Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of AP correspondent and Lebanese hostage Terry Anderson was released (1991), it is the 55th anniversary of Chase’s Calendar of Events (where I pick up all this trivia), Mission Santa Barbara was founded in Santa Barbara, CA (1786) and the National Grange was founded (1786).  It is the birth anniversary of possibly the biggest entertainer of the 19th century, Lillian Russel and Chase Calendar chronicler Helen Chase (1924).

Cast iron skillets, the “original” non stick cooking pans, are experiencing a resurgence.  Lodge Manufacturing Company, the last remaining American maker of cast iron skillets, says the last few years have been the best in the company’s history (they were founded in 1896).  When seasoned properly, a  cast iron skillet is an ideal non stick cooking surface.  They hold heat the longest (so you need to pay attention when heating them up for when they get to the temperature you want), they have no hot or cold spots and are basically non stick.  The thing that intimidates most people are the achieving and maintaining the proper temperature (which is easily mastered with a little practice) and the seasoning of the skillet routine, which is incredibly easy.  After use, scrub out all left over food residue and pat dry.  Place on high heat to finish the drying process and add less than a tablespoon of canola oil (you can use any fat, I like canola).  Take a paper towel and spread the fat around and absorb any excess fat.  Over time, the fat hardens (polymerizes) to form a dense, slick layer on the surface.  And there’s no Teflon chips to worry about.  :)

They just re-released The Butler’s Guide to Running the Home and Other Graces.  Long time English butler Stanley Ager originally published the book in 1980, I think they should have updated it while releasing it.  Some of his advice is past due, like the amount of laundry detergent (too much for front loaders) and to not inform “the staff that a royal will be visiting” until the last possible moment.  There are a ton of useful tips like setting tables, properly packing cloths so they don’t wrinkle, leather shoe care and a lot of other tidbits you may find useful.  My hyperlink goes to snippets from his book, just type the title in a search and the book appears all over the place.

The evil corporate giant ConAgra bought Ralcorp that now makes it the largest maker of store brand labels.  Ralcorp makes cereals, crackers and other packaged foods under private labels.  These are the store brand labels that always under price name brand items.  ConAgra is huge in agriculture and they’re the ones that make mutant seeds and require the farmers that use their product to sign these extremely strict contracts.

Speaking of processed foods, I don’t understand the controversy over oversized passengers on airplanes.  I’m not a big fan of the airline industry, but if a passenger needs two seats to fit, they should pay for the second seat.  I know I’m not being overly politically correct here, but you don’t go into a McDonald’s and order a cheeseburger and fries and expect to get a quarter pounder because you’re over weight.

Well, I finished the deep cleaning on the first floor last week and have been busy decorating for the upcoming holidays.  Hopefully, it will be finished today.  As I’m doing all this, I’m also working on this year’s holiday cards.  Two huge undertakings.  (This year’s mailing list is 3,000).  Speaking of mailing things, just to get things started, I went to the Post Office and patiently waited my turn.  When I approached the postal clerk and requested 1,500 post card stamps, he looked at me with a straight face and said “You need to order them”.  I looked at him with an equally straight face and said “Postage is what you guys do here, right?”  After a few seconds of staring at each other, he said he’d look in the back.  He came back with probably 5,000 rolls of stamps.  Now I wonder why the Post Office is going out of business.  :)

Anyway, back to what I started this latest about, while deep cleaning I found the manufacturer’s stamp on the blue chandelier in the front dining room. It’s a Tiche, which may make me famous.  I haven’t had a lot of time to research it on the web, what I have found is it’s Italian from Monza in the Lombardia region and goes back at least into the mid 1800′s.  The only real references I have come across is the brand seems to be pretty big in England.  There’s a fair amount of Tiche lamps that are being sold over there on their version of E-bay.  Apparently Wikipedia doesn’t have anything on it.  So when I have more time to find out more about Tiche, I’ll make my first Wikipedia inclusion.

Here’s some pic’s of my chandelier:

Here’s a close up of the cherubs:

And here’s a close up of their logo:

If anyone has any info on Tiche or know where I can find more info, please let me know.

Well, that’s about it for today, once I have the holiday decorations done, I’ll do another post with pictures.

Take care and enjoy this warm, but dreary day,

ed

 

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