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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tea, Biscuits and a Great Book

As you know I love a good book, even better a great book. I recently was walking through my local book store and came to a rapid stop mid isle when I spotted a cover of a book with the image of a woman from the 1920's on the cover. I rushed over and picked up a book by the title of "The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt" by Caroline Preston


The book weighed quite a bit, and out of curiosity, I opened the pages as opposed to just reading the back cover or the flap. It was full of wonderful images all from the 1920's as well as typed text on what looked like scraps of lined truly was a scrapbook and the story was told through these images and a bit of text. I decided to splurge and pay full price and buy it right then and there. I was so very excited about it and over the moon that I had decided to bring it home with me. 

Once home, I flipped more so through the pages and discovered there was a recipe for buttermilk biscuits, so I made some to nosh on while I read....

Of course I had to have some tea....

What better than one that bears the name of Earnest Hemingway??

My tea and biscuits at my side, the radio tuned to my fav 1920's music and a warm blanket over my legs to ward off any chill of the cool late Fall day, I began to read...

"For her graduation from high school in 1920, Frankie Pratt receives a scrapbook and her father’s old Corona typewriter. Despite Frankie’s dreams of becoming a writer, she must forgo a scholarship to a prestigious women’s college to help her widowed mother. But when a mysterious Captain James sweeps her off her feet, her mother finds a way to protect Frankie from the less-than-noble intentions of her unsuitable beau.
Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalogue pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love. Once at Vassar, Frankie crosses paths with intellectuals and writers, among them “Vincent,” (alumna Edna St. Vincent Millay), who encourages Frankie to move to Greenwich Village and pursue her writing. When heartbreak finds her in New York, she sets off for Paris aboard the S.S. Mauritania, where she keeps company with two exiled Russian princes and a “spinster adventuress.”  In Paris, Frankie takes a garret apartment above Shakespeare & Company, the hub of expat life, only to have a certain ne’er-do-well captain from past reappear. But when a family crisis compels Frankie to return to her small New England hometown, she finds exactly what she had been looking for all along.
Author of the New York Times Notable Book Jackie by Josie, Caroline Preston pulls from her extraordinary collection of vintage ephemera to create the first-ever scrapbook novel, transporting us back to the vibrant, burgeoning culture of the the 1920s and introducing us to an unforgettable heroine, the spirited, ambitious, and lovely Frankie Pratt." ** Via 

I thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment I "spent" with Frankie, the humor, the genuineness of the character, and of course all the historical references from the era that I adore so much. The images were of course very swoon worthy and worth every penny even if there had not been a single bit of text. Each page drew me further into the adventure with Frankie and the images kept me there on the couch with my tea and biscuits long after they were finished until, the book itself was finished as well. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt shall sit on my bookshelf and be enjoyed over and over for many years to come. 



  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that's life.)
Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes. *Food Network recipe


  1. Sounds like a wonderful book! I love when a book finds me like that. I am kind of in awe of the fact that you actually made the biscuits. I read a lot of books with recipes but I have only actually attempted one, and it didn't turn out so well. :(

  2. Delightful post, Ruby ... sounds like a window into another world! And your biscuits sound yummy ... love biscuits and honey ;) xoxo Happy Holidaying!

    Sandy at Ooh La Frou Frou
    This Week: "It's Christmas Time in the City" with another free gift tag! This one shows my illustration of a NY taxi filled with gifts ;)

  3. Ruby you are adorable! I love reading your blog. I love to find a book that I can really cozy up with and get lost in. Ya know, I've been thinking about getting an e-reader, but nothing can beat the feeling of holding a book in your hands. I haven't given in yet....still buying books

    Thanks for sharing


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