"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

Monday, 24 November 2014

Cozy Days, Cranford & The Coast.

The Winter in our small corner of the world is a little late in coming this year. 
Outside all is settling down for the Winter & quietly going to sleep. The branches are mostly all bare apart from our beautiful yew & holly trees which line our garden.
Even though there is a nip in the air the cold weather has not settled in yet & we have had some lovely days full of wonderful clear skies.
Inside the cottage Christmas is in the air, our minds are full of idea's of what to make & bake for the special day.
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Lemon Drizzle Cake.

This recipe I have had since our first holiday to Yorkshire as a family. We had three children then & stayed in a beautiful stone cottage in the Yorkshire Moors.
The lady who owned the farm where the cottage was, baked this cake for our arrival & she kindly gave me the recipe. It has become a family favourite & has been baked many times.
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Cream together 5 oz margarine, 6 oz sugar & the grated rind of a lemon.
Then beat in 8 oz self raising flour, 2 eggs & 2 fl oz milk.
Bake in a round cake tin at 160 for 45 mins.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the hot cake, then sprinkle 3 tablespoons of sugar on top.
Remove from tin when cold.
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Lemon Drizzle Cake ready for tea served on Andy's Grandparent's plate that they received on their wedding day.
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Sadly I have finished Larkrise to Candleford.
 I found myself transported to a gentler & slower time reading this book but now I would like to find out what happened to Flora in adulthood.

Now I am reading Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.
My husband bought me a set of c1880 Elizabeth Gaskell books for my birthday this year.
The BBC production is one of my favourite drama's to watch. Cranford covers every emotion & is so amusing, added to this is that it is filmed at the wonderful National Trust village of Lacock. 
All the wonderful period costumes are so simple & beautiful & the sets stunning.
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We decided to take a trip out to the Lincolnshire coast & collect some shells.
There was a crisp chill to the air & we needed to wrap up warm.
We were the only one's there, it was a beautiful time to take in all the beauty of the coast.
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The girls with their Peter Rabbit & Jemima Puddle Duck bags.
These bags go everywhere with them to collect from hedgerows & days out.
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We found some beautiful shells to make some Christmas crafts with.
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Such clear & simple beauty.
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We made some little Christmas mice with pine cones & shells.
All with a little bit of sparkle for Christmas.
The twins love to make gifts & take such joy in giving them.
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Christmas Cake

This year I thought I would bake a different recipe for our Christmas cake & decided upon Delia Smith's Classic Christmas cake.
I have used many recipes over the years & found this one easy & simple to follow.
You can find the recipe at Delia on line.
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All the dried fruit & cherry brandy socking overnight.
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Ready to go in to the oven.
Christmas cakes are baked for a long time at a very low temperature.
 I had to find things to do in the kitchen during that time so I could keep watching the oven as we cook with solid fuel & the temperature goes up & down. I find the best way to keep a steady low temperature is to get it banked up with coal & then shut the damper.
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All baked & now stored away ready to be iced a few days before Christmas.
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Some little knitted bonbon sweets I have made using scraps of wool & ribbon for Kitty & Mary for Christmas.
I do enjoy making gifts, we try to stay away from the crowded shops as much as possible.
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Thank you my dear readers for all your kind words, every one is read & appreciated.
Keep warm.
Fondly Michelle





20 comments:

  1. Good Evening Michelle ~ I have just taken a Lemon Drizzle out of the oven! The house smells of lemons {and cranberries, for I made my relish this afternoon too!} You are the only other person I have seen using a round tin for Lemon Drizzle, which I adore! Have you ever made orange or lime drizzle? Almost as good! Oh, and you won't go wrong with Delia's recipe either.
    Cranford was my next stop after Lark Rise too.
    What a beautiful day you and the girls had for your trip to the beach. I love the beach in late Autumn and Winter. Such pretty ornaments to remember the day with.
    ~~~waving~~~

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    1. Hello Deborah,
      Yes I have made orange drizzle cake but not lime, not sure how that would go down with the little one's. The lovely lady that gave me the recipe used a round tin, she was cook at the National Trust Nunnington Hall.
      I need to string some cranberries but as yet have not seen them for sale.
      Fondly Michelle

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  2. Wonderful pictures, so cozy. I love all the things you've made. The cake looks so delicious. I love the little bonbons.
    Have a great day.

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

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  3. Michelle,

    "Cranford" is a delightful book! I found it years ago, before the movie was made, at a little antique book shop and really enjoyed it. Your lemon drizzle cake looks delicious. And the mice your daughter's made are so cute! How lovely that the shells came from a special outing!

