Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lower Shipping on Books and Videos at my eCrater store!

Taking the plunge ... after years of setting fixed shipping costs for each item, I'm trying out eCrater's automatic shipping calculator. That means that (until after the holidays or I find out otherwise, whichever comes later) I won't be charging for shipping materials -- a savings per item nearly $2 on domestic standard shipping compared to that of, say, the gigantic Brazilian river marketplace.

My eCrater store has a lot of the kinds of gently used items that you wanted a long time ago but didn't buy because they seemed kinda expensive at the time. Gourmet cookbooks. Exercise videos in VHS format to burn off the recipes you tried. Craft patterns for indulging your creative side. Novels and classic movie videos for when you just want to chill.

Along with already super low prices, these new rock-bottom shipping fees make my store an even better destination for when you're ready to take a break from holiday shopping and indulge in a little something for yourself. Have a look!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Vintage Weaving ... in time for Halloween?

An idea whose time was never here ... Wonder how many of our mothers were potholder heads?

Sometimes it's too easy to make fun of vintage craft books. Actually, the "Loop Weaving" book, published in 1950, has lots of handsome projects as well - rugs, coasters, handbags, and slippers, to name a few. Sometimes vintage is timeless. Other times, not so much.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Delirious Ramblings

Stuck for the third day at home with the flu. It visits me every year at the same time - on the back of fall's new north wind. The bright side is I have lots of time to consider such crucial matters as the spring 2011 fashion collection. The Today show used words like "simple," "fresh," and "soft". With its shapeless beige and dusty rose, I call it a dreary surrender to the economic depression. Whatever happened to the idea that folks need morale boosters when they're down and out? Especially if they're the kind of people who rely on the media to tell them what looks good? Oh well, at least I'll save money this spring.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Merry Christmas in July SALE!

Only six months till Christmas -- plenty of time to start a crafty gift or home decor holiday project, or shop for gifts at a cool, leisurely pace! To add a little tinsel to the deal, from today until next weekend I'll take 10% off your total order, including shipping, from my BluJay or eCrater stores.

So save money at http://yesteryearsgoodies.com -- and "Yule" stay cool!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Goodbye To Another MidSeason

Farewell, Michigan pea season! In a couple of days, you'll be mulch ... but you were tasty while you lasted.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Flashes from my Michigan garden

... not content to be merely gorgeous, these morning glories revealed their inner glow to my camera flash this morning.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Remember Steed and Mrs Peel?

Those of us who were conscious at all during the late 60s remember the tongue-in-cheek spy show "The Avengers" -- those graceful, champagne-swilling partners who fought deadly villains while maintaining their cool British composure. Offered in my store are 4 episodes from the height of the series' popularity in 1967, with Diana Rigg as Mrs Emma Peel. Only $5.95 plus shipping per gently used VHS video, . Get all 4 for just over $20, excluding shipping, then grab your VCR (or buy one for under $100), and have an Avengers cult-TV party!

Season 5, episode 3: Escape In Time -- a parade of criminals have found an escape route ... to disappear completely. Steed and Emma follow the route which turns out to be a proposed escapte through time.

Season 5, episode 5: The Bird Who Knew Too Much -- an agent is killed carrying a bag of bird seed ... another is discovered in a block of cement ...

Season 5, episode 22: Positive, Negative Man -- The touch of death ... the stench of scorched remains ,,, can Steed and Emma put a stop to the electric mayhem?

Season 5, episode 25: Forget-Me-Knot -- the transition episode in which Diana Rigg retires and Linda Thorson joins Patrick Macnee ... an unforgettable episode.

Like all videos offered at yesteryearsgoodies.com, these have been tested and are GUARANTEED to play!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Recipe Revisited: Vernal Equinox Game Day Multi-Pot Lamb Stew

... inspired by "Julie's Exceptional Lamb Stew with Vegetables" in the cookbook American Cookery by James Beard (See my cookbooks!)

This is my method for making stew for a crowd (12-15 adults) without having to own a large stewpot. You start by making the broth in a 3-quart crockpot and end up with stew in both the crockpot and a 4-5 qt Dutch oven. Serve from the Dutch oven first and leave the crockpot simmering on low; if you're lucky you'll have leftovers to savor from the crockpot the next day.

Aside from changing Julie's method quite a bit (she cooked the veggies separately), I also added a couple fennel bulbs and a bit of Marsala to flavor the stew. It ended up with a delicate flavor enhanced by the sweetness of the fennel.

