Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Afternoon Tea…



 Hello dear friends and a happy July to you!

I am delighted to be back in the lovely world of blogging...as I mentioned to a very sweet blog friend the other day, I miss ‘my home on the web’ so dearly when I am absent!

This week has been quite an industrious one, for we have had quite a lot of fresh produce come in which needed to be preserved, and I also spent two afternoons babysitting a precious little one year old boy…

In just a few days’ time I will be visiting a very dear friend of mine to help her celebrate her eighteenth birthday!
She will be having a lovely high tea, so I am busy preparing for being away by making sure I have enough stock for the market…

 
But…today is a beautiful, sunshiny winter’s day, and we are enjoying some much needed peace and quiet at home after all the frantic activity of the last few days…

~

One of our favourite things to do on a day like today is to bake a special tea time treat, and these
delicious scones were just perfect…

I love using my heart cookie cutter to make heart shaped scones…something a little different and special…
Our scone recipe is a simple one which we have used for many years now. 
I don’t even know where or when we first discovered it, but I do know I have made several changes to the ingredients and method over the years…


Rubbing the butter into the sifted flour gives the scones a shortbread texture which is absolutely sublime when served with the homemade raspberry jam and fresh cream…”


Buttermilk Scones



3 tbsp buttermilk

225g cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

75 butter

40g castor sugar

1 egg, beaten



Sift together the flour and salt. 

Rub in the butter till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg, castor sugar and buttermilk.

Add to the dry ingredients.

Mix and knead lightly to form a smooth dough, then roll out to about 5cm thick.

Use the rim of a glass dipped in flour or a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and place

on a tray lined with baking paper.

Brush a little buttermilk over the tops of the scones and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for

About 15 minutes, or until golden brown and done.



If like me you are watching your intake of sugar, how about using a drizzle of raw honey instead of jam…honey and whipped cream is a delightful combination!
…Finely grated cheddar is also scrumptious on these scones, and is perfect if you are serving these as a light lunch…


I made the jam just a few minutes before serving as my method is a very simple one…
I used two cups of raspberries (fresh or frozen will work) and just half a cup of sugar. 
I put the berries and sugar in a small pot and brought it to a boil over a medium heat…
I then boiled the fruit and sugar together, stirring almost constantly to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the mixture had a jam like consistency and a lot of the liquid had evaporated…

   
As this jam is more fruit to sugar, it would be advisable to store it in the fridge.
Be aware that it also won’t gel as regular jam would…  Using a lower quantity of sugar means your jam hasn’t got a sickly sweet taste, but rather a gorgeously rich and fruity flavour…


 Serve scones warm with a pot of freshly brewed tea of your choice…
Set your tea table in a simple yet elegant fashion using tea cups and a pretty tablecloth…
A vase of wildflowers set in the centre of the table adds a graceful touch to the scene, and place freshly baked scones in little baskets around the table…
Invite a dear friend to join you, or simply enjoy as a family…

What is your favourite tea time treat...?

Wishing each of you a beautifully blessed month of July!

   ~

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Simple Pleasures...


"As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful.  They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness – just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breathe it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder


 Marmalade making season has arrived…


One of the great joys of winter is the sight of orange trees laden with beautiful fruit, ripe and ready for the plucking…
I love the heady citrusy aroma of boiling fruit wafting through the house, and the many jars of gorgeous homemade marmalade adorning the pantry shelves…
Some to be given to dear friends…others to be enjoyed in the months to come with tea and toast on Sunday mornings…

~

  Bright orange and yellow calendula is in bloom…


My heart swells with sheer delight at the sight of beautifully blooming calendula in the kitchen garden…
Every morning after the dew has evaporated, we step outside to cut the lovely open flowers and lay them to dry on a tray lined with muslin…
We have hopes of attempting soap making later this year, so we are drying as much calendula as possible for use in the soaps…

~


  Fresh eggs daily…


Is there anything as delightful as strolling to the henhouse to collect freshly laid eggs…?
Watching the chickens peck at the seed thrown to them and seeing them enjoy a healthy dust bath is just one of the simple things I love in life…
It is with a sad heart that I report that one of our little hens was attacked by a bird of prey…I do hope we can increase our little flock with the addition of a few more hens this spring…

~

“We gather simple pleasures like daises along the way.”

~ Louisa May Alcott

 
Warm crusty bread to enjoy with hearty soups…

With the arrival of chilly winter days, I am in search of some deliciously hearty soups to enjoy with freshly baked bread…
Coming home after a brisk walk in the crisp outdoors to the smell of baking bread is wonderfully comforting…
And kneading bread is the perfect way to warm up…smiles…

~

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder


 
 What better way to start the day than with a steaming cup of coffee and a precious devotional to ponder on throughout the day…?

Quiet days spent at home mean plenty of time to dwell on the majesty of the Lord…
It is a sweet blessing to daily immerse myself in His Word and to spend time in prayer…
He is teaching me valuable lessons about contentment, and leading me into a closer, deeper relationship with Him as I seek to know Him more fully…

~

"Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition."

~ Jeremiah Burroughs


 How cosy the house is when the fire is lit…

I am so grateful for our little wood stove which warms up the living area…
Children gather around the fire with their books…knitting needles and chunky wool are brought out…nourishing soups are placed on the stovetop to slowly simmer till dinnertime…
I love the smell of wood burning…there is something quite satisfying about it…

“If you have been afraid that your love of beautiful flowers and the flickering flame of the candle is somehow less spiritual than living in starkness and ugliness, remember that He who created you to be creative gave you the things with which to make beauty and the sensitivity to appreciate and respond to His creation.”

~ Edith Schaeffer

~




The peas are beginning to flower…

Even though the garden has settled into a quite state as the weather turns colder, there are still
a few crops to brighten up the winter garden…
The peas are beginning to flower…the celery is growing bigger, and I am dreaming of
crisp spring mornings spent tending the vegetable patch…
There is a lot of compost to be made in the next few weeks as well as fences to be put up before the
growing season begins…

~

“I have often though that if heaven had given me a choice of my position and calling, it should have been on a rich spot of earth, well watered, and near a good market for productions of the garden.  No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth.”

~ Jefferson

~

As a new week and month begins, I pray that each of you will be inspired to find joy in the simplicity of life…in the little things that may seem insignificant,
but are gloriously lovely to those who choose to see them…
We are richly blessed, and we should striveto seek the beauty in everyday objects and praise the Lord for the gift of them…

~

Have a beautiful day, sweet friends…it is always such a joy having you stop by and I pray you leave feeling refreshed and encouraged…


  ~


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