Decorate

Monticello Summertime Snack: Ice Cream!

It’s important to look for ways to stay cool in the end-of-summer heat, and at Monticello, the first place that we look is to the past. While Thomas Jefferson’s era did not have the modern amenities we cherish in these warm months, he is credited with the first known ice cream recipe recorded by an American and likely was responsible for the popularization of ice cream within the country—talk about a delicious solution!

Jefferson’s interest in this sweet treat carried over to his relative, Mary Randolph, who is best known for the publication of the influential cookbook The Virginian Housewife, published in 1824. With 22 recipes on the topic, Randolph’s Virginian Housewife dotes on ice cream a surprising amount considering the period. Her cookbook includes recipes for almond ice cream, coffee ice cream, and quince cream, among others.

Feeling rather warm myself, I decided to try making some of these ice cream recipes myself. Although I was at first worried about how well I could handle making recipes from a 19th-century cookbook, I found that they were incredibly easy to make and totally satisfied my sweet tooth!

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Chocolate ice cream in Monticello Stemware – Cordial, a Monticello exclusive!

 

Chocolate Ice Cream

(adapted from The Virginia House-wife)

You will need: 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips; 1 pint of full milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream (depending on how creamy you want it); 3 eggs; one vanilla bean.

Recipe:

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1) Put the pint of milk in a saucepan. As you heat it over low, pour in the chocolate chips and the vanilla bean. Be sure to stir this continually.

IMG_98192) When chocolate has dissolved, thicken the mixture with three eggs.

3) Keep on heat until mixture has fully blended, then freeze.

 

Peach Ice Cream

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Peach ice cream on right; served in Monticello Reproduction Patty Pan.

(adapted from The Virginia House-wife)

You will need: 3 peaches, ripe; 1 cup sugar; 1 pint of full milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream (depending on how creamy you want it).

Recipe:

1) Peel peaches, quarter them, remove stones, and place them in a bowl.

2) Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over the peaches. With a spoon, chop them very smallIMG_9713 until they become a smooth pulp.

3) Add pint of milk to the mixture and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Stir.

4) Freeze mixture.

 

 

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Lemon ice cream on left side; served with Twisted Handle Teaspoon!

Lemon Ice Cream

(adapted from The Virginia House-wife)

You will need: 4 lemons, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 pint of full milk, half-and-half, and heavy cream (depending on how creamy you want it).

1) Pare the yellow rind from four lemons and put them with the pint of milk in a saucepan. Boil the IMG_9821mixture, making sure to mix continually, and remove from heat, placing  in the refrigerator until completely cooled.

2) Meanwhile, strain the juice of one lemon and saturate the juice completely with the powdered sugar.

3) When the cream is cold, stir in the juice mixture, making sure that it does not curdle. If the mixture is not sufficiently sweet, add more sugar.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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Give Mom a Gift as Unique and Beautiful as She Is

The Shop at Monticello’s Gifts for Her collection is inspired by Jefferson’s passions for elegant, functional design and nature’s beauty. From classic decor to exclusive garden supplies, a gift from this collection is sure to delight each Mom on your list. Shop the entire collection now >>

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Snail Flower, “the most beautiful bean in the world”

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Heirloom flowers are cultivating a devoted following. This spring planting season, choose tried-and-true historic plants over mass-market plants like Jefferson’s beloved Caracalla Bean Vine (aka Snail Flower) just featured in The Wall Street Journal article “A Guide to Planting Heirloom Flowers-With Links to Thomas Jefferson and More.” Read the article >>

snail-flower-vigna-caracalla-4In 1792, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Benjamin Hawkins, “The most beautiful bean in the world is the caracalla bean which, though in England a greenhouse plant, will grow in the open air in Virginia and Carolina.” Imported from tropical South America, it was found in American gardens by the 1830s, when Robert Buist wrote in The American Flower Garden Directory, “Snail-Flower is a very curious blooming plant, with flowers … all spirally twisted, in great profusion when the plant is grown well.” This spectacular flower was popular in florists’ corsages by the late 19th-century.

