Thursday, September 30, 2010

County Fair

Ahh, country life!  We had a nice family day at the Fair last week. 

We enjoyed the rides, the animals and displays, even a little bit of fair food!  We knew the winner of the BIGGEST PUMPKIN this year, that was fun! 
Our littlest one wouldn't even crack a smile on her first ride ever!  I tried and tried to get one!  She takes fun seriously - just like her big sis!
It was a relaxed easy going day.  Sweet memories!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Country Apple Cake

I absolutely adore baking in Autumn.  This rustic recipe has it all for me!  Simple to make, even the name inspires me...and the smell wafting through the house as it bakes!  Mmmm... I just had to share!

(Recipe is from the beach house cookbook & since I have an Apple Tree, I substituted Apple's this time - it was originally Country Pear Cake!)

"This cake is perfect for picnics or informal parties because it's best when cut into squares and eaten out of hand.  It's delicious made with fresh ripe pears, but it also works well with almost any kind of fruit or berry."...this was the description that had me at hello!

Serves 6 to 8
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter - at room temp
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs - farm fresh (preferably!) & room temperature
2 medium or 3 small apples, pears or other fruit thinly sliced - peeled or unpeeled it's your preference
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly butter and flour an 8 inch square baking pan.
2.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together.
3.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar with an electric mixer until light & fluffly.
4.  With the mixer running and set on medium, gradually add the flour mixture to the batter.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined.
5.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Arrange the pears in rows on top of the batter.  Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the fruit.  Bake until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and turns golden brown, 40 t0 50 minutes.  Set aside on a rack to cool.
6.  When the cake is completely cool, cut it into squares and serve fruit side up!

The cake in the picture was a gift to my dear friend Tamara for her birthday last week!  So much fun to give as a gift!  But of course, my whole family was jealous that the entire cake was given away so I made another the next day for afternoon snack!  Easy as pie!  I mean cake!
Bon Appetite!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Searching for Inspiration

Do you ever have those times where you're waiting... and you don't know what for? 

I tend to go through phases and their quite amusing to look back on!  In recent history there was my "homesteading phase" where I was reading about and delving into all things "farmgirl" (this one has been off and on for the past 5 years but turned into "homesteading" as soon as I found a name for it!).  Now you know the real reason for the chickens! 

Then there was my Beatrix Potter - drawing & painting phase inspired by the movie "Miss Potter".  For some reason this phase inspired me to want a bunny! 

When I read Anne of Ingleside and found one of my favorite quotes "some folks think babies a luxury, but here at Ingleside we think their a necessity!" I of course was in a baby phase (wanting #4!). 

I've also had a music phase - piano lessons for 2 years (so we now have a piano!).  A blogging phase...a photography phase...a secret garden phase...  And all throughout each of these times I seem to be more inspired in every sense of the word. 

Well, what do you do when you just don't feel inspired?  It must be time for a good book or a great movie!  Have any suggestions!?  I better be careful what I wish for though because once it becomes a phase we usually end up with long lasting results! 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A treasure trove

I want to share a lovely and true treasure that was just passed down into my family.  I feel more like a caretaker of the items, not their owner, as one day my own children will have them and they are really from their daddy's great, great, great grandmother Anna.  The trunk was her own from around the time of her marriage in 1889 - she was about 25 I'm told.  There are so many special items to be found inside, cards and letters, a few journals (written in german, we'll need a translator!).  Here are just a few of the unique items:
pill boxes with pills still inside!

Their wedding photo and marriage certificate ~ framed.
A beautiful christening gown.
Old books, one is a pocket size Gospel of St. John from 1893.
There were other gowns, a muff several beautiful hats and a riding jacket.  She was sooo tiny that Anna my ten year old fits the riding jacket perfectly and cannot wait to wear it!  It's so funny that the style was so classic that many of our tailered jackets are similar even today!
Just had to share in our special finds!  We will treasure them always - thank you Aunt Mary Claire, Uncle Craig and Papa for passing them down!

About Me

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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love