Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Bargain Lady

I could tell it was going to be a good one, you could see before you ever got out of the car that this place had all the bells and whistles of a great "pick!" 

The toys that set on the sidewalk out front had been loved, but the colors were still bright and they had the ability to make a child or a "child at heart" happy. I had a tricycle just like this one in the 1950's and my brother ran the wheels of his Flying O tractor!

It was a hot day when we went through Kingston on our way down into the Boxley Valley, but the door was open at Carlton's on the historic square. All that separated us from 2012 and a giant leap back into our past was the old screen door. Even that was a part of my past, I can remember when lots of businesses had the familiar "Colonial is Good Bread" advertised.

The Bargain Lady was just inside, anxious to share the treasures that she'd spent a lifetime gathering. 

Even Jack was glad to see us, he woke up and came over for a pat on the head!

So much to look at... 

Memorabilia from days gone by...

Historic pieces from Kingston's past, this was the old mail window from the original building. 

A penny gumball machine, old pop bottles and jars lined the shelves for sale.

Betty's husband Sam was working on converting this old Huffy bicycle to a gas motor. Patience is either something you are born with or you work hard to master, I'm guessing he falls into the first category!

One of the best things about Carlton's were the Words of Wisdom throughout the store...

These old signs are hard to find anymore, one of these days we won't see them at all. 

If you love antiques, it doesn't matter that this person isn't your long lost Great Aunt. Like an old watch, it shows that time has a way of getting away from you if you don't cherish and preserve the moments. Even though all of these things are slightly worn or chipped, they are priceless. 

The old buildings have stories to tell, all you have to do is step inside and say hello!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Cincinnati "Skyline Chili"

It wasn't the 1st thing on our list, but it was definately near the top! Cincinnati's famous Skyline Chili, we didn't know what to expect... rumor was it has cinnamon AND chocolate in the recipe. For former Texans, born and raised in the south that might be sacrilege! We went to the old downtown location, 7th and Vine, natives say it's where you get the true "experience."  

It was a Friday and nearly every seat was taken, we found a table near the back in good view of the show. Just behind the counter was line of seasoned employees who ladled out  1 Ways to 5 Ways in portions that shouldn't have fit on the 6" oval plates, but did!

Our waitress Tabby was a walking, talking tour guide... the city may just have her "planted" to make sure tourists get the real flavor of Cincinnati!

It was a little hard, there were so many ways to enjoy the chili, but I decided on TWO coneys, I thought they were small!  

They start you off with a bowl of oyster crackers and if I had payed attention to the locals (that's a really good tip when you are someplace that you just aren't sure what to order) I'd have noticed that many started with the small bowl of chili and then got ONE coney! 

Jerry ordered the 5 Way... chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions and beans. I was too busy diving into my coneys to get any before pictures, sorry! I came home with a recipe for Cincinnati style chili, but after Googling a little, I found one that was leaked by an employee. Sunday afternoon I decided to try it out. The technique of simmering the hamburger in water for 30 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients is key to the texture that is distinctive to this chili. The spices are right on, this is  a very good knock off recipe that will satisfy our NEED for Cincinnati's most famous addiction!
1 quart cold water
2 lbs ground beef (I used lean ground beef)
2 cups crushed tomato
2 yellow onions, diced 
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 whole bay leaf
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cooked spaghetti to serve chili over, optional
The Cincinnati "Skyline" Chili Ordering Code

1-way: just the chili

2-way: chili served over spaghetti

3-way: chili, spaghetti, and grated Cheddar cheese

4-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions

5-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans

All "ways" are served with oyster crackers.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Waiting for Santa

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

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