"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

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Quiet January Days


How I love the quiet January days, the frost tipped trees & having time to sit & knit after the business of Christmas time.
The weather has been kind to us in this part of England, yes it is cold but the sun is shinning & we have had some beautiful January days.
You can see glimpses of Spring all around us with daffodils popping up through the hard ground. Forsythia & Spring Snowflakes are flowering so very early in the year in the garden.
As I sit & write the birds are in full chorus, they have been enjoying the strings of cranberries left over from Christmas.
~

I have started a wonderfully simple 1930's Bow Scarf pattern that came in the post the other day.
This one is for myself  then I will make two smaller ones for the twins.
I can see this pattern being used again & again.
I love the feminine style of it.
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There was a little mincemeat left over from Christmas so I added some diced cooking apple & made sweet pinwheels for Saturday tea.
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A sprinkling of icing sugar over the top.
They tasted like danish pastries.
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I love books & found this lovely book Crafts of the Countryside in a charity shop in our nearby market town. It is full of things to do, the girls & I would like to make some corn dollies in the Autumn, they have a step to step guide inside to make them.
I finished Cranford & really enjoyed it, the characters are wonderful.
 I am now reading A Country Calender by Flora Thompson. The book starts out with a life story about Flora written by Margaret Lane. 
Once again I am transported back by Flora, she has a special gentle way of writing & describing all the countryside around her in such detail.
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Kitty playing with her sewing boards which George finds such fun.
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Warm fruit pudding with custard.
My parents brought over a large amount of blackcurrants last year which I froze.
They had such an abundance last year, too much for them to use.
Along with some of our raspberries from the freezer & two cooking apples I made a fruit pudding for Sunday dinner.
The blackcurrants gave such a wonderful flavour, I will be making this again.

I use the same sponge recipe for most things, fairy cakes, sponge cakes, tray bakes & so much more.
Just spread it over the fruit & sugar & bake for around 50 minutes.
2 ozs Margarine
2 ozs Sugar
Beat together
2 ozs Self Raising flour
1 egg
a little milk
Beat all these together & use as wished.
I trebled the recipe for the fruit pudding.
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All bubbly & ready to be served.
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After our Sunday dinner we went for a lovely walk over the fields.
It was a truly beautiful day.
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Early snowflakes flowering.
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The field waiting for the sheep in the Spring.
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Finding bare beauty in the trees.
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Little Mary.
I love the way little ones find such happiness in so many things.
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A patched up field gate, we have so many interesting gates & hedgerows around us.
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Looking for Peter Rabbit.
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A pretty little stream that flows in to a river in our nearby town.
I love the way the ivy blankets this old tree this time of year.
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Thank you my dear readers for all your kind words & your New Year wishes.
May 2015 be a happy & healthy one for us all.
Fondly Michelle
~


43 comments:

  1. Your grass is green in January! I will have to look for Flora Thompson's "A Country Calendar." I have two books by other authors that she illustrated and did not realize there was one about and by her. Are your "Snowflake" flowers Narcissus? We have a first flowering bulb called "Snowdrops" (Galanthus) but they are much smaller and don't appear until March.

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    1. They do say England's green & pleasant land, our grass stays green all year round.
      We have snow drops too but they have not shown there little heads yet. Snowflakes are so pretty with little white heads with green spots, like skirts. You will find a better photo online, we have narcissus too, I have some in a pot in the hall, they have started to flower even though George likes to nibble anything green.
      Fondly Michelle

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  2. We have plenty of grass here too, waiting for this years lambs when we get them.
    I used the last of our mincemeat with a little apple too this weekend. I made a turnover. I prefer your idea though.
    Gill

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    1. Thank you Gill for your lovely comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  3. Our weather, to the west of you, is anything but quiet, and in a coastal area my heart is yearning for frost, and snowfall too ~~~ I love the bareness of the trees in winter, and favour it more than the full, leaf~laden boughs of summer.
    A 'go to' basic sponge is a kitchen must for whatever is needed quickly. My freezer is about to start giving up the fruits frozen from last summer's harvest as well. I have never made a sponge pudding the way you shared so I will be trying this in a day or so with my own blackcurrants.
    Mincemeat pinwheels are always a treat and I love your idea of adding some apple. Try them with some grated marzipan too!
    You have made me hungry now ~~~ goes off to the kitchen to turn on the oven ~~~
    ~~~Deb in Wales~~~

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    1. I think we all have wind coming, are you very near the sea Deborah.
      I will try the mincemeat with marzipan next year, it feels so good to use everything up & not waste a thing.
      Enjoy your fruit pudding.
      Fondly Michelle

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  4. Dear Michelle, has the whole reason, the days after the Christmas, they are specially calm after so many celebration. In my birthday, last year they gave me a few precious fabrics and now I am doing a quilt of patchwork that takes the plate dresden, it is it marvellous be able to dedicate the free moments to do the things that more we like. His scarf is very feminine, he has to stay very well when it is finished..
    An embrace.
    Maria del Carmen.

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    1. Hello Maria,
      Your quilt sounds wonderful, I love to quilt but have not done any for a few years.
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  5. Hello,
    I found your delightful blog through a comment you left on The Enchanting Rose.
    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed browsing around your lovely space on the Web!
    New follower here!

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment.
      I haven't been blogging long & am enjoying all the friends I am making.
      Fondly Michelle

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  6. I am new too. What a lovely house you have
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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    1. Welcome Julie,
      Thank you for your kind comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  7. Here I am in New York USA and everything is brown or covered in snow. Snow makes things brighter but it has been frightfully cold at night! Your little girls are darling and I love their red coats and hats. So sweet. I think I shall enjoy your bog. Seems like it is very, very interesting. Hope 2015 is a blessing.

