Getting ready for the Fall season in Florida is different than I imagined. It's still so hot during the day, it's like a continued summer break. Last Fall, we had the opportunity to travel to New England. It was such a lovely time to visit, the trees were golden and the Cape had lot's of stores decorated with pumpkins and mums. It was picturesque.
Sometime over the past year or so I heard about Susan Branch, the watercolor artist and author on Martha's Vineyard. She has a quaint life, and has just finished her latest book 'A Fine Romance'. As a treat, I bought Susan's first book, Heart of The Home and it's just arrived, there's lot's of recipes I hope to try this Fall.
Here's a list of fun family things to do this Fall:
Notes: if you do not intend to make a gluten free cake, replace all the gluten free flours (rice, tapioca, sorghum) with 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour. The cake bakes in two separate times: first for 10 minutes, the remove it from the oven to add the cream topping and bake for an additional 20 minutes. I added cardamom just because it reminds me even more of my mom but you can skip that part or add cinnamon instead.
For the cake: 1/2 cup (80gr) sweet brown rice flour 1/4 cup (30gr) tapioca flour 1/2 cup (65gr) sorghum flour 1/2 cup (100gr) sugar 1 teaspoon ground cardamom pinch of salt 1 teaspoon (5gr) baking powder 3/4 cup (190ml) whole milk 1/3 cup (80ml) oil 1 egg 2 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I like Granny Smith but any kind will do here)
For the topping: 5 1/2 tablespoons(80gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup (100gr) sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare the cake: Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or butter the inside of a 9-inch round baking pan or several 3 to 4-inch baking pans if you want smaller cakes. Place them on a baking sheet and set aside. In large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cardamom, salt and baking powder. Reserve. In another large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and egg until just blended. Slowly pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, whisking well to make sure that everything is well incorporated, about 40 to 50 strokes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s) and arrange the apple slices on top in a circular pattern.
Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Reserve
Bake the cake(s) in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the cake(s) from the oven and spread the creamy butter topping over the top(s). Bake an additional 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean.
You can keep up with my Fall pins, and I'd love to hear your Fall traditions.
High hearts are never long without hearing some new call, some distant clarion of God, even in their dreams; and soon they are observed to break up the camp of ease, and start on some fresh march of faithful service. And, looking higher still, we find those who never wait till their moral work accumulates, and who reward resolution with no rest; with whom, therefore the alternation is instantaneous and constant; who do the good only to see the better, and see the better only to achieve it; who are too meek for transport, too faithful for remorse, too earnest for repose; whose worship is action, and whose action ceaseless aspiration.
Most likely, because that would take work, an act of effort on our parts...and what the hey, it's easier to form an opinion than to practice what we preach.
'What would heaven on earth look like to you'?
By writing a private journal, you can formulate your thoughts. Do research, cross past thoughts out, and re-write, almost as if your a student in college...because after all, we forget, we're students our whole lives.
Those of us in America (as well as other first world countries) are born more fortunate than those in third world countries. We are blessed with a lot of basic needs.
Remember the video by Micheal Jackson, 'We are the World'? It's one of my favorites, listen to the lyrics closely.
Although, we can't save the world, we can give our most precious gift, our hearts. A second favorite, is the Christmas song, 'Do they know it's Christmas time again'.
The gift we get in return from other countries is an opportunity to see how different cultures work, have developed and what does work as opposed to what doesn't work.
In America, serving God, and the middle class family is what we all strive for. The American dream! Somehow, it's slowly slipping away, and thus nostalgia sets in.
What we do have to remember, is that along with 'the way we were' a lot of progression has occurred. And regardless of wealth, race, gender, or orientation an ideal is that we learn to love.
Oh my goodness. I've been wanting to watch this special that was featured on HGTV for years, and I finally found the whole version, without commercials.
Grab a cup of tea, and give me a high five!
I love Candy. She's so poised, graceful and looks so modern for someone whose now sixty-seven years of age.
It seems like Candy was ready to downsize and both her children mention in the video that the 56,000square foot home was a lot of maintenance, but it would have been nice to become a museum of sorts. They could have done tours, and decorated the home for the Holiday's and done a once a year charity gala. I'm thinking along the lines of Graceland.
What do you think?
I'll be following her new journey with her show The Manor in The Sky!
Lately, I've not been doing so well with menu planning, my mind has just been so consumed with other things. But on a whim, I have been getting back into my Menu Monday routine.
On Mondays, I print out the weeks menu planner, and write down meals that would fit in and around our weeks schedule. I take some time on my delicious Pinterest board, to see if I've pinned any new recipe ideas, that I'd like to try for the week also.
From all that dwell below the skies Let songs of hope and faith arise; Let peace, good will, on earth be sung Through every land by every tongue. — adapted from words by Isaac Watts sung to the tune “Old Hundredth
This day, twenty-eight years ago was my parents wedding day in South Africa.
August 10th, 1985
They were twenty-seven and twenty-four.
Left to right: My paternal Granny, my Dad, my Mom, my paternal Grandpa, my maternal Nana
Front: bridesmaids Amanda and Michelle
They were married by a Evangelical Pastor who was one of my dad's best friends at the time. My mom called the church 'happy-clappy' because the congregation would stand up and sing with so much enthusiasm.
My Nana flew out from England for the wedding, and helped my mom make the wedding cake, and with wedding planning. My mom wore a tea-length dress, and peep toe shoes, very similar to my wedding dress and shoes.
After the ceremony, they had a reception at the boat club, and they spent their honeymoon in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe...and that is how I became the honeymoon baby.
