A Bit O’ Green

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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! I hope you are finding some “happy” amid all of the worry that’s weighing on everyone’s minds recently. Spring is coming, with greener days ahead. Take a break from the heavy, and visit with me a spell!

I’m part Irish, and have “celebrated” St. Patrick’s Day through the years – sometimes going to a festival, or out for a meal; other years just by wearing green. When my daughter was a little girl, before “elves on shelves” existed, we worried about leprechauns invading the house. The little sneaky beings always found a way in, and each morning on St. Patrick’s day, we’d find green milk in the refrigerator, shamrock stickers on mirrors, and green shamrocks drawn on entire rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom. 

Nowadays, at “Chez Christensen”, St. Patrick’s Day is more low key, with a few festive decorations that sit on the Hoosier cabinet in the kitchen.

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Last month, my husband said those “other” three little words I love to hear: “Let’s go junk-tiquing.” Married twenty-eight years this year, we still love spending time together.

Doesn’t hubby look handsome in his Irish wool cap?

Doesn’t hubby look handsome in his Irish wool cap?

On a  “date” on a damp and cool Sunday, we found a quaint little place with a cozy fireplace for lunch, near a tucked-away little antique shop we found accidentally on the internet.

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There, we found this little 1930’s green glass canister jar made by the Owens Illinois Glass company.

An early maker’s mark on the Owens Illinois green glass jar from the 30’s

An early maker’s mark on the Owens Illinois green glass jar from the 1930’s

Jars like these are often called “Hoosier glass”. This one probably held tea or sugar. I love the way the sun shines through its rich, deep emerald color. Items like this always amaze me how something so delicate can last so many decades. It’s like a tangible piece of history. Imagine how cheerful this green must have been in such a dreary time as the Great Depression. 

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Also on the Hoosier is a green and white St. Patty’s postcard from 1910.

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Vintage ephemera (antique postcards, photos and other paper) is an inexpensive thing to collect, decorate with and repurpose. 

My best friend gifted me a beautiful, 1950’s, handmade sage green dress she picked up while Junktiquing, thinking I might be able to fit in it. It fits like a glove, and will be my Easter dress this year. Dresses are just not made like this anymore! It has a modesty panel in the kick pleat, fitted bodice and a metal (not plastic) zipper. Too pretty to just sit in a closet, it hangs as decor in my downstairs powder room. I repurposed vintage ephemera to dress up a wooden hanger for display.

The dress (and walls) are more sage green than they look here. The dress is stunning in person!

The dress (and walls) are more sage green than they look here. The dress is stunning in person!

 

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Using old paper “stickers” from the 1940’s and a wooden dress hanger (probably from the late 90’s), I made a pretty decorative hanger by covering the logo on the hanger with the sticker, using three coats of Modge Podge and letting each coat dry before adding another. 

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On St. Patty’s we always have a good meal, usually with a festive twist. As you know, I love to cook, and have been trying new recipes forever! I still have a stack of pages pulled from magazines, with recipes for meals from back in the 1980’s when I was a teenager! Most of the pages are from a monthly cooking section from Seventeen Magazine. I think I was about twelve when I made the “St. Patrick’s feast” of Irish Stew, “Lucky Clover Biscuits” and other treats from that tattered page pulled so long ago.

While it has been a lovely “warm” winter, we’re still enjoying hearty soups and stews. For St. Patty’s this year, I’m serving up my version of a New England favorite: Green Pea Soup, which can be made vegan if need be. It’s fast and easy on a busy, cool weeknight.

I like my soup thick. The soup and leftovers can be thinned by adding more broth.

I like my soup thick. The soup and leftovers can be thinned by adding more broth.

Nicole’s Green Pea Soup with Croutons

2 ½ cups of dried split green peas, quickly washed and picked of stones, etc.

1 carton of organic vegetable broth (to equal three cups)

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced

1 ham steak, cubed*

3 cups of water

1 tsp. Organic “Better Than Boullion” chicken bouillon base*

1 tsp. Pink Himalayan salt

¼ tsp. Pepper

2 bay leaves 

*Omit for vegan version

Quickly rinse dried split peas in cold water in a colander, discarding any possible debris. (Rinsing too long releases the starch). In a Dutch oven over high heat, bring peas, broth, and water to a boil. Reduce heat. Add carrot, ham cubes, bouillon, bay leaves and salt and pepper. Allow to simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until peas soften and soup thickens to desired consistency, 30 minutes to one hour. 

