Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

NOvember Roses, NO-stir Risotto, and NO Clue What To Do With an Auction Washstand

Bringing home a vintage furniture bargain can
be a lot like bringing home your first baby.

You're all excited. . . until you get home, put the baby in the
middle of your bed, step back, look at your husband and say,
"Holy (censored)!  What have we done?"

And so it is with something I got at auction last year. 
Last summer, with bags and boxes of other auction and thrift finds scattered around the sunroom.  I make messes.

In the summer of 2012, I snagged a Sheraton-style
washstand at an auction in Pennsylvania.

It has been imprisoned in a storage unit.
Till now.
I've had this piece standing in my kitchen for days - kind of 
the equivalent of plopping it into the middle of our bed - while I
decide what to do with it.  Time for it to move on.  I think I will paint it.

It's such a pretty piece, and graceful: a classic Sheraton style washstand.
That hole in the top?  I have no idea what it is for.  Do you?
As for painting it . . .  I've got Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey, 
Ralph Lauren's Bone Black paint (just about my favorite), 
and a gorgeous soft aqua - although that one will require a primer.
I'm kind of lazy.

What would you do?
I'm open to suggestions.  It's headed for the booth, as I have
no room for it here, so I'd love to hear what would catch your eye.
(BTW refinishing is not a practical option; the finish is shot in too many places.)

Have you got one of these?
 It's a cast iron enameled stock pot, or Dutch oven.
I'm sure you've seen the beautiful Le Creuset ones in stores.
This is not one of those.  It's from Sur la Table, and I love it.

Plus, using it helps tone my arms, as it weighs a freaking ton.

 I've made stews, chowders, soups, chicken, roasts, pork loin,
chili, and baked beans in this 8-quart baby, since Santa brought it last year.

 But my new favorite recipe for this pot is Baked Risotto.
'Cause who doesn't like a hot pile of creamy rice?
Especially when you don't have to stand at the stove stirring it.
Although that also is a good way to tone your arms.

Oven Risotto - Ingredients to serve 4 (main course) or 6 (side dish).
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice (short grain) - I like Trader Joe's brand.
5 cups (about) of HOT broth or other seasoned liquid, or water if you prefer.
1/2 cup of wine - your choice.  I use a dry white.
A lump of butter, or some oil, for the pan.
Plus - whatever you want to add.  Cheese, onion, garlic, mushrooms, peas, 
asparagus, spinach, squash . . . whatever strikes your fancy.

 Step One:  Put your Arborio rice in the pot with some butter, or oil.
Get 'em all hot and bothered.  The ricey bits will get a little transparent looking.

Step Two: Add 4 cups of the liquid and stir.
Don't worry.  Just stir to smush it all together.

Step Three:  Put the pot in a preheated 350-degree oven.
I set a timer for about 40 minutes, so I can check the risotto.
Yes, I give it a stir then, and if it's dryish I add more liquid, usually the rest of the broth and the wine.

Step Four:  When you check it, add in any extra stuff.  I had some leftover spinach, so in it went,
along with some finely chopped sauteed onion and garlic.  You never go wrong with garlic.

Then it's back into the oven for Step Five: the final cooking.  It should take about 15 minutes
and the risotto will be all done - nicely creamy and delicious, all the ricey bits tender.  
I sauteed some cherry tomatoes, and put them and the grated Parmesan into the risotto to complete it.
We had it for dinner that night, with some mashed butternut squash
on the side, and it was delicious.  Now it's probably clear from this
alleged recipe that I was using what I had on hand;
it was an impromptu meal, the kind I always think of as "free,"
because I don't have to go and buy anything new.

Around That Old House, most of the summer
flowers are spent.  Kaput.  All done.

Someone forgot to tell the little rose bushes in the border
behind our house, along the old stone wall, that it's time to fold their tents.

 In a walk 'round the yard with the dogs today, I snapped some pics.
And there's Gilda, our Ruby Cavalier, on the far left of this picture, snuffling in the leaves.
And yes, those are the old shutters off our house; we still can't figure out what to do with them!

These aren't great pics.  I had a dog lead in each hand.
Dogs don't stand still and wait while Mom snaps a picture.   They yank.

 Dogs explore.  And sniff.  And pull against their leashes.
There are just so many great smells. you know?

Yellow roses are still in bud, and blooming.
They've got guts, these little guys.
We've already had several below freezing overnights.  Brrrr . . . .

Time to go inside, kids.
There's cookies and a soft sofa waiting for you.
Haha . . . Dylan is giving me a Bronx Cheer!  Can you see his little tongue sticking out?  Cheeky monkey!
Have a great weekend, friends.
I have absolutely no idea what we'll be doing, but I hope
it involves at least something on my TBDBT List! -- Cass

Link Parties for Friday!
At Rattlebridge Farm, it is Foodie Friday.  Rice counts!  Click here!
It's Feathered Nest Friday at the French Country Cottage.  Click here!
Miss Mustard Seed is gathering Furniture Friday posts.  Click here!
My Romantic Home is home to Show And Tell Friday.  Click here!
At The Charm of Home, it's Home Sweet Home Friday.  Click here!
And it's Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time.  See what's still blooming, or not!  Click here!


  1. Your oven risotto looks delish --never thought of this. Soon I might give it a try, as I am getting very lazy in my old age.

  2. I have a red Duch oven (not a LC, though), and it always makes me smile. Oven risotto will be perfect--I needed a recipe. Loved the peek into your garden with the furkids. Have a great week!

  3. Well, I'm sure you can guess what color I would paint that charming little stand.... lavender of course! Since that wasn't one of the choices (hmpfff), I'd go for the soft aqua. I'm a pastel kind of girl :D

    As for that hole in the top - maybe a mirror?

    have a wonderful weekend,

  4. When I saw the hole in the top of that cute little stand I thought someone must have been using it for a computer and put the wires through that. Well even if that's not the reason you could market it that way.

    I'm going to try that risotto. It sounds good and easy.

  5. Beautiful roses and pups and a luscious looking dish. (((hugs)))


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.