    -Sarah

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    1. Thank you Sarah,
      I read each night before I go to sleep so am a slow reader, I am really enjoying Cranford.
      Fondly Michelle

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  4. Dearest Michelle,
    I was so happy to see a new post up:-)
    I think that I should like to try the cake with the cherries!
    ( I shall have to use a gluten flour mix )
    Every time I see the lovely pictures of the twins it makes me want to paint!! :-) Tell them that the mice are wonderful!!
    Have you seen another book by Flora Thompson called Still Glides The Stream? I have a copy that is designed like the pretty pressed flower version of The Lark Rise book.( I had to send to England for it)
    I think that Elizabeth Gaskill is probably my favorite authors. She has a way of seeing all points of view for her characters, and I just love the movie collections that they made! (I watch them over and over)
    Thank you for another wonderful post!!
    Blessings and warm hugs, Linnie

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    1. Hello Linnie,
      Thank you for the name of another Flora Thompson book, I have hunted on Amazon & have also found a few more of her books, so they will join my next to read pile.
      I love the Elizabeth Gaskill drama's as well, like you I can watch them over & over again.
      Enjoy your day
      Fondly Michelle

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  5. Michelle,
    I am adding the Lemon Drizzle Cake to my menu for this week's Thanksgiving family gathering. I am sure it will be a hit. :-)
    I absolutely adore Lark Rise and Cranford. After reading and watching Lark Rise, I ordered some more books by Flora Thomspson, and also a biography of Flora. It was very interesting! I watch both the Lark Rise and Cranford series over and over with my children. We don't ever tire of them. I think because we all yearn for a quieter and simpler (although much harder!) way of life. I will have to look up the National Trust of the village of Lacock. I have wondered where Cranford was filmed. I am also curious about where Lark Rise was filmed. I will have to research that too. Such beautiful scenery!
    As always, your girls are beautiful. I love their red coats. We also enjoy beachcombing, although we don't live near the coast. We take advantage of it in the summer when we vacation in Florida.
    Have a lovely week. God bless!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Jennifer,
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      I have never been to Lacock it is quite a way away from us, maybe one day. Larkrise was all filmed on set, they built all the buildings, so very clever. I read the company website that made the buildings, I can't remember the name but I am sure it will come up on an internet search.
      We try to make our life as quiet & simple as we can but modern life does have a way of creeping in.
      I would love to hear if you enjoy the lemon drizzle cake.
      Fondly Michelle

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  6. hi michelle,
    i have baked a lemon(orange) drizzle cake , the smell is wonderful.
    your girls are so sweet, love the red coat. Thanks for the wonderful photos from your cosy home.
    have a nice day,
    regina

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

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  7. Dear Michelle, the cake of lemon has a wonderful aspect, already I have taken note to do it. The twins are precious and have done a few very nice gifts. I sit not po of thinking about the books, here in Spain I have not seen them, but it will try to search for Internet. Thank you very much for his recipes and advices. An embrace. Mari Carmen.

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    1. Hello Mari,
      Thank you for your kind words.
      Maybe Spain's Amazon will have the books, hope you find them.
      Fondly Michelle

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  8. Dear Michelle, the lemon cake is fabulous, I take the recipe because I want to try it, I just have to convert ounces to grams. Wonderful beach of Lincolnshire and beautiful candy crochet. How much sweetness and love in your home. A kiss from 'Italy.
    Mirtilla

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    1. Hello Mirtilla,
      Thank you for your sweet words.
      I have been enjoying the photo's on your blog but sadly I only speak English so can not read your words.
      Enjoy the lemon drizzle cake.
      Fondly Michelle

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  9. I enjoyed reading about your trip to the coast and seeing the girls' "mice". I love their red coats and hats!

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    1. Thank you Cathy.
      Our coast line is beautiful in our county.
      Fondly Michelle

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  10. Michelle,
    Such a beautiful coast, you must really enjoy it in the summer. I do love the beach and hunting for shells and starfish. We had a summer house on the beaches of Cape Cod and what summers we had growing up amongst the waves and the fishing boats. I do love your Christmas cake, I am sure that will be quite a treat on Christmas day. I, too, love Cranford and wished the book would just go on and on and on...LOL!
    Warmly,
    Suzanne

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    1. Yes we have a pretty coast Suzanne.
      Your Summer house sounds wonderful, I would love to go to Cape Cod one day.
      Fondly Michelle

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