The morning before …

Make the broth first. Brown 2+ pounds lamb neck bones in a 425-degree oven, on a cooky sheet covered with heavy-duty foil, for 15-20 minutes. I got the neck bones from the butcher for $1.99/lb.

Meanwhile, clean, peel, and chop up vegetables …

1 leek, 1 large onion, 1 turnip

… and put them, along with

a couple handfuls of pre-washed mini carrots,

into bottom of crockpot. When the bones are brown, lift foil and pour them into crockpot. Using a spatula, loosen remaining brown bits from foil with a sprinkle of Marsala, and scrape them into the crockpot. Add seasonings (1 tsp thyme, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp salt). Cover with water. Simmer 5-6 hours. Cool overnight.

About 4 hours before the dinner …

Skim the fat off the broth, remove the bones, and set aside. The cold broth should have a nice thick gelatinous quality.

For the stew:
4 pounds lamb meat cut into pieces for stew (mine was from the leg; recipes usually recommend shoulder but that wasn't available at my usual grocery store),
flour for dredging,
4-5 tablespoons oil

Dredge the lamb with flour and brown in hot oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Remove meat to a plate temporarily; deglaze Dutch oven with a little Marsala, then pour half of the browned Marsala into the crockpot. Transfer half of the browned meat from the plate back into the Dutch oven, and ladle onto it enough of broth from the crockpot to cover. Put the rest of the browned meat into the crockpot.

Then divide these vegetables between Dutch oven and crockpot:

Couple more handfuls of pre-washed mini carrots
2-3 small turnips, peeled and quartered
2-3 fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
2 leeks cut in 2-inch pieces

Ladle more broth from crockpot to Dutch oven, making sure you have enough broth in both pots to cover meat and vegetables. Cover crockpot and turn on high heat. Cook the stew in the Dutch oven over high heat for a few minutes, then cover and lower to a simmer either in a 325-degree oven or over low heat on top of the stove.

Check the meat in the Dutch oven for tenderness about 2 1/2 hours later. Adjust seasonings.

Shortly before serving:

If you like, thicken the sauce slightly with 3-4 tablespoons butter kneaded together with the same amount of flour, stirring until smooth.

A nice last minute touch for color and texture is to steam in the microwave a small bag of

pre-washed green beans

following package directions. Add half the beans to the Dutch oven, and keep the other half on reserve for the crockpot.

Serve the stew from the Dutch oven first, with biscuits, noodles, or rice.

All this juggling isn't really very complicated or difficult -- I wanted to write down my "method" as a reminder that I don't have to go out and buy a large pot that's not needed most of the time. So not only is it a nice first-day-of-spring meal, but I saved a bit of the earth as well.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

A Whole New Year of Sales and Smiles!

The first morning of 2010 brought lots of advertising to my mailbox, all of which, with one exception, I deleted before opening. The exception offered 50% off the "hottest" books and movies -- more tempting than their usual "deals". So, of course, I clicked.

And, I should have known ... the list of "hot" books and movies which applied to the discount was disappointingly short, and, to me at least, not really as hot as all that.

This particular retailer regales me daily with rewards and discounts that I have almost never "taken advantage" of. Obviously that strategy works for them, because, without the special discount offers, their chances of making a sale from bargain hunters like me drop to zilch.

Which is why I only rarely offer "sales events" -- even though I have more than a thousand sale-priced items in my eCrater and BluJay stores. My prices start out at rock-bottom -- a great selection of vintage and gently used cookbooks, craft patterns, and exercise videos, many of which cost under $8 even including shipping, as well as giftable collectibles like great old china and glassware -- items chosen for maximum decorative appeal at minimum cost to you. I can offer these items at truly "everyday low prices" because my overhead is virtually non-existent when compared to most retailers.

Even more importantly, I consider a giant portion of my profits to be my enjoyment -- the thrill of the hunt, the creative exercise of the listing, and the opportunity to offer incredible savings to folks from all over the world. I've been selling online for over 5 years, and it's still a *blast* sharing my bargain finds with you.

So, however much the economy fails around us, you and I will always succeed at http://yesteryearsgoodies.com -- you get maximum value for your money, and, along with my profit, I get fun -- the kind of value those Wall Street bankers can't take away.

Happy New Year to all my past and future customers -- may 2010 bring you as much pleasure shopping for great goodies as I have selling them to you!

YesterYearsGoodies Dawn