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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday
Oct292011

Cold Weather Recipes: Spiced Hot Apple Cider! 

After hearing the weather forecast for today (snow in October!) I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make some yummy spiced hot apple cider. It's so easy, tastes amazing, and makes your whole house smell sooo good.

My husband and I have a bit of a laugh whenever I make this tasty drink. We first met while working at a restaurant in upstate NY (real upstate, 1 hour north of Albany) that served "hot apple grog" and we were well versed in it's ingredients and how to entice the customer to order it. "Wouldn't you love some spiced apple grog that we've had simmering over cinnamon sticks and orange slices all day, perfect on a chilly a day like today!" Ha, good times.

The recipe I use:

  • 1 gallon of apple cider
  • cinnamon sticks
  • whole cloves
  • nutmeg
  • cardamom
  • allspice
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (only if you want it really sweet, I omit this when I make it)

Put the cider and spices in a large pot on the stove top and turn the heat on medium to bring it to a boil. Cut the orange in half, squeeze into cider, and slash the rind of one half and drop it into the cider. If you don't have an orange, you could substitute some OJ. When it just starts to boil, lower the heat and continue to simmer. Squeeze in the half lemon and lime. I leave it on for a couple of hours- taste it every so often to see how you like it.

If you're feeling extra chilly, add a shot of rum or whiskey to your cup! Enjoy!

Thursday
Oct272011

Thriller Thursday: Mary Bradbury, A Convicted Salem Witch in My Family Tree!

I never thought I would find a convicted witch from the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 in my family tree. I never thought I would go anywhere near my ancestors who were alive in 1692. It sounds ridiculous to say that I've uncovered the story of my 11th great grandmother Mary Perkins Bradbury, who was one of the last to be convicted during the Salem Witch Trials. But it's true! And now I'm intrigued.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct252011

Data Visualization and Genealogy

The Value of Data Visualization from Column Five on Vimeo.

I just love this video! I find it so inspiring and creative. I'm always looking for ways to simplify and share genealogical and historic information. A Family Tree is a great example of an infographic. You are taking a information that is hard to conceptualize and "drawing" it out in a way to identify the different components. Men from women, generations from older generations, places of birth/death...and so on. When you visualize your family tree, you might be surprised to see connections or patterns you might not have realized without displaying information in a visual way. Another avenue of data visualization I find incredibly relevant to genealogy are maps!

See how I've visualized genealogical and family history data.

I use wrapping paper to draw out family trees.

Tips and strategy for drawing family trees.

How to use Google maps to create a custom genealogical map.

Monday
Oct242011

Touring NYC with the Interactive Pegleg Guidebook

Traveling to a new city can be a daunting task, from picking the perfect restaurant to seeing all the major landmarks, especially in a city as big as New York City. I hate getting stuck in tourist traps and wasting my time with my nose in a guidebook or map. A new take on the conventional guidebook, Pegleg is an informative NYC Guidebook turned mystery game with clues and jumbled historical tidbits navigating you through the city streets. I read about this in Wired magazine and was immediately interested to learn more about the experience. This game concept was started by WHAIWHAI has been sending tourists on sightseeing adventures through the cities of Italy. And now they've brought the excitement to the big apple! Are you ready for your New York City sightseeing adventure?

Click to read more ...