Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dovecotes for Food

Doves and pigeons have always been a good source of food. Most castles in England and Europe had an area designated as a dovecote to supply food year round. Often, holes were left in the 12 feet deep walls, which provided an inviting home for the little birds to lay their eggs. When the doves/pigeons were old enough, they would be killed, stuffed with force meat, cooked, and taken to the table. There is ample archaeological evidence to suggest the Romans took the idea of harvesting birds to England, because dove/pigeon holes have been found in many Roman ruins.
There are still many dovecotes in England and Europe. I took this photograph in Dunster, Somerset, England. It is thought to have been built as early as the 14th century, but could possibly have been built later. In the 18th century, the lower nesting holes were closed because they attracted rats, but the pigeon keeper kept the upper floors available for breeding purposes. For easy access to the nests, he used a revolving ladder called a “potence”. Only the lords of the manor and the clergy were allowed to have a dovecote.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mad Housewife Party

Last Friday, fifteen ladies got together, drank some Mad Housewife wines, and had some delicious munchies prepared by our hostess -- Roxanne. We chose a variety of wines to sample, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet and a few others that none of us can remember at this time. Since we all live within walking distance of the party - this was not a problem. Several ladies had not heard of this particular brand, and were pleasantly surprised at the value for money. In fact, one lady planned to go out the next day to buy several bottles for her "50s theme" dinner on Saturday night.

The two ladies (top photograph) are wearing Mad Housewife T-shirts.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Mill Outlet -- Fabrics and So Much More!

The Mill Outlet
2906 North Prospect Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80907-6327
(719) 632-6296

Since 1965, the Mill Outlet has been serving their customers with a variety of fabrics, designs and notions. It appears, from the outside, insignificant...but inside...what a glorious shop! I've teased the staff for many years telling them that I could spend the whole day browsing, getting ideas and suggestions. The staff is wonderful and knowledgeable. They have everything from home decor to wedding fabrics - in every imaginable style and color, buttons, lace, etc. When I called and asked if they had any fabric with "bugs" the staff responded with, "What color fabric...and what kind of bugs!" I think that pretty much says it all.

I highly recommend that anyone who has an interest in sewing, quilting, home decor, etc. visit The Mill Outlet in Colorado Springs, Co.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ghosts at the Tower of London

Photo: Courtesy Tower of London
The Ravenmaster
The following information was provided by the Press and PR Office at the Tower.
The earliest known sighting of a ghost at the Tower of London was that of Thomas a Becket in the mid thirteenth century. He appeared during the building of the inner curtain wall, apparently reducing the work to rubble by striking it with his cross.
One of the best known and saddest haunting at the Tower is that of the Little Princes (12 year old King Edward V and his 9 year old brother Richard, Duke of York) who died in suspicious circumstances in 1483. They have occasionally been seen in the Bloody Tower dressed in white nightgowns standing silently, hand in hand, before fading back into the stones.
Perhaps the grisliest haunting at the Tower is that of the 70 year old Countess of Salisbury – “The last of the Plantagenets” – executed by Henry VIII for political reasons. She refused to put her head on the block like a common traitor and, running from the executioner was pursued by his hacking axe until he had hewn her to death. The haunting has been seen as both a re-enactment of this gruesome scene and the shadow of a great axe which falls across the area.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Elixir of Life

Some people call it the elixir of life. Mead is probably the oldest drink known to man, and has been in existence for more than 7000 years BC.
Recently, I took a tour of the Redstone Meadery in Boulder, and bought a couple of bottles of mead. They were absolutely delicious.
The following information came directly from the Redstone Meadery web site.
If you already drink mead (honey wine), we've got you covered! If you haven't tried mead, are you ready for a taste explosion?
We invite you to shop here, or stop by the meadery for a free tasting of our award winning meads. Why not take a free tour of our facility? While you're in, have a glass of mead in our cozy mead hall and buy a bottle (or 12) to go!
But don't take our word for it......join the revolution! Head to your local bar and...
If it was good enough for Bacchus, Zeus, Beowulf and Shakespeare, it’s good enough for you. -- Boulder Weekly

Boulder's Redstone Meadery, one of the country's largest mead producers, offers such enticing mixers as the Meadmosa, Nectar Be Darned and Mead Tai, but our favorite was their Honey Wine with Black Raspberry Puree (Redstone Reserve 2001). It's rich and sweet with dominant honey flavors, complemented by black raspberry, currants and cranberries. Try this melomel (fruit infused mead) in sangria or homemade chocolate truffles, as a sweet fillip for roast beef or duck gravies, or for a modern twist on tiramisu. -- Wine Enthusiast
Some in imbibing circles claim mead was the first fermented beverage. The ancient drink is still around and, what's more, it's the of-the-moment thing to drink now in the Rocky Mountain state. Colorado's own Redstone Meadery in Boulder produces a fine one. --Splendid Table, National Public Radio
What does mead taste like? A visit to the tasting rooms at Redstone Meadery will answer that question...and then some. Mead is a light garnet color and tastes like sparkling black raspberries - something like summertime in a glass. Or is it amber, tasting like juniper berries, with a slight gin-like flavor and the suggestion of oak? Maybe it tastes like vanilla, with a hint of cinnamon that curls around the back of your throat? Or perhaps like cool clear golden honey wine, a taste that reconnects with genetic memory, the first fermented beverage known to man (and woman). Could it be mead in that crescent-moon shaped bottle? --Colorado Daily
Well, what are you waiting for? Time to drink some mead!