"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, 23 February 2015

A Week of Special Days


Spring has been showing its pretty face here in our small English village.
Little green shoots are popping up all over the garden bringing hopes of warm days full of sunshine.
All the fields around us are either filled with wheat or ploughed ready for this years sowing. 
Soon the two grass meadows next to our garden will be busy with Spring lambs & their mothers.
Our hazel trees are so pretty with their catkins all golden in the first real sunshine of the year.
Hazel nuts are said to be the nuts of knowledge, wisdom & inspiration.
This I read in The Country Calender by Flora Thompson.
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The sacred hazel's bloom is shed,
The nuts of knowledge harvested.
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A Country Calender & other writings was a lovely book about the changing seasons which included the book Heatherly about Flora's {Laura's'} life after she left Candleford.
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This past week has been filled with some special celebrations, knitting, baking, reading & special family times. Soon those days inside will become days outside, filled with planting & digging.
The book I am reading now is Betty's Wartime Diary 1939 ~ 1945.
The name Betty drew me to this book as it was my grandmother's name, she was such a special lady who has inspired my life so much.
Betty lived in Norfolk & had a wonderful cat called Albert that she adored.
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Wartime Chocolate Pudding.
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We watched the Wartime Kitchen Garden last week after Melanie from Cosy Living told me it was available again.
After watching Ruth Mott making this wartime pudding I thought I would make it, we do love a good old fashioned steamed pudding.
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This recipe is low in sugar, the carrot replaces some of the sweetness.
Recipe from my Wartime Kitchen Garden book.
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The finished pudding with custard.
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I was a little nervous at how it would go down with the children, I should not have been.
It all went, with calls for can you make it again Mum please.
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I made the seed cake again this time with lemon zest in the cake mixture.
Then I drizzled it with a glaze made with lemon juice.
We preferred it with the glaze.
Thank you Deborah from A garden in the Shire for your lovely memory of seed cake & telling me about the icing. I didn't have any orange water in like Deborah remembered but had some lemons left from Pancake Day.
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A few treats for a family Valentines Day.
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The twins made small heart shaped chocolates with fudge inside.
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A little Valentines Day tea.
The girls made little decorated hearts for a lovely table decoration.
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Mary's tea cosy.
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Bless her she was so excited when this one was finished, it makes a cheery note to the kitchen table.
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Wholemeal Cherry Cake.
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I had the last of the beautiful ground flour from our trip to Lode Mill to use by the end of this month so made a cherry cake.
I always use white flour for this cake but after using wholemeal flour this is the way I will always make it.
It was so moist with a lovely flavour.
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Another church family fun day, this one was for Shrove Tuesday.
Daisy & Mary decorating pancakes.
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The children made their own pancake batter.
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Kitty loves pancakes.
She enjoyed orange juice & sugar on hers.
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Making some pretty masks using ribbons, glitter & jewels.
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Kitty wearing the mask Daisy made.
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A fun pancake game.
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It is just around the corner, Spring time & warm sunshine.
We popped to our little garden centre & got a few supplies for the garden.
It is such fun to choose with the children what we will grow in the garden this year.
We still need to get some beetroot & tomato seeds & when it is warmer strawberry plants for our new bed.
I can't wait to get outside.
~


Thank you dear readers for all your lovely comments & kind words.
Fondly Michelle
~

52 comments:

  1. I truly enjoy your beautiful blog.
    Would you allow me to add your blog to my favorites on my blog?
    I am at www.teachtheyoungerwomen.blogspot.com
    have a blessed day.
    Shirley in Virginia

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    1. Hello Shirley,
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      I would love to go your favourites, thank you.
      I will take a peek at your blog in a little while.
      Fondly Michelle

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  2. Dear Michelle ~ another super entry, and I loved reading about the Wartime Chocolate Pudding. Carrots stood in for many things during the war ~ even Mock Apricot Jam made with carrots. I am certain Marguerite Patten would be proud of your steamed pudding!
    So pleased to see you tried the icing! I'm now wondering how it would be with a lime icing ~ how one thought travels and becomes something else!
    ~~~Deb

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    1. Thank you Deborah for your kind words.
      We loved the chocolate pudding, I am always on the look out for cheap meals & with low sugar as well we will make this many times. I love Marguerite Patten as well & have many of her books.
      Lime sounds nice, hope you make one.
      Fondly Michelle

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  3. Churches didn't serve up pancakes when I was little!
    Your girls look as if they had great fun celebrating Shrove Tuesday. I'm looking forward to getting out on the garden too, everything is very behind here on the edge of Suffolk because we catch the cold east winds. Hurry up Asparagus :-)

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    1. It was a church fun day at a lovely hall in our nearest village, it is nice to get together.
      Are you near the coast, we are a 30 minute drive from the sea.
      Fondly Michelle

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  4. dear michelle,
    i watched the wartime kitchen garden too. the chocolate pudding sounds good.the valentines tea table looks wonderful.love the tea cosy. it looks after a nice family church day with many fun for the kids. wish you luck with your garden.
    thanks for this wonderful post.
    wish you a beautiful week,
    blessings regina

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    1. Thank you Regina for your lovely comment, yes the chocolate pudding was lovely.
      Fondly Michelle

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  5. What a wonderful way to celebrate shrove Tuesday, and an excellent valentine table, :-)

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    1. Thank you Dawn, we had a lovely morning.
      Fondly Michelle

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  6. Your Valentine's Day tea table looks so sweet and inviting. I recently found a pattern for a knitted tea cozy similar to the one in your last post, you have inspired me! : ) I too am anticipating spring but here in NY we have a longer wait. We have had a lot of snow this year. Many blessings to you and your family!

