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Posts Tagged ‘Fiestaware’

My 100th Blog Post - A Milestone!

Written on April 19th, 2010 by corakent8 shouts

As a new blogger, I’ve had lots of fun writing about what’s important to me, living and growing in Boquete, Panama. Eleven thousand, eight hundred fifty (11,850) visitors have opened my site. It’s really astounding!

Thanks to all of you for peeking at our lives here in Boquete, it’s an amazing place in which to live. The rainbows are spectacular, the air is clean, and coffee grown here, is the best in the world!

In a nutshell, the first 100 posts were mostly about the people I know and love, the folks I see every day, and the neighbors who give so much to our community. There have also been fellow food bloggers and readers from around the world whom I call friends, although I’ve never met them face-to-face. I’ve mentioned lots of famous people who have impacted my life in some way or another. The nearly 100 people named in my blogs are named again below, and I really appreciate the contribution each person has made to my life since moving to Boquete, nearly 8 years ago.

Would you like to guess the most popular article of the 100 blogs I have written? How about guessing the average amount of time each visitor spends on the site at each visit? The answers are given below.

Thanks so much to the real stars of the past 100 blogs! By name, they are: Lauretta Bonfiglio, Sharon James, Juan Linares, Renny Kranich, David Kent, Jon Day, Kurt & Norman, Erik Carrera, Charlie Collins, Alison Holst, Anne Necker, Maritrini, Joyce and Nick Newton, Tom and Caroline Bot, Richard Detrich, Tammyjo Eckhart, Danilo, Jerry Wager, Elvin, Dorothy Lamour, Jorge Ortega, Liz Lees, James Cagny, and Tova Speter.

Thanks to Nelson, Calixto, Belisario Torres, Kelly Herring, Jim and Cindy Eickhoff, Julia Quiroz, Cesar, Doris Day, Idu, Papa Ricco, Giovanni, Carrie and Jonathan, Violet, Patricia Martinelli, Carlos Williams, Amy Adams, Greg Henry, Gobbles, Clyde and Phyllis Stevens, Ruby McKenzie, Eddie Cantor, Marian and Ethan Becker, Hershel and Mikey, Grandma Gates, Zorida, Lee Zelter, Axel Schob, Kirsten Peck, Judy Garland, Gale Cellucci, Drick Perry, and Anayansi Menendez.

I so much appreciate David Necker, Eric and Jane, Lori Lynn, Dave and Erin Ross, Groucho Marx, Rachel White, Martine Heyer, Richard Meyer, Mickey and Squirt James, Frederic Chopin, Mario Batali, Edgar Castillo, Vasco Numez Balboa, Irma Rombauer, Julia Child, Craig Claibourne, Barbra Streisand, Michelangelo, Diego Rivera, Bill Streit, Bing Crosby, Emeril Lagasse and Steven R. Covey.

You can still guess the top blogs, these photos will give you a hint. The top, broad category is “Boquete Living”, including blogs about daily living in the Highlands of Panama.

The #1 blog in my first 100 articles, is “My Fiestaware Collection”, written October 8, 2009. The blog you visited almost as many times, at #2, is “Panama’s Coffee Cup - Cafe Duran”, dated January 8. The #3 blog is “Hollywood’s Golden Age of Dining”, written January 3.

At each visit, the viewer stays on site an average of 2 minutes, 37 seconds, quite an amazingly long period of time, especially when there are millions of other sites to visit.

I’m so very grateful to all of you for your time these past several months, and I hope to make my second hundred articles even more interesting and fun! If you’d like to suggest a particular subject, please let me know. Thanks again for your support!


Nosh on Nicoise

Written on December 11th, 2009 by corakent4 shouts

nosh1Pronounced nee swaz’, this is the perfect lunch to serve at a lunch party. Sure, why not have a group of friends over for lunch.

When we first arrived in Boquete, good friends Hershel and Mikey invited us to their lovely home for a “Luncheon”. I don’t think we had ever been invited to such an affair and it was a very special event. We met many folks there who became “life-long” friends.

This is my favorite “almuerzo” to serve when friends from all over the world gather at our home. It looks gorgeous, it’s easy to prepare, everything gets prepared ahead of time and your guests become “designers” of their own lunch.

Because we enjoyed the afternoon so much with Hershel and Mikey, we’ve served this “Luncheon” many times. Everyone loves an afternoon party!

This is your chance to use all the lovely serving dishes you have been collecting. You’ll need a large salad bowl in which to serve the mixed lettuces, but the other dishes can be medium size or small.   This mango wood bowl I found in Costa Rica, it’s beautifully made and it smells like smoke.  It hasn’t lost its fragrance after using it many, many times. I provide small tongs to serve the greens. nosh3

Every serving piece should be a different size, pattern and color. It’s fun to go through your cabinets and select silver, wood, ceramic, china, plastic dishes, or even a piece of tile on which to display your remaining ingredients for the Nicoise Luncheon.

