Oddly Unique Family Recipes

A chilly night and I am craving some comfort food. My great grandmother’s recipe for hot dogs and tomato soup ! So it’s what I’m making for dinner tonight.

History Rambler

I am sure every family has a recipe for a  the unique dish that has been passed down through generations and has a story attached to it.

I have a recipe that I love and asked for when I came home from college and wanted some homestyle cooking. People at first turn up their nose when it is offered but then say it is delicious once I can convince them to try.

My great grandmother Bertha May Marold used to make this dish to stretch the family grocery budget during the Great Depression and feed a family of 11 a meal that would fill their bellies.

Bertha and her second husband Joe (love the white sparkly Christmas tree!)

Bertha’s Hot Dogs and Tomato Soup

1 package of hot dogs, sliced
Mashed potatoes
1 can of tomato soup
Water or milk
A small onion
3 tb butter
3 tb flour

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Together again

One of the things I always rember sitting on the mantle in our living room as a kid was an old fashioned iron. It is one of those items that never moved form its spot in my childhood home. I dusted it more than once as a kid. It was one of those quirky things I wanted when we were clearing out my childhood home for sale.

IMG_20140902_135031291_HDRI really have not had a use for it other than sitting on a bookshelf. It too has not moved much in my home. However, I was at the local antique show this summer and came across something that goes along with the iron. I initially bought this as a trivet for the kitchen. The seller told me it was a stand for a hot iron. Well I had one of those in my house!


Stand for a hot iron

IMG_20140903_094108176_HDR[1]I was pleasantly surprised when I brought home my trivet that it fit my old iron perfectly.  These two pieces were together again. So now I need to look for another trivet. I cannot bear to keep these two antiques apart.


A little project

I love all old things.. and I love a project. I recently went to the local annual antique show at the end of August and found a few projects. I have been refinishing old furniture for twenty years. There are a few reasons I do so.

Reason 1: I love old things and history.

Reason 2: Necessity of finding cheap furniture to furnish my apartment in college . When I stated you could find a nice oak dresser for $35 and easily refinish to look like new. And then I was hooked.

Reason 3: A great way to spend quality time with my father as we looked over a new find and discussed how to refinish the piece to be useable.

and more …

Well, I found a wonderful Martha Washington Sewing Stand that would be fantastic to hold my yarn and embroidery tools. I have a dog who loves to unravel yarn and thread so I wanted a nice hiding place.

Before picture

Before picture

The stand had its original finish but it was damaged from years of use and storage but structurally it was perfect condition and had the insert to hold spools of thread.


Sewing thread spool holder

Sewing thread spool holder

The piece was super easy to refinish to my delight. Ammonia and steel wool to get the old finish off. I rubbed in a walnut stain to cover the water marks on the top . A few coats of finish that I sanded between coats and rubbed on with a rag for the last coat. This is my secret method that leaves a nice sheen but not clumpy.

My finished product

My finished product with my ancestors Easter cactus


Mistaken Identity

I am still slogging through boxes of photos that I inherited over the winter. Of course many don’t have dates or names and I am trying to match up the pictures with what I do know. Funny is when I was comparing some pictures I found one that I had been told years ago by a relative was my great great grandparents William Toborg and Annie Grabber was really my great great grandparents Jessie Kennedy and Alexander Yuill. These two really interested me.With further inspections and a really smart Granmda who labeled the pictures, I found that who I thought was my Torborg line was really my Yuill’s.

Anna Grabber & William Torborg

Couple in Question..

Alexander Yuill

Alexander Yuill

Jessie Kennedy Yuill

Jessie Kennedy Yuill



A busy summer of flowers

It has been too long since I posted but I have been busy in the garden both vegetable and flower. I will do a fast post now of some of my summer blooms. Upstate New York has had a wonderful summer ..a little rainy but great for the plants. I love being surrounded by such pretty things after a long cold New York Winter.  Most of these blooms were in Late June and July.  I promise to be better about posting now that gardening weather is slowing down.


Creeping Phlox


Wild Geranium


Lemon Drop Lily


Weigela Wine and Roses


Antique Peony


Old Red Poppy


Siberian Iris


Old Red Peony


Stella d’oro




Cone Flower


Wild Marjorum