Sunday, February 28, 2010

Squint Shot 022810

Still touring Sweet Sensations, this old piece of equipment caught my attention. This mixer is old; used by Spagnuolos during their heyday of chocolate making. It didn't appear to be in general use currently, but like everything else in this store, it was clean and looked ready for any task. The Pardees have created a wonderful storefront for chocolates as well as a bit of a museum.


Prepare to be dazzled . . .

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Snack-urday 155

Warm your family with this wonderful dish . . .

10 pork spareribs
1/2 cup soy sauce
10 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 lime, juiced
10 sprigs fresh parsley
ground black pepper to taste
2 limes, cut into wedges

Place the spareribs into a large pot, and fill with just enough water to cover. Add the soy sauce, garlic, rosemary, oregano, bay leaves, lime juice and 3/4 of the parsley. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered over medium heat until the water has completely evaporated, about 25 minutes

When all of the water is gone, remove the bay leaves, and allow meat to brown, turning occasionally. Use a spatula to scrape up browned bits and softened garlic from the bottom of the pot, and toss them with the pork. The garlic will dissolve onto the meat. Remove the meat, and drain on paper towels. Season with black pepper and garnish with lime wedges and remaining parsley.

Squint Shot 022710

At one time, this window looked out to the out-of-door to the north. Now it looks into the back workroom of Sweet Sensations. This squint shot was taken from the workroom, looking into the store -- the slight bit of brick you can see is the east wall. So many windows in Fowlerville have the arched top with curved brickwork. I sometimes wonder what the downtown area looked like before so many facades had been added and window treatments changed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Squint Shot 022610

The last few days have been spent in the front part of Sweet Sensations. Now it is time to move to the inner-workings of the chocolate making process. Everything is spotless and clean. It all shines and an airiness bounces off the white walls. This room is still on the ground floor (we will go below soon) and is the area where much of the final work is done.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Squint Shot 022510

After two days of showing tins and chocolate boxes, we are back to the meat locker. A few days earlier, the squint shot showed the door at the back and above the former meat locker. Before this storefront was a candy store (Sweet Sensations now and Spagnuolo's earlier), it served as a meat market. The walls and door are thicker than the normal. It is no longer a locker but serves as an office.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Squint Shot 022410

Not only are there tins on display at Sweet Sensations, but even a box from Spagnuolo's. Years earlier this storefront was a favorite meeting place for sodas, ice cream, chocolate and treats, and so many more goodies.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Squint Shot 022310

There are so many sights and chocolate-y smells in Sweet Sensations. Toward the back of the main showroom, a wainscotting has a shelf wide enough to show off a mixture of new and old tins. More tins tomorrow.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Squint Shot 022210

This is a very unique door . . . not something you will see very often. This latched door is at the rear of the back room and is up at the ceiling level, does not go to the floor, and there is no ladder or access to it. Do I have you wondering what it is for?

Years ago, this storefront was a meat market. This was long before the type of refrigeration we know of today. In the early 1900s, ice blocks were used to keep certain foods cold, and that is where this door comes into play. When this door is opened, it gives access to the top of the former meat locker. Ice blocks would be placed through the door onto a platform with edges open on the perimeter of the meat locker ceiling. As the ice would melt, the cold vapors would seep down into the meat locker and keep everything cold. The former meat locker now serves as the office for Sweet Sensations.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spring Fever

Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes. After lunch, they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire.

Much to their relief, she smiled and said, "Well, you missed a test today so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper."

Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said, "First question: Which tire was flat?"

Moral of the story: Maybe a walk would have been better.

