Friday, August 28, 2015

“Brew Pub Pork Chops” & “Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Salad” To Celebrate Tasha Tudor's 100th Birthday!

“Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!” ~~ Tasha Tudor

Welcome everyone! So thrilled that you stopped by for this very special celebration! Why is it a special celebration, you may ask? Today happens to be the Centennial (100th) Birthday of one of my favorite artists, children’s book author, gardener, cook, baker, lover of animals, knitter, and all around Queen of old time things. Her name is "Tasha Tudor" and I think she is worth celebrating her life, her work, and her Birthday! One of her famous quotes is, “Take joy and live the life you have dreamed.” She also loved Christmas and Christmas Art which is one of the reasons I love her work so much.

by Tasha Tudor

I first came to know and love Tasha because of a Christmas card I received one year. The card was beautiful and it showed a family around a Christmas tree in a lovely home. All the people in the card were dressed in old fashioned clothing, about the Victorian Era. I am a lover of this era and fell in love with this card. I saw the name at the bottom of the card and it said Tasha Tudor. So of course I had to look her up and find out who she was. I did find her and realized that her work, stories, and life were what I loved. So I became a fan immediately. 
She lived in following her dreams and in crafting a life that was unlike others. She had the ability to march to her own drum and do things her way. As time goes on I find Tasha inspires me more every year. OK, so by now you must be wondering who Tasha Tudor really was?  Well I will tell you, but some of you may already have been touched by her children’s books or her art work.

Tasha Tudor was born on August 28, 1915. Tasha’s was an American illustrator and writer of children's books. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts and was the daughter of naval architect W. Starling Burgess. Her mother was a noted portrait painter, Rosamund Tudor. Tasha married Thomas McCready in 1938 in Redding, Connecticut. They purchased a large old farm in Webster, New Hampshire, where four children, Bethany, Seth, Thomas, and Efner, were raised. Her first story, “Pumpkin Moonshine,” was published in 1938, as a gift for a young niece. They were divorced in 1961, and her children legally changed their names from McCready to Tudor. Tasha Tudor illustrated nearly one hundred books, the last being “Corgiville Christmas,” released in 2003. She introduced everyone to the wonderful world of the Corgi dog. Tasha Tudor was devoted to Corgi’s kept them for years having as many as 13 at one time.

She received many awards and honors, including Caldecott Honors for “Mother Goose” in 1945 and “1 is One” in 1957. She received the Regina Medal in 1971 for her contributions to children's literature. Her books feature simple and often rhyming text accompanied by detailed and realistic drawings with soft colors. She also created thousands of original works of art which appear on Christmas cards, Advent calendars, Valentines, posters, and in many other forms. The original art is found in museums, libraries, and hundreds of private collections around the world. One of her most famous books is “Corgiville Fair,” published in 1971.

Tasha Tudor died on June 18, 2008 in Marlboro, Vermont. Her estate, was valued at over $2 million according to the Daily Telegraph. Her will, written in 2001, left the bulk of the estate to her son Seth Tudor and his son Winslow. Tudor's daughters Bethany Tudor and Efner Holmes are also accomplished authors and illustrators.

Tasha’s Vermont home, though only 30 years old, feels as though it was built in the 1830's, her favorite time period. Seth Tudor, one of Tasha's four children, built her home using hand tools when Tasha moved to Vermont in the 1970's. Tasha Tudor lived among period antiques, using them in her daily life. She was quite adept at 'Heirloom Crafts', though she detested the term, including candle dipping, weaving, soap making, doll making, and knitting. She lived without running water until her youngest child was five years old.

From a young age Tasha Tudor was interested in the home arts. She excelled in cooking, canning, cheese-making, ice cream making and many other home skills. As anyone who has eaten at Tasha Tudor's would know, her cooking skills were unsurpassed. She collected eggs from her chickens in the evenings, cooked and baked with fresh goats milk, and used only fresh or dried herbs from her garden. Tasha Tudor was renowned for her Afternoon Tea parties. Once summer arrived, Tasha Tudor would always leave her art table to spend the season tending her large, beautiful garden which surrounded her home. 

I feel that Tasha Tudor lovers are not shawl wearing, corgi owners, or gardeners but distinctive individuals. Some may love gardening, some may love corgis, some may own a shawl or knit one, but I think the fiber that runs through all of us is the love and appreciation of a simple life made by ones own hands. This is what I think Tasha Tudor’s legacy is and why she is still so relevant to many people!

My recipes this week is in honor of Tasha Tudor. She grew her own vegetables and this is a perfect time of year to share these recipes. “Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Salad” and “Brew Pub Pork Chops” are my dishes and I think you will love this combo. Especially with the Heirloom Tomatoes in season now. They are so sweet and juicy plus grilling is still the way to cook this weekend, as it is going to hit 90° degrees on Long Island… Summer is definitely not over! So stay cool and enjoy your weekend…

Brew Pub Pork Chops

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hr 22 minutes

Introducing the kind of pork chops you'd find on a brewpub's menu. These beer-marinated chops with a mustard-garlic rub sizzle with big flavor. 

1 cup beer
1 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
4 bone-in pork chops (1-1/2 lb)
1/4 cup real Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

Mix first 4 ingredients until sugar is dissolved; pour over chops in shallow dish. Turn chops over to evenly coat both sides of each chop. Refrigerate 1 hour to marinate. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients together. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chops from marinade; discard marinade. Grill chops 6 to 10 minutes, on each side or until done (160ºF) brushing occasionally with mayo mixture.

Bath Time by Tasha Tudor

“Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Salad”

Tomatoes give this salad a juicy bite. It's a great use of fresh veggies from your own garden or the farmers markets.

Servings:12  Prep/Total Time: 25 min.

7 large heirloom tomatoes (2-1/2 pounds), cut into wedges
3 med zucchini, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced
2 med sweet yellow peppers, thinly sliced
2 med sweet onions, sliced thinly
1/3 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon each minced fresh basil, parsley, and tarragon.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and peppers. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, oil, sugar and salt until blended. Stir in herbs. Just before serving, drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.

Till Next Time………………………………...........

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  1. Tasha is such and inspiring woman. I never heard of her before so I was curious to read her story. I love her philisophy of life: Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish". She enjoyed her life and understood that life is a privilege where you can grow, learn and improve spiritually too.
    I love the recipe too. The pork chops go very well with the veggie. Un abbraccio cara.

    1. Hi Alida,
      Thanks for your comment, yes Tasha was a very unique person. Living the way she did is not an easy task. But, she was a strong woman and very inspiring for sure. So glad that you enjoyed learning about her and her work. She is such a special person to me that she feels like family at times. Glad that you liked the recipes as well. Thanks for visiting and I hope that you have a good week...
      Hugs Dottie x :)

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