Friday, September 2, 2016

It's Our Third Anniversary!: New Adventures, New Friends, and the Boston Cooler

Hey everyone! Long time no see! This is Grace stepping in to make sure this blog post actually gets out in time for our anniversary. Gwen's been sooo busy lately she's barely had time to look at our email, let alone cook (or bake! :( ) anything new and exciting, so me and the other dolls thought we'd do her a favor and write this year's anniversary post for her. Since Gwen likes to joke that I'm turning into her mini me, I get to be the one catching you guys up!

So, what have we been up to?

That's not my beautiful kitchen...
We've moved!



That's right! Gwen mentioned to you guys a while ago that she was going to be starting grad school, and that meant we had to pack everything we could up in the car, drive a suuuper long way, and unpack everything in her new place. It took forever. Us dolls had to spend almost a whole week crammed in a canvas bag! Not exactly the way I wanted to spend the last part of summer vacation.

But now we're all unpacked and settling in. Say hi, everyone!


Unfortunately, since there was only so much room in the car, we had to leave a couple crew members behind. Kirsten, Kailey, Marie-Grace, Cécile, Julie, Mia and Essie are still back in New England.

Don't worry though! They'll be joining us again at some point.

Before we left, Gwen wanted to throw a big going away party for all our loyal taste testers. Her mom, dad, grandma and sister helped make sure there was a dish for every single doll who's been featured on the blog, and I think the party was a big success! It was fun to share our favorite foods one last time before we moved.


Of course, moving means we've got a totally different set up than we did back home, which means getting used to a whole new kitchen. It's a lot smaller than the one we're used to working with, but since she's only cooking for one person at a time now, that's not so bad. We've got a stove, a microwave, a pretty good pantry, and plenty of cabinet space... even if Gwen's sad she couldn't bring her ice cream machine with her.


The one thing we're not really excited about is the gas stove. Samantha and Kit (and almost everyone else...) don't see what the big deal is, but Gwen's never cooked with gas before! She's been taking some time to get used to cooking with it, which is another reason why we don't have any new recipes to share with you right now. It's a little nerve wracking having an open flame to worry about when you're used to having an electric stove. Sure, it's not the worst thing in the world, but it's going to take some getting used to.


Everyone says cooking with gas makes your food cook faster and taste better, but I'm with Gwen: I'm not sure I like the idea of cooking so close to open flames!

The new dining space is very vintage thanks to Etsy and some quick thinking from Gwen's mom and grandpa. Molly and Emily are hanging out in here for now, but I think everyone's going to get a chance to sit in here with some of the bigger stuff we got to take with us, like Maryellen's sofa bed.


So, I bet you're all wondering: where did we move to?

For the answer to that, my new friend Melody Ellison has some pictures to share!


That's right! We're in Washington, DC! Of course we can't tell you where in Washington, but somewhere around there.

Melody is the brand new BeForever character from 1964 Detroit. She's very excited to be with us here because Washington has lots of stuff about Black history and the Civil Rights movement! She's already been able to see an exhibit about Civil Rights and the Black Power movement at the Newseum...


The Woolworth's counter from the Greensboro Sit Ins and the exhibit about African American culture and History at the National Museum of American history...


And the future Museum of African American History, right near the Washington Monument! It opens in September, and Melody and Addy are both excited to go on field trips to it... and to check out any restaurants the museum decides to open! Wouldn't it be cool if it was just as tasty as Cafe Mitsitam at the Museum of the American Indian?


I bet you're wondering what all this is going to mean for the future of this blog! Well, fortunately, Gwen doesn't want to stop doing it (and we definitely don't want to stop sharing our favorite recipes with you guys!), but a new schedule and a new home is going to mean some changes. She's probably not going to be able to do as many posts a month as she was doing before, and the recipes might need to be a little simpler. As much as she loves to bake (who doesn't??), she needs to worry about making dinner for herself, not dessert for eight people!

And because she's going to be working less hours for less money, stuff like Samantha's beef tenderloin and lobster thermidor are probably going to put on hold for a while. Kit and Molly think they have some fun ideas for tasty things to make on a budget, but I'm a little afraid of some of the stuff Maryellen wants to make. I'm not sure how I feel about a hot dog crown roast... Whatever that is...

But don't worry! We still have a couple recipes Gwen made before she moved which she just hasn't been able to post yet that we're all really excited to share with you.

Here are some sneak peeks!

And a couple of our friends got to go on mini field trips to some of Gwen's favorite places back home that we're going to tell you all about!


Not to mention her big trip to Australia to visit Jessi! I'm so jealous of Caroline S., I'd love to go to Australia!


So A Peek into the Pantry is totally still going to be around... we might just be a little slower than usual! Gwen's classes and job just started, so she's still going to be finding her feet a little bit, but she wants to get back and share some of our adventures from the end of summer with you within the next week or two.

But until then, Melody has a fun, fast recipe she thought we could share with you guys. It's super simple, and something anyone can do by themselves!


Melody says Boston coolers have been in Detroit for forever. Or, you know, since around the 1880's. She doesn't know why they're called a Boston cooler and not a Detroit cooler, but apparently no one else does, either. It might be named after a street? But it's kind of a big mystery. They're one of Melody's favorite summer time drinks (she even has one in her block party accessories!), and they're really easy to make. All you need is vanilla ice cream, and ginger ale! That's right, this is a ice cream float!

