Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gratitude

Visiting a blog with the cute name of ,  I found a banner perfect for Thanksgiving.  My banner is very similar to the instructions Carol provided on her blog and was easy to make with what I had on hand.
Little wooden clothes pins are embellished and used to hold each letter in place for hanging.
I kept the edges straight but Carol used her Cricut to cut out a scalloped edge on the patterned paper that looks very nice.
Since I did not have the pretty Tulle as the one I copied, I used cotton yarn and just crocheted a long chain. 
A quick search turned up these quotes on gratitude:
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say "thank you?"  ~William A. Ward

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.  ~H.U. Westermayer

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.  ~G.B. Stern

There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed.  If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude.  ~Robert Braul

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time.  Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?  ~G.K. Chesterton

The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.  ~John E. Southard

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  ~Henry Ward Beecher   

Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It's a way to live.  ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.  ~Estonian Proverb

When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?  ~George Canning
     
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe…
Hebrews 12:28 NASB

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shaggy


Early Sunday morning

A Boy and His Dog
Edgar Guest 

A boy and his dog make a glorious pair:
No better friendship is found anywhere,
For they talk and they walk and they run and they play,
And they have their deep secrets for many a day;
And that boy has a comrade who thinks and who feels,
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heels.

He may go where he will and his dog will be there,
May revel in mud and his dog will not care;
Faithful he'll stay for the slightest command
And bark with delight at the touch of his hand;
Oh, he owns a treasure which nobody steals,
Who walks down the road with a dog at his heels.

No other can lure him away from his side;
He's proof against riches and station and pride;
Fine dress does not charm him, and flattery's breath
Is lost on the dog, for he's faithful to death;
He sees the great soul which the body conceals--
Oh, it's great to be young with a dog at your heels!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Birthdays

Our precious girls had a birthday today.
How ever did these two sweet little girls get to be... 30 years old?
Abbey and I took lunch over to Jamie's house and had a great time with her and the kids.  Of course, Jill was on our minds all day and wishing we were with her too.

Not so easy getting five little ones happy and cooperative for a photo but we tried.

I filled a tray of cheeses, crackers, apples, breadsticks, muffins and nuts and another one with cookies, brownies and chocolate.  Jamie made a delicious Rachel Ray recipe for Ginger-Soy Carrot Soup.
Jill and family will be down from up-state New York for Thanksgiving and I will be taking photos of her and her family then.  Miss you so much, guys!
Jamie & Jill ~ just as sweet on the inside as on the outside

Not-Just-for Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread ~ TWD

A really delicious pick this week for our weekly baking from
Dorie Greenspan's
Baking: From My Home to Yours
A shortbread bottom crust with a tart and sweet cranberry filling is topped with another layer of shortbread.
YUM!
Very pretty colors and a great combination of flavors and textures!
Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving
Cranberry Shortbread Cake

Ingredients
For the Jam Filling:
1 large navel orange
about 1/4 cup of orange juice
1 12-ounce bag cranberries, fresh or frozen (not thawed)
About 1 cup sugar

For the Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 stick plus 5 tablespoons (13 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To Make the Jam Filling:
Grate the zest of an orange into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Slice off the peel, removing the white, cottony pith that sticks to the fruit, and slice between the membranes to release the orange segments. Cut the segments into 1/4-inch wide pieces and toss these into the pan. Working over a measuring cup, squeeze the juice from the membranes -- if you have 1/4 cup, great; if not, add enough additional orange juice (or water) to make 1/4 cup -- and pour it into the pan. 

Put the cranberries in the pan, stir in 3/4 cup of sugar, set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until the cranberries pop and your spoon leaves tracks, about 5 minutes. Scrape the jam into a bowl and taste it -- if it's too tart, add more sugar to taste. Cool to room temperature. (The filling can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

To Make the Cake: 
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. 

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and smooth. Add 1 cup of sugar and continue to beat until it dissolves into the butter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the egg and egg yolk and, beating until they too are absorbed. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, mixing only until it is incorporated; since this is a delicate dough, one that should not be over beaten, you might want to finish mixing in the flour by hand using a sturdy spatula. You'll have a thick dough, one that is quite malleable. 

Turn the dough out onto a smooth surface and gather it together in a ball, then divide in half and pat each half into a disk. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate them for 15 to 30 minutes. (At this point, the dough can be refrigerated overnight; set it out at room temperature for about 20 minutes before proceeding.)

Getting Ready to Bake:
While the dough is chilling, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch spring form pan (preferably nonstick) and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. 

Work with one piece of dough at a time. For the bottom layer, either roll out the dough to size between two pieces of plastic wrap -- it's an easy enough dough to roll -- and lay it in the pan, or put the dough in the pan and press it lightly and evenly across the bottom with your fingertips. Spread the cranberry filling over the dough.

Unwrap the second piece of dough, but leave it on the plastic. Press and/or roll it until it is just the diameter of the pan. Carefully lift the dough and invert it on the filling, lift off the plastic and use your fingers to even it as necessary so that it covers the filling. Brush the top of the cake very lightly with water and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is lightly golden and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool for about 20 minutes, then run a blunt knife around the cake, remove the sides of the pan and let cool to room temperature.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hydrangea Blossoms

I finally got out to cut the remainder of the blossoms from the hydrangea bushes.  It has been cold and we have had a few frosts so I didn't want to wait any longer.
The bushes didn't do as well as they usually do, probably because of the very hot and dry summer we had.
Though fewer, the flowers are still beautiful.
As they dry their vibrant colors will soften to gentle heather tones.

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