Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Thoughts of Autumn . . .

"Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfined
And spreads a common feast for all that live."
- James Thomson

Todd and I took a long walk through the orchards and across the fields yesterday afternoon. The sun was shining down so beautifully and it seemed the perfect thing to do. Who knows how many more days like this we will have before the cooler temperatures grip us and the rain and drizzle settle in. It was such a beautiful walk . . . the air rung with the sound of the apple pickers and was filled with the smell of ripe apples and falling leaves. The ground beneath us was hard and dry and each step crunched as we walked upon the many acorns that have fallen from the trees. One or two hit us on the heads as we walked and I was reminded of that old childhood story, Chicken Little . . . oh how I loved that story when I was a child.

I can think of no lovlier season than the autumn. I know that I say that with every season, and perhaps that is one of my blessings in life . . . the ability to be able to love each one of the seasons that God so abundantly gifts us with.

Havest time is a particularly wonderful season for those of us who live in rural areas and have productive gardens. What can be more satisfying than eating something you have grown yourself . . . fresh lettuces, crisp runner beans, ripe tomatoes, new potatoes . . . or what can be more beautiful than an armful of gloriously coloured dahlias . . .

No matter where we live, or if we have gardens or not we can be thankful for yet another harvest safely home, and for those of us who have worked on the land and farms to help to bring it about . . . and not the least of all for the providence of our Heavenly Father in giving us our daily bread . . . "For it is fed and watered by God's Almighty Hand."

I think this poem sums it up very beautifully . . .

For rosy apples, juicy plums,
And yellow pears so sweet,
For hips and haws on bush and hedge,
And flowers at our feet;
For ears of corn all ripe and dry,
And coloured leaves on trees,
We thank you, Heavenly Father God,
For such good gifts as these.
~Author Unknown

I had some bananas yesterday that I needed to use up, and so I made our favourite Banana Bread. There is something very delicious about Banana Bread. I don't think I know anyone that doesn't like it. I always have some stored in the freezer. It's very handy to drag out when un-expected company drops in, and thaws out in a jiffy in the microwave. Whenever I bake a loaf, I slice it in half and half of it gets wrapped up and frozen and we enjoy the other half as it were . . . a bit sliced and warm from the oven and spread with butter melting into it's banana goodness . . . a bit more sliced and eaten in cosy companionship in front of the telly of an evening . . . a bit more sliced and eaten for a breakfast on the run. Oh banana bread, how I love thee!!

*Best Ever Banana Bread*
Makes one 9 by 5 inch loaf
Printable Recipe

A fabulous banana bread, moist and full of toasted nuts. I have tried and tested many loaves through the years, but this remains my absolute favourite and is the only recipe I use now.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup of mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup dairy sour cream

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/375*F. Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan and line it with baking paper. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Sift together the flour, soda and salt. Stir this into the creamed mixture. Stir in the mashed banana and sour cream, mixing in well. Stir in the nuts. Spoon into the prepared pan and level the top.

Bake in the heated oven for 1 hour, until it is well risen and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the pan to finish cooling.

And for dessert after our humble tea, we had some lovely baked apples. Oh my but they were good, all stuffed with almonds and spice. Check them out on The English Kitchen.


  1. About 20 minutes ago, Graham said he wanted to make banana bread. Are you two on the same wavelength?

  2. Hmmm....banana bread! My poor boyfriend is allergic to bananas - or so he thinks - I believe he is missing out. Beautiful photos by the way - love the rosehip ones! And the baked apples look sublime! Oh and I enjoyed the poem too! xxx

  3. So much autumnal goodness today, Marie...delicious! Love those rose hip photos... and that banana bread looks so good. That's the only way I can eat bananas--LOL! Seriously, it is! :o) Baked is the time for some of those. I will make some this weekend. It was such a huge treat to chat with you last night and catch up on all sorts and just talk--thank you! Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  4. Your walk sounded lovely. I look forward to the day that Jim retires and we can do that sort of thing. If all goes well it could be the end of June 2010. He has been teaching and administrating school for nearly 38 years so it is coming close to the time for another type of adventure. I look forward to him being less busy with the have to stuff and more busy with the want to stuff! Maybe then we can get in the things of which you speak!

    Regarding your comment on my autumn list of is odd that there is not more to choose from in the decor department over there. I know it is the same way in Italy and drives Laura nuts as she loves decorating too. On the other hand, it is a ridiculous abundance of that sort of thing over here. It is all made in China and since our son worked in China I am more aware of the circumstances of the factory workers, etc. I often wonder what goes through their minds as they make the stuff that comes to America. They must wonder what we do with all of it and why we 'need it" and how Americans can spend hard earned money on such trivia. All good questions really.

    We are a curious culture in so many ways. Sorry so long winded!

    Hugs, Bonnie

  5. hooray for autumn-my absolute favorite season! and can you believe we actually got a cool front two nights ago? its a texas miracle-it actually feels like fall in september! JOY!

  6. I'm totally craving banana bread now. It's so fall like here--it's actually cold and rainy!

  7. Marie:

    I can close my eyes and walk right along side you and Todd through the apple orchards! What a lovely sight.

    Here in Southern California, we are having overwhelming heat and dry winds. There is smoke all about from the surrounding fires. However, if you have a close look, you can see just a hint of Autumn peeking through.

    I so hope that you got my email thanking your for the lovely sympathy card and note. It still sets right next to my computer.

    You may note that I am commenting here from my new blog. I have finally taken the plunge and changed my business name. If you get a chance, I would sure appreciate it if you could change the link on your blog from Garden Painter Art to Gerushia's New World.

    Thanks so much for the beautiful words:

  8. Yum. Homemade banana bread or banana muffins, great for a snack.

    The anonymous poem is lovely.

  9. I love Fall and your walk makes it sound perfect;love your photos. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I love Fall too Marie. I wish the weather could alternate between Fall and Spring with maybe a little Summer thrown in for good measure.

    Hope you had a great day today!



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