Saturday, August 12, 2017

Blackberry Scones with Rose Petal Sugar

Not much of a real recipe post as this is simply just a modified version of the one I've been using for years of the lovely Smitten Kitchen's creamy dream scones. You can find it HERE .

An extremely simple recipe of which I like to get down and dirty with where the only tools used are my hands and bowl. My father and I would always mash doughs about with our hands and I've become quite nostalgic for the process.  The recipe I used is almost exactly the same, only because of the juicy sliced blackberries I wound up using only about 1/3 cup of cream.

For the tops I sprinkled rose sugar onto each scone. A 10 second chore that required picking up a handful of our rose's afternoon dropped leaves and mixing them with sugar with the mortar and pestle until everything was ground together. Mint leaves were sprinkled on top to garnish. I LOVE the color of this dough.... It looks like an earl grey dream.... another scone following the same recipe that just requires the steeping of earl grey with the cream, then cooling again before mixing in. Baked with the added crisped brown it became a color inspiration and after I type this up am likely going to be painting a dress of the same tones! :')

I hope you get inspired to play around with Deb's recipe, replacing the cranberries with whatever you fancy and adjusting the amount of flour and cream till its at that perfect scone consistency.

Happy baking!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Paintings as of Late

" Milkweed " by Guinevere von Sneeden

" She Stumbled Upon Winter's Door "  by Guinevere von Sneeden

" The Garden Spook " by Guinevere von Sneeden

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Lammas Bread

Lammas is upon us and we've chosen to celebrate on this beautiful warm sun filled Sunday. Corn husk dolls are made, bread is baked, a big garden harvest is had, and feast prepared with whatever the groundhog hasn't taken for himself. We give thanks to the sun, thanks to this season, and thanks for this delicious food!!!

I wish I could say I had a recipe for this bread... but the truth is that I simply do not! It was all.. a bit of yeast here... a bit of oats there... some brown sugar.. warm water.. a splash of buttermilk, and enough flour to get a good wet dough consistency. I made this in my great grandmother's small corn bread skillet.. so to replicate a similar bread, I'd take your favorite easy peasy bread recipe and make a third of what the ingredients call for in the case of a small skillet... Or if you have a larger skillet, adjust it to what feels right.  My all time favorite bread recipe I found here: "  My Mother's Peasant Bread " . I have made this recipe 300 times over. So much so that the very act of it is imprinted in my hands and I can seem to conjure it up at will whenever bread needs to be made. I highly recommend you write this recipe down and tuck it away in your most treasured recipe book or box or tin!

(So here is the bread! First pictured is the wet dough so you can get a feel for the consistency topped with the tomatoes and herbs. Pictured after is the warm browned bread currently driving my nose to wheat heaven. I topped it with even more herbs then and also some grated cheese!)

This was a no knead wet dough stirred about with nasturtiums, rosemary, lemon thyme, tomatoes, oats, basil, sage, and chopped pumpkin flowers.

I let my dough rise for an hour outside, covered, in spotted sunlight for warmth. ( it's a cool new england day here ). And when it was ready I floured my surface and hands and without punching down the dough.. just letting it gently slide to the flour.. I took my floured hands, formed the dough into a disc, and placed it in my grandmother's lightly oiled skillet. I drizzled some olive oil on the top, topped it with even more nasturtiums and herbs and sliced some cherry tomatoes for the top. I'd previously set the oven to 400 degrees and then baked it till a nice golden brown. While warm I topped it with a bit of grated Dubliner Cheese. It's still cooling as I write this and the scent is driving my stomach absolutely mad! I can't wait to cut into it with some smoooooth butter and cuddle up next to my husband for some poetry, many a candle, and a good game of Scrabble!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July 29th, 2017

Well, it's happened again! Amongst cottage mess and moving things around I had my camera tucked away for quite some time. Dusted it off this month and was able to take some more photographs. This year has flown by... I can't believe it was November last I wrote when it feels like mere weeks ago. Amidst a snow storm this winter we found out we were expecting with a much longed for and much treasured little girl.. The first trimester wiped me out with sickness and feathers that felt like lifting oak trees... within a blink of an eye it seemed to be May and its been smooth sailing ever since. However I did seem to get much behind on work.

We planted our garden.. we watched flowers grow.. we take many a trip to the local farmers market.. we stay up laughing playing games and eating cheese and watching archeological digs. Things have been so slow.. so calm.. and so happy. I feel as if I'm in the prime of my life. Pregnant I feel the most beautiful I've ever felt.. the most healthy.. the most balanced.. the most joyful. I warn Brian to be prepared because I feel I could do this 15 times over. I so can't wait to meet her.. Her nursery is ready.. her clothes are folded.. her shelves filled with fresh weekly flowers from the pond.. Just a little while now.. When the leaves are golden and the air smells of pumpkins and the squirrels are gathering their last acorns.. she'll be in our arms and our hearts couldn't be more happy and excited.

A few months ago I planted this pumpkin patch for her in hopes to have the house filled with bright orange lanterns upon her arrival ( just around Halloween!)

