and small you may still find the traditional Easter Parade and all manner of fancy bonnets will be found. Beyond these parades, do folks still buy and show off their fancy hats?

Easter Coke Tray

Easter Bonnets appear in art and on vintage postcards and often referred to in music – all celebrating spring renewal and a gentler time gone by. I shall hold fast to my memories of my favorite bonnet. And of course it meant after church whipping it off as fast as possible and heading to the Easter Egg hunt – I needed something to put my finds in.

EasterChick on Straw Hat with flowersHappy Easter and happy bonnet wearing!

Garlic Scapes ~ WHAAAT?

Back in November when the garden was put to bed, summer’s harvest preserved, frozen or consumed, the planting season was not quite over. Garlic bulbs needed to be nestled in the ground to provide winter dreams, a summer scape harvest and of course fall bulbs.

 

Planting the bulbs is a kin to traveling the world. As I set out the plant labels for each row I mentally did a trip around the globe as I read the names – German Extra Hardy, Russian Red, Persian Star, Georgian Fire, Korean Purple, French, Leningrad, Yugoslavian, Fish Lake (that one’s local), Bavarian Purple and Polish Jenn; each with its own flavour and colour.

Garlic Signs 2

 

Bulbs were planted and mulched and I proceeded to await the snowfall to cover my buried treasures. Then I wait, and wait. Wait through the long winter snow ice and cold until spring’s warming sun melts the snow and awakens the sleeping bulbs. Once they push through the ground they seem to grow faster than James Hinchcliffe circles a racetrack. Then, there they are usually in early July – like a prize trophy – the first scapes.

Garlic Scape

Garlic scapes are in essence a flower stalk and as such need to be removed to send the plant’s energy to bulb production. This can be a laborious task when planted in numbers but rewarding for certain. The scapes grow at a rather rapid pace and twist and turn into an otherworldly shape. They are best removed when slender and at their most juicy and timing is important. The earlier you snip the scape gives you a larger bulb, sacrificing some storage life. Leave your scape on until the curl starts to straighten, and you increase bulb storage life greatly

 

So, what to do with these odd stalks once cut? Yes, the compost heap is one alternative however not my first suggestion. Turn these lovely slightly garlic-scented stalks into all sorts of treasure. Google garlic scape recipes and you will be surprised at what you can do with them.

 

Don’t want to be too fancy with them? Slice them and add them to the water before boiling rice or pasta. You can pickle them using your favorite pickling juice, make them into pesto, make scape butter, the uses are endless.

 

Discard the flower bulb and chop up the thin slender stalk into smallish pieces. Chuck them into a food processor and grind them up into a paste. Once they approach a fine chop, drizzle in oil olive to make a nice paste. Stuff the paste into square ice cube trays or fancy shaped trays and freeze. Once frozen pop them into freezer bags and presto – pesto. Sure you could add some cheese or pinenuts but I go for the plain approach.

Scape Hearts2

Ground Scapes Ready for Freezing

Put an old Ice Cube Tray in to service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen scapes ready for bagging and storing

 

Try one of these cubes slathered on hot corn on the cob. Pop them right from the freezer into a soup, stew or pasta sauce, put one or two inside a whole chicken before roasting.

 

Scape butter is easy as well – grind the scapes in the food processor and instead of adding oil, fold this ground mixture into butter (or margarine) and roll into logs. Wrap them in plastic wrap and foil and freeze. When roasting that next chicken cut off a 2-3 inch piece of the frozen log and place inside the chicken (with or without some herbs).

 

I have one friend who owns a B&B and he uses these spectacular scapes as part of his flower arrangements. As I said, the uses are endless. Watch for garlic scapes at your local farmers’ market where they are often found in abundance for a very short period of time.

 

You can find me  in the garden waiting with scissors in hand, just waiting for my scapes to appear. Oh, gotta go, I see them now.

Spring Heave-Ho ~ Rusty Relics and Glistening Glass

Let’s face it,  most of us wait for spring. And, no matter how long and fierce the winter, spring eventually lands on our doorstep. Like many others, I love spring, the sense of renewal and hope and on the farm – discovery.

There is a wonderful voyage of discovery as you find the first flower shoots pushing their way through the snow and thawing ground like eager shoppers at a Walmart sale. Each flower wants to be first on the scene. In my vegetable garden I eagerly await the tender green shoots of garlic, lovingly planted in the fall and they never fail to reward me. Dreams of garlic scapes dance through my head

The other wonderful discovery in the spring on the farm is what the ground heaves up, gosh that does not sound appealing but that is the best description I can give you. Years ago we were not as diligent about where and how garbage was disposed of. Year over year the ground offers up buried treasures and bits from our past, like a living history lesson.

Note Relics of the Past crop

Each spring there is the glint of broken glass and rusty relics such as horseshoes, poles, buckets, drawbars and discarded metal utensils. Old farm utensils always seem to make an appearance as does barbed wire and pieces of china.

A small sampling of this year’s discovery including a bed spring (perhaps I shall place a candle in that), rusty weigh scales, a fry pan, wrench, horse bit, chain, ornate metal work perhaps from an old sleigh or carriage. Much of the glass is broken however this year there were wonderful glass discoveries in blue, brown and green as well as clear glass. Lots of Javex bottles and 1 green bottle discovery turned into 7 bottles – presto, instant collection.

Rescued Collection

Bottle Collection

Blue Bottle

 

Many of these treasures are cleaned up and displayed in my farmhouse kitchen. Others end up on the wall of our wood shed sort of like a trophy case.

Woodshed Whimsy

 

Perhaps my favorite find this year is a small plaque from our town that was affixed to something at one time. Now I’m on a research mission to find out about this business, the time frame and what it may relate to.

Metal Plaque

Ah, the joys of spring on the farm, so much to discover and treasure; I adore the Spring Heave-Ho.

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~Margaret Atwood

Scented Violets

Scented Violets