Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Sunflower Table


Sunflower Setting

We recently had my sister and niece visit for brunch - it was a beautiful day so I set up for the visit on the screen porch.
A few days earlier I just happened upon these sunflower chargers at Hobby Lobby - 4.99 each was a great price, but they were on the 70% off section so I grabbed the 5 that were left.
I used the extra charger as a base for a simple centerpiece...a faux green plant and stuck in some yellow flowers.

I used an old Pfaltzgraff patter called Hopscotch...I found them in the outlet years ago and only have a setting for 4, so this worked...each plate is a different fruit - pear, peach, cherry, apple.  I have 4 matching saucers and 5 matching cups...I usually use the extra cherry cup to hold lemons for tea.
The napkins are several years old, from Kohls...and the napkin rings were an end of season find at Wegmans...a real steal!

I set up some dessert treats on the dining room server....some Rolo pretzel treats, Almond Joy cookies, and since carrot cake is my sister's favorite treat I made one and put it on my grandmother's cake stand!
It was a great visit and a wonderful after noon!

Hard to believe we had room for these treats after enjoying French Toast, Fruit Salad, and Bacon....but we did!
Here is the recipe for the French Toast - 

This is the French Toast before I popped it into the oven.  I forgot to take photos of the process, but it is SUPER easy.
I have the recipe for 1973 there was  book called 
The Total Woman. It was a "how to be a good wife" book and it was a hoot to read.  But...the author, Maribel Morgan, wrote another called The Total Woman Cookbook in 1980.  I was working in a library at the time and saw the book...and this recipe.  Been making it ever since!

French Toast Casserole  Serves 6  to 8
1 loaf of French or Italian bread
8 large eggs
3 cups milk ( I use milk and that sugar free sweet Italian creamer)
4 teaspoons of sugar ( when I use the creamer I do not use sugar)
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces
Grease a 13x9 pan.  Cut bread into 1 inch thick pieces and arrange in one layer on bottom of pan.  I cut as many as I can and try to squeeze them in without squeezing too much. Beat eggs with remaining ingredients except butter and cinnamon.  Pour over bread in pan.    Dot the top of each piece with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cover with foil and refrigerate 4 - 36 hours.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until puffy and light brown.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.   Top with hot maple syrup and serve with bacon or sausage.

I cut the recipe for this in half since there was just the four of us for brunch...and we needed to have room for Carrot Cake!

We finished the afternoon off by relaxing on the VUE...the rooftop deck on our building.

Looking forward to packing all these sunflower summer items away and arranging some Fall tablescapes. 

Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista !

Monday, August 28, 2023

Goodbye Summer


Goodbye to Summer

Labor Day Weekend coming up and I am always surprised at how quickly summer goes by!

I put our sunflower wreath out for the month of August and did some other late summer decorating, too.  Thought I would share before I pack away summer and break out the Fall decorations soon.

The entry to our apartment is the perfect place for a planter...faux plant!  I found the garden stake sunflower at Dollar Tree.

A sunflower, a green moss ball ( more about those later ) and a great print with an Anne Frank quote welcome people into our home.  I love the pintables from Ann at On Sutton Place
and like to change them out for each month.  Thanks, Ann!

Simple table with some great faux flowers found at JoAnn's Fabrics and some candles.

I always kill any orchid I get as a gift, so this faux one is the way to go...along with the other "plants".

I use the pillow cover we bought at the Van Gogh Experience for some more sunflower fun.

Easy coffee table decorations...some beads from Dollar Tree, a bowl filled with green moss balls I got from Amazon during Prime days, another plant, a candle I have had forever, and some sunflowers.

The glare is preventing you seeing the plate from Dollar Tree that says "Bee happy"...John hates it because it is not grammatically correct!  The sunflower bottle has mini lights and the bee hive honey pot was found on the Dollar Zone at Target.

Saw this bottle of wine and thought it was perfect to sit out for a bit!

A little matching bee bowl from Dollar Tree and small lamp from Target in the kitchen corner.
I have been shopping a lot this summer and will do a post soon about all my finds...but the biggest and best is this - 
Been thinking about getting a robot vacuum for awhile now...we love our Dyson cordless and did not think we needed it.  Our bedrooms always seemed to get dusty so fast and when I saw this Shark robot on sale at Costco...
and saw that it was self empty...I put it in my cart.  It was fun to watch the robot map our home...and I had to have it map the space a few times before I felt it was accurate.  Then I used the Shark app to create rooms and name them ( though I have been having it do the entire apartment most times ) and named the robot Rosie - like the vacuuming robot in the Jetsons!  I have to say...I LOVE IT!  I plan on vacuuming with the Dyson on the days I clean our apartment, but I run this a few times a week in between cleanings and am amazed at what it picks up.  Ran it while out doing errands on Saturday and when I emptied it ( I can't wait a month...want to see how it is working) it looked like dryer it is getting the dust!  
That's it for now...thanks for stopping by Our New Vista!  Let me know if you have a robot vac, do you like it, and what did you name it?  And share if you are still decorating for late summer...or have you brought out the Fall decor? I love reading your comments !
Have a great Labor Day Weekend !

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Brewery Tour Time!

Brewery Tour Time

We recently took a trip back to our old area - Pottsville, PA - 

The home of Yuengling Beer!

We lived in Schuylkill County for many years, my husband was born in a little town there, and we have always enjoyed Yuengling beer.  The Yuengling Brewery offers free tours and we invited our friends to come with us to tour the brewery.  We toured the facility many years ago when we lived in the area...the tour, the gift shop, and the tasting room have been expanded and it is a great place to visit.