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    1. I can't wait to see your tea cosy Sarah.
      Many blessing to you too.
      Fondly Michelle

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  7. Everything looks so peaceful! I'll have to check into Wartime Garden, those shows are all so interesting and there's so much wisdom to be gleaned from them. Have you ever watched Tales from the Green Valley?

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    1. Yes Jane we have seen Tales of the Green Valley, I love making things from scratch with our hands. The farm & valley they filmed in is beautiful, I think the farm is owned by the older man in the series, sorry I can not remember his name.
      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      Fondly Michelle

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  8. Dear Michelle , once again a lovely post. The cakes look delicious.is that a bunnykins plate I spot on the Valentine's tea table, my girls have the camping bunnies plate, bowl and cup, they got them for their christening.I wondered if you make wine? I am about to bottle some up and hadn't noticed any in your posts.Clare x

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    1. Yes, that was my plate from my childhood, Kitty uses it & Mary has a Mrs Tiggywinkle plate.
      Andy does wine & beer, I must do a post about it. I am not really a drinker, just one at Christmas.

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  9. I love hazelnuts especially the hazelnut-flavored organic half and half for my coffee. But I've not been able to get it for over 2 months now. My store tells me there is a shortage of hazelnuts and when they do start making the half and half again it will probably cost a lot more. Your cherry cake sounds delicious. I'd ask for more of that!

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    1. The squirrels love the hazelnuts here too, so you have to be quick.
      Fondly Michelle

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  10. Hi, have just discovered your blog - how very beautiful it is both in writing and pictures. I will now make myself a cup of tea and sit down to read some more!! Just my cup of tea!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment.
      I hope you enjoyed your reading & your cup of tea.
      Fondly Michelle

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  11. Hi Michelle

    Lovely post! All your baking looks absolutely delicious! I'll have to try the wartime chocolate pudding.

    I'm pleased to hear you watched wartime kitchen and garden, I've been watching coal house at war recently, another favourite :-)

    I love Flora Thompson! It is good to read about her life after lark Rise to candleford, in Heatherly isn't it.

    Love the knitted tea cosy! I'm just learning to knit myself right now, knitting my little one a cardigan, hopefully I'll be doing a blog post about it soon.

    I hope you are having a lovely day,

    Take care
    Melanie x

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    1. I have the coal house dvds too Melanie, the little lad making noises from his gas mask is so funny, I can just see Sidney doing that.
      I would love to see your knitting, I only started a couple of years ago & find it so relaxing in the evening. I have started a wartime long sleeved jumper for me, it will take me a little while.
      Lovely to hear from you.
      Fondly Michelle

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    2. Fantastic series, I love it! Lol, yes that is funny, I bet wartime children had great fun making silly noises with their gas masks!
      I am looking forward to seeing the jumper you are knitting, I usually crochet but thought I'd try my hand at knitting.
      Take care
      Melanie x

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  12. Michelle,
    What a lovely post. The tea cozy is adorable. I love the bright colors. And the family day at your church looks like a lot of fun. Pancakes…yum!
    I'm so glad that you mentioned that the Wartime Kitchen and Garden shows were available again. I was only able to find the first two episodes a couple of years ago, and I so wanted to see the others. I found them online last night. Yea!
    I have Ruth Mott's cookbook and now I am now inspired to try to chocolate pudding recipe. Can you give out your cherry cake recipe? I would like to try that. Cherry is one of my favorite flavors.
    My kids and I absolutely love Lark Rise to Candleford, and have been watching it over and over for years. I have read some of Flora Thompson's writings but not all. Heatherly is one I haven't read yet. I'm going to start that soon.
    Thank you for your writing and photos. Such fun when I see a new post from you. Blessings to you and your family!

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    1. Hello Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, I am so glad you found the Wartime Kitchen Garden to watch, I was so happy when I found out it was on again.
      Hope you enjoy the chocolate pudding, every Ruth Mott recipe I have made is lovely.
      Fondly Michelle

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  13. My chum who is interested in everything World War Two, often makes cakes and meals from original books. I have to say 99% of the time they turn out great. She even made an Anderson Shelter Christmas cake. I too cannot wait to get planting my 2015 seeds. Just got to hold my nerve for a few more weeks yet, as our greenhouse is unheated. I love the tea cosy.

