"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

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Quiet January Days at the Cottage

I love the month of January after the business of December, 
a time to catch up & finish many projects.
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We had a lovely Christmas Day at the cottage. Our oldest children came & spent the day with us, it's lovely to see all our eight children together.
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The village now has a softness to it at this time of year, a beautiful quietness surrounds the streams and fields. Up to a few days ago we have been having a mild Winter, trees are budding in the garden & bulbs are beginning to bloom. The mild weather had brought birds to the garden, playing in the abundance of Ivy along the church side of our garden which gives them much needed food at this time of year.
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Now the weather has turned into a cold snap and we sit fireside enjoying the warmth that it brings.
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Kitty with Betty the tea trolley on Sunday.
The twins do like to push her into the sitting room.
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 I found this old 1950's recipe booklet a little while ago but just have not had a chance to make anything from it.
Last Sunday I pulled it out of the drawer & decided to make these scones.
I am so glad I did, they were lovely & rose beautifully.
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The twins were given two Gingerbread House kits for Christmas.
Here are the finished result, they spent two enjoyable hours making these.
One was for Saturday tea & the other was for church the next day.
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As this week has turned very cold I have been baking a lot.
These are a recipe I have done many times, Ruth Motts cheese puff's.
So simple to make & so tasty for weekend tea.
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Orange Fruit Tea Bread.
I found this recipe in a book I found in a charity shop.
The book is an old Marks & Spenser's book about food for your freezer.
Its was so orangey.
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This is our favourite Banana Bread.
We had it for Sunday tea and also for breakfast with some fruit as the recipe makes two loaves.
It also freezes well.
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Using a mixer beat 8 ozs of white sugar, 4ozs light brown sugar & 8 ozs of margarine.
Mash 8 banana's with a masher & add them to the sugar & butter mix with 4 eggs & 1 teaspoon of almond essence.
Add 4ozs of wholemeal flour, 6 ozs of plain flour, a little grated nutmeg & 2 teaspoons of baking soda.
Fold together & put into greased loaf tins.
Bake at 350f for about 1 hour, check after 50 minutes.
Cool in tins & remove after 30 minute.
Enjoy
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Some of my beautiful Christmas gifts from the children.
A little shelf in the scullery now filled with green & cream things.
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These are a few finds we have found lately, I love these late 1920's Woman's magazine's.
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We had ordered some new Laura Ashley chairs for the sitting room.
Just after New Year they were delivered, they are so comfortable.
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Daffodils bringing a little sunshine to the kitchen.
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We just love a Victoria Sponge cake.
I made this using my basic cake recipe which I have posted before.
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Our first Grandchild a little girl is due at the end of March.
I have been busy knitting a little cardigan for her.
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I thought you might like to put a face to the name.
Here I am all ready to go grocery shopping.
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We are eating plenty of soups at the moment & I have been experimenting with different breads.
This bread is a Country Grain Plait.
I made Tasha Tudor's Vegetable Soup to go with it.
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Honey & Ginger Cake I made the other day for the children's lunch boxes.
This recipe came from this little vintage Stork Teatime booklet.
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This is a little dolly outfit I made for Kitty just before Christmas.
I love the way green & pink look together.
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Here are some photo's of Christmas time at the cottage.
I am sorry they are late.
We had laptop issues but now we have a new one, this is why I have not posted in a little while.
Sorry for the photo heavy post.
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George helping with the wrapping.
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A visit to see Father Christmas.
Such a magical morning.
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Mince pies on Christmas Eve.
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I couldn't put George's gift under the tree as he would have ate through the paper.
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Some baking with the twins.
I found these lovely coloured cherries in a cake decorating shop.
They made melting moments with them.
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Christmas Eve tea.
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Christmas Day desserts & puddings.
Trifle, Christmas Pudding & Tangerine Jelly for the twins.
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Little Mary on Boxing Day.
We always have Brandy Snaps filled with cream on Boxing Day.
My Grandmother always did that, so we are keeping the tradition going.
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Wishing all my dear readers a belated Happy New Year.
Thank you for all your lovely comments.
Fondly Michelle 
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84 comments:

  1. Happy New Year to you all.
    You have been busy haven't you, I do love your simple baking it always looks amazing, as do you, how do you keep your lovely figure with all those cakes around ? Xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and a Happy New Year to you too.
      I do love to bake, almost everyday.
      I think I have my Grandfathers gene's, plus I am busy all the time.
      So happy to be back online.
      Fondly Michelle

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  2. So nice to meet you Michelle :0) everything looks so yummy and delightful. It is nice to bake when the weather is cold, it makes the cottage so cozy and warm...have a blessed day. mari

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    1. Thank you Mari.
      You have a blessed day too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  3. Your post took me back to my childhood in the years after the war. We always had the Tea trolley on Sundays with wonderful baking by my Grandma.

