Sunday, 10 August 2008

Rain, rain . . . go away . . .

"Rain Rain go away, come again another day . . . "

What a nasty weekend we have had here at Oak Cottage weather wise. It had cleared yesterday morning and so we thought to go to the beach at Eastbourne for the day, but then the dark clouds rolled in again just as we went to leave and so we decided not to take a chance. Good thing too as it turned out to be a horrible day with rain and wind and everything that goes right along with it. It would not have been nice at the beach at all, and today is much the same!

Instead we went to the movies in the afternoon and saw the cutest little film called, "Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging." I know, it was a chick flick . . . and not just a chick flick, but a teen chick flick, but it was really cute and we both enjoyed it! It reminded me of when I was 14 and not old enough to date yet. I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16, but a lot of the other girls were already dating. I was old enough to have crushes on boys though, and I had my tender heart broken quite a few times before I was actually old enough to have it broken officially! My adolescent mind spent lots of time fantasising about kissing boys and wondering what it would be like. In fact, in grade 10 when I was 15, my best friend Linda and I actually went halvsies on a book entitled, "How To Get A Teenage Boy, and What To Do With Him When You've Got Him." I think we read the pages between it's covers so much that it practically fell apart, and we certainly memorized all of it's advice. There was one boy named Philip, who was in Grade 12 at school, and I must have stalked him for days and days before I finally worked up enough courage to say hello to him. (Following the advice of this book of course) He said hello back and I was thrilled. Looking back now, I can see it was quite obviously because he felt he knew me . . . let's face it I had been dogging his every step for days and days . . . but back then I felt pretty good about it.

I thought you might enjoy a little tour of my kitchen here at Oak Cottage this morning. It's always interesting to see where a person does their work and you can see all the nooks and crannies of my work space here and the room I love the most in my home.

Welcome to my kitchen. Take your coat off and sit a spell. This is the view from the doorway as you enter my kitchen/lounge area. Yes, that's the stove over in the corner and one of my kitchen windows. You can hardly see them, but there are little stained glass figures hanging in front of the windows and my fairie in a bubble to the left . . . that thing you see hanging on the right is my kitchen witch that I got in the Black Forest on one of our trips to Germany. (One of my favourite places to go!) Those are my fairytale plates that are hung over the window, from left to right, Little Red Riding Hood, The Frog Prince, Goldilocks and The Three Little Pigs. They all feature the art of Scot Gustafson, and I have had them for quite a long time. On the window sill you can also see one of my antique cookie jars, the lady pig. I got her in a yard sale back home for only $2. I recently saw her for sale on the net for over $180, so she was a real bargain!

This is the view looking across to the other corner, which is on the same side as the entryway. Don't you just love my little black chefs? I got them at a yard sale as well for only a few pennies! They are a great example of early 20th century kitchen folk art, and I treasure them. I love my hanging baskets. I tried to get wire ones but couldn't find any, so I had to settle for wooden ones. I think they look quite "Shakeresque." That's where I keep my potholders, the dog treats and other various little sundries. On the counter you can see a cake cooling that I baked the other day and some cookies cooling on my wire rack. I love my Russian bread boards you see hanging on the wall. I painted those little treasures myself, back in the early 80's. I copied them from a picture I saw in a magazine. I love my teapot clock. The pendulum is a teacup that swings back and forth. It was one of the first things Todd and I bought for our home after we got married. That's a Hershey's Kisses plate hanging underneath that my kids gave me for Christmas one year. It's so cute . . . very retro thirties! The little girl is feeding the little boy a Hershey's kiss! That artwork on the wall we bought at a charity shop around Christmas time last year. Only £2! I love it! I love the windmill in it and the feeling it gives. It looks just like a stormy day in Suffolk. You can't see them, but there are three little girls dressed in 17th century clothing walking towards the windmill and you can see a figure up on the windmill walkway and you can almost hear him telling them to get back home, a storm is brewing. That stand on the far left holds treasured family photos, mainly wedding pictures of my three children that are married, my two grandsons and the two children we sponsor in Africa. Oh yeah, the rolling trolley with the three drawers holds all my spices and herbs for cooking!

