"With Pomp, Power & Glory the world beckons vainly, In chase of such vanities why should I roam?While Peace & Content bless my little thatched cottage,And warm my own hearth with the Treasures of Home."*Beatrix Potter

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Springtime & Celebration's

Spring has come to England & not more so than in the country
 with the different greens emerging all around us.
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Our garden is filled with birdsong & the delicate Chaffinch's
 are gently building their nest's of moss, old sheep's wool
 & wood. They weave all this softness to once again
 build their homes to raise their young.
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The Wild Cherry Tree's in the old graveyard next door will soon be in bloom & then once again making a sweet smelling carpet, these blossom's bring such joy to Kitty as she is at her happiest playing amongst the flower's.
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The field's are full of lamb's with their mother's grazing on the green grass. 
How I love England at this time of year.


Springtime bring's many celebration's for our family with our oldest Grand Daughter Charlotte's first birthday & the twin's turning eight year's old.


A couple of week's ago we had our first day of lovely sunshine 
so we packed up our lunch after our morning lesson's
& ate up on the Lincolnshire Wolds. This spot is just 1/2 mile
from us.
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Our beautiful Grand Daughter Charlotte turned one at the end of March,
how this past year has flown.
She bring's us so much joy & is such a sweet child.
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For the twin's eigth birthday we spent the day before 
 at Harrogate in North Yorkshire.
We all loved looking at the beautiful display's in the famous Betty's Tearoom
& came home with a few treat's.
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We had a rare meal out to celebrate in a lovely Yorkshire pub,
I wish I had captured Mary's face when her Ice Cream was brought to the table.
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Apricot Fruit Cake & the Twin's Birthday Cake.
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Apricot Fruit Cake
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We make this recipe often & with out icing freezes well.
Put all ingredient's into a bowl & beat well.
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3 eggs
4 ozs of margarine
6 ozs of self raising flour
3 ozs of light brown sugar
5 ozs of sultanas or raisins
3 ozs of glace cherries
4 ozs of dried apricots chopped
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Pour into a greased & lined loaf tin & bake for just over an hour in a moderate oven.
Once cooled ice with icing sugar mixed with water & decorate with chopped apricot's.
I have adapted this from a Mary Berry recipe.
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Preparing the plates ready for their birthday tea.
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Blowing out their candles.
Eight year's has flown & now these little girl's are turning into young ladies.
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I found this lovely vintage fabric the other day & the twin's
found another Ladybird book for their collection.
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Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese.
A family favourite.
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Dene, Ellie & Baby Tilly came to visit us last week.
She is such a good baby & we were blessed with lot's of cuddle's.
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The daffodil's are coming to an end now but that mean's new thing's will now be
in bloom, the Magnolia is just beginning to flower. 
This is a spot at the back of our garden where we over look
a field that is full of sheep & lamb's at the moment.
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I made Gingerbread Muffin's for an on the road breakfast.
They were so soft the next day.
I hope you enjoy the recipe, we loved them.
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Fork together 
10 ozs of plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of soda
1 teaspoon of dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
in a large bowl.
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Mix in another bowl
1 egg
3 ozs of sugar
3 flozs of oil
3 flozs of black treacle
2 tablespoons of honey
6 flozs of water
Blend well
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Pour wet ingredient's in to the dry & stir.
Spoon into 12 muffin cases & bake for about 20 minutes.
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I found this recipe in an old book on muffins by Susan Reimer.
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Last week we returned to The Black Country Living Museum 
& had a beautiful sunny day.
There is always so much for the children to learn at this type of museum.
We decided to go because we had just finished our Geography Topic on Canal's 
& this museum is on a canal.
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I am always drawn to the kitchen's, Kitty was drawn to the shelf of book's.
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So much to look at there.
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Kitty's favourite corner.
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A sweet tin picture in one of the cottage's bedroom.
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Preserves in the scullery.
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We were not disappointed with the canal & the boat's.
The girl's were able to step inside the living quarter's of a boat.
There was not a lot of room in there & to think large families lived on these boat's.
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Stepping on to a boat.
The boat man was born on a Canal Boat & has lived all his life on them.
He told us so much & brought all our learning together.
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Stepping into a small street house at the museum.
This felt very much like home.
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Another Victorian Cast Iron Range.
These were used for so much,
cooking, heating, hot water, ironing & toasting to name a few.
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The Grocer's Shop in the small town.
The shelves look so much prettier than they do now.
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I loved the butter dish.
How I would love to still be able to shop like this.
I use an old basket for shopping, even though we still use the butcher's & greengrocer's the shop's just are not the same as they use to be.
Although we are very lucky to have two beautiful market town's near us with weekly market's.
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The Toll House's table.
This is such a pretty cottage with a beautiful cottage garden.
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Sleeping pig's at another cottage.
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& lastly the 1920's house.
I could have started cooking straight away as this room did feel like home.
The oven is the same age as the electric one we have in our cottage.
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Thank you dear reader's for your kind comment's.
I love reading each & everyone of them.
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I hope everyone is having a beautiful Springtime
& that the snow has finally gone in Canada & North America
so you can enjoy the new Spring flower's.
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Fondly Michelle
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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Springtime is Nearly Here.


