Monday, 16 September 2013

Small and Wonderful Things

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"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard 

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life.   It's the small things in life which truly mean the most.  Simple abundance . . . it's the best.

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Chalk boats that can take you anyplace you want to go in the world.   My two Grandsons, Gabriel an Luke,  were at the Arts Centre in Fredericton yesterday and my son sent me this pic of them playing on a chalk boat.  It did my heart good.   I love all of my grandchildren so much and it's hard living so far away.  I love it when I get a picture like this.  I makes my heart feel all fuzzy inside.

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Rosehips ripening on the bushes.   Not only do the birds love them, but you can make all kinds of lovely things with them, like rosehip chutney, rosehip jelly and rosehip syrup.  Did you know that during World War 2 they were producing rosehip syrup like crazy so that the children in this country could get their Vitamin C.   Rosehips are filled with Vitamin C!  It also has a reputation for keeping colds at bay all winter long!

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How to make Rosehip Syrup

To make it you will need equal weights of rosehips (washed and chopped) and caster sugar. Bring water to the boil.  For every kg of rosehips you will need 2 litres.  Drop in the chopped rosehips and bring back to the boil.  Allow to stand and infuse for at least half an hour, stirring from time to time.

Strain the mixture through a jelly bag. (Alternatively, line a colander with a couple of layers of muslin and place over a large bowl. Tip in the rosehip mixture, and leave suspended over the bowl.)
Set the strained juice aside and transfer the rosehip pulp back to the saucepan, along with another litre of boiling water. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat, infuse for another half an hour and strain as before. Discard the pulp and combine the two lots of strained juice in a clean pan. Bring to the boil, and boil until the volume has decreased by half. Remove from the heat.

Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Return to the stove, bring to the boil and boil hard for five minutes. Pour into warmed, sterilised jars or bottles and seal.

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Elderberries.  They grow wild and are ripening in the hedgerows and woodlands at the moment all over the UK.  Great for making pies, jellies, jams, cordials and of course Elderberry Wines and liqueur.  You can find lots of recipes here on the BBC Food pages.   Do leave some for the birds though as they are a source of food for them as well.

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Shorter days and cooler temperatures bring leaves a turning.   It starts at the tops of the trees and works it's way down, this change in colour . . . leaves begin to fall and skitter across the dry pavement.   Todd keeps saying it's still summer, and . . . officially it is, but only for a few more days.  You cannot halt the inevitable.  Autumn is in the offing and it is one of my favourite seasons of the year.

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I love everything about Autumn.  It's my favourite time of year.  It truly is.  The colours.  The smells.  The sounds.  That change you can feel in the air. I just adore it!!

"Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is in flower."
~Albert Camus 

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Foraging.  It's free and it's there for the taking . . . wild mushrooms, elderberries, blackberries, hips and haws, crabapples, cobnuts, chestnuts.  This is the time of year that the wild forager in you can go crazy with delight at the abundance sitting there just waiting for you to discover it.

Sigh . . . can you tell I love Autumn?

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

Faith is not the belief
that God will do what you want.
It is the belief that God will do what is right.
~Max Lucado  

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Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . Easy Bread. 

Have a fabulous Monday!

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