This is the other corner. You can see the doorway you came in from over there, with the retro beaded curtain hanging in front of it. That's the spiral staircase that leads to upstairs, underneath that is where our collie Jess sleeps when she's not laying on the carpet in front of the TV. She can't quite manage going up those stairs . . . I think they scare her a bit, because they are so open. That's why we basically live in this kitchen/lounge. We could never leave her on her own downstairs all the time during the day, or in the evenings. Dogs love company and she is an important part of our family! So we stay down here with her! That's the church's family proclamation hanging on the wall on the way up the stairs and behind the TV you can see various pictures of my children, plus a painting all the sister's from my church back home gave to me when I left to move over here. One of them had painted it and they all signed and put their well wishes on the back! Those are the headphones I make Todd wear when I am on the telephone and he is watching tv. He is getting a bit deaf these days and so he always has the tv on quite loud and I can't hear who is speaking on the he has to plug in and listen to the tv on those! (I know, I'm so mean, lol)

This is the final corner . . . the place where I sit every morning and put these words down for you to read, indeed the place where I am sitting right now! Those are our two comfy chairs. Todd's is the flowered one and mine is the yellow one with the quilt hanging on it . . . "my blankie". I brought that with me from Canada. I've had it a long time, and I couldn't live without it! You can see a little heart shaped mirror I painted back in Canada hanging on the wall, just underneath our picture of the Saviour, and our really cool microwave, which is also a grill!

So there you have it . . . a bird's eye view (as it were) of my little corner of the kingdom . . . the place where I do all my writing, cooking and dreaming . . . All in all, I think it's quite a cozy room, and I hope you've enjoyed your little tour of it with me here this morning.

And now for some light refreshments! (You didn't think I'd invite you in and not offer you something to eat did you?) How about a nice hot cuppa and some Gingersnap Raspberry Sandwich Cookies??? (Last week's Make Me Bake poll winner!!)) Don't forget to vote on this week's poll!

*Gingersnap Raspberry Sandwich Cookies*
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

These are really, really, REALLY good cookies!!! Sweet raspberry jam sandwiched between two deliciously spicy gingersnaps . . . what's not to love about that!

8 TBS butter, room temperature
¼ cup vegetable shortening (Trex or White flora)
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBS ground ginger
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup raspberry jam

Pre-heat oven to 180*C/375*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cream together the butter, shortening and castor sugar. Sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon and gingers. Set aside. Beat Maple Syrup into the creamed mixture, then beat in the egg. Slowly add the flour mixture, a little at a time, until well blended. Place the granulated sugar in a bowl.
Measure out 2 tsp dough and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in the granulated sugar and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat, placing balls 3 inches apart.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes.

Repeat with remaining cookie dough until it is all used up. Cool on wire racks. Spread about 2 tsp of jam over half of the cookies. Place a second cookie on top of the jam covered ones making sandwiches. Serve to 24 of your most luckiest friends!


  1. How lovely Marie to see where you do all your cooking!
    Yes rain go away!....Not raining here just yet but I'm sure it will in true UK style LOL

  2. Hi, sweet Marie! Oh, I miss your cozy kitchen already, now having had the treat to see it for real! :o) It's such a bright cheerful room. And you are right, it is great fun to see people's spaces, where they work, live and play. So sorry you missed your beach outing...Hopefully opportunity yet before summer fades. It's raining here this weekend too. I'm working on the baby quilt for my sister--perfect for a rainy day. Hope we get to chat...Love to you & Todd ((BIG HUGS))

  3. I loved seeing your little space! It's totally different than what I had envisioned but so perfectly you! I love the beads and the swirling stairs. And those cookies look fantastic. You should draw them for the LFB. I think Pumble will have to eat them! It sounds right up his ally.

  4. Marie I love your kitchen and your relaxing space! The spiral staircase is awesome! I would love to have one of those! you have a very pretty , peace full place to work in....i'll trade you, i'll even through in the kids!! lol!

  5. Oooo Marie!!!

    I almost squealed to see you had left a comment on my blog. I don't know how you found me back after my "move" but I'm *SO* glad you did!!! I have missed your blog posts as well.

    I must say, I do remember being 14 and longing for a boyfriend and thinking about what it would be like to kiss a boy!! I also was not supposed to date until I was 16 ... however, my parents caved when I was 15 and allowed me to go on doubles with the younger brother of a family friend's new beau. Our first meeting was a blind date! Here we are, more than 17 years later ... and 14 years of marriage. :)

    Your cottage is SO lovely. I would adore an opportunity to come and sit and have a spot of tea with you and nosh on some of your lovely biscuits!!!! YUM! ;)

    Thank you for the words of encouragement on my blog ... it's so wonderful to hear from you again. Please, let's not lose each other again, okay?


  6. Love your kitchen. I heard from Sister-in-law in Cambridge that it had been raining like crazy. Still getting settled.