The Snail Flower ships in late April, so order yours today! Shop our entire collection of hard-to-find plants now >>

Shop Spring 2016 Plants Now

Win Our Holiday Favorites

pinitGlobeFlutes1The Shop at Monticello is offering a NEW holiday contest this year! Anyone can head on over to Pinterest and Pin to Win a Monticello Musical Snow Globe.

Monticello is truly beautiful after a new snow. Our highly collectible snow globe is an accurate three dimensional view of the home of Thomas Jefferson. The semicircular globe sits on a faux wood resin base. The snow globe plays Mozart’s Eline Kleine Nachtmusik, a song well known to Jefferson. 4 1/2″ diameter, 5 1/4″ high. Available for $56.

Attending a Monticello Holiday Event? Pin a photo from your visit with the hashtag #MonticelloHoliday and you could win the Monticello Musical Snow Globe and a Monticello Toasting Flutes Gift Set! Anyone who participates in a Wreath or Gingerbread House Workshop, the Holiday Open House, our Holiday Classic 5K, Handmade for the Holidays or a Holiday Evening Tour is eligible to enter.

cvr_champagne_smallJefferson was a true connoisseur. Monticello champagne flutes, with their clean forms and exquisite engraving, speak volumes about his taste for fine design. Very little of the glassware Jefferson purchased between 1767 and 1821 survives. Our stemware, based on a rare original, is mouth-blown full lead crystal, cut and etched by hand with a sprig and wheel band.

Each exclusive Toasting Flutes Gift Set includes two handmade champagne flutes nestled in a black velvet-lined gift box tied with Monticello ribbon. Toast the new year with style and celebrate weddings, anniversaries or other momentous occasions with our sophisticated stemware. Each 5-oz. glass is 9″h and the set is a $149 value.

For more of The Shop’s seasonal favorites, visit http://www.monticelloshop.org/home-decor-seasonal.html

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Modern Uses for Monticello Classics

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The house was in an unfinished state, and when Mr. Seymour observed it, Mr. Jefferson replied—“And I hope it will remain so during my life, as architecture is my delight, and putting up, and pulling down, one of my favourite amusements.” –Thomas Jefferson (as told by Margaret Bayard Smith)

Thomas Jefferson was constantly designing and reinventing furnishings and devices to improve day to day living. As a “Founding Tastemaker,” Jefferson remains a source of inspiration for contemporary home decor. Modern, alternative uses for these Jeffersonian classics reveal both Jefferson’s ingenuity and the continued functionality of his designs.

Revolving BookstandAmong the many fascinating devices found in Jefferson’s Cabinet, this one perhaps most clearly suggests Jefferson’s passion for knowledge. The Revolving Bookstand, once thought to be a music stand, was probably made or adapted to Jefferson’s design and specifications in the joinery at Monticello. The cube-shaped stand has five adjustable rests that can be folded down to form a cube. A central pole enables the stand to rotate at the bottom and as many as five books could be placed on it at a time. Jefferson may have conveniently placed it next to his chair in his reading-and-writing arrangement.

Swap the books for framed photos and this remarkable device can display your friends, family and favorite moments. Made of solid mahogany with a soft, hand-polished finish, the rotating stand holds multiple picture frames at adjustable angles on rests that fold down to form a 12″ cube.Canterbury

An excellent accompaniment to the Revolving Bookstand is the Monticello Canterbury. The Jefferson family kept favorites from their enormous collection of sheet music in this portable rack. It has four compartments and a lower open shelf. Corner pieces, each topped with small turned finials, extend into turned legs ending in brass casters. The casters and the “hand hole” at the middle divider allowed the Canterbury to be “run in under the pianoforte.”

The Canterbury is still quite handy, though you’re just as likely to use its four compartments and lower shelf as convenient storage for your most cherished books and magazines. The casters on the legs and handgrip at the top make it easy to move around, allowing your stacks of reading to come with you. Mahogany, with brass casters.

How would you use these two timeless Jeffersonian pieces in your home? Post your favorite alternative use below!

