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Friday, September 9, 2011

Heirloom Silver and an Heirloom Recipe

Once again, I am filching a post from the past, from September 2009.
I hope you don't mind!   I promise that I'll be back in form soon; I've been seeing our dog
Dion through a bit of a rough patch, but he's pretty much "all better" now.

So it's Heirloom Silver and Applesauce
on this September Friday.

Most old houses, and many new ones,
shelter some sort of heirlooms, things that speak to us of our past.

One of the many heirlooms at That Old House is my grandmother's silver plate tea set.

I apologize; it is terribly tarnished.  I don't polish these pieces often, as they are old plate
and I don't want to risk polishing right through to the metal beneath.
Tarnish doesn't hurt them -- overly zealous polishing might.
When I was a little girl, my mother kept this set on the low coffee table in the living room.
I thought it was absolutely beautiful.

It had belonged to my grandmother, who was named Catherine.
She passed it on to my mother, another Catherine.

I was very young when I asked if I could have it someday -- after all, my big girl name is also Catherine -- 
and my mother answered, "When you get married."   I think she even meant it.

About 6 years after my wedding, I finally pried it from her desperate, sweaty grasp.

I am not sure how old it is.  It's not valuable, except to me.
It is 1881 Rogers Quadruple Plate, Pattern 5014.
Does anyone have access to a good book on silverplated holloware?

Again, I am sorry for the condition of the pieces today;
you can see from the undersides that they polish up nicely.

Clearly, my Grandmother used this set. It has some small dings and dents.

Does anyone else think the tea pot looks like Aladdin's lamp?
I wonder what would happen if I made a wish as I polished it?

I hope, if a Genie ever pops out, that he washes
windows, pulls weeds, and empties the dishwasher.
Them's my three wishes.

I love the engraving on the tops of the pieces, and the blank spaces for monograms.
I doubt my grandparents could have afforded to have the tea set monogrammed; they had 7 children to raise!

Okay, this post is getting long and rambling,
so I'm going to segue smoothly right into
The Applesauce.
There, wasn't that smooth? So is The Applesauce. It's by way of being an heirloom recipe,
handed down to me from my mother.  It uses every part of the apple, even the oink.

Here's what you do:  Take some apples. Any apples. Drops, bruised, or perfect, any variety.  Wash them well,
making sure to get into those dusty dents, stem and stern, where the apple's belly button lint collects.

Next, put them in a bowl and briefly admire how nice they look
with drops of water artistically clinging to their adorable apple-y selves.

Then get out a cutting board and a cleaver, and hack them up.

Any which way.  Function over form on this one, friends.
Even halved down the middle to expose that secret star in the center of every apple.
It doesn't matter how you chop them up, but do not peel them, do not remove their cores.
Just cut them up, and plop them into a nice big stockpot.
Add enough water that you can see it down near the bottom of the pot, between the apples.
Don't cover them up with water, or you will end up with very lumpy apple juice.  Think steam, not  boil.
Get the water steaming, then cook the apples until they are soft and mushy.
Next, pull out that nifty kitchen appliance
that our great-grandmothers swore by:
The Food Mill.
Often called the Foley Food Mill, or just The Foley, as Foley made (makes!) most of them.
Fancy food mills have interchangeable plates for coarse through smooth puree-ing.
Mine is not fancy.  I got it at Woolworth's a hundred years ago.  One size fits all.

Cooked apples go into the food mill,
food mill goes over a big bowl,
elbow grease keeps the mill turning . . .
and you end up with a lovely bowl full of amazing applesauce.
And a big pile of empty skins and seeds and other icky parts left in the food mill, that you just toss out.

You know that phrase, "You've been through the mill?" I think it means the Food Mill.
Meanwhile, the applesauce has gained every last bit of flavor from the apples.
No waste. You can add sugar if you must; I usually don't.
Cinnamon?  Don't be silly.

These apples were little MacIntoshes from a New Jersey orchard.
They also grow fabulous eating apples, bred specially for New Jersey. 

(When those Jersey apples ask, "You wanna piece o'me? Huh?  You wanna piece of ME?" . . . 
you can truthfully answer, "Yes!  I do!")

Sadly I cannot remember the name of these Jersey bred apples.
I will just have to go back to the orchard and get some more.

