Did you know that drying tobacco helps prevent moths?
Or so we were told when we bought this house.
The upper floor, which we are in the process of building out, (one can’t say restore because there was nothing there to restore – the same goes for renovate) was used as both a granary and a sechoir, or tobacco drying area.
Both uses explain the breezes that blew threw before the insulation and walls went up.
I mean, if the purpose is to dry stuff out, one doesn’t want it air-tight, now does one?
You see, even though the area was above the house or living quarters, it was actually part of the barn, with access up the barn stairs.
But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t beauty in the old, er, stuff.
Look at the curves on the stairs and handrail – bent wood. (pink lines are for emphasis)
The orange brick wall is where the they added on a little kitchen. To explain: originally one went from the main room of the house, through a door into the barn. They built a little room in the barn for a kitchen (tiny room which is my pantry). After the add-on, one went from the main room of the house, through the same door into the kitchen, then through another, new door into the barn.
On top of that little room is where we dry the walnuts.
On to the work of the week:
He’s ready to hang some doors – which is good, because he has them leaning on stuff all over the place.
Speaking of closets – I showed you the beam on the left side of the master bedroom closet. Not to be in any way inferior, the right side has a post…
Naturally, everyone will be insanely jealous of my closet with post and beam.
Mon mari asked me to pass along this bit of information:
They are an absolute pain-in-the-ass to work around as, being old and axe-hewn, they are neither straight nor square.
He does complain…..
The wood cleans up nicely, though, doesn’t it?
Here’s a remembrance of what it used to look like – this is the far corner, which will be finished last:
You can’t really see them, but there are rusty old shears hanging from the main beam. Yes, we left them there….. And the hanging stuff that looks like cobwebs? Cobwebs.
All things in time.
Speaking of time….
This mustard sauce takes very little time and, if you are having a Christmas Ham, it will elevate it to new heights. It’s been on my family table as long as I can remember, and if it were ever missing…. Well, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the mayhem.
It has just the right amount of heat, with a hint of sweetness balanced by a bit of vinegar.
Really, there are so many layers of flavor here it’s amazing.
Also works well with every other kind of meat or fish you can think of.
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plain white or cider vinegar
2 tbs dry mustard
2 tbs butter
Crack the egg into the top of a double boiler and whisk until beaten. Add sugar, milk and mustard, whisk well. Cook over simmering water for about 5 minutes, until sugar and mustard are dissolved and mixture is hot, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar and continue to cook until thick. Remove from heat, stir in butter and salt. Refrigerate. Good with almost everything and keeps a long time.
Note: if you don’t have a double boiler, put a metal bowl on a saucepan partially filled with water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.
The original recipe came from a small, family run hotel, the Anderson House, which was across the river (Mississippi) from my hometown.