Monday, 7 April 2014

Home & Hearth

O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven like ghosts from and enchanter fleeing.
‘Ode to the West Wind’
Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792-1822.
Day to Day
(My Great Grandmother)

As the days move further into autumn, I am anticipating the cooler weather, grey skies, and watching the leaves turn gold. The changing weather brings about different meal menus of hearty soups, stews, and roasted vegetables and meats. The type of menu that brings in old fashioned kind of smells from the kitchen.
As a child I remember my Great Grandmother (on my mum’s side) and her kitchen. She had an old wood stove in that kitchen and every Sunday, Mum would have us kids there to help cook Sunday dinner.  Mum, her mother, Great Grandmother and a Great Aunt would all be in the old kitchen cooking on that stove and the smell of roast Sunday dinner was always my favourite.  I remember the kitchen had no such thing as fly screens on the window, and it was always dark. I remember the kitchen hutch with all the dainty tea cups hanging from the hooks off shelves (We were taught to hang the tea cups facing all the same way when we cleaned up after dinner).  Times have changed but the Sunday dinner roast smell is still my favourite. And Autumn seems to remind me of those scents as well as those times.

There's plenty of time now for doing a lot more hand crafting. Roosters and hens seem an appropriate theme for a autumnal decoration on current linens.

 Pinks and peppermint greens are featuring a lot in the two tone block granny squares I am making. Each block will only have two colors, the main chocolate brown color and a bright color. As a reminder these are wools I brought from the thrift store and the color scheme is only what I have from what I brough that day.

My sketchbooks too, are filling up with ideas, inpsiring snippets, and practice; as I ponder future paintings.

Each day I journal in smash books ( new fancy modern word used for those old fashioned scrapbooks our parents and grandparents used to have. The ones where they put in their cards, and letters, and such), to fill up the pages and to find a home for all photos as well as other small items I collect during the day. 

Rustic simple crackers
1 ¼ cup rolled oats
¾ cup plain flour
½ tsp. bicarb. soda
½ tsp salt
Squirt of lemon
5 Tbs cold cubed butter
1Tbs brown sugar packed
3-4 Tbs milk
In food processor combine dry ingredients, pluse for about ten times with butter. Add squirt of lemon juice or vinegar and then enough milk so the mixture holds together. On floured board knead a few times then roll out thinly. Cut and give a couple of pokes with a fork. Place on baking tray and bake in a moderate oven (around 375 degrees C) for about 12 minutes until lightly browned.
Home hints 

Flour: If you are not sure what flour is in which container a simple test is necessary. Add a teaspoon of flour to a glass of water. The Self-Raising Flour will bubble to the top. The Plain Flour will not.


“It's sad if people think that's (homemaking) a dull existence, [but] you can't just buy an apartment and furnish it and walk away. It's the flowers you choose, the music you play, the smile you have waiting. I want it to be gay and cheerful, a haven in this troubled world. I don't want my husband and children to come home and find a rattled woman. Our era is already rattled enough, isn't it?”
-Audrey Hepburn.

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