Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Ghost and Mrs. Vaughan

Mary came to town!
She was here primarily to visit her mom and we were able to get the Cupcakers together for an afternoon of fun, food and crafting.

We started right in crafting, so our ghosts would dry to transport home.  We used these instructions right here, but there are many basic ways to make them and you can find them on-line.

Here is the cheesecloth, soaked in fabric stiffener and draped on the armature we made.  This one is Jills.

Here they are dried and lifted off there armature and making a little quartet.  From the left is mine, Susan's, Jill's and Marys.  Aren't they fun? They are held up by the pool of draped cloth around the bottom.

We painted our ghosts with some glow in the dark paint - here is a long exposure spooky photo of how it looks in the dark.

And now we've earned our lunch!  We were celebrating Mary's and Susan's October Birthdays, so of course we had to have cupcakes.  Dark lavender was about as close as I could get to purple on the frosting.

For lunch we had New England Squash Soup (recipe at the end of post).  My other good friend named Susan made this for me and Pauline a couple of weeks ago and was it delicious!  I also made the first pop-overs of the season.

I was lucky - again! and won the Halloween fabrics we used for our game of LCR - sorry girls!

This is the view out of my computer room window on the second floor.  I have a love hate relationship with this huge Maple tree.  Today I really love it :)

It was great seeing you Mary!  Come over and play any time!

New England Squash Soup
1 cup diced onions
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 butternut squash (about 1 pound) peeled, seeded and cubed
1 potato diced (we used yukon gold)
3 cuts water or chicken or veg. stock (I used half water half chicken)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup evaporated skim milk
salt and pepper to taste
(we also add crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper for some heat)
2 cups sliced mushroom (6-8 oz)
3 Tbsp dry sherry
1 Tbsp soy sauce
pinch of dried marjoram

Combine the onions, celery, garlic and apple juice in a large soup pot.  Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the squash, potato, water or stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt and nutmeg (and red pepper if using).  Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat.  Simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 to 25 minutes.
While the soup simmers, saute' the mushrooms in an uncovered skillet with the sherry, soy sauce and marjoram until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

When the squash and potatoes are very soft, remove the soup pot from the heat.  Remove the bay leaf and working in batches, puree the soup with the evap milk in a blender or food processor.
reheat gently.  Add salt and pepper.
Serve topped with the sauteed mushrooms.

Enjoy and thanks for the recipe Susan H.


  1. Love the idea of painting them with the glow in the dark! Thanks for sharing the recipe...

  2. I saw Jills ghost and thought it was such a hoot!!! So fun to spend the day with Mary. I know you miss her a lot!!

  3. thanks for the soup recipe. looks great!

  4. Well, I wish I was the Mary you mentioned. :-) Enjoyable day you all had!

  5. Looks like fun! Since red and black are one of my favorite color combinations, I really like your table too. Hmmm, I see it as red but maybe its orange?

  6. Those ghosts are sooo cute!! I love that they glow in the dark, as all good ghosts should LOL. It was nice seeing Mary's smiling face again :0)


  7. Oh those ghosts are spooky.
    Love how you go mad and decorate your homes in fall in the US of A.

  8. Looks like a howling good time! Love those ghosts. I'll have to try your soup!

  9. Oh, it is so nice reliving that fun day! What a hostess Barb is! I think we wore Coco out with our laughing and carrying on. I am still remembering the delicious lunch. Mary...come visit again soon please!!!

  10. I forgot to mention that I like your new blog header.


  11. How fun - the ghosts are charming! Looks like a great day with friends. The house looks beautiful- all spooky and autumny!

  12. Oh, how FUN! I love the ghosts...thanks for pointing us in the right direction for THAT! You guys look like such great friends and like you are having an awesome time. Who makes the smaller scale cat fabric, you lucky little pumpkin? Is it from this year?

    Great post!

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

  13. Oh those ghosts are too cute! You guys have too much fun!

  14. Your ghosts are SO cute! It looks like you girls had fun crafting and had a real nice lunch? It's fun seeing your pretty table and the house decorated up for the holiday.
    Your Maple is gorgeous! :)

  15. another fun day!
    cute ghosts, oh that soup looks yummy!
    I understand about the tree but it looks beautiful enjoy it while you can... I was up in BC today and loved the ride up 287 the trees are at their peak I think
    it was beautiful...

  16. Love those ghosts. What a great idea painting them with glow in the dark paint.
    We attempted to do lavendar frosting once for my Mom... youdid so much better, we got gray.

  17. Your ghosts are brillieant - I love them, specially the glow in the dark effect.

    The soup recipe looks wonderful, so I'm going to have to try that.

  18. WOW...WOW....what a 'scary-licious'
    day you gals had!!! LOVE your house and what a great hostess you are!!! I LOVE dressing up a table too..your table is just FAB!
    Those little ghosts are just w-a-y
    too cute for words...thanks for the link...these are a 'must do' for me too!!!!

  19. Those ghosts look like a lot of fun and the lunch sounds delightful. Thanks for the link and the recipe, so we can play along too.

  20. The ghosts are wonderful! What a great idea!


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