Wednesday, April 25, 2012

the purple option in food & cloth









I've been cooking with frozen grape juice made last fall from our grape harvest. We have both a seedless St. Theresa grapevine and an old-fashioned Concord with seeds. St. Theresa is sweeter than Concord which is surprising because usually varieties of anything are sweeter when they have seeds. I've discovered that St. Theresa is good for drinking and Concord is great in recipes because it's more robust. I think that adequately describes the difference, anyway. 

I thought the Welch's website would be a sure thing so I tried some of their recipes substituting with our grape juice. The grape sauce over chicken was nice but the grapey salad dressing was fabulous in a spinach salad with salty feta cheese. Chopped fresh mint took it where it went and we literally drank from the bowl what was left when the greens were gone. So unmannerly.

After that, a color trail started forming . . . there's not quite enough dark blue linen for the Japanese knot bag so I'm wondering about using purple silk for all or part, maybe just the base for a surprise.

Every few years African violets work their way back into my heart and home. My grandmother grew them in her kitchen window and it's a nice memory. She also had oilcloth on her kitchen table and I've a yearning for that now, too.  Does anyone else love it? I saw some light blue with white polka dots in a magazine somewhere, that would be perfect. 

8 comments:

Sara Crittenden Coppedge said...

My Grandmother and my Mom always grew Violets! I never could keep them going........There is a shop in Fredericksburg that carries a huge selection of oilcloth. They also carry some things made from oilcloth like tablecloths, bags, cushions and aprons. It is so pretty and bright.

deanna7trees said...

i love the violets but don't have the right light for them. we always had oilcloth table cloths. oil cloth has come back in some nice prints.

Jeannie said...

Yes and yes! I purchased some unloved African violets last fall and they are rewarding me with some flowers. My Gram grew everything and could even get her poinsettias to bloom again (I do not have the patience for that!!!). Oil cloth really has made a comeback and it is so much prettier than what I remember Mom having. Your salad sounds so delicious. Welches used to have two plants near us, but closed them in the past 5 years, so sad. This area moved away from eating grapes to wine grapes.

woman with wings said...

Hi Sara, sweet memories, yes? I know, I can't keep them going either, thus I buy the 2 for 1's at the grocery store every couple of years! I'll have to check around for some fun oilcloth.

woman with wings said...

Deanna, I probably don't have the right light either. Or the right touch. But I keep trying! I remember when we first got our oak kitchen table and my mom wanted me to get some oilcloth for it. Of course, that was a horrifying thought at the time, why have a nice wood table if you're going to cover it up, I wondered. I've come full circle.

woman with wings said...

Jeannie, you've got the touch if they've lasted this long! Definitely. I know what you mean about the oilcloth, it wasn't that great looking. Did it smell like bread crumbs or is that a random out-of-place memory? Ha.
Hopefully, grapes will make a resurgence -- I mean they're a health food in pretty much all forms. That reminds me, I need me a glass of wine tonight!

Nancy said...

Oil cloth has come back...and you're right in a nicer quality than days of old.
I always tried the violets too...along with my heather. I'm no good at either! My neighbor has a big beautiful african violet plant!
My friends grandma had a chain-link fence with a gate that had the curly top (the really old fashioned type). I've wanted one of those gates, I don't have, want or need the fence...just the gate! I figure it would make a good place to clip things in the studio :) We used to walk to her house and sit at the kitchen table drinking iced tea with enough sweet-n-low to do damage for a lifetime!!! haha Oh the days of innocence and not yet knowing of all the 'research' out there!! Such fond memories.

Deb G said...

I have some oil cloth that I love and try to take very good care of.... It is a plastic laminate and I'm not sure I'd buy more now.