Archive for the ‘Wednesday’s Woman’ Category

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Scalloped Potatoes from Milk Cow Kitchen by MaryJane Butters

These were a hit! But my family’s two favorite things – potatoes and cheese! Well three favorite because we had these with leftover baked ham.  Give these a try – yummy yummy for your tummy! AND super easy to covert to Gluten Free YAY!  If you are new here look at Monday and Tuesday posts as well! And WELCOME! Hope you enjoy your stay and please come back soon.


  • 1 1/4 cups Gruyere, grated
  • 1 1/4 cups Swiss, grated
  • 3/4 cup Asiago, grated
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 2 T flour (I used corn starch as a GF substitute)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (didn’t have any – used vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/8″ thick
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 baking dish
  2. In a medium bowl, combine Gruyere, Swiss and Asiago cheeses. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onion  and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes.  Stir in flour (corn starch if making gluten free)
  4. Add white wine, milk, cream, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Remove from heat.
  5. Add a layer of potatoes to the casserole dish, overlapping each slice. Pour about 1/2 cup of the sauce over potatoes, and sprinkle with about 1/3 of the cheese over top.  Repeat with remaining potatoes, sauce and cheese.
  6. Cover dish with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Makes 12 servings

For 6 servings prepare and 8 x 8 baking dish and cut the recipe in half.  Bake covered at 350 for 45 minutes and uncovered for 15 more minutes.

Now everyone here is how to enter to win an autographed copy of Milk Cow Kitchen:

Super simple! Leave a comment at the end of this Q &A and the other posts that will follow this week (recipes! YAY!!) and consider yourself entered for each comment. So the more you have to say, the more chances you have to win! This book is beautiful! You will love it! And chock-full of not only information but wonderful recipes for you to try. At the end of this week a winner will be randomly chosen to receive a signed copy of Milk Cow Kitchen! Woot!


You can find out more about MaryJane Butters by visiting:


Wednesday’s Woman – Tasha Tudor (1915-2008)

Today would have been Tasha’s 98th birthday.  I would rehash my admiration of her but that was tainted a couple of years back when her family started fighting over her estate and ultimately her remains.  I wondered what kind of woman actually raised such a passel of idiots.  I invite you to read my original thoughts on the matter here. It was interesting to go back and read how strongly I felt about it at the time and how just a couple of years will change the strength of feelings about something you are so removed from.


I still very much appreciate her art and her ability to live her life as she wanted.  But even as the years have passed I wonder at what cost any or all of it was to the health of her family life.  But what do I know of it?  Not much.

Happy Birthday Tasha.  I wish your apparent peaceful life had had more of a positive influence on your offspring because they seem to have turned out rather badly.  Nonetheless, your cookbook still graces my kitchen shelf and your print hangs in my shoppe.  RIP.


War of the Tudors

Today is also our nephew Patrick’s birthday and 50th Anniversary of  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a dream” speech.  RIP Dr. King.  We have made progress, but we still have an awfully long way to go.   But thank you for your courage and convictions.



Wednesday’ s Woman and a Giveaway! Meet Marianne Sock Lady!

Meet Marianne of Solmate Socks and enter to win

my “Knock Your Socks Off” Giveaway!


Seriously, these are my favorite socks of all time except for the ones my daughter made me!

NQJC: Please tell us about the origins of Solmate Socks – I LOVE it by the way…GREAT service…and great socks! And made in one of my very favorite places on Earth,Vermont.

I started out by knitting mismatched socks in order to learn how to knit with a different color of yarn in each hand.  So, I was knitting with both methods at the same time.  I’m impatient and didn’t want to take the time to switch the yarns out, and loved the flow of creativity that came with this.  After giving away over 100 pairs of hand knits, I was prompted to find a way to have these knit on a knitting machine.  Fast forward a whole year, and there I was, designing and manufacturing socks to be knit by the thousands.

NQJC: I know that social and environmental responsibility is a very important aspect of your business.  Care to tell us about that?

We are proud to be as close to a zero waste company as it is possible.  Not only are the yarns made from recycled cotton, but the socks that don’t pass inspection are cut up and made into hats, and the scraps from that production are made into placemats and filler for dog beds.  Children and baby socks that are not useable are picked up by children’s International and sent to places all over the world where children need warm clothes.  Our office is solar power driven.  Our warehouse is a renovated 100 year old barn, and I bike to work.  What could be better?

NQJC: Do you ever say “What have I gotten myself into”?

I did say that around year 3, but now that I’m at year 10, I comment on how fortunate I am to be able to live in Vermont, and make mismatched socks for a living.

NQJC: What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?

I’m proud of all the opportunities that have developed for employees and manufacturers that are involved with Solmate Socks.    I really can’t think of a worst.

NQJC: Out of all the items you have made, what is your personal favorite and why?

My favorite is always the latest thing we’ve been working on.  so for this month, it’s the new hats, designed from hat tubes.

NQJC: What is the hardest thing you have faced being a business owner of a web shoppe?

There’s a lot of mis communication that goes on through email/messaging, so we don’t always hear what the person is saying.

NQJC: Do you have any words of wisdom for women looking to opening their own business?

Every person and every business will have their own values, expectations and successes.   Keep true to yourself in all that you do in business and elsewhere.

NQJC: Tell us about your home in Vermont.  I imagine it is just overflowing with beautiful things you have made. AND I’ll just bet your beautiful surroundings inspire your work.

Both my home and my office, which is now just two miles down the road, have lovely pieces and paintings that have been made by local artists.  I appreciate all the talent and contributions daily.  I do have lovely views, great gardens and brooks flowing through the grounds.  And clean, crisp air and sky and water.

NQJC: Now that I have picked your brain about business tell us a little about your childhood and how you think it influenced your creative spirit. Take as much space as you want here! I am intrigued and I know I am not the only one!

The Socklady story is one I never tire of telling.  When I was nine years old, my family moved to Madrid Spain.  I didn’t know the Spanish jump rope songs, so I could go out and play as much as I wanted, so my mom, whose name was Sunny, taught me how to knit.  I continued knitting all my life, but didn’t learn to knit socks right away.  I went to a knitting workshop to learn how to knit with both hands at once, and we knit socks that weekend.  From that point on, I knit over a hundred pairs of socks, and when it came time to start my company, I knew exactly what I wanted to name it.  Solmate Socks, after my mom.  Sol in Spanish is sun

NQJC: Were you an artsy craftsy kid? If so, what kinds of things did you do?

Mostly sewing and handmade cards for people.

NQJC: Was there any one particular person that inspired you to follow your dreams?

My parents

THANK YOU SO MUCH MARIANNE! I have enjoyed your socks for many years and I totally agree with the first line of your website:

Life is too short for matching socks!


So now one of you lucky ducks will win a pair of Solmate Socks! Here’s what you do.  Leave me a comment – easy enough?  Tell me you would LOVE a pair of carefully mismatched Solmate Socks and I will toss your name in the jar! You can go to the website and peruse the socks and be picking out your favorite ones and if I draw your name, I will contact you, you will send me your address, sock size and favorite color and I will have them sent directly to you!!!  Here’s the thing, you only have until Saturday morning to get your name in.  I have about 6-7 pairs of these socks and I LOVE THEM!  You will too!

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