Staff Pick: Calendula

monticellostore_2271_38036677Calendula, or Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis), is a great plant in both seed and flower. TJ sowed “Marygold,” an old name for Calendula, on April 2, 1767, at Shadwell. The seeds have a rather interesting shape: they resemble cat’s claws, according to a longtime Monticello groundskeeper. Showing a preference for cooler temperatures, the cheery yellow flowers of the annual Calendula brighten up the spring and fall garden. As a bonus, the flower petals are edible and make a lovely addition to salads. Calendula’s medicinal properties have been recognized for centuries, and the flowers were once used to dye food and fabrics yellow. It can also be used to make a healing salve.

calendulaofficinalisLDThe Shop at Monticello offers seeds that are a representation of the species or wild type of Calendula with its single yellow and orange flowers. Plant the seeds in a sunny or partially-shaded site in the early spring to achieve a showy display before the hot temperatures of summer. Thin seedlings so they are six to twelve inches apart. There are approximately 20-30 seeds per pack. You can also enjoy Calendula in Petal and Vine Botanical Wax Sachets or plant the seeds as part of the Monticello Children’s Garden Kit.

lily-fox-bruguiereLily Fox-Brugiere is the Garden and Outreach Coordinator for The Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. The CHP, established at Monticello in 1987, collects, preserves, and distributes historic plant varieties and strives to promote greater appreciation for the origins and evolution of garden plants. The program centers on  Jefferson’s horticultural interests and the plants he grew at Monticello, but covers the broad history of plants cultivated in America by including varieties documented through the nineteenth century, and choice North American plants, a group of special interest to Jefferson himself.

 

On This Day in History: Lewis & Clark

modernrecreations Recreations of artifacts sent to Jefferson by Meriwether Lewis hang in the Hall of Monticello[/caption]

Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1803 to explore the northwest territory in order to observe a transcontinental route and natural resources. In 1804, about 45 men led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark moved up the Missouri River, crossed the Rocky Mountains, and from the Columbia River, reached the Pacific Ocean by November 1805. They returned to St. Louis by September 1806 with great fanfare and important information on native people, plants and animals, and geography.

On June 19, 1803, Meriwether Lewis wrote William Clark inviting him to help lead the exploration of the Louisiana Territory. Lewis concluded his letter with the following:

“If therefore there is anything under those circumstances, in this enterprise, which would induce you to participate with me in it’s fatiegues, it’s dangers and it’s honors, believe me there is no man   on earth with whom I should feel equal pleasure in sharing them as with yourself.”

Commemorate their historic expedition with exploration themed accents and learn more about their journey’s legacy with books available from The Shop at Monticello!

NEW Red, White, and Blue!

“…the paper of July 4.76 was but the Declaration, the genuine effusion of the soul of our country at that time.” -Thomas Jefferson to James Mease, September 16, 1825

fourth-of-july-picnic-set-for-two-4Decorate and dine with festive American flare this Memorial Day or Fourth of July! These new selections are perfect for your patriotic summer picnic or party.

Looking for a ready-to-go celebration? The Shop at Monticello’s Fourth of July Picnic Set includes packs of 8 paper dinner plates, 8 paper dessert plates and 20 cocktail napkins, two sets of red, white and blue silverware, two travel wine glasses, a tin bucket, two reproduction Declarations of Independence, three little 15-star flags and four fun firecracker mini-torch candles, all packed in a stylish red-and-white striped canvas tote.

The Shop’s Travel Wine Glass with Liberty Quote is an essential picnic accessory, featuring Jefferson’s immortal words “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

cotton-bunting-4-x-8-4Draw on classic American designs and historical traditions for your patriotic gathering or Independence Day party. Red, white and blue cotton bunting made in the U.S.A. is the perfect design centerpiece for your celebration.

Salute the season with historical and modern American flag accents. Flag-themed rugs are a wonderful way to greet guests and flag-themed throws invite your guests, family and friends to wrap themselves in American comfort.

Accentuate your walls with a patriotic pop. Framed reproductions of American flags, historical prints and classic silhouettes, similar to those in Jefferson’s Monticello Parlor, showcase American pride and history.

For a truly inspirational experience, celebrate the Fourth of July morning at Monticello, the home of the author of the Declaration of Independence. Since 1963, more than 3,000 people from every corner of the globe have taken the oath of citizenship at the annual Monticello Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony. David M. Rubenstein will be the featured speaker on July 4, 2014 at Monticello’s 52nd Annual Independence Day Celebration and Naturalization Ceremony—the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony held outside of a courtroom in the United States. Rubenstein is best known as co-Founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager.

