Monday, December 17, 2012

Blueprints and slide talks

Architects have been making drawings for a long time. This is a drawing by Luther Turton for the E.R. Gifford House in Napa, CA; drawn in about 1890. My own house was also designed by Turton at about the same time, and built in 1892.

E. R. Gifford House, Luther Turton, 1890+/-

Just as my profession has changed the way buildings are drawn, there is an increasing interest in the ways we used to draw.

1905 photo, E. R. Gifford House, Napa, CA
Wilfred Ingalls House, Napa, CA, circa 1895

Here is a picture of our house, circa 1895. Turton was a neighbor of the original owner, Wilfred Ingalls. The similarities are quite striking, though ours is the "middle class" model. Mr. Ingalls owned a hardware store on Main Street, and supplied hardware for the construction of the Napa State Hospital. I assume the hardware in this group of houses was provided by Mr. Ingalls.

In 1895 several neighbors on First Street planted the palm trees visible in this photo and down the length of First Street. They asked the City Council to re-name the street after the palm trees (Palm Drive). Council did not agree with the plan, but several of the palm trees remain to this day.

In preparation for the Napa County Landmarks and Napa County Historical Society Holiday Candlelight Tour, we gave a slide talk at the Goodman Library (also designed by Luther Turton). Lauren Ackerman, current owner of the E.R. Gifford House; John Kasten - another architect who is currently working on the restoration; and I spoke about restoration techniques. Included was some interesting information about restoring stained glass.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Butter Bombs

John demonstrates the techniques for making "Butter Bombs" also known as "Lenora's Yeast Rolls" (cloverleaf style) as published in Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads, 1987.

After the dough has risen, the shaping of the rolls:

More on the shaping of the rolls:

Next, the ceremonial enrobing with butter:

And the final anointment with yet more butter:

This is why Thanksgiving dinner can be a mine field of calories. 

Julia Child would have been proud.