Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gentle Living

"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air." - N. Hawthorne

Roses against the fence...

Last night we sat around the fire, then camped in the backyard!
In the morning, the blades of grass were frosted with dew :)
Bringing in fresh cut Zinnias..
Autumn has finally arrived
The crisp cool air rustles the blooming flowers and the sunshine adds a warm hue to nature. It's rays touching the meadows & gardens--enhancing their beauty. I'm encouraged to use everyday profitably, not to take this all for granted!
My brother has kept himself busy chopping wood.
It comes in handy now that the weather is cooling down!
~My sister joined me as we walked together to the back of the property...

My Dad was given a day off work, so when he came home, we finished (and began!)
new projects around the house.

Speaking of projects...

My sister completed her crocheted vest she's been working on :)
It's simple, and the color is perfect for the season!
ps) she created the pattern/style herself, so I don't have a written!!

~My new FAVORITE easy easy easy bread recipe~
Many thanks to "Artisan Bread in five minutes a day" by Jeff Hertzburg
*6 cups lukewarm water (make sure its not too warm..this is important)
*3 TBsp active dry yeast (I use rapid rise/bread machine yeast)
*2.5 TBsp sea salt
*13 cups flour (I use 8 cups white, 5 cups wheat)
Pour water in large bowl, add yeast and salt.
Add the flour, then use a wooden spoon to mix..Kneading is NOT necessary!
Cover bowl.
This whole process takes 5 minutes! yes!
Let rise for 2 hours.
Get about a 'grapefruit sized' piece of dough...

Lightly roll it in flour, tucking it into a ball.
Place bread dough on a greased pan/dish...
Let rise for 45 minutes...
{I sprinkled ground flax seed on some of the loaves}
Dust with flour & slash the top, so as it rises it gives a more rustic look :)
ps) this recipe makes 6-7 small loaves
Important element: Baking w/ steam.
While your loaves are rising, place a small casserole dish filled with water in the broiler, so as the oven heats up to 400 degrees, the steam will give the bread a beautiful crust!
Bake loaves for 30 mins.
{Delicious-- the crust is perfect, and the texture inside is soft and flavorful!}
Fresh herbs make their way into most of our meals! Here are our staples:
Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Cilantro.
~An abundance of peppers...
My cat decided to spontaniously climb this tree as soon as she saw my camera...
hmm..I think I've taught her to pose, lol! :)
So far we're growing Turnip greens, collards, kale & swiss chard.
(More pictures to come)
These are younger plants (collards) my Dad began to transplant.
My recent project has been this half apron I hand-stitched. In proper 19th century style, I *tried* to do tiny stitches, so it's taken me all week to sew. All I have to do is the hem..I'm so ready to be done! ;)
Due to reader's request, here's a peek of the (unfinished) back of the apron.
All it needs is a wood or gourd button!
Hope y'all are having a great week--Stay Encouraged!

Your friend,



sarah in the woods said...

Your pictures are gorgeous. After this super hot summer, we're finding autumn too perfect for being inside too.

Mia said...

Thank you Sarah!
I agree with you, our summer here was a scorcher as this blessed weather is a nice relief :)

Lindsey said...

Hey, I just made that bread this week too! Did you get the recipe from Hannah (honey and jam)?

One thing I think I'll do next time is cut down the salt - it seemed to be a bit salty to me. Did you have that problem?

It sure is the easiest recipe for crunchy crusty bread!

Mrs.Rabe said...

It's been hot here too, this summer!

I am so enjoying the Autumn weather.

Your bread looks wonderful, I wonder if spelt could be used in place of the regular flour?

AuntLou said...

Thank you for a lovely little "trip" into your home and heart. Sister's vest is lovely! I tried sewing a nightgown by hand, without a pattern. When I was nearly finished, I tried it on and didn't like the yoke & strap placement. I still haven't finished it... it was a summer nightie! :)
God bless you.
known to some as
Aunt Lou

Mia said...

