Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
In the spirit of the "baking" season...and knowing how many of us work so hard to bake the most perfect "Martha Stewart" looking holiday treats, I thought I would dedicate each Friday to a "holiday baking" theme. Perhaps I'll post about a special New England bakery, or traditional New England holiday baked good, a history piece, or perhaps stoneware or baking utensil offered from one of New England's finest...the possibilities are endless so I hope you will enjoy and follow along.
I would like to start with Baker's Chocolate. You know, the cute little box of chocolate squares in sweetened, unsweetened, german and white chocolate that we love to break up for cake or pie recipes, etc. not to mention drizzling over sliced fruit!
Originating from Dorchester, Massachusetts, this is a suburb south of Boston that was very, very rich in Irish working class history as well as the home of many factory mills along the historical Neponset River.
Let's go back to 1760, introducing an Irish immigrant and chocolate maker named John Hannan, who was a sketchy little fellow but a popular whiz at understanding the process of melting cocoa beans in hot water and setting up a "proper mill" thus making sweetened chocolate drinks. Now, these drinks were much like our coffee fix of today!
Impressing many and opening doors for others to venture into the cocoa (chocolate) business became a popular trade and a much needed job during those tumultuous times in Boston. (We can relate to that)! Well, during this time, someone else was paying close attention to Hannan. Realizing his great skill, a wealthy and smart Dr. James Baker, teamed up with Hannan and together they started the first chocolate factory; Baker's Chocolate, outside of Boston, Massachusetts in 1780. Business was great! Baker was the "financial backer" as Hannon was the "creative hand" behind the mill and sales grew forcing them to a larger mill along the Neponset River.
This is where Baker's brother-in-law, Edward Preston, comes into the picture and shakes things up as he is the larger mill's landlord. Plus, he wanted "in" on what he could see was a lucrative chocolate business. He kept quiet and learned alot! As sales continued to grow favorably, they decided to buy an additional mill. Baker and Hannon started quarrelling. Hannon now ran the other chocolate mill which suffered a massive fire. That's enough to make one stressed, and he was very unhappily married. So, one day he up and left telling all he was venturing to the West Indies to buy more cocoa beans. Hannon was never heard from again. Well, surprise surprise, quiet Mr. Preston raked Hannan's share and produced Preston's Chocolate as a major competitor for years to Baker's Chocolate. (Hmph!)
Years later, James Baker, known as "the king of cocoa" stepped down leaving all to his son. It's always the younger generation that takes the family business to new heights! And that's just what Edmund Baker did by purchasing a larger and fancier mill offering more features available during that time!
War of 1812-Not a good time and Edmund Baker's chocolate business was doing very poorly. Luckily, Edmund was another smart one and ventured into other industries to keep that money coming in, because he knew once again, those cocoa beans would be flying off those ships and Boston's finest river would be spilling with chocolate! Soon after the war, Baker's chocolate was in the general stores once again!
Welcome Walter Baker, Edmund's son. Another smart one that successfully ran the business in one of Boston's largest mills at the time and the first to hire two women! But the climate in Boston was harsh in the winter and steamy hot in the summer. So imagine this town full of hard working immigrants working in not the best of conditions in such weather. But business prevailed over time and Baker's Chocolate from Boston, Massachusetts succeeded as the pioneer of chocolate, even with stiff competition from Preston Chocolates!
Baker's Chocolate was eventually purchased By General Foods and after 1965 was manufactured elsewhere outside of New England. The Walter Baker Mill remains as do many of the mills in the Dorchester area and have been refurbished into beautiful town lofts. If you ever happen to be visiting Boston, check out the Lower Mills historic section of Dorchester, Massachusetts. It's a great walking tour.
Interesting fact: an employee named Sam German, developed German's sweet baking chocolate for the Baker Company in 1852. It wasn't until 1957, when a Texas homemaker (a SAHM) sent a cake recipe using Baker's German chocolate to a Dallas newspaper thus resulting in a huge increase in Baker chocolate sales. Today, that most famous cake recipe is German Chocolate Cake!
Baker's Chocolate- A New England piece of history!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Congratulations on winning the adorable Halloween Angela Moore Bracelet!
Have fun wearing this trick-or-treating!
Miss Preppy/Sporty Tween sure enjoyed picking the name out of a hat! I explained to her how the contest worked and went through the number of entries for each response. She was delighted to be a part of it! Thanks everyone!
THANK YOU to Angela Moore for graciously offering this fun treat! Thank you to everyone that participated in this give-away! Loved reading your comments about your favorite AM jewelry!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Ghosts and goblins, gather 'round! It's Angela Moore's favorite time of year for ghoulish celebrations, so bring on the black cats and break out the candy corn...we witches can't wait.
