Friday, April 22, 2011

A treat at 317

So, Monday Nathaniel had the day off. In the late afternoon he asked me if I wanted to go for a walk. It was windy, a bit chilly and raining here and there but I love walks so of course I said yes!

The plan was - walk around the park, through the rose garden that has no roses blooming yet and then up the giant cobblestone hill to 317 Clarendon Street where Nathaniel's parents live to stop in for a cup of tea.

Florence got in her bear suite, I put on my boots, Nathaniel grabbed our Spring coats and we both grabbed umbrellas then we were out the door. It was a lovely walk - and invigorating! We got to 317 out of breath from walking up the hill, a bit chilled by the wind & the rain and ready for a good cup of tea.

Nathaniel making the fire

How lovely it was inside, Nathaniel was sent to make a fire in the fire place and Lucinda was whipping up a new scone recipe for us to try. Florence and I snuggled by the fire with a magazine until the tea and scones were ready. And what a treat those scones were! Ginger scones...with honey butter. Yum!
So we happily spent our late afternoon - a lovely fire, yummy tea and a good chat with people we was such a nice time we stayed for supper and finally took ourselves home at 9.00pm!

Before we left though, I wrote down the recipe for those scones because I knew I would want to try them again.
Florence watching the fire intently in the arms of her
Grandma 'Cinda

Maybe you would like to try it too?

Ginger Scones

3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/3 cups chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 cup butter milk
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven at 425 F
1) Mix the dry ingredients together in the food processor then add the butter cut up into chunks. Pulse together till butter is in small pea sized pieces.
2) Pour into a mixing bowl and add the pecans & crystallized ginger & grated ginger.
3) Mix in the butter milk and the vanilla.
4) Turn dough out onto the counter and knead 8-10 times.
5) Form a disk about an 1inch thick & cut these on your cookie sheet.
6) Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar and crystallized ginger then bake for about 20 minutes.

Then to make the honey butter...(which is not necessary but oh so delicious)

1/2 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup of honey

*you can do this in a mixer if you want to*
Place butter in a bowl and beat in honey gradually with a wooden spoon (or your favorite spoon).
Serve immediately or put into the fridge for later use.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

5 years ago Nathaniel brought me to Syracuse to meet his family. He cleverly brought me in April when Spring is just beginning to burst forth. Every where I looked it seemed there were daffodils, lovely and cheerful. I thought perhaps Syracuse was the most beautiful places in the world! Oh to live in a place where daffodils grow even on the side of the highway.

Well, I do now.

And I now love daffodils even more, because now I understand the hardness of a long cold winter that precedes the glories of blooming daffodils other such bulb flowers. They remind me that winter has lost it's hold (even though there may still be snow from time to time) and they brighten up the grey days we still get with their cheerful bright yellow.

Did I mention that the daffodils are out in full force now? Lovely.

Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
William Wordsworth

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear Naomi -

Remember when we came to visit you in Spain? do you remember that conversation we had about what to do with the left over coffee while cleaning the kitchen up the morning after a late night of coffee, cards and conversation...and probably cake?

You said something like -
Keep it! you know lately I have been enjoying the coffee that is a day or two old better then fresh, it seems to get richer and more bold that way.

I was not too sure about that, but I poured the coffee into a glass and put it in the refrigerator for you to enjoy later that day...or whenever.

Well this morning I found some leftover coffee from the day before, thinking to myself what a shame that I didn't finish it! Then I remembered our conversation about coffee.
So I pulled down my favorite coffee cup, poured the coffee into my cup, popped it in the microwave, and stirred in a bit of milk (actually quite a bit of milk as it really does get more intense). So here I am drinking my day old coffee and enjoying it with my toast (made with stale home made bread ...but you can hardly tell when it is toasted you know!).
Thanks for passing on such nuggets of daily wisdom...I might have poured that coffee down the drain if it hadn't been for you.

I miss you Naomi!

Love, me

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blue for Florence

Way back before Florence was born and we were still wondering whether she was going to be a boy or a girl, my sister Rachel began to knit a special sweater. A pattern that is crazy hard, and oh so pretty, Rachel started it trusting that we would have a girl - otherwise she said it was our loss.

The sweater was hand delivered last month, when Rachel and her husband Brett came for a visit. Rachel still knitting in every spare moment while they were here to make sure it would be finished before they had to leave.
Rachel and I had a nice sister outing to pick out appropriate buttons, and when at last the sweater was tried on we discovered it was the perfect fit. All fears that it might be too boyish in blue were dispelled. (not that I ever had any concerns really)

Florence is absolutely lovely in her blue sweater...she practically lives in it so to get as much use out of it as possible before she grows out of it!