Country Mouse

Autumn Squash Soup

1/4 cup salad oil

4 medium-onions, chopped

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

About 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 pound rutabagas, peeled and diced

2 pounds thin-skinned potatoes, peeled and cubed

About 8 pounds squash (butternut, pumpkin, or acorn) peeled and cubed, (16 cups)

14 cups chicken stock or regular strength canned chicken broth

In an 8 to 10 quart pan, combine oil, onions, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of the nutmeg; cook over medium to high heat, stirring often, until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

Add rutabagas, potatoes, and squash; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften (about 30 minutes). Pour in stock and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash mashes easily (about 1 1/2 hours). Whirl squash mixture, a portion at a time, in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return to pan and bring to boil over medium to high heat, stirring often.

Pour soup into ceramic pumpkin from Terrain. Serve in cups and sprinkle with nutmeg.

(A favorite recipe from- ‘Homemade Soups’ by Sunset Books, 1985)

More wonderful soup tureens– 1. White with a touch of blue tureen 2. Classic blue & white British tureen 3. William Sonoma turkey and other woodland birds tureen 4. Fitz & Floyd turkey tureen

5. Mid-century French rabbit tureen 6. Spode rabbit tureen 7. Portuguese Coibra tureen 8. Anthropologie tureen

Country Mouse

Abbie and Andy live in a 1920s craftsman style home on the outskirts of town. They’ve been busy working on it- cleaning, painting, stripping and staining floors. Their biggest project has been the kitchen.They decided to gut the awkward space only keeping the tiny window over the sink. Everything else is new along side Abbie’s cleverly reused antiques and vintage finds.

Five ideas from Abbie- (1) Hang two old mismatched upper cabinets. (2) Display a fun toy camper. (3) The industrial metal light fixture is an unexpected touch. (4) Try a vintage circus poster instead of the usual food print. (5) Things used everyday, like these cups and saucers, are displayed on the counter.

(Photo- Martha Browne. Styling- Abbie)

Country Mouse

To have a barn is great but to have a tack room too is pure icing on the cake. When Myranda and her husband Mark bought their farm property it came with a large wooden barn and tack room. “I’ve never been fortunate to have one. I’m very grateful to have it.” Myranda tells me.

When you enter their barn you walk through the center. In the corners are stalls for Myranda’s two horses (Sunny & Tonka) and two miniature donkeys (Jacob & Joey). Directly in the middle, and to the right, is an open space for feed containers. Opposite this is a wall with fun references to equine- a thermometer with metal horse silhouette and a diamond framed folk art horse.

Not far from these things is the wonderful door leading into the tack room.

The room itself isn’t that large. But it’s all the details that catch your eye.

The rustic wood boards that cover the walls, floor and ceiling are artfully done.

 An innovative rack holds a variety of leather saddles. Black iron hooks display different kinds of bridles and hats.

Myranda has pieces of furniture and accessories that remind her of special  times spent with both her animals and people.

“My mom bought me the saddle blanket. And the water bottle holder was a prize that Sunny won through a picture contest. Other items friends have given me through the years.”

“I have dreamed of having a horse since I was six years old. Because Sunny is my first horse ever, a lot of first trail rides and time spent together hold sentimental value to me. When we adopted our second horse Tonka, the fun really began and I was able to invite friends over to trail ride with me. The adventures and memories that we share will warm my heart for a lifetime.” Myranda recently acquired two frisky miniature donkeys that add to her fun.

Donkeys Joey and Jacob receive carrot treats by the tack room door.

Thanks Myranda for a wonderful time!

(Photos- Martha Browne)

Country Mouse

By 1850 bib overalls were worn by most of the male working class- white for painters, pinstripe for railroad workers and blue for farmers. At the turn of the century, denim overalls became poplar especially among the growing number of women wearing them.

Acne indigo denim overalls