    Susannah

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  8. Welcome Susannah,
    We have been so lucky this Winter with our weather in our area.
    Thank you for your lovely comment.
    Keep Warm.
    Fondly Michelle

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  9. Oh, my goodness! Your blog, your life are so lovely! I'm so happy I came for a visit - I saw a comment you left with Lilacs and Springtime. As a Michelle, I regularly like to visit other blogs by ladies named Michelle. Silly, I suppose, but there it is. I live in Oregon, USA, have 7 children, and our home is "only" 100 years old - so new compared to yours! We, too, have green grass, our winters tend to be damp, chilly, and wet - which I rather love (though would prefer snow!) I absolutely look forward to following along with your life.

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    1. Welcome Michelle,
      It is so lovely to hear from you & to hear about were you live.
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  10. Hi my name is Diane and I live in Kent UK. I absolutely love your site. I am new to reading blogs and found yours by accident. I love primitive living, the good life, reading, painting and sewing and find your life so inspirational. I have been trying (very hard) to go back to the simple life and find your ideas brilliant. Will be an avid follower, cannot wait for another blog. Take care Diane

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    1. Welcome Diane,
      Oh I love Kent, we use to live down South & spent many a happy day in Darling Buds Country. In fact that inspired us so much to live the good life & we have a Sidney too.
      Can not wait to hear more from you.
      Fondly Michelle

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  11. Hello Michelle,
    The twins look so lovely in their pretty red coats!
    And everything is so appetizing that you have made:-)
    We certainly have the same taste in books!!
    I always enjoy coming over to visit you!! Have a wonderful joyous week! Many Blessings and Warmth, Linnie

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    1. Hello Linnie,
      This is such a nice book, I do look forward to snuggling up before going to sleep enjoying this book.
      Fondly Michelle

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  12. hello michelle,
    all your food looks so good.thanks for the inspiration.love the spring-flowers on the table.wonderful books!!!!
    we have cloudy days with rain and wind.
    wish you a cosy weekend,
    regina

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    1. Hello Regina,
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      We have had the same sort of weather today with a little snow too.
      Keep warm.
      Fondly Michelle

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  13. Hi Michelle.. So nice to read your post and don't know how I missed it for a bit.. Better late then never. smile.. Your baking is awesome if I must say and so love reading all of your doings with your sweet family... Have a great weekend.. xo

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    1. Thank you Faye for your kind words.
      I am going shopping for the few bits I need for the preserves tomorrow, I can not wait to make them.
      Fondly Michelle

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  14. I've just discovered your lovely blog and I'm going to add you to my reading list.

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    1. Thank you.
      I am really enjoying your blog, so glad I found it.
      Kindly Michelle

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  15. Oh my, knitting from vintage patterns is a passion of mine. I made some wonderful togs for my boy Jack when he was small. Loving your pinwheels, I had forgotten all about them. That light dusting of icing sugar makes them look extra special. Jean
    X

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    1. Thank you very much Jean for your kind words.
      I do love vintage patterns & have just come back from the wool shop.
      Fondly Michelle

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  16. I've just discovered your blog too, through Frugal in Suffolk's blog. Your photos are beautiful and you do some lovely things with your family. Which part of Lincolnshire do you live in? We lived in Lincolnshire for 8 years before moving to the north of Scotland.

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    1. Welcome.
      We live in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
      Thank you for your kind words.
      Fondly Michelle

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  17. Hello michelle I just hopped over from frugal in suffolk. So glad I found you, your blog reminds me of my childhood growing up in a large family. Love your photos, especially your girls out for a winter walk wearing those gorgeous red coats. :)

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  18. Hello from Norway, your blog looks so interesting. I am now a follower. Love the header, what a lovely kitchen! Pam

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    1. Welcome Pam in Norway,
      Thank you for your kind words.
      Fondly Michelle

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  19. Hello Michelle,
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and allowing me the chance to visit yours, it looks wonderful and I'm looking forward to catching up. I love the style of scarf you are making and have a few knitted by kind friends. Did you know it is called The Miss Marple stark in knitting circles? Thank you for the sponge recipe, we always have plenty of stewed apples ready for such a topping.

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  20. Sorry, something went awry and I wasn't allowed to finish my comment nor correct "stark" to scarf!!
    I'm going to stitch a few hexys now then have a look at your Pinterest boards.
    Hen xxx

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    1. I didn't know that, it is a nice simple scarf to make & it makes it more special now I know it is a Miss Marple scarf. In fact I was knitting one the other night while watching Joan Hickson in Murder at The Vicarage.
      I use the sponge over apples to, we call it Eve's Pudding.
      Don't wear you fingers out on those little Hexy's.
      Fondly Michelle

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  21. Only found your blog today. What a lovely read. Look forward to more.

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    1. Welcome,
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  22. Hello. Glad I've found your lovely blog. Reminding me of growing up the youngest of 7 children!! Wish I had homeschooled ours...especially the youngest who though bright as a button always struggles getting it onto paper. Looking forward to future glimpses of your life and home. You've inspired me to get creative again whilst still waiting to move house. J. x

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  23. Welcome,
    We did not home school our oldest children but I am so glad we do the twins, life is a learning curve.
    Fondly Michelle

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  24. Hi Michelle. I just found your blog via your comment on Faye's blog. I love the photos of your home and the countryside. We are in the middle of summer here in Australia and some days it cools us down to see photos of the snow etc. in the Northern Hemisphere :-)

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    1. Welcome in Australia,
      Thank you for your lovely comment, hope you are not too hot.
      Fondly Michelle

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