Little pops of red woven throughout our Sunday.
Little pops of red woven throughout our Sunday.
I try to knit the girls something for Christmas every year. Hats, socks, mittens and dolls clothes have all made their way under the tree. I think it may have been Humpty Dumpty who motivated me to knit outside of the box and make each of them a special friend this year.
I love to peruse the many beautiful projects over at Purl Soho and fell in love with these two patterns as soon as I saw them.
Both were a lot of fun to knit and I am now a master at bobble making. There must be over 200 bobbles on Mr. Sheep!
Just like their owners, I think they make quite the couple and may be the best of friends.
I love Sunday. It is definitely my favorite day of the week. I try to keep Sunday sacred by leaving it completely open and most of the time I strive to never get into a car or even leave the house (except for my morning walk or maybe to walk to the market).
Our Sundays shift and change with the seasons but Sundays in the winter and autumn are definitely my favorite. There’s always a late, sit down breakfast. There’s always a fire. And there’s always a chicken in the oven by late afternoon.
There is something so slow and intentional about making a meal on Sunday. And there is something so special about ending the week with your favorite people eating that meal.
I use this recipe every time but use different roots from week to week and usually serve it up with garlicky sauteed greens such as kale, collards, swiss chard or mustard greens.
After the chicken has been carved and picked over, the bones and carcass are thrown into a pot and covered with water. I simmer the broth over night for 12 or more hours and wake to find a golden elixir!
Monday night is chicken soup night. I make several variations but always fall back on a few simple tricks. This week I made a curried vegetable, chicken soup. There is always a salad and if time allows, homemade biscuits or corn bread with a hunk of cheese.
If there are left overs, lunches on Tuesday consist of thermoses of hot soup. Although I admit to eating it for breakfast too.
Curried Chicken Soup
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 onion chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
4 carrots sliced
2 tablespoons curry powder (I am a curry-aholic. Feel free to half this)
1-16 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
6-8 cups of homemade chicken broth
1 cup frozen riced cauliflower (my new favorite TJs find!)
1 bunch fresh spinach or kale, leaves finely chopped
3 cups of cubed cooked chicken
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Heat butter in bottom of soup pot. Sautee garlic and onion. Once translucent, add celery and then carrots. Add 1/2 the curry powder and a pinch of salt. Once the veggies are soft, add the tomatoes and then broth. Let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Add cauliflower, greens and chicken and rest of curry powder. Simmer for 30 more minutes. Turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper.
This soups improves with age.
Yes I know I haven’t been here in almost two whole months!
All I can say is I have been trying to live in the moment.
No documenting, no blogging, no social media, very little screen time at all and to tell you the truth it’s been rather nice.
But after some time to ponder I have realized that I do miss this space.
Thanks to all of you for your gentle nudges and inquiries. It’s heartwarming to know that so many of you enjoy it here.
I do too.
We had the most lovely holiday. In between baking, gift making and decking the halls, we hosted a caroling party, a new years eve party, several dinner guests and tonight we end our vacation with a little Downton Abbey party. There’s a chocolate cake in the oven right now!
I look forward to sharing more of our home, garden, projects, traditions, recipes and every day life here with you in the new year.
Happy new year my friends!
Chris and I make a good team. He likes practical and I like beautiful. Lucky for me everything he makes is beautiful!
I enjoy my home when it is neat and orderly which means I like things put away (or hidden away according to Chris).
I am always switching things up around the house which means where things live sometimes changes.
He is always asking me “So where did you hide it now?” about many of his belongings.
His slippers are one of those things. I may put them in his closet, or by his bedside. Sometimes they make their way by the back door on the shoe rack. Or placed in a basket with all of the other slippers.
I knew he was trying to make a point when he came home last week with his newest invention- Slipper Hooks.
As much as I like things put away out of sight, I had to admit I loved his idea.
He came home the next day with a hook to hang above for his pajamas. And there you have it a new “practical” place for his things with no excuse for me to hide them away.
And while we are on the subject of inventions, check out our affordable version of a new recliner for Chris. To back up a bit, we had been searching for a leather recliner similar to this one for a while. Since they were hard to come by in our price range we settled for an Ikea POANG chair. It was the right size and is actually pretty comfortable. Since the matching ottoman was too bulky for the space Chris decided to make a custom one that slants down at just the right angle that he prefers. Not only is the whole combination beautiful but it is surprisingly ergonomic!