Dear Lindsey,
I was actually surprised when I saw the recipe on Hannah's site--Its encouraging to see she enjoyed it as well!
I did notice the recipe called for 3 TBsp of salt, so I reduced it to 2.5 TBsp and it tastes great :)
Mrs. Rabe,
I've been hearing great things about spelt flour, although I haven't tried it yet.
Because spelt is more 'specialty' the measurements may be different, so I'm not sure :/
Thanks for stopping by!!
Aunt Lou,
Thank you for your sweet comment, I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!
I too have a similar summer project yet to be finished, I can relate :)

In Christ,

dlogan said...

HI Mia,
I lOVE the Artisan Bread book. At first I was worried that the bread dough was too sticky and wet, but like magic it baked up beautifully. Love, love your blog. Darby

Civil Folks said...

Mia, The bread was delicious! We slathered it with real butter and homemade preserves. A supper fit for any king!

Your new look is wonderful, too. Glad we are friends.


Unicorn Jones said...

I *love* your sister's crocheted vest! Does she sell her goods? I would love to buy an exact copy of the vest for around $50 (plus shipping). Let us know!


Lady Farmer said...

Your cottage and gardens are just so simple and refreshing! I love the look of the roses against thenew picket fence! (I'm with Mr. Hawthorne ~ I could spend all of these beautiful sunny days out of doors before we must spend most of our winter days indoors!)
Your brother has been one busy beaver chopping all that wood!
And your sisters crocheted vest is amazing! I simply loved the last sweater that she made ~ I had hoped to get the pattern but did not find the link.:~{
I had checked out that bread book from the library but did not have time to give any of those recipes a try. Now I think I will have to check it out again! Your loaves looks delish!
Your kitty and hen are sweet ~ and your hand stitched apron looks very Tasha Tudor!
What a wonderful family you are a part of!

Anonymous said...


I enjoy coming to your blog, and spending a snippet of time with you as I view your beautiful pictures displaying country life.

Your sister's vest is lovely! It's a beautiful fall color. She is very talented indeed if she created that pattern from scratch. Does she plan on making others but in different colors?

The bread looks delicious too. Can you send some my way? :)

Blessings to you and your family,

-Lady Rose

Anonymous said...

Love the bread recipe. Thanks for sharing it. You do such a wonderful job on your blog.


Trish said...

You're photographs are so beautiful! It makes me want to visit GA!!!! how lovely!

Anonymous said...

Just a lurker here, but i love your lovely and simple!You are doing a great job!

Becca said...

Love the photos, your kitty, and your sis's latest crochet creation! Best wishes for a beautiful autumn week.

sunshine said...

Hi there!
I've been reading and Following your blog for a couple of months now and thought that I would finally say "Hello"!
I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading your Blog. It is such a joy to follow along with your family as you live your simple and wonderful life!
I think that you and your family are just lovely. :)
I am going to try out this bread recipe for sure. It looks SO yummy!

Take care,

Leslie said...

Mia, I'm always so excited when I see that you've done a new post. This one is so beautiful! I love your sister's vest and your hand-stitched apron. The lighting in your pictures is lovely--and each shot is so creative. In short, I love your blog!

Cassandra said...

Beautiful pictures! I really want to move out to the country. :)

AJ said...

Lovely pictures...yes, the lighting is perfect...good job. :) You, your sister, and brother are all talented. We're enjoying the cooler weather too over here in Texas. I spend as much time as I can either in the garden, trimming trees, or simply sitting by an evening campfire. Thanks for your blog. It's a nice "get away" for me (and others too I'm sure.) May God Bless You and Your Family.

Happy@Home said...

I have recently discovered your blog. I just wanted to tell you that I think it is beautiful and I always feel so relaxed after reading your posts. Your sister's vest is lovely and your bread looks delicious. I hope to try it soon.

emilia. said...

Wow! Every time I visit your site you always have the most gorgeous pictures up! Just fantastic my dear. :)
Hope you're having a great Monday.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Your apron is divine! I love it! Your bread looks very yummy. Herbs are a essential in flavorful cooking. I don't know what I would do without my herb garden.

As always, I enjoy your simple living and live vicariously through it! LOL!

Shepherdsfold said...

A simple thank you does not seem enough for the JOY it is to visit here bread is on the way.

villarosa said...