For croutons, use fresh bread, such as a crusty French or Italian loaf, cubed. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and bake cubes at 350 degrees until crisp. Serve soup with fresh, crusty bread and croutons on top. 

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Spring will be in full force before we know it. The green tops of daffodils and the green garlic scapes are peeking through the soil. The trees have blooms, and soon we’ll all be gardening! Better days are ahead…we just need to have patience and faith. 

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Wishing you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, the Luck of the Irish, and a beautiful, healthy spring. Please leave me a comment so I know you dropped by! Come back by for the next Suburban Farmgirl Blog on April 21st!

 

Until NextTime…Farmgirl (“virtual, at least six feet away”, wink, wink) Hugs, Nicole

 

 

 

Leave a comment 40 Comments

  1. Nancy Wilson says:

    Thanks for sending! Enjoyed reading so much! Love to go antique hunting!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Nancy, I am so glad you enjoyed the post. That make me happy. Our state has some great places to go browsing for antiques. So much fun. Thanks for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. Bonnie says:

    Boy I needed to see a little beauty and happiness today. Thank you!!

  3. Heidi says:

    Just lovely, thank you for sharing.

  4. Marlene C says:

    Well, I saw red yesterday – the first red robin of the season. Yeah!!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Marlene, Love that! I have not yet spotted one, but I have heard more birds, and the geese are starting to fly over again. Spring can not get here soon enough! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  5. Mary says:

    I love your decor……… I am Irish, and German and probably some Scot too. Love your farmgirl posts.. I so enjoy each one

  6. Pam says:

    Hi, I enjoyed your news and find it uplifting in these uncertain times.
    Thank you,
    Pam

  7. Nancy says:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day and First day of Spring tomorrow! Spreading a little green and cheer is so important in these uncertain times. Wishing you health and happiness.
    My daughter had a wonderful idea for her boys, who are at home with school closed. To keep them busy and let them show their Irish pride she had them make signs with shamrocks that said, “Honk if you are Irish”. They live on a busy street and stood outside showing the signs to passing cars. They were so excited when passing cars honked! Of course, almost everyone feels a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Nancy, I bet they were so excited – how fun! I can just hear the squeals when a car would go by and honk. It reminds me of road trips when I was a kid, crouched in the back of the family station wagon with friends, and getting all exited when a truck driver would honk the horn of the rig! I read a post in our town suggesting a “shamrock scavenger hunt”. She suggested having neighbors put a shamrock on their mail post or in their windows, and then families could drive around and see how many they spot. Cute ideas. Happy St. Patrick’s! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  8. Carol says:

    I curious about the junktique store and lunch spot. Can you be more specific?

    Hubs and I had crock pot corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes for dinner March 17 and wore old dollar store green necklaces. Reminisced about a prior March 17 on a cruise ship and the big one 40 years ago when we bought our first home.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carol, I will look up the names and let you know. I think both are not far from you. We had corned beef for dinner Saturday, with leftovers, putting the last bit on the grill for lunch, which was fabulous! Then pea soup for dinner. Good eating! And MaryJane’s soda bread recipe is still the best I have ever had! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  9. Pamela Frey says:

    Nicole,
    What a fun and uplifting post! We need those thoughts during this crazy time in our lives especially for those of us who have to self isolate because of the virus, age or health issues. THANK YOU! In Kansas our Governor closed all schools until the end of the year (mid May) so we also need to keep parents in our prayers. My son & wife are still trying to process managing 4 children at home for 5 months and Grandma cannot help yet…crazy!!
    On a happier note, your decorations are delightful, your husband is a hunk (60s slang for very handsome), your “finds” beautiful, and you will look gorgeous in that dress! Hailing from New England and a “wee bit Irish”, my tradition is N.E. boiled corned beef & cabbage dinner – yum! Want to explore more recipes but have too many fond mem-ories of that meal cooking at my home. Everyone stay healthy as we welcome Spring.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Thank you for all the nice compliments, Pamela! So glad you enjoyed my post. Our schools have been closed awhile now, and it is all pretty surreal. I am enjoying the slower pace – getting organized for spring, knitting, sewing, and crafting more which is nice. Hang in there, and stay healthy! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  10. Sandy says:

    Oh my! That green jar! ❤️

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Sandy, Isn’t that green pretty? Makes me think of the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz, and I love that it is from so long ago! When the sun comes through it, it is breathtaking. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  11. Rosie Brock says:

    As always, love your blog! Keep them coming please

  12. Meredith Williams says:

    Your new jar is beautiful! I haven’t seen that color before. Happy spring to you and your family, and prayers we all stay healthy!!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Meredith, thank you, and the same to you and yours. Thanks for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  13. Carol says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipe, although no one in my family will eat pea soup but myself. Also , I love the green Hoosier glass that you have!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Carol! Thanks so much! I understand about the pea soup; I have a relative that hardly eats anything green at all, lol! Thanks for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  14. Laura Stone says:

    Hi Nicole,
    I love the Hoosier and the wonderful display of vintage dishes and linens. Thanks for giving us a little cheer at this uncertain time.
    Stay well!
    Laura

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Laura, thank you; I am so glad you enjoyed the post. It means a lot. Stay well, too! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  15. Laurel Pries says:

    Wonderful post Nicole!! I always read and enjoy your cheerful stories. We have been married just under 60 yrs and also love each others company and going junking. Of course there’s nothing we need, but it’s still fun. Congrats on finding the green jar, I love it. Living in Wash, now is not a good time to go out, so we are just staying home and staying well, hopfully. Best wishes to you and your families and stay well also. Laurel

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Laurel! WOW! Sixty years! That is so awesome. I love to hear that. Wishing you both many more years of happy times together. Thank you for reading and commenting. It means a lot. Stay in and stay well! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  16. Barb Shanks says:

    I don’t have a web site but so enjoyed reading your blog. Was comforting and encouraging. Thank you and looking forward to next one.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Barb, Thank you so much. I am glad I was able to bring a bit of light during this dark time. Hang in there, and stay well. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  17. Kerrie Hershey says:

    Hi Nicole– Always enjoy your posts. And loved your photo of 1930’s green jar. I have one just like it that I rescued from my mother in laws cupboard many years ago. I use it as a vase often and it has a lovely home in our china cabinet. Wish I had a Hoosier. Stay well and thanks for bringing a smile.

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Kerrie! Isn’t that green glass just so pretty? I love that you have one with a story and family history. I have not thought of using it as a vase – love the idea. Would be pretty with daffodils in it, so maybe next St. Patty’s I will do just that! Stay well! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  18. Amy Wasko says:

    Love your repurposed hanger and cute postcard!

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Amy, Thanks so much! I love to craft with things I have just “hanging around”. The hanger was one of those things – I did not have to buy anything to make it. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  19. Gaye says:

    Oh how I love the way you decorate! Also so many memories you just brought back, I too read 17 magazine and made many of the recipes, I too had the exact same leprechauns visit while I was growing up and when my littles were growing up. :)

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Gaye, Thank you! I love to decorate, and love moving things around here and there, and repurposing. I remember Oprah once said, “Your home should rise up to greet you”. True- our homes should be bright and cheery and warm. Wasn’t Seventeen Magazine the greatest back in the day? I wish they still had it for my now 17 year old daughter. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  20. Deb Bosworth says:

    Hi Nicole!
    Loved this post… I like my soup thick, too! 😉 Your junking date sounds wonderful… Love a surprise spot with a fireplace. Great collections and memories! I hope you are all well and making your way thought these challenging times.
    Farmgirl Hugs!
    Deb

    • Nicole Christensen says:

      Hi Deb! Thank you! We are well, happy to report we are healthy. It is a challenging time, but making the best of it. Glad to read that all is well with you, too. Love your new shed! That is the same place we got our chicken coop from several years ago. Great buildings.

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