Squint Shot 022110

Two days ago, the squint shot showed where woodwork met the east brick wall . . . today's shows one of the wood doorframes where it meets the arched brickwork. This doorway goes from the back room to the workroom where finishing touches are made on many of the chocolates displayed for purchase. Of interest continues to be the circles at the top corners of the wood doorframes. While touring the former Bell Opera House above The Decorating Center (soon to be Maria's Dance School), many similar doorframes were noted. If you head back to many of January's squint shots, you will see these doorframes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Snack-urday 154

While recently visiting family in Georgia, I came across some recipes printed in the Forsyth County News by Columnist Adlen Robinson from her book, "In the Kitchen." This one I had to share:

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

8 oz elbow macaroni, or other of your choice, cooked and drained
1 16 oz can evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a crockpot that has been coated with non-stick vegetable spray. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and cook on the low setting for four hours or until the mixture is firm and golden around the edges. Do not remove the lid or stir until the macaroni has finished cooking. This recipe can be doubled for a large slow cooker.

So I think we can all figure out what will be cooking in the crockpot tonight!

Squint Shot 022010

Behind the chocolate counter, another wall that many probably have not noticed . . . this green speckled ceramic tile is framed with woodwork that has been restored to a deep walnut color, smooth to the touch. Sweet Sensations is a real treasure in our downtown area, so next time you are in there for some bark or chocolate-covered pretzels or truffles or coconut haystacks or creams or clusters or . . . .
Check out everything else!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Squint Shot 021910

Old woodwork meets old brickwork . . . at the back of the Sweet Sensations' storefront. In speaking with Sherry Pardee, owner of this chocolate store, she stressed how in their refurbishing efforts, they tried to bring as much as possible back to its original state. Aren't we the lucky ones. This wonderfully carved post, the wood so smooth to the touch, holds its own history.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Squint Shot 021810

The east wall of Sweet Sensations is beautiful brickwork . . . and along with that, tins and pictures adorn the wall. This wall is quickly becoming a walk down memory lane with products shown that no longer exist. Be sure to check them out next time you head in for your chocolate fix.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Squint Shot 021710

We are inside the Sweet Sensation storefront on the north side of East Grand River. This beautiful wall of ceramic tile and woodwork is directly behind the candy counter. How many of you have been able to tear your eyes away from the candy to look up at this gorgeous wall? A portion of the original tin roof can be spotted in the upper left hand corner of the picture. So much of what you can see inside this store has been taken back to its original form when the Pardees took over and renovated this building. More squint shots inside the store to come.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Squint Shot 021610

Standing at the candy counter, admiring too many wonderful choices of chocolates, I took a moment to look back toward the street. After just spending an hour or so inside the First United Methodist Church and checking out the stained-glass windows there, I marveled at the simplicity of Sweet Sensations front windows. The straight lines and colors. Interesting fact . . . as Sherry and Les Pardee were refurbishing this storefront in the late 1990s, the stained-glass windows at each side of the front door were intact. The window above the door was not. It held an air-conditioning unit. Well, that was not going to fit into the Pardees' scheme of decorating, so they had a stained-glass window made to complement the other original ones . . . and tossed the air-conditioning unit.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Squint Shot 021510

One more view of the First United Methodist Church . . . this time the west exposure on South Second Street. And, now tomorrow . . . we are onto a new location. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a very interesting tour through Sweet Sensations, located on East Grand River, sandwiched between a physical therapy place and Save-On.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

What do snowmen wear on their heads? Ice caps

What do snowmen eat for lunch? Icebergers

Where do snowmen go to dance? Snowballs

How do snowmen travel around? By icicle

What sort of ball doesn’t bounce? A snowball

How do you know when there is a snowman in your bed? You wake up wet

How do snowmen greet each other? Ice to meet you

What do snow kids have for breakfast? Ice Krispies

What do snowmen have for breakfast? Snowflakes

What do snowmen like on their burgers? Chilly sauce

What do you call a snowman in the summer? A puddle

What do you call a Snowman in the Tropics? Lost

What do you call a snowman on roller blades? A snowmobile

What do you get if cross a snowman and a shark? Frost bite

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a baker? Frosty the Dough-man

What do you say to a stressed snowman? Chill out

What does a Snowman take when he gets sick? A chill pill

What does a snowman’s wife put on her face at night? Cold cream

What is a Snowman’s favorite drink? Ice Tea

What kind of cakes do snowmen like? The kind with lots of frosting

What’s a snowman’s favourite Mexican food? Brrrrrr-itos

Where do snowmen keep their money? In a “Snow"bank

Why is it so cold at Christmas? Because it’s Decembrrrrrrrr

What happened when the snowgirl had an argument with the snowboy? She gave him the cold shoulder.