Let's have lunch, what do you say?

Freshly made, warm applesauce, pink tinted from the rosy peelings,

cornbread hot out of the oven

extra sharp Wisconsin Cheddar, and good Colombian coffee.

As my other Grandmother used to say, when she finished
putting the food down at dinner to feed her family of 9,
"Well, that's all there is, and what are you going to do about it?"

Go ahead, sit down.
The table is set in the conservatory.

If you are really peckish, I've got a little seafood chowder heating up. ;-)


LaurieAnna's Vintage Home is sponsoring a new meme -- Farmhouse Friday Click here!
At My Romantic Home, it's Show And Tell Friday Click here!
It's Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage.  Click here!
The Charm of Home features Home Sweet Home on Fridays.  Click here!
It's Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground.  Click here!

P.S. Illustrated Note to Self: When cooking on a stove, it helps to
turn on the burner that is actually underneath the pot.
Otherwise, it just takes too long.

Yes, I really did that. Doh!

Thankfully, I have since switched from the hated smooth cooktop, to a gas stove top.
No more mixup as to which burner is on anymore!  -- Cass


  1. Your house is adorable! I love it!
    And that silver set, it should live in that old house! Just darling!
    I truly enjoyed my visited tonight. I am your newest follower!

  2. I love it when my apples oink! The applesauce sounds great and that's a perfect lunch-enjoy:@)

  3. Cass, I just knew you were going for the food mill before you did. It just makes perfect sense. The tea set does look like a genie's lamp and I echo those wishes of yours. ♥O

  4. Fantastic post! Gorgeous silver and yummy food! The table looks awesome. Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  5. Cass,
    I love the silver plate. When I moved to Florida, I needed to downsize....Got rid of a lot of silver stuff. Now I am slowly adding some back (for blogging dontcha know).

    My mother made applesauce just the way you do but added cinnamon hearts for a little more color and a hint of cinnamon.

    Hope you can come by and see my Flora post.


  6. Hi Cass,

    I love your grandmother's tea set. It's so pretty. I do hope you make those funny wishes.

    Thanks for reminding me to go apple picking. My children love to climb the trees and get the biggest apples they can find.


  7. I've heard of pork chops and applesauce (Brady Bunch, anyone?), but this is a new one!

  8. Hi Cass,

    I must make corn bread! the apple sauce and the cheese look so good.I love the tea set even the patina which gave it a nice colour.

  9. Well, it may be an old post but it is a good one! Fall is soon upon us! yeah..yeah...we are all about that good old Wisconsin cheddar...they don't call us cheese heads for nothing! xo Diana

  10. I remember this post and maybe even commented back then that I have a similar silver pot I bought at a thrift shop very near where you live .. and I'm afraid to polish it but rather like it the way it is, And then the green bowl--my mom's dishes! I didn't know you had those (how would I know except for your tablescapes.) They were her good dishes when I was growing up. holiday meals.

  11. This is the way I make my applesauce too! The good old Foley Food it! I hope that cutie, Dion, is doing better. :)

  12. Mmmmm, cornbread, applesauce, and cheese. Love it. Seafood chowder sounds good too. I like the design on your heirloom silver.

  13. hmmm maybe mom's are similar to yours--now I'm thinking the trim is not as wide as the plate you show ...I thought hers were Johnson Bros...from 1940s. Will have to ask my sis who now has them.

  14. Beautiful tea pot! I am in love with its cute little self. I do not have a food mill so until I can aquire one I will be forced to buy applesauce in a jar for a while longer.

    And I must say that the electric glass stove top is better then the coil tops but nothing beats gas. Man I miss my gas stove!

  15. What a gorgeous tea set. Such a lovely treasure! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  16. Hey, My father has the same teapot at his house as well! Very old, and very beautiful. It's funny that you compared it to a magic lamp. Me and my dad would joke about a genie popping out of it as well haha take care.

  17. I really wish I knew what the name of the silver set is I have one as well but I'm missing a few pieces. Yours is beautiful! I love the tarnish but my husband is not a fan so ours will probably be polished.

  18. I really wish I knew what the name of the silver set is I have one as well but I'm missing a few pieces. Yours is beautiful! I love the tarnish but my husband is not a fan so ours will probably be polished.


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