Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Stately Mackley Manor Art Collection

Those who know us, know that we like stuff. We like pretty pictures, scary pictures, neo-classical pictures, kitsch... Our tastes our eclectic... Or as someone once said: Eccentric, but in a nice way. I bought some art this week. It will be installed in the permanent collection as soon as I bother to go pay the artist. But while I was thinking about how to rearrange the collection, I thought I'd take a few photos. Cause I like to take pictures of things. And I like to write about things. This is just like going to the Toledo Museum of Art. Except that the net value of my collection is probably in the neighborhood of $17.57. And you can talk all you want here. And bring food and beverages. In fact, please bring them! And there's no membership fee! Other than that little piece of your soul. Moohahahaha...  And we have cats. Lots of them. And the TV is usually on. But I digress.

Our first piece of art. A wedding present 20 years ago by Tim's Uncle Bob Schira.  I like how the black and white looks against the blue of the wall. I picked the wall colors because I thought the art and such would look good hanging against them. My friend Cheryl helped me make the walls this color while others doubted my sanity (or at least my color sense.)

This is one of several Tamara de Lempicka's work that I cut out of a a calendar I got for a dollar in one February. I love her work.

This is one of Jack Vettriano's most famous prints, though not my favorite. Got it for a dollar, though.

These are some locally manufactured paint-by-number kits from the fifties. Somebody's Mom had done about all of them and they were selling them for two dollars each at flea market. I controlled myself and only bought the two that reminded me of my vacation to Tahiti. Then I bought frames at the Dollar Store.
This is the first of my two limited edition prints. This is from the television show Andromeda. Then there's the Edward Gorey "Mystery" print that we got from the PBS catalog.

Then there's a poster of "The Artist's Honeymoon" that I bought Tim for our 5th anniversary.His hair was long and my hair was red then.

My Martini Clock!  It's always time for a cocktail!

Jesus knocking on the door to your heart. This belonged to my Mammaw.

The shadow box my friend Cheryl and I made to commemorate 20 years of being friends.

Got this at a garage sale for four dollars. 

A little slice of Hieronymus Bosch's version of hell.  Ten bucks at a flea market in the frame. Spotted it from the highway, I'm proud to say. "Turn, turn, I see a painting!"

A poster of "The Architect's Dream", Tim's favorite painting at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Psyche being accosted by Cupid.

 Kitchen Art! Some cool prints of appliances I got for a dollar each at Target in their dollar frames. I love the colors.

More Jack Vettriano - from a calendar that I got for a dollar one March in their Dollar Store Frames.

Tim uses damaged comic pages as art as well as comic promotion cards.
A poster of one of Tim's favorite comic covers framed over the mantle. I used gold paint to fancy up a cheap plastic frame from Wal-Mart.
I find post cards, greeting cards and such that look like my cats (current and late) and put
them in cheap frames.

My Homies! Click to see how I made it.

Original Horror Movie art I bought at the OWE festival.
Santa by my good friend Haylee Ross.

Are black vinyl wall decals art?

How about if I string them together to make a border for my future Steam Punk Office?

How about empty frames?

Are dolls just small sculptures in fabric art?

If you don't take down your Halloween decorations, do you have a gargoyle collection?

Do your Christmas decorations become art if you simply refuse to ever put them away? Maybe because you love buying pretty things at 90% discounts a month after Christmas?

And is this a brilliant pop-culture chandelier or did someone just not want to put the Hallmark away?

By the way, the plaster thing below: 50 cents

And then there's this:

 Dunky bird! Ellie Phant! Chicken! Porcine and the magic genie bottle. That's a whole other post.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Marrow Bones - How to make a trendy appetizer for a fraction of the cost.

We ate at a great little restaurant last week and had this:

Roasted marrow bones with sweet onion marmalade and garlic crostini. As you can see it was 8 bucks for 3 marrow bones - 4 pieces of toast, four roasted garlic cloves and some onion marmalade. I had a feeling I could beat that price and I was right.

Five Marrow Bones for $2.31

An entire head of garlic: 33 cents.

Pre-sliced baguette for $1.69

Roasted Garlic Onion Jam - 5 bucks, but I'm only using about 1/6 of a jar for this recipe. It's great to use in things that require a bit of oniony - garlic flavor when you're feeling a bit lazy.

A sprig of Thyme - currently free in my garden.

Pre-heat your oven to 450.

Pull the papery skin from your garlic clove

Slice off the top of the garlic and drizzle with a bit of oil

Wrap in foil and pop in the oven. Garlic should roast for at least 30 minutes.  When the garlic has roasted for 10 minutes, it will be time to put the marrow bones in the oven.
Put them in a foil lined pan. Hit with a bit of salt and I tossed in some fresh thyme. Now put it in the oven with the garlic.

You might also want to consider cleaning your oven before you take pictures of it, but that's totally up to you. While the garlic and the bones roast together in happiness. Tackle the bread. If you are more industrious that me, you could buy a baugette and slice it yourself. I likes the pre-sliced stuff. Now toss those pretty little bread slices in some olive oil.
Put your pretty little toasts on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper

Right at the 30 minute mark for the garlic, putt it out and put the toasts in. Now unwrap the garlic from the foil and using a towel to hold it, so you don't get burned, give it a big squeeze into a bowl or onto a plate. It should come out in a paste.

Now mash that paste with a fork

Your marrow bones should be done by now
At the restaurant, they served them on a plate like this along with a whole roasted garlic clove. In the absense of marrow forks, I found this a little difficult to manage. So I'm poking out the marrow myself with a narrow knife and putting it in a bowl. Then I'm adding about half that garlic paste to the bowl. You can use the rest if for all sorts of tasty garlicky applications.
It does not look pretty at all. But it will taste great. Like a beefy butter with garlic. Now fetch your toasts from the oven and make them fancy through the magic of a rectangular plate! Or use any plate you like. After all, this is America.
Now spread just a small dab of the marrow/garlic mixture on each slice of bread
Give it a sprinke of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Cleaning up your work area before you take photographs of it is also a good idea that I seem to have ignored. Now put on just a dab of that delicious onion jam.
I think I made roughly 4 times as much with what I used at home than we got at the restaurant. So let's take a base cost of $32.00 for this at a restaurant. What it cost at home:

$2.31 for the marrow bones
     33 cents for the garlic
     85 cents for the toasts. I bought the bag for $1.69, but I onl.y used half
  1.00 for the onion marmalade. The jar was 5 bucks, but I only used about a fifth of it on this dish.

   $4.49 for  the entire dish vs. $32 dollars for the same amount at a restaurant.  Plus you have some garlic paste left over and some bones for your pets to play with. Not bad. it was fairly delicious.