Winter Solstice has come and gone; the days are slowly getting longer once again. It will take awhile though. The days may still be short and dark, but our homes are cozy and warm and bright.
We still had our 2016 Christmas tree out in back by the fire pit. My husband set it on fire on the first day of winter to “burn the troubles of the old year away” or something like that. It was just something fun to do to recognize the shortest day of the year.
Yesterday we took a drive into Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We visited the Third Ward District in the afternoon for shopping, and to have an early dinner. Later on, we planned on attending the Twilight Tour at the Pabst Mansion.
My favorite shop was called Mod Gen, a modern general store. The shop was very cute and quite busy. I snapped this during a slower moment.
I love when shops mix vintage pieces with new wares.
Ever wonder what to do with that collection of yardsticks? They make cute paneling. This paneling went up about 20 feet!
We quickly worked up an appetite walking around in the cold. It was still early for a sit down restaurant so we found the Milwaukee Public Market, a bustling place filled with food stalls of prepared food and grocery items. We got sandwiches, wraps, and juice at the Green Kitchen and picked up some cannolis to bring home. We had a view of the river while eating.
We arrived at the Pabst Mansion before the Twilight Tour started. Because we were early, we got a parking space right on the property. While we were waiting, we had a view of the west entrance of the mansion. This is where there is a covered portico; it is where the horse and buggies would pull up. This entrance to the mansion is quite high with no stairs. It really gave us the feeling of how high off the ground the carriages must have been, and what it must have been like to step out of a carriage.
This is my photo that I took last night, but there is a more complete photo of the facade on their website. Do you believe this is open for all of us to wander through and explore? It was especially magical last night as it was completely decorated for Christmas. There were decorated trees in all of the rooms on all three floors! Pictures cannot convey what is was like to be here, but I took as many as I could with my phone. I wanted to remember the magic and show you as best I could what is was like.
These are the first photos I want to show you; there are too many for one blog post, so you will have to check back if you want to see more. I’m going to jump to a room on the third floor because, well, you can see why. This is the Principal Guest Bedroom where one of the Pabst daughters and her husband would stay when they visited. It was decorated by a couple of local doll clubs. It is overrun by Teddy bears getting the room decorated for Christmas.
Some of you asked for my Mom’s Birds’ Nest cookie recipe. Here it is. I’m warning you, though, they taste much too good, and disappear much too rapidly!
Birds Nest Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 egg yolks, unbeaten
1/2 t. vanilla
2 c. sifted all purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
2 egg whites, unbeaten–put in small custard sized cup
1-1/4 c. semi-finely chopped nuts
jam, preserves, or jelly of your choice
- Cream butter until light and fluffy, gradually add in brown sugar. Then, add egg yolks and vanilla, mix well.
- Whisk sifted flour and salt together in a separate bowl, then add to butter mixture. Mix only until combined.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls; dip into egg white then roll in nuts. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 1-inch apart.
- Bake at 350° for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven to add the indentions (but, don’t add the jelly yet) for the jelly. Use the end of a wooden spoon or thimble to gently make the space for jelly. Put cookies back in the oven for an additional 8 minutes.
- Cool slightly, and fill indentions with jam, about 1/4 teaspoon. The jam will skim over after about an hour or so.
Don’t forget to “test” a few to make sure they are “good enough”. It may take a few cookies before you know for sure. 😉
That’s all for today, my friends. Watch for more photos from the Pabst Mansion. (Wish I could go back today.) *sigh*
Enjoy your day! ❤