What a refreshing delight to visit your blog.... can see others feel the same way! What beauty and grace can be seen in you and your family ~ well ~ your surroundings and your home are restful ~ beautiful ~ peaceful ~ heavenly! T/U for sharing snippets from beautiful created items by each of you and the hard and sweet labor you each do to grace your lives. Leave your blog feeling you and family have a little bit of heaven on earth! T/U again for sharing with us!

Susan B said...

Your photos are so beautiful! You live in such a lovely place. I love your sister's vest. Thank you for sharing the bread looks delicious! Enjoy the rest of your week! :)

Bella Michelle said...

As usual, I always feel like I have been on a vacation when I stop by your blog! Lovely, lovely, lovely!

Bria said...

I love your lifestyle and perspective on life. I'm a country gal too so I can whole heartedly agree that life doesn't get better than fall days and aromas of spice and bread.

Frannie Halbert said...


I really enjoyed reading this. The fall pictures were very beautiful, the apron lovely, and I think I'm going to try the bread (I've been looking for an easy recipe since I'm not experienced with bread!)

May the Lord bless your day, Frannie

Miss Jen said...

Beautiful post, dear Mia!

Happy Fall, sweet friend!!!

Love~ Jen

Nancy said...

I cannot tell you what an absolute delight finding you has been. Mia, the beauty of the Lord our God is upon you; may He establish the work of your hands!

Kendra said...

Hi Mia,

I’m Kendra, and me and my friends just started a 3x Design blog. If you want a free custom item, just go here:
PS: That bread looks yummy!

Rosie said...

Hi Mia,
So nice to hear from you, it is always a bright spot in my day when I see a post from you.
We already had a bit of snow, yesterday morning! Winter has arrived in Wesleytown I fear.
Tell everyone I said hello, and have a nice night!

Lynette said...

Hi Mia,
I love you blog, especially the photos of flowers. I'm starting my own garden and want to have a cottage garden (in the heart of the town!). Can you name some of the flowers for me please as your garden looks wonderfully old fashioned?
Many thanks and Gods blessings on you and your family.

Ms. D said...

Your blog is always enjoyable. I look forward to each post.

Annette said...

It's such a delight to partake of your lovely life through your writing and pictures. It's so wonderful to see you along with your fellow bloggers striving to lead a more faithfilled wholesome life in these troubled times.

deborah said...

Hello. I'm new to your blog. I just wanted to say it's AMAZING! This is my favorite blog ever!!! Please know you're offering great encouragement! Thank you!


Grace said...

I always enjoy having an insight to your life, Mia! I do wish I could visit your sweet little garden, and have one of my own. Someday...
I hope you are having a blessed day!
Many Blessings,
P.S. Your blog is one of my favourites!:)

catherine said...

Found your site love it. It is very inspiring. Beautiful pictures.I just wish you had a rss feed.Oh well I put in my favorites section.simply beautiful.

Micaela said...

Thanks for posting this recipe, Mia! I made it today and I love the taste and smells coming from the kitchen.

I was wondering if you leave the pan of water in with the bread WHILE baking or if it was just for the preheating time?

Thank you!



Mia said...

Dear Elena,
Yes, its left in during the preheating & baking time! I'm so delighted that you tried the recipe :)


Hannah Rose said...

Hi there, Mia! I just came across your blog as I was looking for like-minded young ladies who are living set-apart for Christ. What a great little blog you've got here! Beautiful pictures! I look forward to reading your posts. Follow my blog if you're interested:

Blessings! :)

GailinVirginia said...

I love refinding your inspiring blog...happiness just shines through. The bread was wonderful, used only 2 tbs. of salt tho:)
Be well and have a wonderful
Happy Thanksgiving with your family:)

Mercedes said...

Dear Mia,
Thank you for your lovely blog and a step back into time. Like you, I love watching period movies and the dress of their day.

I was wondering if you might share where you found the pattern for your apron. I love it. I don't think I would make it by hand and I applaud you for your diligence. It looks lovely on you.

I have to say, I admire the way you do not draw attention to yourself. Like you, I too, am a believer in Jesus Christ. I would rather lift Him up, than lift up myself.