Norah has been inspired these days by this show and was wanting to branch out and bake something a little more fancy this week.
Her heart was set on a cake and she wanted to include berries with pink frosting.
She chose a recipe for a simple yellow cake from Joy of Cooking but added mixed berries that she had cooked down with some sugar.
She strained the berries to make a simple syrup which she then added to a cream cheese icing to get the pink hue she was going for.
Once the cake was cool she adorned it with fresh strawberries and icing where she got to use her new piping set she got for Christmas. She tested out each tip size and used the finest one for a face on each strawberry.
It was so much fun watching her come up with her very own creation. I helped a little but really just followed behind wiping and cleaning up.
Next week she wants me to have a list of ingredients laid out when she comes down in the morning to challenge her to make something with them.
I see a future cooking show star on our hands!
I grew up with a piano. I took lessons and played along side of my Pop as a child. I always loved playing but didn’t stick with it.
When Chris and I first moved in we bought a relatively inexpensive piano from Craigs list. I couldn’t imagine a home without one. I played a little but then running a farm and raising two babies got in the way and it just sat there untouched unless my Pop came over for a visit or the occasional friend who played. We decided to get rid of it and make room for other things.
A few years back we were given another piano on a long term loan. I was determined to play and get the girls lessons but the long term loan turned in to a very short visit and the piano had to go earlier than expected.
I decided to put the idea of a piano on the back burner and began to fall in love with my open and airy dining room without one. I replaced it with a secretary desk which I used for my every day dishes and it worked well as a serving piece when entertaining.
But a few months back the girls began asking for a piano again. When visiting my cousin over the holidays, Hannah sat down at the piano and asked me to play with her. When my fingers touched the keys I was filled with warm memories of playing with my Pop. I Love Coffee, I Love Tea, Send in the Clowns, One Enchanted Evening and songs from Fiddler on the Roof, were some of our favorites to play and sing together.
When we were in Florida last week I got an email from a friend who was looking for a new home for her piano. I thought about how much I love my open and spacious dining room with my little plates stacked neatly in the desk shelves and was ready to decline but then I thought about my girls, my Pop, learning to play again, a home filled with music and something made me write yes and press send.
It was delivered last night and I am adjusting. I get a little grumpy sometimes when I bring in something new. But I do love it.
It needs tuning and I so do I. Lessons will begin in a few weeks.
After everyone went up to bed last night I sat back and admired the new addition to our home. I dusted it’s wood and adorned it’s top. I greeted it and sat down to introduce myself and played a few songs.
It felt good and I swear I heard Pop humming along.
We made these last night for dinner and they were to die for.
True comfort food I tell ya.
Early morning I started a whole chicken in the crock pot and when I arrived home in the afternoon I made the dough and filling. I saved the fun part of constructing the pies for Norah and Chris. They got straight to work rolling out and crimping the dough when they got home.
We make a good team.
I doubled the recipe so there would be plenty of pies to pack in everyone’s lunch the next day with still a few left over to freeze.
Everyone declared that pretty much anything wrapped in that cream cheese dough would be delectable.
So we came up with a list of different fillings we want to try.
A few weeks ago the girls asked if they could host their own craft circle with friends. I guess after watching their mama have fun crafting with her friends each month for the last 15 years they thought they should give it a try.
They decided on the first Sunday afternoon of every month and hosted their first one yesterday.
Each girl brought along a craft to work on and they all sat around the fire chatting and working on various projects. A few worked on crocheted ipod charger cords, Hannah began knitting a hat while her friend worked on a knitted bear project. There was some duct tape art and after much finger knitting over the years Norah began her very first knitted project on needles~ a scarf!
And of course there were refreshments. Norah made back bean brownies again and served them with peppermint tea.
Although there was a bit of a generation gap and the conversation may have been a bit different, craft circle on the first Sunday afternoon of the month with the girls looked a lot like craft circle on the second Wednesday evening of the month with the ladies. There was laughter, lots of chatter, sharing of tools and ideas and of course tea and goodies.
I know that this Sunday afternoon tradition may not last forever but for now I will cherish these moments and feel a little bit proud that my girls want to follow in their mama’s footsteps.