Thursday 29 September 2011

Collecting . . .

(a variety of collections.)

I went through a stage when I was a child of collecting stamps . . . nothing serious mind you. I had sent away to a place in a comic book ad and gotten what seemed like a bazillion stamps for a paltry few dollars. I can remember looking at each of them and wondering at the different places they had come from and enjoying the various pictures on each and the colours . . . I are in hindsight that there was nothing of real value in the set.

Another time I collected animal cards from the grocery store. My mother purchased a set for each of us each time we bought groceries, either that or she was given them . . . I don't know which for sure. I had a little album that had also come from the IGA (name of the shop) and you pasted all the animal cards inside of it. There were specific spaces for each and a short description of each telling fascinating and interesting facts about each animal, it's habitat, etc. I can remember almost filling in every space, and really enjoying the cards. I remember the cover was a leafy green in colour and it was called Animals of the World.

(A few more flights of fancy.)

As an adult I've made a hobby of collecting salt and pepper shakers and cream and sugar dishes. (Todd would add cook books to that list, but we're not letting him say a word!) I have quite a few different ones now and I love each of them for a special reason . . . and when one breaks, as they have done through the years from time to time, I am heartbroken . . . but then I remind myself that they are only things . . . and I have something much more valuable than anything I could possess . . . and that is the love of family and friends. That usually helps.

There are two kinds of collectors . . . the first seeks to have complete sets of things, be they stamps, coins, Barbie dolls, etc. . . . and they keep a comprehensive and orderly set of their objets d'art. The second kind of collecter is driven by sheer desire . . . by the siren call, as it were, of something that they find beautiful and magnetically drawn to . . . I think I come from the second kind. I am drawn by the beauty of the things that I collect and am happy with them, whether they be just a few or a multitude.

(Time anyone?)

Lately I have been drawn into Pinterest. This is an online place where you can collect things as well . . . in pictures. It's a LOT of fun and quite harmless. You browse the net looking for things you like and then you can catalogue them and pin them onto "Boards" which you create. I have quite a few boards on there now . . . including . . . Everything Barbie, Gingerbread Love, French Country Decor, 1950's Kitchen, Christmas, it's never too early, Gingham love, hats through the Years, etc. I have great fun adding to my different collections and also great fun looking through other people's collections. I believe you can access my collections here. Be careful though . . . I am warning you, it's very addictive! (It's also a really inexpensive way to collect your loves and interests!)

I also collect quotes and poetry. These are probably the things that bring me the most pleasure. There is so much wisdom in words I think, and a great deal of value to be found there, even if it's only to my own soul . . .

(A collection of suitcases and hatboxes.)

My collections give me great joy . . . whether they be tangible or merely collections of the heart. They're like little happiness boxes, filled with things that bring me a great deal of pleasure and cause my heart to quicken . . . just a little bit. Do you have any collections??? Any that you'd like to share in the comments section??? I would dearly love to hear about them! Do tell!!

By the way I enjoyed all of your comments yesterday re family history. Another love that is quite, quite compelling once begun! Thanks so much for sharing!

When I lived in Canada, throughout the years my children were growing up, I used to make several batches of delicious spicyApple Butter every year, along with countless jars of crabapple jelly, and plastic margarine tubs full of applesauce to put into the freezer. In the long cold winter months they were a delicious taste of autumn.

*Applesauce Spice Cake*
Serves 10 to 12
Printable Recipe

This is a lovely cake that the whole family will enjoy. Deliciously moist and full of the wonderful flavour of spice, studded with soft raisins and crunchy walnuts, this truly is a joy to bake and to eat. The smell of this when it is baking is truly heavenly!

2 ½ cups plain flour
1 cups caster sugar
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
½ cup vegetable shortening such as Trex, White Flora or Crisco
½ cup water
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup sultantas

¾ cup of softened butter
5 cups icing sugar, sifted
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp lemon essence

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 15 inch baking pan and set aside.

Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, spices and sugar into a large bowl. Drop in the shortening, applesauce, water and eggs. Beat it all together with an electric mixer until it is all smooth, beating well. Fold in the sultanas and walnuts. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake for approximately 34 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned and the top springs back when lightly touched. Alternately you may use a toothpick to see if it is done, which when inserted will come out clean.

Remove from the oven and place in the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
Once completely cool make the frosting. Beat the butter until light and fluffy and then beat in the remaining ingredients, beating until smooth and fluffy. Spread evenly across the top of the cake. (leave the cake in the pan and serve from there) If you want you can sprinkle more toasted walnuts over the top of the finished cake.


Over in The English Kitchen this morning, a delicious stir up that I composed from store cupboard ingredients, Stir Up Spicy Rice Supper. It tastes a LOT better than it looks!

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