In the years since her death in 1993, there have been attempts to deify Doris Duke as a style icon. Colorful she may have been, but for me, that ultimate refinement of eye just wasn’t there. However, with all that lovely lolly, she did manage to pick up a few interesting things along the way.
The post about the smalt room at the Warner House in Portsmouth has gotten so much email response that I am posting a couple more photographs for your enjoyment.
Here the paper is seen in two other colorways, from A.L. Diamant Company, which has distributed Zuber papers in America since 1885
Note to readers: Although this puts to shame the gaudy and expensive paint effects various Park Avenue acquaintances have been allowing their decorators to smear over their walls for lo these many years, you should not try this at home. Really, you shouldn’t. Unless of course, you have gorgeous 18th century paneled rooms that garner light from nearby water….
My grandparents, a convivial couple, were of an era that would be at home to friends who might drop by in the late afternoon. It was a rare day that there was not a visitor, or two, or three, who had wandered by at tea time for gossip and conversation. Simple treats were always at the ready for these unannounced visitors. One of the best were these wafer thin lace cookies, kept in an old fashioned tin to keep them dry and crisp
The bottoms of these cookies are very shiny from the caramelization of butter and sugar, and my grandfather loved to remind novice visitors to be sure to ‘peel off the wax paper’ before taking a bite, and derived almost sadistic enjoyment from watching the hapless souls try.
I’ve compared this recipe with others, and most lace cookies recipes seem to involve corn syrup. These do not, and I think they’re better for it, sugary and crisp. They can also be tarted up with chopped nuts, dipped in chocolate (Pepperidge Farm Brussels cookies anyone?)
Melt 1 Stick butter in saucepan
Add 1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp. salt
2 heaping tbs. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring
Mix well, and beat in:
Line cookie sheet with foil
Drop 1/2 tsp. of batter for each cookie
Bake 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes, watching carefully
Cool thoroughly on foil. When cool, peel off foil.
Makes 3 dozen.
Thanks to the Blue Remembered Hills for the kind mention yesterday. It is more than flattering to have my favorite bloggers stop by.
This groundbreaking study of early American interior decorative motifs, sometimes beautiful, sometimes weird, brought the naive, sometimes ambitious, early American attempts at European style decoration to the fore. She was a prodigious researcher and detective, and for 65 years was constantly scooping herself, discovering another obscure folk artist, finding the design source for an American building. tracing the allegorical history of a piece of a printed textile. I cannot say it better than this bit of promotional copy for her posthumous collecting autobiography Little by Little :
I’d lived with the painting for 25 years, when, in the course of removing antiques I’d purchased from a house a mile from me, this tattered Currier & Ives appeared folded in a pile of papers in the attic. Imagine my surprise. I’d found the source of my painting.