So how "hauntingly" preppy is this little treat? I just love Angela Moore and know many of you do too! I think this would be so fun to wear trick or treating with the family or when celebrating the spooky holiday with friends!
So, I thought it would be fun to host a Halloween giveaway! The folks at Rhode Island based, Angela Moore, were so gracious to offer this handpainted bracelet retailing at $50!
1 entry = you are a follower
2 entries = you are a follower and you posted the Halloween giveaway on your blog (I'll be checking!)
3 entries = follower, posted and tell us about your favorite AM bracelet
Deadline to enter: Sunday, October 18th at 5:00 pm!
Now, my Miss Preppy/Sporty Tween is very excited about this and was hoping to draw a name out of a hat? pumpkin?....If that's ok with you, I will triple check the names and # of entries.
Good luck everyone!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Founded in 1856 in Manchester, Vermont, this is a New England icon
if you prefer the great outdoors and distinctive sporting tradition. I was browsing for some gift ideas when I came across this adorable Ladies watch. I just love the tartan ribbon band. How cute for fall tailgates or other casual weekend outings?
Makes a great gift. Monogramming is available on the back.
...a true New England find!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I thought I would share with you one of my favorite cookbooks.
This was given to me many years ago by a very close friend when I moved from Boston to Dallas, Texas. That was a very exciting time for me as I accepted a job post with a large advertising agency. Moving to the South, starting a new job in my career path, meeting new people and making new friends was just something I could not say, "no" to! It meant leaving my family and friends here for a while. I also left a good job here that was working out very well for me. So, it was a most trying time to make sure I was making the right decision for myself, and thankfully, that proved to be true! I always knew I would come back to Boston!
The picture posted is in far better condition than my book, as the cover has faded in color, edges are ragged, and torn in one place! Truly the sign of a well-loved and often used cookbook! I don't think it is in circulation any more but check amazon.com
This cookbook is a wonderful collection of recipes from various inns throughout New England, compiled by Sandra J. Taylor. I do use the book frequently as many dishes are a favorite and fairly easy to make. I really enjoyed cooking traditional New England fare for my southern friends!
The recipe that I just made the other day was a true autumn favorite;
In Dutch oven, brown roast in oil with celery stalks, carrots and large slices of onion around meat. Add tomoatoes, salt and pepper and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer over low heat or in oven at 350 for 2 1/2 hours.
Lift out roast, and keep warm. Strain vegetable stock, discarding the vegetables. Skim fat off stock, returning just a 1/4 cup of fat to Dutch oven. Stir the flour into fat in Dutch oven, stirring regulary. Add (what you should now have as 4 cups) of vegetable stock. Cook and stir until thickened. Add the cooked peas, carrots, celery and string beans.
Serve a gravy with the sliced beef.
I served this with a french bread and herb butter.
I hope you try this and do enjoy.
I plan to feature more recipes from this cookbook in my blog periodically.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
This looks like a great Saturday outing if you happen to live in the New England area and want to get a head start on some holiday shopping at fab prices.
Head on down to Essex, CT on October 17th for their big blow out tent sale!
Check out elizab for more information!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thank you so much for participating in my first giveaway and a BIG THANK YOU to
Jen at The Trendy Tot and Sarah at Up My Sleeve Boutique.
Congratulations to the winner:
ELISE HOOPER DESIGNS
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
4 entries = Post this "New England Giveaway" on your blog and be a follower of all three.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
We are Boston bound for the weekend celebrating our wedding anniversary of 16 years!!!! When we honeymooned in France, we made a promise that each anniversary would be celebrated with a French theme. We have kept to that promise over the years with dinners at French restaurants, sips at some wine bars, gifts with some french theme, etc. Many establishments we have enjoyed together over the years.
This year, we decided to stay local. School just started on Tuesday and with all of the excitement and jitters, I wasn't to sure how the first week would go. Mom and Dad travelling far on the first week of school seemed a little selfish to me, so we decided for a weekend in Boston.
I can't tell you how excited I am. We always head into town for day trips with the kids. I go in frequently to shop. Mr. Boston works in town. We attend theatre, go out for dinner, meet friends occcasionally and then head home from a nice evening out. This is a little special. We're spending the whole weekend there. Funny thing, I live about 40 minutes away! Hee-hee!!!!!
I'm looking forward to walking and shopping along Charles Street, Newbury Street, maybe a little run along the Charles River. We are going to see Jersey Boys and I can't wait! Dinner at a french restaurant of course! It will be a lovely weekend celebrating and taking me back to hanging out in the city long before we had children. We have so much to be thankful for; patience and kindness towards each other, our love and friendship, our health, happy and beautiful children.