New life is shooting up all around us here in the English Countryside this time of year.
It's beautiful to see all those little strong bulbs pushing through the frosty earth wanting to put on their show of colour to welcome in the Spring. 
I always know when the warmer weather is on it's way as the Rooks return to the rookery in the spindly pines at the end of our garden. They are busy building their nest's, I have never seen a more busier bird at the task of nest building.
The villages hedgerow are filled with an abundance of things if you take a while & look closely. The girl's have been doing a weekly nature journal which is not only teaching them but me too. 
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Mary studying the Lesser Colendine which we discovered on one of our nature walk's.
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Birds have come back to the cottage garden to sing their sweet morning song, warm day's do not seem that far away. These day's hold many thought's of flower's & our vegetable garden. The girl's have their own idea's of what they would like to do & grow in the garden, I love to watch them blossom with their imagination & thought's.
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Cottage days are filled with nature walk's, baking, gardening & learning.
Each day holds a new experience.
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Kitty on one of our weekly nature walks, that week was looking for signs of nesting bird's.
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We follow Lynn Seddon's Exploring Nature with Children.
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www.raisinglittleshoots.com
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It's a perfect balance between outside work & written work.
The girl's are doing their journal's in the style of Edith Holden.
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Sidney turned fourteen at the end of February.
He chose Chocolate Cake with as many treat's as I could get on the cake, he always chooses Chocolate Cake.
I rarely get a photo of these two boy's, Danny will be 16 in May I can't believe how the time has flown.
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I finished another 1930's Bow Scarf for the twin's beautiful pen friend in America.
This little girl love the 1930's.
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Custard Pie & two Apple Crumb Pie's.
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Now that the hen's are starting to lay more egg's Custard Pie is ideal to use them up in.
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Recipe for the Custard Pie I make.
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Combine 1/2 cup of sugar
3 egg's
2 cups of milk
Mix these ingredient's with a hand whisk for a few minute's.
Then pour in to a pie case.
Sprinkle top with nutmeg & bake for around 40 minutes at 350 o
I find this recipe quick to mix up.
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I helped the twins make themselves a skirt each out of an old skirt of mine.
They are so happy with the end result & they love practicing their sewing skills.
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Spring flowers are popping up all around our village.
These were blooming on our nature walk last week.
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Apricot cake for tea & one for the freezer.
I like to have a few cakes in the freezer in case of emergencies.
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Hand crocheted dishcloths.
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Oatmeal & Chocolate Chip Brownies.
I used The Amish Cook's recipe from The Amish Cook's Baking Book.
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My love of antique linen's.
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An empty farm worker's cottage on one of our walks around our village.
I love to look inside & see glimpses of the former occupant's.
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It has the same window's as our cottage.
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Beautiful fireplace.
Each room has a faded glory to it.
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Old coat hooks in the round porch.
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Entrance way.
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Another old fireplace with Art Deco tiles.
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Beauty found in old age.
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The front of the cottage with round porch.
Around the property are beautiful old apple tree's.
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I love to make pie's from the many Amish cook book's I have.
One of our favourite's is Lemon Sponge Pie from The Amish Cook Baking Book. This is one of my favourite cook book's.
The twin's made some little jam tart's with the left over pastry.
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Pumpkin & Chocolate Chip Cookies.
These were very healthy, the children loved them so we will be making them again.
The recipe is from Thy Hand has Provided Cook Book.
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Barm Cakes.
These are a very soft roll popular in the North of England.
We ate them with homemade Leek & Potato Soup.
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The girl's love to bake & quite often take over from me.
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I hope you all have a beautiful early Spring.
Thank you dear reader's for all kind comment's, I feel so blessed to have you all following me.
Fondly Michelle
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