Squint Shot 021410

The tower at the First United Methodist Church contrasted with the deep blue sky the cold morning I spent clicking squint shots with my zoom camera. I wonder . . . what would the village look like from the top of that tower?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snack-urday 153

Instead of copying and pasting a recipe from all the wonderful websites for ideas, I am going to give you a link -- click here -- for Sea Glass candy.

Check back next Saturday for something new and different, or a favorite comfort food, or any myriad of recipes that can be found . . . just with a little bit of looking.

Squint Shot 021310

This is the north side of the First United Methodist Church. The stained-glass windows, which were shown in earlier squint shots, are protected by another layer of glass. Stained-glass can be found as far back as the 10 or 11th century -- now this is certainly not that old, but some in this church could be close to 100 years old. Worth keeping it protected!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Squint Shot 021210

After admiring the inside of the First United Methodist Church, with the stained-glass windows, pews, and lighting, I headed outside for a few squint shots that will be shown the next few days. How often do you really look at the buildings in Fowlerville? This cross is at the top of the church -- a simple cross.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Squint Shot 021110

Although the stained-glass windows that surround the sanctuary all look similar, the names below tell a lifetime of stories. These particular names I have never heard of before -- does anyone have something as to add to whom C.D. and E.M. Parsons where -- what business they may have had in town? I love receiving comments and e-mail and this information I would love to pass along.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Squint Shot 021010

Another prominent leader in the community was Dr. Byron Defendorf. This window, just like the previous two squint shots, shows how this church has honored leaders from the early 1900s.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Squint Shot 020910

Yesterday's squint shot showed a stained-glass window dedicated to the Greenaways, the owners of the grist mill in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s. Today's window shows Mr. and Mrs. G.L. Adams. Mr. Adams was the editor and publisher of The Fowlerville Review from 1874 until his retirement in 1929. A walk through the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church gives a feeling of how the church and community were one working together to make Fowlerville a great place to live.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Squint Shot 020810

There are smaller sections of stained-glass windows below the large, majestic windows. Some of the sections have been dedicated to early leaders of both the community and of this church. This particular one is for Edward Greenaway and his wife. Mr. Greenaway had the grist mill, formerly located where the fire hall is now at the corners of North Grand Avenue and Mill Street. Some may remember this mill as Birdsall's Mill.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yellow Sub Marines

Saturday night in Fowlerville . . . and the performing arts theater at the high school was rocking. The Yellow Sub Marines, a group of four men from the mid-Michigan area became the "Fab Four" in two acts. Ringo, John, George, and Paul were in the house.This was a benefit performance put on by the Fowlerville Rotary Club, the high school, and sponsored in part by Fowlerville Ford to help raise money for the Family Impact Center. The Center is deep in their planning to move from their current location on Fowlerville Road south of town to the old administration building across from the high school.Before the concert, we had the opportunity to step into the auditorium and watch the band for a few minutes do their sound checks while dancers from Maria's Dance School practiced. No glitz, no glamour yet. There were also a few minutes to wander around to check out various display cases set up just for this event. The students at the high school created the displays from borrowed Beatles memoriabilia and artwork the students created.
Over the span of a half a dozen display cases, the evolution of the Beatles was truly evident; going from teeny-bopper music with an edgy sound to the revolutionary Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Everything from the work in the sound booth, to the dancers and band on stage, to the audience participation, made the evening just a lot of fun. The band, and in particular my favorite, "Ringo," worked hard, covered the songs beautifully, and seemed to be truly enjoying what they do. Even to the point, "George" stepped forward for a moment and delighted the crowd with an Eddie Van Halen riff.
Act 1 covered a large number of early songs -- you know the ones where every word is indelibly etched in your memory. Act 2 got a bit louder when the four men came out in the candy-colored Sgt. Pepper uniforms. It was easily a 2-hour concert and another great trip down memory lane of those youthful "yesterdays" of "twisting and shouting," before I began traveling down "the long and winding road."