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    Replies
    1. You must have such wonderful memories.
      Fondly Michelle

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  4. Lovely to see a new post from you, I wondered what had happened. All bakes looking as delicious as usual and the girls as pretty as always and lovely to put a face to the name too. :-). Good news about your first grandchild, our first grandchild is due in June, it's very exciting.

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    1. Thank you Sue.
      Congratulations on your first grandchild too,it is so exciting.
      Lovely to be back properly online.
      Fondly Michelle

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  5. Such a wonderful post. The pictures are great. Delicious food. I love the knitting too. Congratulations on becoming a grandmother !
    Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Thank you.
      Its very exciting, cant wait for the baby to be born.
      Fondly Michelle

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  6. Such a beautiful post, love the tea trolley and the beautiful baking. Your Christmas eve tea was a real delight, a feast for the eyes. Best wishes for the new year, truly wonderful news to hear you are to become a Granny.

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    1. I am so excited about being a Grandmother.
      Thank you for your kind words & a Happy New Year to you too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  7. I'm not a fellow blogger (yet...) but I always look forward to your blog and really admire the way you bring up your children and give them such a grounded and homely life. Don't aplogise for the photo heavy post - they are lovely to look at.

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the photo's.
      Family is everything to us,they grow so fast so we make the most of it.
      Fondly Michelle

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  8. Tea is such a wonderful event at your house. I love the tea trolley. So good to see what you have been baking. I like the old recipe books also. So much better to bake from scratch. Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful 2016. I also enjoy visiting on Instagram.

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    1. Thank you.
      The tea trolley has been such a good buy & is a family friend now. She has her outing every Sunday.
      Have a wonderful 2016.
      Fondly Michelle

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  9. It looks like you enjoyed a lovely Christmas! Congratulations on your expected granddaughter! You all must be so excited. The little sweater you knitted for her is darling! We too have been enjoying soup this month. After all of the goodies at Christmas it is nice to get back to eating simpler foods. May you and your family have a blessed New Year!

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    1. I agree after Christmas it is good to get back to good wholesome food.
      Thank you, we are so excited about becoming Grandparents.
      Happy New Year to you too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  10. Michelle, your posts are always so lovely and filled with joy! I adore the tea trolley you have with all of your lovely goodies. It's nice to see your Christmas was enjoyed. The girls look so cute. As always your baked goods look so wonderful! Congratulations on a new baby coming into your family--grandchildren are just the best. Such a sweet little sweater you have made for the little one. Stay warm and cozy! ♥

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    1. I can't wait Martha Ellen, its so exciting, a new little baby.
      Thank you for your kind comment, it's good to be back online properly.
      Fondly Michelle

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  11. Happy new year Michelle! I am glad you all enjoyed a happy Christmas at your lovely cottage. It is so nice to see a new blog post from you, your photos are a joy to look at.
    The little matinee coat is adorable, you must be so excited to meet your Granddaughter, and the twins will be aunties! So much to look forward too!

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    1. I know Auntie Mary & Auntie Kitty, we are all so excited. It is lovely to knit baby clothes.
      Fondly Michelle

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  12. I love your tea trolley, it reminds me of my mother. We can't have one here as the floor levels are all over the place !
    A Happy New year to you and your lovely family
    Gillx

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    1. Our floors are not level too, different heights & all up and down but the old girl manages.
      A Happy New Year to you too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  13. Maybe Kitty will long the dolly dress and booties you knitted to her niece for her first few weeks! It's adorable. Love your hat. And I agree with Jane that you don't need to apologize for having TOO many photos.

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    1. Maybe, I think we will save all the dolls clothes for when she visits.
      So glad you enjoyed the photo's.
      Fondly Michelle

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    2. I think spell check changed "loan" to "long"! Or maybe I subconsciously wrote "long" because I long to have your knitting ability. :-)

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  14. Welcome back! A lovely post...well worth the wait. X

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  15. What a lovely heartwarming post. I've enjoyed reading through your archives and hearing about what you have been doing. I now feel very hungry after seeing all,of the delicious food in your photos. Best wishes to you.

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    1. Thank you you very much Sarah for your beautiful comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  16. Hello Michelle.. So much wonderful baking.. It all looks delicious.. And the girls are darling.. Congrats on your upcoming grandmothership.. lol.. You will love being a Grandma.. I do.. smile.. God bless you, luv.. xo

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    1. I can't wait for her to be born.
      Its lovely to be back online Faye, I missed so much.
      Fondly Michelle

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  17. So enjoyed your post, everything looks delicious. Your daughters are so very pretty, I enjoy many of the older recipes, thank you for sharing yours. I hope you have a wonderful New Year.