My Dad with Amanda and Michelle
Weddings were so different back then, and even more so in my grandparents generation. I remember my Nana sharing a story about how my Grandad took her on a honeymoon in a motorcycle and sidecar...it was during 1950's.
I encourage you to invite your parents, and grandparents to a sentimental tea, and ask them to tell you about their wedding stories.
We had a dock wedding, you can see more pictures here.
We cut our cake on Venice Beach, in Florida.
It was such a memorable beach day. We're about 20 minutes away from this beach, and we have a tradition of going to Chic-Fil-A and getting a chicken salad sarnie and sweet tea every time. This time we had cake for dessert, and watched the sunset over The Gulf.
Well, I'm all about chocolate cake, so I had the smallest slither of the cake, and sure enough after a few days...I opened the fridge and my newly wedded hubby had finished all but one small slice.
I have booked my trip to Europe in September!
I'll be staying with my mum and sister in England for about fifteen days, in the countryside home I grew up in. We're planning on visiting some stately homes. We did that a lot when I was growing up. Apparently, the Diana, Princess of Wales exhibition at Althorp is about to close next year. But I'll be there two weeks late for this year...
They open from Diana's birthday, July 1st until the date she died, August 31st.
But, I'll see old high school friends, and then take a trip with my sister to Germany, for my dad's memorial service. He died in May, a week before my birthday after a two and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer.
I volunteered with children whose parents are going through cancer for about two years. It was so absorbing, and those children melted my heart. So when I saw this adorable girl, Ava...it made me really reflect.
Call someone you miss today,
or send a letter to grandma...
Tell someone intentionally, that you love them.
Because, after all life is about making memories, and that's the only thing you can leave behind that's worth anything.
The following description of Colonial architecture was published in 1928 by
in the Home Builders Catalog:
"The Colonial architecture is more closely associated with American
history and traditions than any other type of architecture. A brief review of
the famous dwellings to which Americans look with pride will show them to one
Colonial style or another. So closely has the Colonial home been interwoven with
American Life that it is only within recent years that a family of culture would
consider anything else. Nor must we think that all houses looked alike, for in
its wide and extensive use different kinds of Colonial houses developed.
Colonial houses flourished in New England, in New York, in Virginia and the
South and in the North under diverse climates and conditions. As necessity is
the mother of architecture, it was inevitable that Colonial architecture should
develop along various lines.
"Notwithstanding the close association of Colonial architecture with
American home life and the fact that it has taken on various forms, it has one
common and foreign source. The style was directly borrowed by the American
Colonists from Georgian England, whose architects in turn looked to Greek and
Roman models for their inspiration. Knowing this ancestry, it is not difficult
to understand the emphasis upon horizontal lines, the simple division of
interior space, the application of Classic orders, the comfortable impression of
compactness and the exceeding economy of the style. The use of flat pilasters
and columns which are part and parcel of the Southern Colonial style have also
obviously their Classic models. Nor was it a simple task to adapt the cold,
monumental architecture of the Greek and Roman public buildings to home use. We
have to thank the particular genius of Englishmen of the Georgian period for
making this style flexible and warm and at the same time retentive of all its
ancestry. One has only to look at the old Georgian houses to ascertain
"While the American colonists copied the Georgian style in general, they
were not content to leave it untouched, and many of the delightful features of
Colonial architecture are their innovations. Such indispensable accessories as
brass knockers, cut glass door knobs and old gilt mirrors topped with their bold
eagles were the devices of our forefathers. The double twist in the newel post,
the dark mahogany hand rail and the frequent application of shutters are also
American in origin. A comparison of New England and Southern Colonial homes with
the pure Georgian houses will help to convey the extent which Americans have
altered, and in some ways refined upon their original English models. Excepting
the architectural principles themselves there is very little of the old English
houses in either New England or Southern Colonial homes.
"As has been pointed out, local conditions play a tremendously important
part in the shaping of an architectural style. Thus we see two different styles
of Colonial architecture in New England and in Virginia and the South which are
designated as New England Colonial and Southern Colonial. The difference in
climate shows it effect upon the height of ceilings, high ceilings being
required in the South because of the heat. The local supply of material accounts
for the fact that New England Colonial homes are almost invariably built of wood
siding, while the discovery of excellent beds of clay in Virginia caused brick
to become popular there.
"The Southern planter, being the wealthier man, indulged in the use of
Classic orders with greater profuseness, as is evidenced by the colonnade which
extended through two stories, an outstanding characteristic of the Southern
Colonial home. He was also able to place the kitchen and servants’ quarters in
adjoining structures, thus permitting retention of the fourfold division of
rooms on the first floor. The practical New Englander, on the other hand,
converted one entire side of the first floor into a large living room and had to
refrain from the privacy of outbuildings because of the much higher fuel
consumption. Other necessities caused other distinctions in style, so that we
have come to look upon the Southern Colonial and New England Colonial as two
different types of architecture altogether.
"In spite of these outward differences, the essence of classic
architecture is retained in both. The emphasis upon horizontal lines, the
economic use of space, there being no cozy corners or nooks, the simple dignity
withal are seen in both. Because of its simplicity and subsequent economy and
because it is a type of architecture proven by our countrymen, it deserves
serious consideration from the prospective home builder. He may be sure that he
will never tire of his Colonial home, that its charm will be lasting and that it
will mellow with age. And what a cultural environment it provides for the
raising of a family."
Published in 1928 By Home Builders Catalog Co., 1315-1321 Congress St.,