Enjoy your weekend and spread the word about preppyinnewengland. I'm almost to 100 followers and can't believe it! A very, very nice giveaway is being planned to celebrate!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A glorious day only a bit chilly for the last of those water rides!!! Labor Day was spent at a family cookout.
School started yesterday and was a morning full of jitters and excitement. My Miss Preppy/Sporty Tween started middle school, rode a school bus for the first time, and wore her first Converse pair of sneakers!!! Big day for her. She came home smiling and talking non-stop about her new locker, schedule, lunch and the latest with each of her friends. Non stop until bed-time. I loved every minute of it!!!
My little baseball guy was excited to walk with his friends, get a routine back in his life and start school. Boys need so much STRUCTURE! He, too, came home smiling but was ready to play baseball in the yard with his friends before I got any scoop. I had to wait until dinner time!
I miss them. I like hanging out with them. I like being spontaneous and deciding at breakfast what we wanted to do that summer day. I liked their crazy hectic sport schedule. I liked playing basktball in the driveway. I liked playing baseball in the backyard. Going to the beach meeting up with friends was fun. Bikeriding around town together and on Cape Cod was always an adventure. Our day trips into Boston were always nice. Family visits up to New Hampshire was always fun. Summer swimming in the pool, lake and ocean was a blast! Our Maine vacation was terrific. Most important, having downtime and fun together as a family and with friends was the best!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
So why not start with the activities that have consumed most of my summer (part 1)! No, not the Boston Red Sox, but my little baseball guy's Summer Travel Baseball season. Due to the rainy weather early on, games and practices had been cancelled, rescheduled, cancelled and rescheduled again. Crazy, crazy times! I soon became this Mother pulling by little baseball guy early from the beach or play only to say, "you need to rest before the game"! What?!!!
Very light meals were prepared "before the game"and "after the game" soon became sub and pizza nights! What?!!! Big wins or good games became rewarded with ice cream! What?!!! I couldn't treat my little little guy to ice cream just because the team lost?....Just kidding!
I really have to say, despite all the running around, schedule changes, carpooling, not the best of meals on game days, my little guy's passion for baseball is precious to me! I will always cherish the memories of watching him out the window while he was deep in thought of "pretending" to be a major league baseball player in our back yard. Watching him practice swinging with the bat and checking out his muscles is priceless, watching him throw balls in the air to catch or run and dive and roll in the grass throwing his arm up with the ball inside the glove and the biggest smile on his face is priceless, hearing him talk to himself calling out as if he was an umpire is priceless. Many times I joined him, batting the ball so he could run and catch, or go for grounders. Hmph! I must have been pretty good because he would ask me to play! Many days, a friend would come to play and they would practice. Mr. Boston would take him to the town field and batting cages to practice.
The games were exciting and fun as well as heartbreaking at times. These little boys tried so hard. They were very good, some better than others, but they held it together as a team, did well and had fun. My little baseball guy learned a lot; from his Dad, his coaches, his teammates.
Oh who knows, maybe he learned something from me throughout all of this too! I need just a smidgen of credit since I did all the driving!!!!!
But most important, my little baseball guy was laughing in that dugout, goofing with his buddies but "no nonsense" out in that field! My little baseball guy was helpful and responsible; making sure his uniform was always ready, making sure his bat bag was together and he had enough water! He was always ready to go to practice or a game, never complaining, never tiring of baseball. The season ended with a loss to the #1 team in the league in playoffs.
That's ok, my baseball guy's season ended as a better player, a smarter player, a happy player to have shared this with his family, a player who wants to come back to the field next summer...ready!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
20% discount off total purchase before shipping now until Labor Day!!!
These basket handbags are just beautiful!
Inspired by the natural settings of the Massachusetts North Shore beaches, Cape Cod and Nantucket, Sarah embellishes the basket top with handpainted shells, starfish, cute bows and baby pearls, and such pretty, pretty monograms . All so lovely!
There are also little girl's baskets that are so unbelievably adorable. One, in particular, was featured with the Nantucket Starfish dress from The Trendy Tot; a New England boutique I posted about earlier. So precious!
So, I have read many blogs that are looking for stunning and different bridesmaids, MOB or flower girl gifts, well here is your New England source...and at 20% off! (note: discount does not apply to sample sale items).
Simply let me know you are a follower!...Send your friends my way!
Then, head on over to Up My Sleeve Boutique and let Sarah know you are a Preppyinnewengland follower too!
- Do enjoy this lovely New England find!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Back shortly with a nice discount for my followers at another lovely, little New England boutique!