Back in 1974, when we moved to Redlands we met Liz. She worked with Terry and included me in antiquing adventures. When we bought our first house, a Victorian built in 1900, she gave us a gift of a green glass juice squeezer. (Redlands is/was orange growing country and we had a 100 year old orange tree in our backyard.) Liz’s words of wisdom, which were so true, is that this type of squeezer is the best because the glass ridges are so sharp that it really gets the juice. I am here to tell you that it even works with limes, which in my experience can be notoriously dry and stingy with their juice.
Twelve years later we moved north and Liz retired and moved back to her family home in Kansas. She would send us wonderful greeting cards each year with news of antiquing jaunts and family doings but I was not a very good correspondent in return. You must understand about Liz. She loves art and wherever she lives she must have an extra bedroom, because she has probably the world’s best collection of antique advertising tins that are all beautifully displayed. In the years I knew her in Redlands, she taught me how to shop for advertising tins. I still remember the best deal I ever got. A six-inch diameter “tin deco” tin in one of those big warehouse antique stores on Redlands Blvd. that had many vendors. It was in a pile of modern tins on a Christmas theme and was marked $1.00. The cashier and I both knew that the vendor did not know what they had. Score! It has a beautiful graphic of a poinsettia and I bring it out each year with the decorations for the holidays.
Liz reads my blog and sends me notes about new avenues of exploration (just like she used to) and last Friday when I was feeling very excited about having figured out how to make layers in photos with the iphone apps, she sent me a note to look at this blog. I only read about three entries when I came upon a discussion of the “Tunnel of Fudge” cake. Back in the day, when I had just finished college, that cake was a celebration in itself. It was a runner up in the Pillsbury Bake Off Contest (should have won the grand prize.) This was the chocolate cake in a bundt pan where the center ran and gushed out chocolate when you cut a slice. I either stopped making it because the packaged cake mix you needed to make that center flow was discontinued or because I married a man that doesn’t like chocolate and desserts. Who remembers the cake? I really did marry someone like that…. The blogger had a reverse recipe for a Meyer lemon cake with a runny coconut center, so I may be digging back in the cabinet for that old bundt pan (no non-stick surfaces here folks…I remember it as being hard to clean the grooves after you baked in it.) The kid’s birthdays are coming soon, maybe one of them would appreciate this kind of birthday cake. I know that Meyer lemon is my current favorite taste treat and the squeezer will come in handy, yet again.
So Friday, I had a new skill with the iphone and lots of memories courtesy of my friend Liz, and I was on a quest for things that could be layered in photos. I still have a number of tins strategically placed around my house. (Not enough to have a room dedicated to them, but some strategic corners.) In my enthusiasm, I made this collage for Liz. A Gloria Swanson Beaute Box Canco tin is the base image with the writing of an old Redlands post card overlayed. The butterfly is also added. I only remember Gloria from Sunset Boulevard, but I guess long before that movie she was gorgeous. Thanks for all you taught me, Liz! I will send you a paper copy if you like it…