Friday 17 September 2010

He who loves a garden . . .

Artwork today by Fred Cuming RA

He who loves a garden loves the world
And the magic beauty there unfurled,
The excitement of the potting shed
With little seeds to put to bed,
Pricking out those twin-leaved gems
Of fragile root and tender stems,
Forget-me-nots and briar roses,
Primulas for children's posies . . .
What calm contentment fills the air,
Tranquility is everywhere,
For he who fresh-tilled earth has trod,
Has laboured side by side with God.
~Brian H Gent

Our garden plants are definitely looking tired and ready for the long sleep of winter that waits ahead . . . this is the time to be planting all those spring bulbs . . . like daffodils and tulips . . .

crocus, snowdrops, hyacinth . . . jonquils . . .

As I put them into the ground . . . I smile at the thought of how very pretty they will look to me next spring when they come to life . . . welcome spots of colour at the end of a cold winter . . .

Beautiful little reminders that . . .

After the dead and cold of winter . . . always comes the springtime . . . when all is made anew, fresh and bright, and full of promise.

Mitzie enjoying her patch of sunlight.

It seems we have a singing dog. Oh, how my heart laughs when she starts!. I can remember the breeder telling us that her mother sang, the first time we went to see Mitzie. I didn't really know what she was talking about at the time, but I thought to myself, ok . . . sounds interesting . . . a dog that sings . . .

These last few days have been a joy as Mitzie finds her voice and regals us with song from time to time. It is so endearing, and I want to just scoop her up into my arms and hold her close when she starts . . . but that would be rude, so I sit and politely listen . . . as you do. Can anything be more special or heart swelling???? I think not!

I made some lovely oatmeal raisin cookies yesterday. I don’t make cookies all that often, for they have a habit of getting too much into my mouth. Now that there are only two of us,
there are too many for me to eat for me to bake them very often. I really can’t afford the calories, but once in awhile I splurge and bake up a batch, and when I do I love to make these delicious oatmeal ones. These are the cookies of my childhood, very comforting. I think that oatmeal cookies are good for breakfast right? There's nutritious oats in them . . . oh and fruit, there's definitely fruit! In fact they probably count as one of your five a day!

*Oatmeal Raisin Cookies*
Makes 36
Printable Recipe

Moist, chewy and absolutely stogged full of delicious sultanas, these are the best oatmeal cookies ever!

2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup light muscovado sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats, not instant or quick cooking
1 ½ cups sultana raisins

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly grease several baking sheets and set aside.

Whisk the flour, soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy and well mixed together. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Gently stir in the flour mixture, mixing it together only until no flour is visible in the mix. (Over mixing develops the gluten in the flour and makes cookies tough.) Gently stir in the oats and the raisins.

Drop the cookie dough onto the baking sheets in heaping tablespoonfuls at least 2 inches apart from each other, leaving room to spread.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheets for several minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough until all is used up. Store in a tightly covered container.

Note - these freeze well.

In The English Kitchen today there is a delicious Pumpkin Spice Bread! This is the best recipe ever for Pumpkin Spice Bread, I kidd you not!!


  1. What a HAPPY post today, Marie! And you must capture Mitzie singing sometime for us, give us a little YouTube link--that would be great! A dog that sings... what fun! Your cookies have me thinking how long it's been since I baked cookies, or baked at all! I'm finally feeling a bit better today. Dear Hubby's parents come over for coffee this evening. And tomorrow we're off to an autumn apple harvest fest! Oh, and dare I hope to catch you for a chat on Sunday?! Hope you all have a lovely weekend there! LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  2. A singing dog? I don't think I've ever heard one before. We have 3 next door that howl whenever they hear a siren go off. How cute! Looks like you are baking up some fall favorites there. I'm thinking I need to start making something just like that here. Cookies can be frozen so I suppose I could make a batch and freeze some for another time. I hope your Friday is a wonderful one!

  3. Oatmeal is our favorite cookie Marie but instead of raisins we like them with pecans. Oh my they are sinful! Love the story about Mitzi. blessings, marlene

  4. These cookies sound just delicious Marie...That wee Mitzie is such a honey, as Tracy says you wil have to try and catch her in song one day !!
    Love Sybil x

  5. Oh, darn, I just made pumpkin bread. I should have come over here first before doing it to try your recipe.

    I love gardens, too. My veggie garden is going crazy right now.

    Is it Fall-ish where you are now? The colors are turning in the mountains now and I am crazy for all the beauty!

    Have a great one!

  6. Thanks for your visit -- I think I'm quite smitten with yoru Mitzi -- oh I would love to hear her sing!

  7. What a precious little pup you have! My husband had a dog before we married that would woowoowoo (kind of like singing) when you would come home after being gone for a while. She would sit at the top of the stairs in the split level house and wooo wooo woo until you came up to greet her. So cute! Your cookies look great.

  8. when aubrey or i play the piano, zac "sings." okay, its a howl and we can't tell if he is trying to sing along or if the music hurting his ears and he is howling in pain, but we like to think hes singing:) hahaha.

  9. What does it sound like when a dog sings? That's not the howling when they hear music or some other sound that hurts their ear is it?

    I wish you could make a little clip and post it so we can hear.

    She is sooo adorable. I love all the pictures you post of her. She has such a mischievous little personality.


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