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    1. Happy New year to you too.
      So glad you enjoyed the post.
      Fondly Michelle

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  18. My dear, sweet Michelle, what a joy to visit you! It's been too long, my friend. And my, what a delight to put a face to your name...you are simply lovely!

    I am so glad you enjoyed the Christmas season. It's hard to believe it has already come and gone. Your treats look divine and have me craving a sweet cookie right now :)

    Have a blessed New Year, dear one. Hugs and joy to you!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I missed so much being online, there is only so much you can do with a phone.
      I have some catching up to do with your blog, I cant wait.
      Thank you for your kind comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  19. Lovely all of it! Love that you are a baker I love it too. I enjoy the idea of tea time but it has never become part of our day. Not sure if it did that I would be a bit more fluffy than I am. Keep up the good blogging.

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    1. Oh we love teatime.
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  20. You seem to have had a lovely Christmas. Thank you for sharing all your lovely pictures. All your baking looks wonderful. My favourite would be scones and mince pies. Nothing beats a warm mince pie. I am rather enjoying the quiet of January too. Christmas can be pretty busy. With January came cold days and beautiful white everywhere. Today dawned with - 25 C and a most beautiful sunrise colouring the white mountains gold. Very peaceful and still. Wish you a lovely day, Pam in Norway

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    1. Yes January is a beautiful month, peaceful.
      I love mince pies and scones too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  21. Totally love the old ways!
    Wishing you all the best!

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  22. Gosh Michelle, I don't know where to start so many gorgeous photo's and things you are been doing. Love the girls gingerbread houses my son had one his stocking many years ago now and remember the joy he had in building it on Christmas day. Love all the baking you have been doing once my cooker has been fitted today I will get baking more to in fact o cant wait to experiment with some bread and cakes this year after seeing yours. Love the tea trolley I bet the girls love that. Its so nice to put a face to a blog you look gorgeous in your hat and redcoat. Christmas looked truly beautiful and tradition for you. Happy new year, dee x

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    1. I bet you cant wait to get baking, I would miss it so. If we go away I like nothing better than to get straight back to baking when we come home.
      Thank you for your kind comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  23. I love old women's magazines - especially the ads!
    You have been very busy with all that baking and knitting.
    Liz

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    1. So do I, much nicer than new magazine's.
      Always busy but love to be.
      Fondly Michelle

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  24. ...Hello and Happy New Year to you & yours! :o)

    ...I have to come out of the woodwork and say that you are as lovely as your words, your family and as the home you have created. I too, as another commenter, am wondering how you stay thin with all the baked goods that you create. Amazing!

    ...Love that you have a name for your tea cart and that you give gifts to your pets, we do that too. ;o)

    ...Thank you for the recipe!

    ...Peace & blessings. :o)

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment.
      The tea trolley is now part of the family.
      Enjoy the rest of your day.
      Fondly Michelle

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  25. Lovely post, I have so much fun seeing your posts :) That cake tin is amazing!

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    1. Thank you so much.
      So glad to be back online.
      Fondly Michelle

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  26. What a lovely post>
    All that good food reminded me of the book "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls wilder.
    I love all your natural wood furniture, do you wax it often?

    Blessings,
    Michelle

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  27. Hello Michelle,
    I don't wax it very often at all, it does have a good polish though.
    We have Farmer Boy upstairs, a children's version, the twins love Little House.
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Fondly Michelle

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  28. Happy New year Michelle :-)
    Your cottage looks so cosy! I really love your home.
    Love all the christmas pictures you have shared, and all the baking and crafts you have done.
    You truly are an inspiration Michelle.
    Take care,
    Love melanie xx

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    1. Thank you so much Melanie and the same to you.
      Fondly Michelle

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  29. Hi Michelle,
    So nice to see you back and enjoy your lovely posts again. We have a new granddaughter due to arrive in April. Cute little cardigan you've made. I've thoroughly enjoy this post and seeing your Christmas celebrations.
    Enjoy your weekend! :-)

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    1. Congratulations Anne, exciting isn't it.
      Fondly Michelle

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  30. So much yummy delicious stuff! I've been inspired to bake this winter too, something about winter just makes me want to bake and cook! What a cozy home you have, the girls look like they've been having a great time! Isnt the stillness of January after the bustle of December so nice?

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    1. I love January Heather.
      Nothing better than staying in baking and being with family.
      Fondly Michelle

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  31. Oh goodness I should not have visited right before turning into bed! All the delicious treats have made me crave a sweetie...LOL! If I can't sleep I am blaming you;-) I love seeing your home , it is similiar to mine in its aging. I just love old homes-just a timeless warmth they do have. The cakes you made the twins look so tasty! Are you not home schooling anymore? After 17 years I have put my youngest girls in school this year. I miss them terribly during the day! Well off to bed, you have a great day and I will see you later:-)

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    1. Thank you Suzanne.
      Our schooling system is so different here and home education is very hard to do. I was flexi schooling as we had such a good head. The head changed and I felt like they had to go full time. But never say never, they are happy although Kitty especially loves home. We will see what happens when they get older. There was not a home education group round here and all out of school groups were late in the day so they would not have met any friends either.
      I bet you do miss them.
      Fondly Michelle

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  32. Absolutely gorgeous thread, please, please could you share the mince pie recipe ?

