Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Patchwork of Days

~Taking time to mend a favourite dress~

How delightful to wake up to cooler mornings...indeed even the sun has begun to set sooner, all signs of a new season that I welcome wholeheartedly!
~ Throughout our cottage schooling years, I'm certainly grateful that my Mother took delight in the wonder and beauty of books...encouraging us to explore our various interests. We visited the town library *quite* often..ah, the memories!!
~In the kitchen baking Sticky Caramel Rolls: *1 cup milk (warm) *1 pkg. of yeast * 1/4 cup sugar * 1/4 cup melted butter *1 tsp. salt *1.5 cups of flour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dough ingredients. Add 2 eggs & 2 cups of flour...mix by hand and begin to knead until smooth. In an oiled bowl, insert the dough and let rise until doubled (about 1 hr). Punch down the risen dough, divide in half and let it rest a few minutes.
~Mix 2/3 cup sugar with 3 tsp ground cinnamon--set aside. In a small bowl, have 1/4 cup softened butter set aside as well. Take half the dough, shape into a rough rectangle, about 9x13 in. Brush with half of the butter, and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar. Roll and cut into 12 pieces, then repeat the process with the second half of the dough ;)
~Caramel sauce: 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 2TBsp table syrup. Instead of corn syrup, I used Log Cabin table syrup--a great alternative and adds a lovely maple taste as well.
In my cast-iron pan, I poured half the brown sugar mixture in the bottom of the skillet...Place the rolls, side down into the caramel. Space them evenly, eight on the outside, four in the middle.
Repeat with the second part of the dough in a seperate cast iron pan (or cake pan). Cover both with a damp towel and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 mins or until golden brown...
~Cool ten minutes and then turn upside down onto a plate so that the glaze is on top ;) These sticky caramel rolls turned out great, I'll be making them again soon. Enjoy!!
On the side porch, I found my brother practicing weaving together vines he'd found in the woods.
Since then, he's woven quite a few wreaths-- It's a creative project to try :)
Early one morning, we traveled down to the coast to have breakfast on the beach. As we left our home, the dark sky was still illuminated by the stars. Hours later, we arrived--just in time to watch the sun rise.
As the seagulls soared above us, we began to set up our picnic--I had prepared homemade pancakes and syrup, and we brought an assortment of fruit. It was a lovely breakfast. The morning dawn was a beautiful sight across the sea...In the distance we watched as the ships came into port and as the pelicans flew gracefully above the waves.
~ It's nice to be able to take such a spontanious trip down to the coast, just to experience the morning hours. My parents have always shared with us the delights of appreciating the simple things in life-- so even when we go on road trips, our destinations usually involve some aspect of nature, state parks or museums! And we so enjoy it.
~ My mother and sister walking along the shore...
~As we prepared to leave, my brother convinced me to take one last trip out into deeper waters--and I'm glad I did! We collected a nice amount of sea shells :) Soon enough, tourists began to arrive as we were packing up our picnic. The sun was now high in the sky, and we took one last look before we headed home.
~It's fun to go through old catalogs, cutting out images that inspire and spark new ideas!
~ "Next year, I'm going to build a proper cold frame, mark my words, just like the one I saw in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. Now that was a fine piece of craftmanship, with stout brick sides." --Tasha Tudor
~ As I was weeding the Peanut patch, I must admit I had to laugh--why is it that in the garden we're always accompanied by our curious pets...this one in particular having quite the crooked tail, I must say!
~ My father and brother working on the front its finished!
~I take delight in the simplicity of cottage living. The fewness of its objects keep us focused on the beauty of everyday, down to earth things--I do believe there's a satisfaction that comes with leading a quiet life.
~On a sunny afternoon, my mother begins to tidy our old storage shed..
~ This summer, my dear sister graduated from cottage-schooling! One evening, we celebrated together by candle-light on the front porch. My mother presented the certificate, as we all shared stories, thoughts and marveled at how quickly the years have flown by!
~ As I walked through the yard, I turned around to find out I was being followed ;)
~Here's a simple recipe I revised last week..I thought y'all may enjoy it.

~Fried Salmon Cakes~
*14.75 oz can of wild Alaska Salmon, drained *
1/2 cup minced onion
*2 tsp ea. of spicy brown mustard & lemon juice *1
TBsp relish *1/2 tsp ea. of garlic powder & Old bay spice *1/4 cup ea. of cornmeal and flour *1.5 Tbsp parmesan cheese *1 egg
Gently mix all the ingredients together, and form into small patties, I made 14. Arrange the patties on a cookie sheet thats been lightly covered in cornmeal. Refrigerate for atleast 15 mins. In a well oiled pan, cook the cakes until nicely browned on both sides. Serves 4-6. Ah, These turned out so so flavorful!!
~ As September slips into October, the days are getting shorter... Nevertheless, 'tis more of an excuse to bring out the candles and enjoy quiet evenings in the parlour.

Autumn has arrived, indeed.