The nasturtiums and cleomes are THRIVING! The Hollyhocks ( my favorite) lasted al but two weeks and didn't care for our cottage soil and wisteria shaded sun not one bit! Next year it will be simply just cleomes and roses for the front. A great big splash of them. Although it was nice to fiddle around and see what works best for this ground. Luckily I'm in a never ending supply of rabbit poop fertilizer!! And the pumpkins and the roses LOVE it so.

Frog Pond of course is looking lovely as always. I so prefer and a grey summer day... A green autumn I call it. And the reflection in the pond was such a cool dusty lavender. A perfect day indeed.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

November 5th

Getting closer and closer to First Fire... the holiday in between Halloween and Thanksgiving for us. It is on this day, when the last leaf has fallen, when we stare out to miles and miles of naked forest and give thanks for all the life it has brought us and say farewell to the tree spirits that are off to a winter's sleep. Its filled with food and stories and song and whiskey. And that evening we light our first fire of the season. You're of course welcome to join in this celebration if you wish it!

I am quite the slow reader, but have selected this book, Ireland's Women, Writings Past and Present with works selected by Katie Donovan, A. Norman Jeffares, and Brendan Kennelly as my next read. And on the cover is one of my all time favorite portraits of Lady Lavery by her husband Sir John Lavery. I try to paint it in someway and in some different form of medium each year.

The water levels around here are so low and I do hope the frogs and fish and other animals that drink from this water will have a safe winter.

I went out to the meadow today. To look out onto the forest. I meditated and twirled. Twirling is such a special feeling to me... I feel my spirit drifts so far away sometimes... and when I go out to an open space like this and twirl... it truly feels to me as if I am spinning it back in... taking all my surroundings in with it. I feel a part of everything when I dance in nature and it is more healing to me than many things.

The forest was bustling with chipmunks!!!! Out for a late harvest I imagine, they were leaping and climbing and squeaking all over the place! This kind gent was nice enough to let me get close for a photo all though we did play a bit of ring around the rosy for a while to finally get it. If chipmunks can giggle I'm most certainly sure he was joining me in the laughter.

I'm a huge fan of our neighbors barn and beehives. Everything seemed to be blanketed in bittersweet and it was just a lovely sight. I do love a grey day.. the sun can block so much out for me sometimes and I feel as if there is just so much more to see when it's cloudy.

Well! That is all for now. It was a wonderful morning!!! Below is a video of my little day if you'd like to see... I am so very fond of the words to this Opera.... I'll play them here and hope you'll enjoy them! It's a song titled "The Lonely One in Autumn" by Gustav Mahler.

"Autumn fog creeps bluishly over the lake.
Every blade of grass stands frosted.
As though an artist had jade-dust
over the fine flowers strewn.

The sweet fragrance of flower has passed;
A cold wind bows their stems low.
Soon will the wilted, golden petals
of lotus flowers upon the water float.

My heart is tired. My little lamp
expires with a crackle, minding me to sleep.
I come to you, trusted resting place.
Yes, give me rest, I have need of refreshment!

I weep often in my loneliness.
Autumn in my heart lingers too long.
Sun of love, will you no longer shine
to gently dry up my bitter tears?"

Friday, November 4, 2016

November 4th

Took off on a solo adventure to one of my favorite places in the Quiet Corner. It's always such a great escape and delight to get tucked away into the the most comfortable corner of Ms. Bridge's Pantry. I'm always sure to bring a favorite book and order my usual order with their wonderful celtic music playing, their yellow wallpapered walls, and the cozy decor. It's a true pleasure each time I go.  And as a bonus it is tucked away into the woods next to two of my favorite antique shops.

 Their tea room is always warm and cozy. The fireplace is lit, the leaves outside are bustling. Their store front here is filled with UK treasures from clotted cream to teas, candy, and biscuits.

I almost always order a pot of their Welsh Brew.

And their salmon cucumber sandwich.

I find that almost every time I come Lord of the Rings music starts playing in this little barn, so I always bring my trusty warn out copy of the book and skim through my favorite parts.

Their warm rice pudding with strawberry jam is always such a treat and warms the soul!!!

Next door is the wonderful shop, the Primitive Crow. The woman who curates this lovely place does such an amazing job and it is always filled with the most wonderful New England treasures.

Scranton Antique Shop lays just in front and has hoards of amazing finds!!! 

Just down the street is the amazing Roseland Cottage!!! I actually have not visited this place yet as I was saving it for a special occasion, however I got lost on my way to the nearby park and wound up right in front of it as I pulled over to see where exactly I was. Such a beauty and I cannot wait till the end of next spring when all the local folks get together dawning white clothes and play croquet out in the yard!

 I wound up staying here and watching the sun go down. The stars were beautiful tonight and that little sliver of moon stole my heart away.

It was a lovely drive home and I was lucky enough to follow the moon most of the way. Coming home to this sweet girl of mine is always a treat. Now that my heart and mind are filled with such inspiration of this lovely day its off to draw up a little something in my little room. Wishing you all a pleasant weekend!!!!!

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