Sunday, October 12, 2014

Come visit us!

“Places gather things in their midst.  This gathering power extends beyond things to include experiences, histories, and even languages.”  Edward Casey, Philosopher

The Gardner House keeps gathering people and things, stories and ideas, just as it has for 200 years. 
This weekend, (10/18-19/2014) come visit us!  We’ll be cleaning the brick opening for the front door, breaking down and reassembling the front door jamb, and experimenting with mortar and bricks. 

You don’t have to come for a whole day.  You don’t even have to work on the house.  We need help documenting our work, we need help learning about the unique biology in and around the house, and we need to have a good time.  Can you help?  

I’ll be camping out in order to get more work done with less commuting time (and to enjoy the woods).  You’re also welcome to join me.  

Please leave us a message, here or on Facebook if you want to come.  We’d be glad to have you.

Sometimes, we serve the Gardner House by serving the people who serve the Gardner House.   Nick Schaedig and Jon Pace eat some fresh Pecan Rolls.  (Recipe Below)

Pecan Rolls

1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup Butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon


In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast with the warm water. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar, salt, 2 tablespoons butter, egg, and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. With spoon or hand, work in enough remaining flour until the dough is easy to handle (if it becomes too sticky, dampen your hands with cold water). Place in a greased bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight (or, up to 4 to 5 days).

Divide the pecan halves into two piles: two thirds, one third.  Combine 1/3 cup melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and two thirds of the pecan halves. Finely chop the remaining third of the pecan halves.  Pour into greased oblong 9 by 13-inch pan. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, and fresh ground cinnamon (sifted to take out the chunks) and chopped pecans. On floured board, roll out the dough into about a 9 by 15-inch shape. Spread remaining two Tbsp melted butter on the dough.  Spread sugar, pecans and cinnamon mix over the buttered dough. Begin rolling the dough up tightly starting with the long side. Seal the edges when the dough is rolled. Cut into 1-inch slices and place in the 9 by 13-inch prepared pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 1/2 hours). Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and IMMEDIATELY turn upside down onto a platter.

When I made these, I forgot that I usually mix this recipe (which is already a combination of three recipes) with another that uses warm milk to proof the yeast and calls for rubbing brown sugar instead of table sugar on the inside of the rolls.  I think these changes would yield more flavor, but a little more fuss too.  I always mix my flour and yeast THEN mix in the salt and fats to prevent the yeast from touching the salt directly, which would kill at least some of the yeast. 

I used “Grandma Blair’s Caramel Pecan Rolls” recipe from the Food Network, my Mother’s “Sticky Buns” recipe, and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “Caramel Pecan Rolls” recipe for structure, ingredients and inspiration.  Syncretism and phenomenology is my Grandma Dorothy Schaedig’s secret to keeping recipes secret.


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Community Open House

Thanks for stopping by the Gardner Historic House blog! If you'd like to visit the actual house, now's your chance.

The Gardner House will be open to the public THIS SATURDAY, September 27, 2014 from 9:00am to 3:00pm. SEE YOU THERE! For more information, go to

We look forward to seeing you there!