Soothe Your Senses with this Heirloom Herb

lavandula_stoechasThomas Jefferson grew lavender at Monticello. His records show it listed  for planting in the kitchen garden as early as 1794. Valued for its small purple flowers as well as for its fragrant gray leaves, lavender has been grown and used in Europe since at least the twelfth century. At Monticello, the herb was made into soaps and oils for bathing fragrances and used in medicinal treatments.  Today, English Lavender flowers brighten Monticello’s West Lawn and Vegetable gardens with rich hues of purple and emerald. Infused with aromatic oils, lavender has been a popular household herb for centuries. It is highly regarded for its ability to nourish and cleanse skin, while its sweet, floral aroma soothes the senses. The Monticello Shop offers a variety of lavender bed & bath products that will transform your home into a haven of calm serenity.

Rejuvenate Your Senses

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The Lavender Spa Trio is a mini at-home spa treat. The trio features lavender-peppermint foot balm, lavender hand creme with mango seed butter, and lavender sea salt bath crystals. This relaxing gift is perfect for Mother’s Day (or anytime)!

The Monticello Lavender Bath Set facilitates ultimate relaxation guests and housemates. The boxed set includes three lavender soaps milled in the style of 18th century toiletries, a container of lavender talcum powder, and a soft powder puff. A beautiful gift or personal indulgence.

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Revitalize Your Home

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Lavender sachets keep clothes smelling beautifully fresh while repelling moths and protecting natural fibers. Our Lavender Sachets feature a full yard of dried lavender seeds wrapped in lilac organza. Perfect for hanging in the closet or cutting apart to place inside drawers. The French Stamp Sachet Trio features three lavender sachets decorated with old French stamp motifs and are convenient for placing inside dresser compartment.

For long-lasting freshness, hang Lavender Hanger Covers in your closet. The Hanger Covers are filled with dried lavender and repel moths and other insects. Lavender Drawer Liners are perfect for lining dresser drawers, linen closets, and storage boxes. Each sheet retains its lavender qualities for a long, long time, leaving you relaxed and worry-free!

Curated by Monticello: The Windsor Chair

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Monticello was both Thomas Jefferson’s “sanctum sanctorum” and a frequent venue for large parties and gatherings of family, friends, and political allies (and adversaries). Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Jefferson’s grandson, painted a telling portrait of his grandfather as an entertainer. He wrote, “Twelve years before his death, he remarked to me…that if he lived long enough he would beggar his family—that the number of persons he was compelled to entertain would devour his estate.”

painted-bow-back-windsor-chair-3[1]It goes without saying that Jefferson needed a great deal of furniture to accommodate his many guests. Jefferson commissioned numerous Windsor chairs for Monticello which could be moved around the house according to where guests were gathered. He prided himself on having stylistically cohesive designs for Monticello’s furniture; the Windsor chair’s classic style and high-quality woodwork complemented rather than disrupted his vision—even if an abundance of chairs were drawn into one room for entertaining purposes. Today, the Windsor chair is featured throughout Monticello as a reminder of Jefferson’s love for entertaining guests.

The Shop’s own Painted Bow-Back Windsor Chairs are so true to Jefferson style that Monticello curators have selected them to furnish newly restored rooms on the second and third floors of Monticello as part of the Mountaintop Project. In accordance with Monticello’s mission of preservation and education, the Mountaintop Project entails the restoration of the upper bedchambers and passages of Monticello, enabling guests to explore Jefferson’s mountaintop home as he knew it and learn more about the members of Jefferson’s household.

Add a touch of Jefferson’s stylish, functional simplicity to your own home with The Shop at Monticello’s Windsor Chair! This solid wood chair has bamboo-turned legs and a comfortable shaped seat. It’s made in the U.S.A. with the same care for quality as the originals, and like Jefferson’s Windsor chairs it looks great in any room in the house. The Shop’s Round Cherry Table resembles tables made at the Monticello joinery and pairs nicely with the Windsor Chair. Complete the look with the Checkered Floorcloth, which is inspired by the floorcloths Jefferson placed in Monticello’s Entry Hall.

These Jeffersonian pieces are sure to transform your home into a beautiful space for entertaining and make it the new favorite gathering place of your family and friends alike.