There's just one problem... if you want to make it right, you've got to get the right kind of ginger ale. Boston coolers need to be made with Vernors, otherwise, it's not the real thing. Melody's got a bottle in her accessory set, but Gwen wasn't sure she was going to be able to find any at her grocery store, or even in the city, kind of like how the grocery store doesn't have Moxie. :(

But we got super lucky!! Gwen found it! So she brought it back for us. :D


All you need is a cup, an ice cream scoop, vanilla ice cream, and a can of Vernors.

Oh, I almost forgot!

Vernors is the oldest surviving ginger soda in the United States. It goes all the way back to 1880! It was made in Detroit, and sometimes people call it "Detroit's Drink" because it's so popular.

Just like other floats, all you need to do is put ice cream in a glass and add the soda.


I think Vernors got even foamier than root beer does when you add it to the ice cream, but it looked tasty!


Melody's totally right, this is a really yummy dessert! The ice cream makes it super creamy, but the ginger ale gives it just a little bit of kick to it that makes it pretty cool. Plus, it was easy to make, and got us excited about all the other things we're going to be able to make with Melody! I know I'm excited about trying to make Martin Luther King Jr's favorite pie...


So that's what we've been up to! There's a lot of big changes, but I think we're going to find a way to make everything work. After all, Gwen started this to teach herself how to cook, right? She still needs to eat!

Before we go, we all just want to say thanks to all our readers for being such a big support to us over the years! We really appreciate all the feedback, questions and stories you guys have shared with us, and we're excited to see what's coming next! Hopefully you are too.

That's all from me! Hopefully you enjoyed my catch up post. Melody and I are going to finish the rest of this Boston cooler now. See you guys soon!

- Grace :)

Here's to an awesome year four!

23 comments:

  1. The going away party looks super cool!

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    1. We had a really nice time! I'm glad everything worked out and was ready to eat on time.

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  2. Hi, Gwen! First of all, they do sell Vernors at the grocery store where I work. I might have to give that "Boston Cooler" a try!

    Second, I've been working with gas stoves for years. Both my current and previous apartment had them. You get used to the gas flame after a while - just be careful.

    Second, I did remember you mentioned you were moving. I wish you luck in your new location! I've moved around all my life, so I do know how crazy it can get. Your vintage kitchen is really super cute! :)

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    1. It's very tasty! I would definitely recommend it. :) And I'm starting to get more confident with the stove, even if I haven't made anything too crazy yet. I think I'm going to try to make a chili tomorrow.

      Thanks so much for your well wishes! It's been really stressful but fun so far, hope it continues that way. :D

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  3. Hi Everyone and welcome Melody! Glad to see you're all settled in. Wishing you the best on your new adventure with lots of love!

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    1. Thanks Mom! Don't forget to give Lilly lots of hugs for me!!

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  4. Good luck in grad school! Your new apartment looks so nice. All your readers will be looking forward to your new posts, and new recipes, as well as your beautiful photos. All the best--

    Alice

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to them too. :D

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  5. Happy blog anniversary!

    And congrats on the move. I lived in the DC area for a couple of years and loved it there. I can just imagine all the great photo locations you're going to have easy access to now!

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    1. That's been the best part so far, I keep wanting to go out and explore more!

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  6. I didn't realize Boston Coolers were such a Michigan thing. They're such a staple I didn't think about it much! Crazy! Happy Aniversary! I've enjoyed trying things out. Most recently, ANZAC biscuits. Far, far too many ANZAC biscuits.

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    1. Aren't they good? I'm afraid the same thing's going to happen to me once I start baking again... And thank you! :D

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  7. The orange and white dress that Kit is wearing towards the top of the post (I think the second picture in) is so cute!

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    1. It's from alohagirldollclothes on etsy! The purple dress Caroline is wearing is from her as well. They're both very well made. :)

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  8. Glad to hear the move went well. Love your going away party idea, that is very clever. And I have to say that I am MEGA jealous of where you are living, I LOVE DC and that area, but it's a 5 hour drive. We still try to get there every so often though.

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    1. Thank you! It's been a lot of fun so far, I'm hoping it stays that way!

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  9. Gwen, Happy 3rd anniversary! And, great to hear that you are settling into your new DC digs. Lucky to have Grace and the others to help out on the blog front ;) As a big fan of ginger and not a fan of “fake ginger ale” – I have to look for Vernors and give it a try. And the “tease” photos look very interesting. Here’s to more “Peek into the Pantry” posts!

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    1. Hopefully there will be one soon! I'm shooting for tomorrow or Friday. c: Good luck finding some Vernors, and let me know what you think when you get some!

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  10. This was so lovely and so fun! Thanks so much for doing this and reaching out to your readers in such a fun way during what's got to be a really hectic time! Here's to many more years, and congrats on everything! ♥

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    1. Thanks so much! I hope the hectic part dies down soon, I miss being in the kitchen!

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  11. Congratulations!

    -Nonna

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  12. So jealous! I loved living in DC. I miss it so much. I just love your Jane. Susanna has been to the Henry Whitfield house too. I didn't take pictures inside. Has Jane been to the Thomas Lee House in East Lyme? She would like that museum too. Susanna picked up a "whalebone" bead necklace there.

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