These are the ingredients I prepare for noshing, but use your creativity.

Blanched whole green beans
Tomatoes, cut into small wedges
Spring onions, sliced
Canned tuna served in shot glasses, 2 oz. is the perfect serving size
Hard boiled eggs peeled, but not cut - provide an egg slicer and small knife
Unpeeled cucumbers cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the inside with a spoon and slice
Dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, herbs (your special blend), a little mustard and salt.
Chilled boiled potatoes, cut into julienne strips
Anchovy fillets, whole
Black olives, pitted
Cheeses, cubed or in julienne strips
Blue cheese, crumbled
Carrots, grated
Pine nuts
The fun of the Nicoise Luncheon is that each guest becomes the “artist” of their own salad, designing it exactly the way they like. They begin with a dinner-size plate and lay out the greens.

Then, your guests continue along the buffet filled with brightly colored dishes, and layer each ingredient until it looks just exactly right. One guest made a funny face out of his salad, the skies the limit!

Each dish becomes a masterpiece.
The results are beautiful enough for a photo.

The Boquete Gourmet to Host Bid 4 Boquete Charity Event

Written on October 12th, 2009 by corakentno shouts

winemenuThis year, the Bid 4 Boquete Annual Auction received a donation from the executive chef of  Bistro Boquete, Lauretta Bonliglio, to present a live cooking class about “how to create Mexican dishes in Boquete using local ingredients”.  I quickly volunteered my “Boquete Gourmet Kitchen” for the event.

Now, I’m busily sorting out my kitchen - can you imagine having a world-class chef cook in your kitchen?  The event is coming up quickly.  I only have a few days to “get my act together”.

I’d include a photo of my pantry, but I know you wouldn’t want to see how it looks now.  It’s the sort of place where I know where everything is, but no one else could find anything in there.  First, I’ll get rid of all those leftover plastic containers, I have dozens of them and not one top matches any bottom.

My cupboards aren’t too bad, I only need to hide the odd, mismatched plates, bowls and cups, that should be easy.  All my serving pieces are of different patterns, styles and sizes, so the dinner will be served in an eclectic manner.

Once I get my kitchen all sorted, cleaned and organized, the tabletops will be the next challenge.

The cooking class has a Mexican theme, so I’ll set up the dining tables in a Mexican style, something like the photo, except the plates will be bright and shiny Fiestaware and each plate will be a different color.  The assorted serving pieces will fit in just fine, making the tables even more colorful.

Maybe a low dish of bright flowers from my garden would give the tabletop design a festive look.  Red, white and green crepe paper streamers stretching across the tabletop would add even more flare.  Of course, the food will be the highlight of the dinner and I know how beautiful and delicious it will be, especially when presented on the Mexican-decorated tables.  Watch for “showtime” tabletops here soon.  tabletop

My Fiestaware Collection

Written on October 8th, 2009 by corakentno shouts

FiestawareMy collection of Fiestaware has grown from only a few plates in 1968 to 62 place-settings today, plus many serving pieces I’ve acquired over the years.  The sellers of  an old house I purchased years ago left a few plates in the cupboard and I immediately became hooked on the stunning beauty of the design, how durable it is and how creative my tabletops became when they were set with Fiestaware.

These brightly-colored pieces are sought after by collectors all over the world.  The prices always seemed expensive to me, but my Grandmother always said, “If you really want something bad enough, you’ve got to be willing to pay the price”.  She remembered when Fiestaware first came on the market in 1936, she bought some pieces in Woolworth and she used them until she died.  She told me about the Homer Laughlin Pottery Company where Fiestaware was made and how it became the most popular American dinnerware that was ever created.

The best buy I’ve ever read about, and my Grandmother remembers it, was offered in 1942.  It was a 7-piece juice set that included a pitcher and 6 tumblers and it sold for $1.00 - the entire set!  Look at my picture above, the juice pitcher sits proudly on top of some of my original dinner plates.  My most valuable piece is also pictured.  Can you guess which one it is?    The red color is the most valuable color in the photo; it was discontinued during World War II because the government needed the uranium used to make the red glaze.

If you’d like to learn more about collecting Fiestaware, there are several books available about collecting  and pricing in today’s market.  I was astonished to find how many pieces are available on the internet, but it would be difficult for me to buy “the real thing” without caressing it in my own hands first.

The tiny turquoise mustard jar nestled between the salt shaker and the marmalade jar is my finest, most valuable piece.  It’s in like-new condition and I’ve never used it for mustard, too bad in a way.  I paid $95.00 for it in 1974, which was a good price at that time.  If you collect Fiestaware, I’d like to hear about your collection.  As you follow my blog, you’ll see many photos using pieces from my Fiestaware collection, keep watching for them.

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