Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tea and Macaroons on the Porch (this one's for Ginny)

Come and join me on the porch. I made some coconut macaroons to go with our tea. We'll sit and sip and talk about those who have enjoyed the porch before us. We, as they most probably did, will nod and smile to the young mother pushing her infant in a carriage followed by a toddler trying to master his tricycle. The elderly couple from next door will stop to comment on how nice the lawn looks since we've had plenty of rain. We'll offer the mail carrier a cookie when he deposits the heavy load of catalogs and junk mail in the postal box on the porch. Mostly we'll just enjoy each other's company.

Stay 'til the end of the visit for the recipe please

This year's color scheme includes shades of orange and green.

The sun is overhead right now giving us a cool respite. If you click on the above photo, it won't seem as dark.

This lovely trailing plant is a type of begonia. It has bloomed continuously and drops it's blossoms all over the bannister and porch daily. I just consider them a carpet of beauty.

I was so busy preparing us a pot of tea that I forgot to straighten out the pillows on the settee.

May I pour you a cup?

Coconut Macaroons

1 pkg (7 oz) *Baker's Angel Flake Coconut
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbps flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract

*Unless you want to crack and flake a coconut, I think Baker's is the best coconut available and I've tried quite a few including some from health food stores.

Mix coconut, sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in egg whites (I whisk them a bit with a fork just to start a breakdown of the albumin before adding) and almond extract until well blended.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a greased and floured baking sheet.

Bake about twenty minutes until browned around the edges.

Cool on wire rack.

If you want to dip them in chocolate (who doesn't), melt about five ounces of chocolate and dip the bottoms of the macaroons. I used Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate for a contrast with the sweet cookie.

A Stroll About Town

I just looked at the thermometer-70 degrees! The sun is shining. The birds are tweeting. It's a good day to take you for a stroll around my neighborhood.

We'll start on the square because I want to show you the courthouse. I'm not photo talented enough to get a complete image of the "Grand Old Lady". This is the Main Street entrance. Inside are shops, restaurants and a museum. There's a beautiful ballroom as well. Back in the day, our town was known as "The Gretna Green of the Midwest". Rudolph Valentino, Tom Mix, Joe DiMaggio, Red Skelton and Cassius Clay were a few of the notables who wed here.

Just south of the square sits the Carnegie Library circa 1906. It was added onto (behind) in the early 1970s and there are plans (more about that in another post--hopefully very soon) for a new library just north of the square. The Carnegie part of the library houses the administration offices. It is quite spectacular and the Library Trustees are committed to preserving the historic structure.

This grand old lady sits diagonally across the street from us. Built in the late 1900s, it is still owned by a member of the original family. They owned a large lumber yard which is still in operation.

Known as "The Sheriff's House", this was the home of Lillian Holley. She was the sheriff (having taken over after her husband was killed in the line of duty) on whose "watch" John Dillinger escaped from the local jail (see "Public Enemy" with Johnny Depp). Dillinger stole her brand new Ford and headed into the city and his final destination!

This home sits a few houses south of me. There was an auction there last Saturday. The elderly couple, now in a retirement facility, decided to have an estate auction while they could still attend and see who purchased their treasures. It was bittersweet.

This home is quite spectacular year around but at Halloween it really stands out. The owner does an outstanding job with ghosties and goblins.

I wish I could show you the gardens of this house. They've been featured in a number of magazines in the past few years. It sits one house south of me so I treat the gardens as if they were my own!!

Let's stop now and visit over coffee.