Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tasha Tudor DAY!

Today was TASHA TUDOR DAY around St. Athanasius Academy. She would have been 93 today (she died in June) but her memory lives on through her books and drawings (and recipes and other fabulous writings which "TAKE JOY" in everything!). It was so fun using the whole day just to do Tasha Tudor ... what a wonderful lady!

We started out the morning with a Tasha Tudor-esque tea party -- great books, knitting and hot tea (with graham crackers for a bit of sweet). String Bean and I knitted.We started work on Tasha Tudor shawls, a simple (and FREE!) pattern from Nancy Bush at Wooly West. I started mine on Knit Picks charcoal grey superwash wool and #4 needles; String Bean started hers with Red Heart "Soft Yarn" and #8 needles. We didn't get too far on our shawls, but it's a great (easily learned) pattern that will work when we want something relatively mindless to knit.

While we knitted, Lego Maniac read the great TT books and Bam-Bam imitated some of his own -- he wrote his very own "1 is one" but his has lots of daggers, spears and other materiel that Tasha never put in her own drawings!

Here are the books we read today -- a good mix of her work, stories and life:

Picture Books by Tasha Tudor:
1is One
Ais for Annabelle
All for Love
Around the Year
Corgiville Fair
The Dolls' Christmas
The Great Corgiville Kidnapping
Mother Goose
A Time to Keep: The Tasha Tudor Book of Holidays

Biographies, facts and fun (we skimmed through these, reading bits that struck us and hunting for the perfect dinner for dh and Kotch):
The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Tasha Tudor and Richard Brown
Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book by Tasha Tudor
The Tasha Tudor Cookbook: Recipes and Reminiscences from Corgi Cottage by Tasha Tudor

We used The Tasha Tudor Cookbook to create dinner for dh and Kotch tonight: Potato & Onion Soup with Date Nut Bread (spread with cream cheese). WOW! We should have doubled the bread recipe as we just have a bitty-bit left for breakfast and ... well, it's a good thing I get up early (and hid the remaining slice), else there might be problems! The soup too was wonderful and would be a great recipe to have on-hand for meatless meals.

Potato and Onion Soup (serves 8)
6 tbls butter (3 for now, 3 when soup is almost done)
3 cups onions, diced small
3 tbls flour
4 cups hot water (1 cup, than 3 cups)
4 cups potatoes, cubed (left skins on; about 8 medium potatoes)
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups milk
parsley for garnish at serving

In a 3-quart pot, melt 3 tbls butter over moderate heat. Stir in onions, cover pot and cook slowly for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Next whisk in the flur and stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes to cook the flour without browning.

Remove the pot from the heat and cool a moment. Gradually add 1 cup hot water, whisking as you add to keep flour from lumping. Blend thoroughly. Stir in the remainder of the water. Stir in potatoes and some salt and peppe. Bring to a boil, then simmer partially covered for 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

Remove the soup from the heat. Mash the potatoes and then add the milk and remaining 3 tbls butter. Taste for correct seasoning -- add salt or pepper as needed. Serve very hot!

Date and Nut Bread (1 loaf -- need to double next time!)
1 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg, well-beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1-3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Grease one 4-1/2x9 pan. Preheat oven to 350.In a large mixing bowl, combine the dates, sugar and boiling water. Mix well and allow to cool.When mixture has cooled, stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick. Remove the bread from the oven, take it out of the pan, and place it on a rack to cool completely.

We served it with the soup. The bread, spread with softened cream cheese, was AMAZING!

We're so thrilled to have had a Tasha Tudor Day! Can't wait for more adventures like this. Thanks Cay ... you're Author Fiestas are always a blast!


Storybook Woods said...

Happy Tasha Tudor day. It sounds like yours was perfect. Clarice

Carmen L. said...

Mary, I've pulled up that pattern for the Tasha Tudor shawl and wow, I wouldn't call that "mindless" knitting...not yet. I'm still afraid of circular needles. I wish you were still here! Looks like you've had a great Tasha Tudor day! I have that cookbook too, but I enjoy just looking at more than cooking from it. Thanks for sharing your day.

Leonie said...

Oh, I loved the pics - and the soup recipe, too. Potato soup is my youngest son's FAVE soup. :-)