Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Tea Menu, Old Fashioned Cakes, Fruit Salads, and more

Welcome to the Old Fashioned Living Newsletter

We hope you are enjoying the Old Fashioned Living newsletter! August is here, summer is in full swing, so we are sharing with you some great recipes, fun crafts, helpful tips, and menu ideas. We welcome your feedback and comments, so please feel free to add your two cents at the end of this newsletter by clicking on the word "comment".

In This Issue

Garden: Growing Beautiful Candytuft
Occasions: Old Fashioned Cake Recipes
Home & Hearth: Caring for Family Photos
Tea Time: Summer Tea Menu
Kitchen: Summer Fruit Salads

Growing Beautiful Candytuft

Candytuft, Iberis Sempervirens, is a low growing evergreen shrub that we often see in rock gardens. It can also be grown in borders, or containers with it's bright cheery blossoms in white, rose, purple, and shade of light purple. Candytuft is an old fashioned perennial that is drought tolerant, and it works wonderfully in stone wall crevices, as an edging, or a ground cover. There are two types of candytuft that are commonly available---I. sempervirens is known as evergreen candytuft and is a hardy perennial. Some of the varieties available are 'Alexander's White', 'Little Gem' (a dwarf), 'October Glory', 'Purity', 'Snowflake' and 'Summer Snow'.

Candytuft loves full sun, though it will adapt to partial shade. An average soil is fine, as long as it's well drained. Wet feet will rot the plants or cause disease. I consider it a low maintenance plant in the sense that you don't really have to fuss much with it. Deadheading and cutting it back after blooming will keep it looking nice and stop it from reseeding in unwanted places. Once established candytuft will spread about 2 foot across. It's hardy even in Zone 3, and can be grown from seed!

Too see the entire article, please visit Growing Candytuft on OFL.

old fashioned cakesOCCASIONS
Old Fashioned Cake Recipes

As a young girl I loved making cakes from scratch. The batter was light and smooth, and the cake was light and fluffy. Yes, it takes more time than a box mix, but it always seems a little more special when it's from scratch.
When baking from scratch always make sure you use quality fresh ingredients. It's especially important that your baking soda and baking powder are fresh and not out of date. Measure accurately and follow directions exactly. If it calls for sifted flour then don't skip that step. Sifting is important, especially with cake flour, which is fine and can get lumpy.

Always preheat your oven to the correct temperature and bake on the middle rack. Test your cake by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean then it's done.

The following recipes are some popular and requested cakes that will get you started. Visit the links at the end for some more great resources and recipes:

To get the recipes for Red Velvet Cake, Cookies and Cream Cake, Pineapple Coconut Cake, and Apple Cake please visit Old Fashioned Cakes for All Occasions

Caring for Family Photos

caring for your photos
How do you protect and preserve your treasured pictures? Just remember, the most harmful agent in photo degradation is ACID because, over time, it will deteriorate the photo. Many plastics and papers, as well as "magnetic" photo albums, use materials that are not acid free. So you might want to "dig" out your wedding pictures and albums of family snapshots and make sure that they are stored in albums made from the proper materials.
Some preservation tips and suggestions:

Use albums that are archival quality, meaning acid free.

The paper you put the photo on should likewise be acid free and lignin free. Lignin is a substance found in wood fibers of untreated paper. Over time it breaks down into acids that will harm photos and documents.

Storage boxes, envelopes and the like should also be archival quality.

Do not store your pictures in high temperature or high humidity areas, as this can cause mold or fungi development and increase the chemical reaction in the photos. So avoid attics and basements to store your precious memories.

Water and fire can ruin an entire collection. Keep pictures away from fire places, dryers and the like. Avoid water damage by storing them up off the floor and not in a basement.

Avoid prolonged exposure to light to minimize fading.

Use tapes or photo corners that are acid free to mount them on pages.

Try not to write on the picture, especially the front, as I think it's a detraction. If you must write on it though, do it on the back with an acid free pen (don't press too hard or the pen indentation will be visible on the picture side). An alternative is to write on the paper next to the picture.

Have your pictures scanned and put on CD.

You may want to consider making a copy of the pictures you want to show most often. The copy can take all the wear and tear of handling while your original sits safely in its archival storage location.

Summer Tea Menu

Near the end of the summer, when it's just starting to cool off, is a lovely time to give a small tea party with family and friends. Pick a bouquet from your flower gardens for your centerpiece. If you have a vegetable garden, send some of your harvest home with your guests along with a small bouquet. The cherry recipes use dried cherries, but if you have fresh cherries in your area be sure to place some in a pretty bowl for guests.

On the Menu:
Herbed Quiche Appetizer
Mini Onion Tarts
Cherry Scones
Cherry Cheese Spread
Cherry Tea

To get the recipes visit A Summer Tea Menu on OFL

Summer Fruit Salad

summer fruit salad
I hate to heat up the oven in the summer time, but I love to take advantage of the fresh fruit in season. These are just a few fruit salad recipes you can serve this summer in place of dessert, on a buffet or for a luncheon treat.

Minted Fruit Salad:

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
8 cups cut up assorted fresh fruit
Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients except fruit; stir until sugar dissolves. Place fruit in large shallow dish; pour lemon juice over. Cover, chill 3 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate leftovers.

Layered Fruit Salad


2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
3 medium bananas, sliced
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 cup seedless grapes
1 pint blueberries


2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a sauce pan, bring to boil all ingredients for sauce except vanilla; simmer 5 minutes. Add vanilla and cool. Meanwhile, in a large clear glass salad bowl, arrange fruit in layers in order listed. Pour sauce over fruit. Cover and refrigerate several hours. 10-12 servings.

See more recipes from this feature by visiting Summer Fruit Salads at Old Fashioned Living

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