Friday, November 11, 2011

All the Autumn's Joy ~Veteran's Day~

11 . 11 . 11

A special thank you to the veteran in our family: my brother-in-law, Zax.
And to all else who have served; my gratitude for what you have given.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

All the Autumn's Joy ~Gratitude for Today~

I really believe that Thankfulness should by expressed in all seasons, but with Thanksgiving only two weeks away, November is a time for extra reflection.
And so . . . 

Seven things I'm thankful for today . . .

Morning sunshine that makes the house glow.

A certain furry someone that I happen to know.

A pile of firewood ready for burning.

My first garden pepper- red it is turning!

An outdoor companion while gardening takes place.

Cuddling this boy and kissing his face!

The dreaded 'rag' laundry load, folded and done.

A cup of Earl Grey while I chat with Older son.

And is case you hadn't noticed, I'm quite thankful for this-
A naughty but wonderful kitty named 'Twist'!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

All the Autumn's Joys ~Autumn's Decoration Inspiration~

I LOVE to decorate my home for each season. I love to walk into my front rooms and see that whatever is outdoors through the windows is also scattered here and there inside my home. 
It helps me live TODAY-
 "Today it is November" I remind myself. "The season of Autumn".
"Today there is slanting Autumnal sunshine, bright and waning leaves, pale blue skies, a chilly breeze."
"Today I will cut back in the garden for winter. Today I will wear a scarf when I go out. Today I will make a warm and hearty meal for my family."

As much as I try to plan ahead, I don't want to miss TODAY!

So, today I want to share some of the little bits of my home that remind me of the possibilities for the days that are right now.

However your day is spent, may it be enjoyed in the moment!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

All the Autumn's Joys ~Autumn Porch~

On our porch we have . . .

Proud Pumpkins

Berry-Festooned Mail Basket

Pumpkins, Pots, Plants

Jolly Pumpkin Scarecrow

Lil' Punkin'
Room for Conversation

Leafy Lantern


Thursday, November 3, 2011

All the Autumn's Joys ~Sunlight and Soul Cakes~

A few days late, but we finally have Soul Cakes baking in the oven as I type. 
And as promised, I have the recipe to share but first I want to back up a bit, and share the glorious Autumnal Sunshine that was slanting it's way into the dining room at sunrise yesterday morning.

Isn't the way the light sort of puddles in wonderful? It literally makes my heart beat faster.
Not even coffee wakes me up with the same satisfaction- though, coffee in hand while enjoying this? That is utter bliss!

 I can tell you my photography doesn't begin to capture just how beautiful this light is, but I'm glad I gave it a shot.

Anyway- so now we skip the day and head right to yesterday evening, just before our dinner guests arrived.
I had some help while setting the table, as you can see.

I absolutely love getting to set the table- especially when it gives me the opportunity to use my pretty things.

Like my vintage silverware with a 'J' for Jennie.

And antique gold-rimmed wine glasses.
No special occasion, just my aunt and uncle stopping by for dinner- but why have lovely things and not use them when we can?
Actually my Husband would answer this question with, "because they have to be hand washed", and that means he has to play dishwasher with them. 

Alright, so that was a bit of yesterday, and now to tonight and Soul Cake baking.
First things first- slip on your autumn apron and ignore the pile of laundry on the couch needing to be folded.

Okay, now head to the kitchen and gather these items:
1 stick butter, softened
1cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup milk or more

Now, preheat your oven to 350.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl, then beat in eggs one at a time.
Add both extracts and mix well.

Okay, now sift the flour together with the spices- I used wheat flour, but I've used all purpose and spelt flours too, and they work as well.

Add the flour mixture a bit at a time to the butter mixture.

Get it well combined.

Now it's currant time- add those to the batter.

Then add the milk until you get a soft dough- I usually end up using more than the 1/2 cup called for.

Now form the dough into little 'cakes' and flatten them a bit once place on a well greased cookie sheet.
Bake them for 15 min or until just browning on the top.

And don't forget a live violin serenade while they're baking- it makes them bake quicker! ;)

Here is a batch right out of the oven. They need to sit for awhile on a wire rack . . .

. . . and then be transferred to a pumpkin- or other desired cookie jar- or your mouth!

We make these every year to celebrate All Soul's Day- November 2nd. 
It's an English tradition I learned of from the book Mrs. Sharp's Traditions by Sarah Ban Breathnach. 
I highly recommend this book- it is a treasure for anyone who values family and traditions.

A Soul, a Soul, a Soul cake,
Please good misses a Soul cake,
 An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry
Or any good thing to make us merry. 
One for Peter, two for Paul
and Three for Him who made us all.

The lanes are very dirty
My shoes are very thin,
I've a got a little pocket
To put a penny in.

If you haven't got a penny
A ha' penny will do,
If you haven't got a ha' penny
God Bless You!