Although we still spend a lot of time outdoors, especially throughout the beautiful Autumn, cooler weather draws us inside as well. Joe and love I being at home. There’s room for everything we enjoy doing, right here in the cozy corners of our little condo which resembles an English country cottage.
I’ve switched from iced tea to hot tea. An English teapot and cups and saucers are ever ready on our living room coffee table (where coffee is served as well). I love to hostess tea gatherings, fiber sessions, poetry readings, and afternoons of book or art talk. Joe and I thrive on lunch or dinner company as well, and our fall and winter soup* suppers are special.
Now that the heat and humidity are behind me, one of my spinning wheels is constantly before me—and I’m producing more gorgeous woollen yarn for wearable art. How lovely to spin away a rainy afternoon beside the fireplace**, while drinking Earl Grey loose tea steeped in an English teapot!
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Dorothy: “There’s no place like home.”
So join me, for a mini-stroll through our “Heaven on earth”.
My mother would be proud of me. I practice nearly every day!
My gallery of wearable fiber art is always available for viewing.
Our pretty kitchen! Lots of wonderful things happen here!
Our great-grandchildren’s play corner features this gorgeous doll house which Joe built from a kit years ago. Completing the doll house with all the individual “cedar shakes” took him longer than it had taken him to add a room onto our home.
The boys and girls love the doll house. When they visit, it is theirs to arrange, rearrange, redecorate, or whatever. Not shown in the photo is the rest of the play corner, with a farm and loads of animals which find their way into the doll house. (My toy dog collection resides there all the time.)
Also in the play corner the little ones enjoy Lincoln Logs, play dishes, many Teddy bears, and loads of wonderful books! Bring on the children.
If you are ever in the neighborhood, please stop in for tea!
Margaret L. Been, ©2010
*For years when we lived up north, we dined at a restaurant which featured sweet and sour cabbage soup. It was a thin dinner soup, and I purposed to concoct my own thick sweet and sour cabbage soup. (I make the kind of soups you can almost prop a spoon in.)
By Googling “sweet and sour cabbage soup” I found the constants—the sweet and sour typical proportions for a medium sized crock pot full of soup. But many recipes contain cider vinegar. I wasn’t happy with inhaling vinegar fumes while eating soup. Finally I latched on to lemon juice—the most wonderful “sour” of all. Here is my sweet and sour cabbage soup:
In a crock pot, cook overnight (14 to 18 hours on low power) a boneless pork tenderloin or boneless beef pot roast in a cup of 100% apple juice, 1 or 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of chicken base, 1 tablespoon of beef base, plenty of white pepper (it has to be white pepper for that wonderful afterglow in the mouth!), salt, and a few shakes of MAGGI®.
The next day, tear the meat apart with forks until shredded. Remove two thirds of the meat and freeze for a later meal of meat and rice, sloppy Joes, or whatever.
Keep the remaining 1/3rd of the meat in the crock pot. Add 3 capfuls of REAL LEMON®, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, more white pepper and salt, a bit more MAGGI®, about one third or one half of a shredded and chopped cabbage, some chopped up carrots, a bit of tomato (not too much—just enough for color and interest), and 3 or 4 tiny chopped up green onion heads. Add 1 or 2 handfuls of noodles, or 2 or 3 cut up baby reds. Cook on low power all day—at least 8 hours.
This soup, with homemade or RHODES® bread, jam or honey, and fresh fruit, is about as close to Heaven on earth (foodwise) as you can get!
But I say the same thing about pea soup, bean soup, minestrone soup, and that amazing post-Thanksgiving turkey soup (made from the boiling the turkey bones, left-over meat and skin, etc.) which we enjoy all winter!
**Our “fireplace” consists of 4 behind-the-scene light bulbs over simulated logs. It glows and “flames” like a fireplace, and also has a heat setting for nippy early Autumn mornings. These gems come in many sizes, and are available at Menard’s. The one shown above has an attractive surround, with a mantle for my collection of interesting and funky clocks.
We have a smaller Menard’s “fireplace” in our dining area. How mellow is that!
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