D. G. Yuengling & Son, established in 1829, is the oldest operating brewing company in the United States. In 2018, by volume of sales, it was the largest craft brewery, sixth largest overall brewery and largest wholly American-owned brewery in the United States. Its headquarters are in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. 

The story of America’s Oldest Brewery began when David G. Yuengling arrived from Wuerttemberg Germany to settle in the sleepy, coal-mining town of Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

The tour meets in the gift shop across the street from the brewery and then takes you over and into the kegging room.  The walls are lined with old time miners ( as COAL was KING ) and brewery workers.

Our guide explained how the kegs were filled, even though kegs are no longer filled at this plant.  Yuengling has plants in Pottsville, PA and Mill Creek, PA - right outside of Pottsville.  There are also plants in Tampa and in Texas, too.

Our tour then took us into the caves of Sharp Mountain.  You were told you might need a jacket as it is always 54 degrees in the caves and that is the perfect temperature for brewing beer.  Also, no open toed shoes or sandals allowed on the tour due to the uneven floors, and water puddles from the dripping off of the cave ceiling.

The cave was dug by hand with no power tools by miners and some of the rocks still bear the scars of the pick axe and shovels. During Prohibition the caves where the beer was stored were bricked off so that nobody could use them...they have since been opened up but not used for storage these days.  

For many years the brewery used spring water that was found in the cave...this ladder led up to the spring.   Now they use city water that is filtered before they brew the beer.

This is the was the lunch and break room for the workers in years past, and last time we visited it was the tasting room.  Now the tour is so popular ( we were there on a Wednesday and there were 45 people in our 11 AM tour!) there is a new, larger tasting room.

Along the tour there were many interesting items to view and documents to read.  The cut out here is of Richard "Dick" Yuengling. He is the 5th generation of  the Yuengling family and his four daughters are involved in the brewery and will make it the 6th generation!

Murals in the brewing room show women from the past who were the bottle washers.

The brewing vat.

Our guide provided us with a good step-by-step description of how beer is made.

The artist who painted the murals did not sign his work, but in the mural of the barrel makers he painted in himself...with the red suspenders.

This mural depicts the joy when Prohibition was repealed!  During Prohibition, Yuengling was allowed to brew Porter... a dark beer that was very nourishing. People who were anemic and nursing mothers could get a prescription from their doctor to buy Porter beer.  There is copy of one of these scripts preserved in the tasting room.

I forget the exact amount, but the brewery is charged for every so many cases of beer it makes...and then the public is charged tax again when they purchase the beer!

At this facility they produce the canned beer...the cans go past on a conveyor belt, are filled...lids are attached and then..

the beer is pasteurized.

How did the brewery stay profitable during Prohibition ?  Yuengling also produced ice cream and milk...and did so for many years.  The building across the street from the brewery is the old ice cream plant and is now the gift shop and tasting room.

There are great murals all around the outside of the brewery.

St. Patrick's Church was the first building built on this street - Mahantongo Street.  The brewery was the second.  The brewery grew and expanded over the years so now there are just a few inches between the two buildings.  
Just a few blocks up the street is the birthplace of author John O'Hara.  He wrote about the people of Pottsville and changed the name of Mahantongo Street to Lahantango - not much of a changes.  There are beautiful Victorian and turn of the century homes on Mahantongo Street and it is worth a walk ( a hilly walk!) to see them and the Yuengling Mansion, built by the first brewers son.

A good view of the brewery, including a flag showing support for Ukraine!

After the tour everyone is welcome to two 7 oz. glasses of beer...with all of the Yuengling products on tap.  Our guide described them all, along with Birch Beer - non alcoholic - for those who did not wish to drink alcohol.

A display of quart bottles...these are no longer brewed but were VERY popular in the past.

John was excited to see the Phillies represented...

An old ice cream sign.

Yuengling was one of several breweries that received a telegram a few weeks before Prohibition was repealed granting permission to start brewing in order to be ready for the demand.   I heard a story years ago that on the day Prohibition was repealed a truck containing Yuengling Beer left Pottsville headed for the White House!

As I was not driving I made sure to taste two beers I had not had before.  One was the newer Golden Pilsner.  The one I am holding is called Coal Miners Beer....half Porter/half Chesterfield Ale.  Since I really am a "Coal Miner's Daughter" I had to try it!  While I am not a huge beer drinker, this was great.  I think all the beers were good because they were all on tap.  My friend enjoyed Bongo Fizz...
Yuengling BONGO FIZZ is the latest innovation from America’s Oldest Brewery. Light, refreshing, and crisp, BONGO FIZZ is a premium beer that is the embodiment of tropical relaxation. Yearn for the beach with a taste that finishes with a juicy burst of natural mango flavor.
You can read about all the Yuengling products here - 

If you are in the area of Pottsville, PA and are interested in touring the Yuengling Brewery it is a great time.  You can read all about how to visit here -

Thanks for coming on the tour with us today...I think you would enjoy seeing it in person.  
Do you have any places you would recommend near your home?  Please leave a comment below and let me know about them, or if you like Yuengling products.  We always have some Yuengling Light Lager in our refrigerator!
Thanks so much for stopping by Our New Vista!

Trip !

  TRIP !!! And not the trip we were looking forward to...out for a walk and waiting for the crosswalk to say WALK.  A tractor trailer turned...