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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
Hope you all had a very enjoyable day with your loved-ones.

Looking at the blog today, I noticed that I never really acknowledged our book of the month yet;

The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook

This is probably my most favorite New England book, ever.
My copy belonged to my grandmother, and has never left my side since the day I found it.
Written by Mary Mason Campbell, and illustrated by Tasha Tudor,
the book's chapters focus on different holidays and special events, 
each one filled with themed recipes, wonderful stories, and absolutely beautiful illustrations.
I laugh, because I sometimes feel as though it were written especially for me!
Not only is it old New England, but the focal point of the book is holidays, 
something that gives me extraordinary amounts of joy ♥

 My grandmother's bookplate

So, with that said, in celebration of today,
I share with you The Butt'ry's chapter on Valentine's Day!

"For at least a week before February 14 the house is cluttered with a delightful muss of paper doilies, red-paper hearts, bits of gilt paper ad colored ribbons, pictures of cupids and arrows, and forget-me-nots and roses and violets. A glass jar is filled with sugar candy hearts spills "I Love You" and "Be Mine" over the kitchen table. Everybody is asking for scissors and paste.
We make a "post-office box" to take to school and cover it with shiny red paper, decorate it with some of the lace and ribbon and crepe-paper ruffles, then cut a slit in the top so that the children in the schoolroom can "mail" their envelopes filled with sentiment for the teacher and others.
There is a post-office box for home, too, one of Mother's hat boxes covered with wallpaper and big red roses on it. This is for our own Valentine's Day party, after school, when the neighborhood children come with their masterpieces. Some giggling, some blushing, some solemn posting of letters; then the games begin, the party lunch is served, and--most exciting of all--the mail is distributed. More giggles, of course some tears. But Mother is postman and she has made sure that everyone has a beautiful Valentine before going home.
The day is not over, for on the dinner table are red roses in a silver bowl, red candles alight, and a place card, which is Mother's special Valentine to each of us. There is a big pink Valentine cake for family dessert, and then Father springs a "surprise"--each year the same but each year still a surprise--when he brings out a tremendous red-satin heart box for Mother, filled with the best boughten candy to be found at the Corner Drug Store in town.

Open-faced Heart-shaped Sandwiches
spread with
Raspberry Jam and Cream Cheese, Peanut Butter and Currant Jelly
Banana Bread Sandwiches
Sugar Cooky Hearts
Eben's Pink Peppermint Stick Ice Cream
Cold Milk in sparkling punch cups served from
the punch bowl

Pink Valentine's Day Cake with shredded coconut

1 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 of a nutmeg, grated
1 cup heavy sour cream
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs.  vanilla
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. almond flavoring

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and cream. Add flavorings. Sift dry ingredients and add to other mixture. Chill. Divide into several pieces and roll out on at a time. Roll thin on floured board; cut with heart-shaped cooky cutter. Sprinkle generously with pink or red sugar after placing on cooky sheet. Bake in medium over (350 degrees) until delicately brown. Watch carefully so as not to brown too much. Makes about 75 cookies.

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups heavy cream
1 3/4 qt. milk
5 eggs, well beaten

Combine the ingredients and scald just until the mixture coats the spoon. Remove from fire, add 1 tsp. peppermint extract and several drops of red food coloring. Chill. Pour into freezer can. When the cream is about half frozen (when you begin to feel a slight pull in the cranking), add 1 1/2 cups crushed peppermint stick candy. This will leave bits of candy for texture in the ice cream. Makes 3 quarts."

There are a couple of other recipes in this chapter, 
but I'll leave it a surprise for those who want to get the book :)



Sending many hearts to you on this day!



  1. Hi Erin! Sorry that this comment didn't reach you on Valentine's day....SO busy yesterday but *I wanted to stop by & say THANK YOU for this beautiful post & your good wishes. I have a long (getting ever longer...) list of beautiful books I need to find, and this is going on it now! Just lovely. Hope you had a lovely day filled with all kinds of love. Rachel xoxo

  2. Happy Valentine's Day, Erin!
    Thank you so much for featuring this book, I am going to make it mine asap! :)
    Love cook books like this, that tell stories and memories. The best!

  3. That is a neat book Erin! My mom's hero is Tasha Tudor. Your header pic reminds me of Nova Scotia or maybe Maine, I love them both. Have a great week! Cindy

  4. Thump! Leap! Thats what my heart did when I saw Tasha Tudor's picture on your sidebar, then this cookbook, which I've always longed for but forgot I did and the houses, the New Englandness of it all. Love it here.

  5. I am so glad you love this book. It was always one of my favorites, of course. The sugar cookies look good; I have to make them. Valentine's Day always brings to mind the heart shaped cookies that Ma Ingalls made for her girls. Did you know that Caroline Ingalls came from New England stock?

  6. i see my best friend julie here..she LOVES it do I...

    erin i am looking at a book that i want to post right now...written by mary mason campbell and illustrated by tasha tudor.....

    i'll do it this week......

    sending love and happiness

  7. As you know having visited my blog I live on the other end of the Cross Sound Ferry on the North Fork. I enjoy all things old. I cook and constantly try new recipes sometimes making up my own or greatly changing others. I like the content and sentiment of your blog, the excellent photography and your acceptance that New England is THE Center of Culture.

  8. What a wonderful treasure you have there. ( and one I am adding to my must find list). Happy Valentines Day ( belated)

  9. ...just stopping by to see what's new, my dear

    i'll be back soon


  10. Kary, I just returned from visiting the Titanic exhibition in Times Square... so much fun! Now I'm beat, but I'll try to make a post later tonight :) And how are you today?♥

  11. this is such a gorgeous blog...I just love it!!!! Thank you for entering my little contest; I will be sure to have another!! xx

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