July 30, 2011

Our New-To-Us Vintage Ice Cream Maker

Today a long awaited package arrived in the mail:

We've been dreaming of scoring an authentic vintage hand-crank ice cream maker since the start of summer. Tim talks about how he remembers watching his dad make homemade ice cream from a hand-crank ice cream freezer growing up; while I can't say I had such luck, I'm looking forward to learning the process.

Since we've had our hearts set on getting one, I've been scouring ice cream makers in Etsy's vintage category in hopes of finding one well taken care of enough that it stood the test of time - most I came across were amazing looking, but were either missing an essential component or should be best put to reuse as an industrial decor update. Good thing I kept checking back since low and behold, last week I stumbled across this Sears Coldspot from Simple Housewares's Etsy shop. After chatting with the shop owner, Nicole, she let me know the ice cream maker was still in working condition and had actually belonged to her grandmother.

We're looking forward to cleaning up the minimal rust and taking this ice cream maker for a spin (or "crank") - hopefully as soon as next weekend. I love the idea that we'll be putting it back into use and promised Nicole I'd send photos of it in action - hey Nicole!

Lately we've been getting 1/4 peck bags of fresh peaches from our local farmer's market so we're thinking a great first test run should be with a simple peach ice cream recipe. Since ice cream has so few ingredients (if made right in our opinion), the quality of those components is key.

In any case, we were beyond excited to open up our new find today and it looked even better with such charm and character in person. Funny how these things work out since we were almost ready to purchase this modern made White Mountain version of the hand crank ice cream maker. While it would have been a great buy, we're thrilled we could find the real deal.

Have you ever used a hand crank ice cream maker, have tips for best use, and/or know of a tried and true ice cream recipe we should try?

July 28, 2011

FxCamera: Tim Went to the Market

...The Android Market that is. Tim and I both have different versions of Android phones. Long story short - I think we would have opted for the iPhone but have been Verizon Wireless customers and didn't want to wait to enter the wonderful world of the smartphone way back when. That being said, I love my droid and am not sure I could go back to not using a smartphone - funny how something I've lived my entire life without could seem so essential now.

In our world, Tim is the mobile expert and I like to think I'm the computer expert. So not surprisingly, Tim came home the other night and showed me a new photo app called FxCamera (forgive me if I am way behind the loop on this one). Basically, it applies retro filters on photos you take with your phone - works for both Android and iPhone. I'd been dying to get my hands on a droid version of Instagram, and hadn't found anything I liked that seemed to compare, so I was actually pretty impressed with the outcome of the FxCamera filters.

I've really only had time to play around with the Polaroid overlay and like how it seems pretty realistic to when you only had that one chance to get the photo right - if you took a blurry shot of the foreground it was too late. I'm a little more weary of using phone photos for anything other than personal use due to the quality of the image, but I'll admit something about these processed shots is pretty swell. I've actually been taking note of some popular Etsy sellers using Instagram/FxCamera type photos as their Etsy shop product images to evoke a nostalgic quality - so clever.

After snapping away over the past couple days we're not yet bored. Pictured above you'll find random snippets from our home and garden: vintage wire locker basket we use for kitchen storage, wildflowers my 2 1/2 year old niece picked, our latest garden yield of butternut squash, and the first two okra pods that have survived this Virginia heat wave - yes, we planted them late this season.

So tell me - are we totally missing out on Instagram without an iPhone? What other phone photography apps are you loving that we should know about? Are you also loving the processed retro look that's so in right now or are you already over it?

July 25, 2011

Weekend Basics

Weekends tend to be busy for us so every once in a while when we're able to find time to hang close to the "804" we feel completely spoiled. We kept it pretty basic this weekend by cooking at home, trying to keep ourselves and the plants cool in this Virginia heat wave (3rd day in a row above or at triple digits), and of course - launching 17 Apart.

1, 2 & 5: I made a side corn recipe I've been wanting to try after this month's issue of Bon Appetit magazine arrived in the post. It involved roasting fresh corn on the cob in their husks - which came from the farm my son is working on this summer. Find my version of the full recipe over at E.A.T..

3 & 4: Tending to the backyard garden. The cherry tomatoes are coming in and ripening enough to pull a handful each day now (Mary eats these since we all know I'm not a big tomato fan). The Romas are still pretty green on the vine but growing in heaps which I'm looking forward to incorporating into a red sauce as the summer comes to a close.

6: Meet Basil. He's our 11 month old Weimaraner puppy. As you can see, Basil approved of my corn recipe and held the fort down from the ground up throughout the weekend. Additionally, he found the garden hose a welcome cool instead of his usual "undecided disposition" for his weekly bath.

July 24, 2011

Hello and Welcome

Hi there and welcome to our newest project - a collaborative effort of our creative passions. Wait, who? Mary Andrews & Tim Vidra to be exact.

Here on 17 Apart, we hope to share the things we're passionate about, give a peek into our own version of what sustainable living means to us, and offer up a few surprises from time to time. Learn even more of what we have up our sleeves on our About page.

While we're getting things going, we hope you'll take a moment to keep in touch and show your support by:
  • Following this blog. Just click the "join this site" button over in the right sidebar.
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We look forward to sharing our story with you!
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