"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

Monday, 24 November 2014

Cozy Days, Cranford & The Coast.

The Winter in our small corner of the world is a little late in coming this year. 
Outside all is settling down for the Winter & quietly going to sleep. The branches are mostly all bare apart from our beautiful yew & holly trees which line our garden.
Even though there is a nip in the air the cold weather has not settled in yet & we have had some lovely days full of wonderful clear skies.
Inside the cottage Christmas is in the air, our minds are full of idea's of what to make & bake for the special day.

Lemon Drizzle Cake.

This recipe I have had since our first holiday to Yorkshire as a family. We had three children then & stayed in a beautiful stone cottage in the Yorkshire Moors.
The lady who owned the farm where the cottage was, baked this cake for our arrival & she kindly gave me the recipe. It has become a family favourite & has been baked many times.

Cream together 5 oz margarine, 6 oz sugar & the grated rind of a lemon.
Then beat in 8 oz self raising flour, 2 eggs & 2 fl oz milk.
Bake in a round cake tin at 160 for 45 mins.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the hot cake, then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar on top.
Remove from tin when cold.

Lemon Drizzle Cake ready for tea served on Andy's Grandparent's plate that they received on their wedding day.

Sadly I have finished Larkrise to Candleford.
 I found myself transported to a gentler & slower time reading this book but now I would like to find out what happened to Flora in adulthood.

Now I am reading Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.
My husband bought me a set of c1880 Elizabeth Gaskell books for my birthday this year.
The BBC production is one of my favourite drama's to watch. Cranford covers every emotion & is so amusing, added to this is that it is filmed at the wonderful National Trust village of Lacock. 
All the wonderful period costumes are so simple & beautiful & the sets stunning.

We decided to take a trip out to the Lincolnshire coast & collect some shells.
There was a crisp chill to the air & we needed to wrap up warm.
We were the only one's there, it was a beautiful time to take in all the beauty of the coast.

The girls with their Peter Rabbit & Jemima Puddle Duck bags.
These bags go everywhere with them to collect from hedgerows & days out.

We found some beautiful shells to make some Christmas crafts with.

Such clear & simple beauty.

We made some little Christmas mice with pine cones & shells.
All with a little bit of sparkle for Christmas.
The twins love to make gifts & take such joy in giving them.

Christmas Cake

This year I thought I would bake a different recipe for our Christmas cake & decided upon Delia Smith's Classic Christmas cake.
I have used many recipes over the years & found this one easy & simple to follow.
You can find the recipe at Delia on line.
All the dried fruit & cherry brandy socking overnight.

Ready to go in to the oven.
Christmas cakes are baked for a long time at a very low temperature.
 I had to find things to do in the kitchen during that time so I could keep watching the oven as we cook with solid fuel & the temperature goes up & down. I find the best way to keep a steady low temperature is to get it banked up with coal & then shut the damper.

All baked & now stored away ready to be iced a few days before Christmas.

Some little knitted bonbon sweets I have made using scraps of wool & ribbon for Kitty & Mary for Christmas.
I do enjoy making gifts, we try to stay away from the crowded shops as much as possible.

Thank you my dear readers for all your kind words, every one is read & appreciated.
Keep warm.
Fondly Michelle