A huge thank you needs to go out to Jerry Bell, President of the Fowlerville Rotary Club, and Jeanne of the Fowlerville High School for their efforts and enthusiasm to help out the Family Impact Center. Without their hard work, the Fowlerville community would never have had the opportunity to meet the Yellow Sub Marines.

Squint Shot 020710

Another view of the beautiful stained-glass windows at the First United Methodist Church. The morning I took this shot, the sun was shining bright outside and it lit the sanctuary in a myriad of colors. The room was warmed by the light coming in.

Horror Movie

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Squint Shot 020610

Rows and rows of red upholstered pews are set in a curved arc facing the alter. Even the floor is sloped from the back row down to the front. As I wandered through the room, I wondered if this is a traditional setting from the New England churches, where much of the architecture designs come from.
In doing a little research on early churches, I found that many church floors followed the lay of the land; i.e., if there was a slope, it was incorporated into the church building. Although the land at the corner of South Second and Church streets tends to be very flat, could the founders of this church have incorporated these ideals?

Snack-urday 152

They (whoever "they" are) say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. To that end, here's a recipe for "Hash Brown and Sausage Breakfast Bake."


1 lb fresh pork sausage
4 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 T milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
3/4 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs


Remove the sausage from its casing. Cook the sausage in a skillet until it is cooked through and browned. Crumble the sausage as it is cooking; drain and set aside. Grease a 10-inch iron skillet or spray a shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the potatoes in the bottom of the prepared skillet or dish.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the onions, milk, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Spread the mixture over the potatoes.

Mix the Bisquick, milk, and eggs and whisk until smooth. Pour over the onion mixture. Scatter the crumbled sausage over top. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Squint Shot 020510

In the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church on South Second Street, this unusual chandelier can be found hanging from the high ceiling. For the next few days, we will spend a little bit of time inside the church and then head outside. My thought about this light? Glad I don't have to dust it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Squint Shot 020410

I've entered the sanctuary of the First Methodist Church from the back of the room on a few occasions, but never from the front. The beautiful stained-glass windows on the north side of the building caught my eye immediately. If only a picture could truly do it justice. The day I took these pictures the sun was shining but the air was very cold. Not so true inside the church. It was warm and inviting.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Squint Shot 020310

One more squint shot of The Decorating Center building before we move onto another location. This is the second floor facing East Grand River. Before this store held furniture on the first floor, it had been a drug store. Was the second floor office space at one time, once it was no longer part of the opera house? And now with Maria's School of Dance moving into the building, will the second floor be used? Will the stage area be used? Later in the year, maybe future squint shots will answer some of these questions. Beginning tomorrow, the squint shots will move back indoors. Another church will be the subject of pictures for a week or so. The First United Methodist Church at the corners of South Second and Church streets will be looked at closer through my squinty-eyed view of Fowlerville.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Squint Shot 020210

Once again, I feel fortunate that I was able to get a couple of squint shots of The Decorating Center before all of their stock was sold. This was the last window display Ron Daly put together before the sales started. The front window of the store was always interesting to check out -- would even remind me of the elaborate window dressings displayed by the major department stores in New York City, even Lansing at the Knapp's store in the 60s and 70s.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Squint Shot 020110

The Decorating Center's East Grand River Avenue showroom -- where you could find every swatch of color, makes, and models for decorating your home. This showroom doesn't look this way anymore because of the huge going-out-of-business sale, but Ron no doubt would have any and all swatches you would like to look at. All you need do is ask him! One more squint shot tomorrow at The Decorating Center and then we move on.