On a shelf in the sunroom is a collection of special books. Ones that I've read hundreds of time and lovingly collected over the last 50 years.
|A very special shelf of books in the sunroom.|
The Stillmeadow Books written by Gladys Taber. I first "met" Mrs. Taber at my grandmother's. For grandmother bought Family Circle magazine and inside was a column entitled, Butternut Wisdom.
I was in Junior High School and the magic of childhood Sundays at grandmother's palled when you reached 13. But grandmother's Family Circle's helped relieve the boredom of Sunday afternoons.
I soon found that she had also written books and I checked those out of the library and eagerly read all of them. Then slowly, one by one, I acquired a fair collection of Gladys Taber books.
I must admit that as a teen reading Butternut Wisdom, I yearned to grow up and live like Mrs. Taber -- on a farm in Connecticut with a bevy of dogs in an old house among antiques and earn my living by writing a monthly column for a magazine about my life on the farm with the dogs.
I also hoped that someday I could visit Mrs. Taber at Stillmeadow -- I dreamed of that day. To actually visit Stillmeadow.
In October, my husband made that dream come true. . .
|Stillmeadow -- I gasped when I got my first glimpse.|
For we ventured to Southbury, Connecticut and armed with Garmin and "hints" from her books, we were able to locate Jeremy
Swamp Road and we turned the corner . . . and there stood Stillmeadow. Just like it was pictured in her books.
|With autumn decor on the door indicating that someone still loves Stillmeadow.|
The "front door" which really isn't but it does lead into the living room. The picket fence kept the cockers (and Irish) in tow.
|It was great to see the line drawings in the books transformed into reality.|
The well house with the wisteria and a view of the kitchens.
|I can imagine a picnic with the Irish and cockers underfoot.|
The pond and summerhouse where Jill and Gladys would picnic in the summer!
|Mrs. Taber's granddaughter uses the house on weekends (or so I was told)|
Can't you just imagine that Gladys is at the door to welcome us to her beloved Stillmeadow?
|A great meal for a cool fall or winter night -- and it smells heavenly while it bakes.|
When we came home, I had to get out one of the Stillmeadow cookbooks and make a favorite recipe of both Mrs. Taber and myself. Her pork chop and cabbage. Sooo good when served with a baked potato to spoon the sauce over.
Stillmeadow Pork Chops and Cabbage
6 pork chops
1 large onion
1 head fresh cabbage
Seasoned salt, pepper and paprika
Brown the pork chops, using a little butter if necessary. Slice the onion and add to the chops after you have turned them. Now arrange them in a greased casserole with the onion slices around them. Season well. Slice the cabbage thinly with a sharp knife and pack it tightly over the chops, filling the casserole almost to the top (it will shrink). Pour over enough milk to barely cover, add more seasoning. Bake, covered, in a moderate (350) oven for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the chops are fork tender. Serves 4 to 6.
Note: Mrs. Taber always served this dish with baked potatoes so that you could spoon the sauce over them!
I can't tell you how much I appreciate Husband Jim. Mrs. Taber isn't at Stillmeadow any more but it was a lifelong dream to go there and how sweet of a husband to make a childhood dream come true.
It's Wednesday and I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.
Many of my dreams have come true. I do live in an old house, among antiques. Although I don't live in the country, I do live in a small community. I don't have a bevy of cockers but I do have a spoiled corgi and a dog has always been a part of my adult life. I do write about life at Linderhof -- not only on a blog but in a weekly newspaper column (which may be better than a monthly magazine column).
It is nice when childhood fantasy becomes reality. I think that I am living the life of my childhood dreams.