    Lots of love,

  7. I love your kitchen, Marie. It makes me feel so....comfortable.

    I'll take all that rain! I love it! Rain, thunder, crazy soothes me.

  8. Hi Marie,

    Greetings from "sunny" Arizona...wish I could trade some rain and cooler weather for some sun and heat!!!

    Thanks for the home was very interesting. What a nice setting you have!!! also to see where you work on your computer!!!

    Thanks also for the mouth is watering just looking at the picture! I will definitely be trying this one.


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  10. So nice to see where you cook up the delicious recipes you share with all your readers. I have everything for the winning cookies but don't dare start them now as we now have a severe summer storm that just came in. The one two days ago close to our property had lighting that hit a tall tree splintering it in two with pieces flying everywhere.

  11. What a nice cozy space you have Marie. Please send some of the rain my way, I really miss it, as it hardly ever rains here.

  12. Marie I love your tour!!! I love to know where the people work in their house (I dont like the offices) And Im so curious always want to see your kitchen, I awas thinking the other time to show my kitchen but Im feel little embarrassment . Mine is simikar yours but I think your is more oder than mine. Love yours little things In the future possible I will show my kitchen. Love your kitchen.
    Marie is you have time I post yesterday about the tag you make me, I enjoy soo and make me think. A big hug!!!! xxGloria

  13. Thank you for inviting me in to visit with you today. Your darling home is a warm and sweet as you are. How I wish that I could really come in your door and spend one of those rainy days with you.... I'd love some of the cake or cookies (actually I'd like some of both please) you have cooling on your counter.... I can just smell them now.... they smell even better than the cake on the birthday card you sent me...

    Please send us a little of your rain.... we are so hot and dry here...we could use a little of yours since you seem to have plenty and I know that you are always glad to share.

    Happy Sunday to you.... I getting ready for dinner while I bet you are getting ready for bed. As always, I send love, Lura

  14. Your kitchen is so charmingly adorable. I wish mine was that cute and that clean. The cookies look marvelous and I love stormy weather. So I wish I was there, in your kitchen, eating cookies on a Sunday night.

  15. It is inspirational what you can do in that little kitchen! There is hope for me yet! You don't need a ton of space to cook well. I have seen kitchens with no heart, not yours!!

  16. Thanks Marie for the tour. Very cosy, bright and neat. Ah.. I'm imagining you cooking there.. humming and singing along with Michal Buble (maybe with a few swings thrown in). I've heard this tune so many times over your blog and have only now finally made an attempt to know the name of the song (Everything)!!

    Happy thoughts going out your way Marie!

    Angela KL

  17. Your home looks "happy" and "content" looking at it I was living vicariously.. peaceful and full of love. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Marie. Blessings* Teresa

  18. What a great living space you have there. :)Those cookies look soooo good! They look like the kind that you couldn't have just one.

  19. Those cookies are bringing some sunshine to my day! Thank you for a fantastic recipe. I am a sucker for ginger cookies so this is a nice one to add to my repertoire!

  20. Those cookies look so good. I love to visit your blog, such wonderful things here.

    Your kitchen looks like a wonderful retreat!

    My friend lives in Nova Scotia, a town called Middle Port near Wolfville(sp?). I have been there so many times and just love it. Wish I wrote books or something from home so I could go and live there. But then my kids would have to move away for jobs. :(

  21. Your kitchen is so sweet and cozy :). Your house is so adorable, too! I'm on comment overload right now, hope you don't mind...your blog is just so warm and inviting, it's easy to feel at home here :D.

  22. Your cottage is amazing. So comfy and cozy looking. So often in the US we have to have BIG kitchens not to cook in. Yours is perfect. Thanks for the pics. And the cookies -- WOW!

  23. I love it!

    I love seeing where you type up your blogs to share with all of us...

    Your kitchen is adorable!

    Thank you for sharing!

  24. Marie I am so jealous of your space in your cottage. I love every bit of your home. I felt as though I have been there with you and enjoying the tour and visit. You are amazing. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful corner of the world. We love you.

  25. Thank you for the view of your kitchen/ was nice to see where you "live" so to speak. I haven't been visiting as often, but need to change that. The kids have finally started school again, and I myself am going to orientation for college! I am going back to school myself.

    Have a good day Marie....(hugs)


  26. I actually read the books the movie you saw was based on. They were really cute books! We didn't have the movie here. :(

    I am so glad to see where you live. I found myself looking and looking and looking at all your things. :)



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