Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recipe: Hot Ditalini Salad

1 c. ditalini pasta (thimble-sized tubes)
1 15-oz. can white kidney beans, rinse and drain.
½ c. chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 Tblsp. olive oil
2 c. tomatoes, chopped up in chunks
12 oz. cooked chicken, pulled into bite-size chunks
¼ c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, torn or snipped
Salt and pepper to taste
Don't go nuts about exact measurements.
  • Cook pasta (follow directions on package); drain; set aside.
  • In blender, purée 3/4 cup of the white kidney beans with the chicken broth. Put purée into pan and bring to boiling. Add set-aside pasta.
  • In a large skillet, sauté garlic in olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook an additional minute. Add rest of beans , chicken, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat through, but don't mash up.
  • Add the garlic/tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to coat. Makes about four servings.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Steal this Book!

Text not available

I found this while noodling around in Google Books on another project and thought I'd try the little link-jobby-thingy to see how it works. I guess the link works OK, but I had to shrink down the image a little (twice!): at first it took up so much space that it knocked my sidebar stuff to the bottom of the page.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Why thimble sellers should learn about thimbles.

OK. I'm not writing about the eBay thimble sellers who specialize in thimbles and other sewing collectibles. They know what's up. I am referring to the regular Joe Schmoes selling their grandma's 80,000 treasured knickknacks, and to the irregular "Antique" dealers trying to unload somebody-else's grandma's assorted junk as "Estate" pieces.
My petulant little points:

1. This is not "vintage." Nor unmarked silver. Nor tarnished from age. It's a current, modern, buy-it-at-today-at-WalMart silver-tone metal thimble. With a smidge of rust. So, actually, not even as valuable as any thimble one can buy in any fabric/craft/notions/drug store on Main Street, USA, for 99 cents. Not worth $85.00. Sorry.

2. This is not "antique." It is not Victorian. Not European. Not a rare archaeological find from some unspecified Middle Eastern nomadic people. It is from Mexico, almost certainly from Taxco, which is an honorable enough lineage, but they are not rare in the United States and are readily and reasonably available internationally through eBay. A fair price would be $8.00-15.oo. Not $49.95.

3. Thimbles do not come with holes in them. Thimbles are not designed with holes to ventillate thimbles. A thimble has a hole because the owner pushed a needle all the way through the thimble and made a hole. Do not feed me any other story about it. DO NOT. And if you're selling me this thimble through eBay or any other online website: tell me if there are any holes. A hole de-values a thimble more than any other type of damage. I may still want the thimble with the hole, but I want to know about the hole. And a thimble with a hole that's been "repaired" (see left, click to enlarge)--even repaired fairly well--is a thimble with a repaired hole, not a thimble without a hole. And while I'm at it (whew!), don't tell me it's just a small hole. Of course it's small: it's on a thimble. But it's still a hole.

What the . . .?

Pictured above are what are called Pigeon Racing Thimbles.
First: Hooray for anything referencing thimbles. Sincerely. Genuinely. YAY!!
Second: I have been trying to figure out what they do with these thimbles in pigeon racing. I've read the Wikipedia article and apparently they have something to do with timing the dear, little birdies, which have some sort of numbered bands put around their legs from when they're pretty much fresh from the egg. I think that when the pigeon arrives at its little pigeon-home-nest-place, pooped from the long flight, its owner (human pigeon-companion, if you will) removes the band and pops it into the thimble-thingy which goes into the pigeon racing clock. Again, I think that's what happens, but I could be entirely wrong (it's happened before). This must be so intuitively obvious to fans of this. . . uh. . . sport. . . that they feel no need to explain it, but I'm dipped if I'm clear on the concept. Seems like one could cheat.
Oh! There are Pigeon Clock Collectors groups and societies! YAY!
I wonder if they have to hear, "You collect what?," all the time too.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Three thimble lots at Bonhams.

Art & Antiques
Sale 16278
Knowle, England
15 January 2008

Lot 36: A Royal Worcester porcelain thimbles (2).
The blush ivory ground painted with a robin amid flowers over a gilt rim, 2.6 cm., and another painted with scattered flowers, (cracked and s.d.), 1.9 cm.
Update: Sold for £20 (about US$39.61) plus Premium and tax.

Lot 402: Two eastern ring thimbles (2).
One with decorated thimble, each attached to a finger ring with stone.
Update: Sold for £85 (about US$168.33) plus Premium and tax.

Lot 403: Four Thimbles (4).
Comprising: two Indian ivory examples, a Dutch silver ribbed finger guard, with duty mark, 4 cm., and a thimble on chain to a ring decorated with stones.
The listing title references FIVE thimbles, but the body of the text and the photo indicate 4 thimbles.

Update: Sold for £60 (about US$118.82) plus Premium and tax.