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    1. Thank you but that's my secret, I'll share any other recipe though x

      Delete
  33. Love all your posts and photos,we had a tea trolley just like yours when I was young.It ended up with the TV on the top and the wireless on the bottom,that was too much for it more's the pity.

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  34. Oh bless that tea trolley.
    So glad you like the posts.
    Fondly Michelle

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  35. Just found your blog and had a delightful 30 mins reading back.. Loved all the cakes they all looked so tasty. Would you post the recipe of the orange tea cake please? We only make cakes at Christmas time because I am always trying to lose weight, but that looked as though it could be frozen?
    Happy New Year to you and your family.
    Blessings Chris

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    Replies
    1. I will look for the recipe.
      Fondly Michelle

      Delete
  36. Hi Michelle lovely to see you back. Your blog brings back many memories of when I was little and we used to go to my Nan's. Her cottage was not quite so old as yours but the same principles were in hand and the house was filled with lots of older pieces of furniture, plenty of elbow grease, pretty china always flowers and a lovely warm fire in the dining room and in the lounge. Nan had a tea trolley like that - and I have one too. It is already to be stripped down and re-finished and then it will be pressed back into service again along with her china tea service that was bought for her as a wedding present by my Great Grandparents on my Granddad's side. Nan was married just short of 60 years and she survived Pop my granddad by another 18 years so she had that china an awful long time. I have the china but it is not out on display here too many animals (6 cats and a Jack Russell) needs to have a proper china cabinet to display everything. The Marks and Spencer Recipe book is one I use regularly. I am so pleased you had a proper family Christmas and congratulations on becoming a Grandma. Its special (I am step-Grandma to three). Love the photos and your children are a credit to you its lovely to see.

    Glad you are now reconnected to the Internet take care Pattypan x (aka Tricia)

    x

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    1. Thank you so much Patricia for your kind words. I loved reading about your Grandmother, it is so special to have those memories.
      Getting a new post ready for a day or two.
      Fondly Michelle

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  37. Everything is just lovely! :) I love all the knitting you have done for your grandbaby (so exciting)! All the baking is wonderful too! I used to bake a lot but found that I gained quite a bit of weight when I did...so now I keep my baking to a minimum. The gingerbread houses the girls made are wonderful! I have never been good at making them! :) I love all the photos and you look just splendid in that photo! Hope you are enjoying your week!

    Warmly,
    Katy :)

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    1. Thank you Katy for your kind words.
      Fondly Michelle

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  38. Hi Michelle, I tried to comment before but for some reason could not do it. Hopefully this works. I was so happy to see your wonderful post. Such lovely pics of your sweet girls and all that yummy baking. Loved your baby and doll's sweater. I should make one for my granddaughter's dolly. Congrats on your new little one . So exciting to have a new baby in the family.
    Hugs
    Mary

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    1. Thank you Mary for your lovely comment.
      Yes it is exciting about the baby, cant wait.
      Fondly Michelle

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  39. Michelle, I just came over from the Lilacs and Springtime blog. I couldn't resist checking out a blog with the name Remembering the Old Ways! I do lots of traditional English baking, learned at my mother's and grandmother's sides. I posted my mincemeat and mince pies last month. Yours look lovely! Love your cottage! I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog this afternoon.

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    1. Thank you Jean, I love Lilacs and Springtime Blog.
      Fondly Michelle

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  40. Thank you for your post - it is always a pleasure visiting here. The knitting for your soon-arriving granddaughter and for the twins' dolls is so lovely, and the baked goods look simply delicious. I've been crocheting and baking more since reading your posts - they are an inspiration. Your pretty red coat and black hat look very nice. And of course I always enjoy seeing handsome George. Kind regards, Lynnea

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    1. So happy to hear you are baking and making more, wonderful.
      Fondly Michelle

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  41. What a sweet old fashioned blog you have here! So glad I stumbled upon it. We homeschool and have nine children and I have been bloggging for over 10 years. Hope you stop by for a visit! :)

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  42. Delightful to have all this pictures, in one place!

    Especially love seeing your pretty self.

    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa

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  43. Hi I have started following you on IG and I have just read your Christmas blog( sorry bit late I know! I absolutely love the Christmas cake( in fact that is almost identical to the one my mum used to make including the fir trees. Thanks!!

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