    Jean
    x

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    1. Our greenhouse is unheated too jean but it will not be long.
      Does your friend have a blog, what fun to make a cake like that, I made a little cottage cake for the girls last birthday.
      Fondly Michelle

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  14. The pudding sounds delicious! I bought a Victorian pudding mould before Christmas and this looks like a great inaugural recipe for it. I love using wartime recipes because there is hardly any sugar involved.
    Your daughter's tea cozy is just lovely; she should be proud.
    Jenn

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    1. I love to use old kitchenalia & old recipes, we all need less sugar.
      Fondly Michelle

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  15. It was lovely to read your blog. Thank you for the pudding recipe. I'm going to try it. Greetings from California.

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  16. Thank you for your lovely comment, the pudding was lovely.
    Fondly Michelle

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  17. Fun to read your blog and it looks like the everyone had a great time.

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  18. I think I say this every time I visit you, but I just love coming here - I feel like I am actually in your warm kitchen enjoying your sweet company :)

    My dear friend, you always make such delightful treats - you should have your own bakery! :)

    And the hearts that your dear girls made are simply precious. Thank you for blessing my heart and for sharing your loveliness at ROI. Hugs to you!

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    1. I am so glad you enjoy your visits Stephanie, maybe one day you will come to England.
      I will tell the twins you loved their hearts.
      Fondly Michelle

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  19. Dear Michelle, once again is wonderful to visit his blog. You are a real artist with the confectionary, everything meets delicious!!. The work of the girls with the hearts of chocolate is marvellous, the table should have remained very attractive. Up to the following entry.
    An embrace for all.
    Mary Carmen

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    1. Thank you Mary for your lovely comment, the girls will be pleased to hear that you thought their table was attractive.
      Fondly Michelle

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  20. Dear Michelle...what a wonderful time it must have been.

    That cake looks so good and delicious ;0) I am so intrigued by the book that you shared, that it is now in my cart at Amazon... and the other one that you shared awhile ago, my year in the 18th century is just a marvelous read!

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with me this snowy day ...

    mari

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    1. Hello Mari,
      So glad you are enjoying your reading, I love books.
      So glad you enjoyed your visit.
      Keep warm.
      Fondly Michelle

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  21. Hello, Michelle ~ Your wonderful post continue to delight me ~ after reading the last one I had the funniest dream….I wrote you that if you were ever to come to the US to call and have tea with me at my house. Your husband then called and said you were arriving on Monday and could come. I asked how many of you were coming and he said all eight children and the two of you and you could stay for a week. I woke up laughing and wondering where I would put you all! With warm regards, Sandy

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    1. Hello Sandy,
      Well it would only be five children with us as the other three have flown the nest.
      Were about's in America do you live.
      So glad you enjoyed the post, I love hearing from you.
      Fondly Michelle

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    2. Dear Michelle, I live in upstate New York close to Massachusetts in a rural setting ~ If you do ever come to visit the US it would be lovely to meet you all ~ I still laugh when I think of how I worried about having enough beds for you and all the children ~ dreams can be so funny! I thought you would enjoy hearing that I am going to Tasha Tudor's house and garden tour again this summer ~ It is such a very wonderful place still full of her spirit and lovingly cared for by her family. Such a treat!
      Wish you all could come along ~ Warm regards, Sandy

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    3. Oh we have been quite near you, we spent some time in MA & went to Old Sturbridge then travelled down to Lancaster County through new York.
      Enjoy Tasha Tudors house, it would be a dream for me to go there.
      Fondly Michelle

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  22. Hello , I have just stumbled over your blog and i love it , I think the tea cosy is fantastic and am going to look out for the Victorian kitchen garden , I loved it first time round , XXX

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    1. Welcome,
      We managed to get the Victorian Kitchen Garden on dvd, hope you find it.
      Fondly Michelle

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  23. Hello Michelle!
    I was certain that I left you a comment early on, but I often have a bad habit of writing my heart out, then getting side tracked and forgetting to push send!!!
    I so enjoyed coming back again and seeing and sharing in all the delights!!
    Oh how I LOVED watching Victorian Kitchen /and Kitchen Garden with Ruth and Harry!! ( I literally watched these, on youtube, back to back obsessively over and over until poof they were gone)!!! I'm glad to have some books but I can only hope that we could get a US version over here!
    Sending warmth, love, many many sweet Blessings Linnie

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    1. Hello Linnie,
      I am so glad you loved Ruth & Harry, we certainly can learn a lot from them even though they are both gone now.
      Enjoy your day.
      Fondly Michelle

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  24. What a delightful read! Thank you for joining the Art of Home-Making Mondays! I love the feel of this place of yours :) I look forward to following along...

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

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  25. Back again Michelle. I've just put the Wholewheat Mincemeat Cake recipe up for you on my blog (CodlinsandCream2). I am sure you will love it - such a moist cake and definitely one of your five a day!

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    1. Thank you, I will have a look.
      I can't wait to try it.
      Fondly Michelle

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  26. I'm catching up on all your wonderful posts. When our children were small we lived in Africa and I made some very successful marmalade with grated carrots, as the only oranges I could find there were bright green.

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