Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, 2011 & Happy 2012!!

This is the card I designed to send out to friends and family this year... (When folded, Baby Jesus is on the front, and the calendar is on the back)Have a blessed Christmas and a great 2012!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Home for the Holidays at Roberson Museum, Binghamton, NY

Another annual Christmas tradition I've enjoyed for over fifty years is attending the Roberson Museum and Science center's Holiday display housed in one of Binghamton;s premier mansions on Front Street. It started out as a live display of evergreen trees, decorated from countries around the world.My parents would often stop by the museum after church, so we could check out the trees, which scented the whole room with their invigorating, outdoor odor.

Some years the museum's displays were static and stale, but this year's display is truly wonderful and well worth going! There are many parts to the museum featuring many different venues.. the international trees (now artificial) are but a small part of it. This year, the expanded train exhibit is a focal point, as well as a truly exceptional civil war display, which helps to show how the war pervaded everyday life. Another display pays tribute to Edwin Link's influence both locally and internationally,(which I enjoyed because both Link and my Dad were in the Army Air Corps and Dad taught students at North High how to fly in a Link flight simulator). Of course,the lavishly decorated mansion is over-the-top, beautiful and it's always a joy to see some familiar, favorite paintings and some new (to me) posters as well!

These photos only hint of the nice experience waiting for you, if you live close enough to visit!

The railroad display is better than ever and remains a work in progress!

There's a life-sized display of an flight instructor using the simulator's desk to follow a student's flight. Wish I could ask Dad questions about it!

A Civil war campsite set up...

The Civil War exhibit is enlightening and thoughtful

This shows a portion of the International Trees' exhibit...

I like this old poster...

Love this elegant staircase!

An old friend!

A room with a view!

Family fun!

Self portrait at Roberson Mansion 2011

Dear, would you pass the corn, please?

Christmas traditions, Stollen from my Dad

One of our family's Christmas traditions is making stollen, a Christmas bread, loaded with currants, raisins, lemon and orange zest, almond flavoring, a spot of rum and citron (dried, chopped citrus rinds) as well as yeast, butter, sugar and flour. My Dad made it for years, and we always appreciated being on the receiving end. Well, since he died earlier this Autumn, one of the best ways we can honor him is to carry on with his annual tradition. Both my daughter and I are trying to honor the season and our beloved Dad/Grandpa by making his Stollen recipe.

Oh, my! Now I fully appreciate the love and effort that went into making stollen! (I've made two fairly successful batches, yielding 6 loaves so far, and four have been eaten already!) How I wish I could call Dad up with all my questions, like, "When do you add the quarter cup rum, Dad?"His hand-scrawled recipe doesn't mention exactly when, so I just soak the raisins, currents and citron in it before adding them to the dough. " How do you form the loaves? "I have been folding over the flattened loaf to make his signature, lopsided loaf...

Dad's Stollen recipe

I hope you can decipher his legendary script! I make a butter icing and glaze the loaves with it, and decorate the top with sliced almonds and/or candied cherries. (Dad often used both red and green ones). Good luck!