Saturday, April 25, 2009

Memories Light the Corners of What's Left of My Mind

My son celebrated his birthday recently and we were all there to enjoy the opening of gifts and the partaking of cake and ice cream.

He opened my card and read about the little boy I remember running through the house, leaping from the stairs, and playing with his matchbox cars. It was a sappy card. I offered a semi-apology that I wanted him to know that I still remembered and that he, too, will hold his own memories of raising his two boys close. He choked a bit; I choked a bit. John took my hand. We carried on. And, mercifully, a good time was had by all.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Maple Nut Scones

So the title says it all. My favorite recipe using maple syrup is a delicious scone recipe. Yesterday afternoon, my mother sat munching hers and mused whether honey would work instead.

"Why?" I'd asked.

"Because some people might not have maple syrup."

"Oh. Good answer."

Okay, so you can try honey, if you'd prefer, but then you'd have to call them Honey Nut.

And before we really get into Judy psychic? Honestly, how did she know this? When I read yesterday's comments, I nearly fell off my chair reading her question. There went all the suspense that I'd been so carefully building! ;>

Maple Nut Scones


* 2 TBS brown sugar-packed firm
* 2 TBS chopped walnuts
* ½ cup butter-firm (my favorite advanced planning required)
* 2 TBS brown sugar-packed firm (no, this is not being redundant)
* 2 tsp baking powder
* ¼ tsp salt
* ½ cup walnuts-chopped and toasted
* 1/3 cup maple syrup (Does anyone know the alt code for one-third? I can't even find it on my character map.)
* 1 egg
* 2 TBS milk
* 2 cups flour


* Preheat the oven to 400°
* Mix 2 TBS brown sugar and 2 TBS finely chopped walnuts and set aside
* Whisk baking powder and salt into the flour adding 2 TBS of brown sugar
* Cut in the butter to the flour mixture with pastry blender to crumbs
* Stir in ½ cup toasted walnuts (or not toasted...your preference)
* Stir in maple syrup, egg, and just enough milk so that the dough leaves the sides of the bowl
* Turn dough onto lightly floured board and gently knead until all is incorporated, but do NOT overwork
* Pat the dough into about an 8" circle and brush with milk and sprinkle with the saved brown sugar and walnuts
* Score the circle with a pastry cutter or a knife, but do not cut all the way through
* Using spatula carefully lift and place on either a cookie sheet or in a skillet
* Bake @ 400° for 20–25 minutes

This is the perfect crumb texture.

Just pat the dough into an 8-inch circle...don't roll it.

The raw dough does not quite fill the skillet and that's as it should be.

See how the dough has expanded to fill the skillet? A skillet works beautifully for this recipe. Hope that you have one! (Edited to Add: But if you don't, click *here.*)

Hmmmm, time for a snack. Wish that you'd been here. Nothing says New England like a maple nut scone. If you bake this, would you please let me know? Thank you

Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

She Asked for It!

There's a new editor at Country Living. Her name is Sarah Gray Miller and she seems like a nice gal. She's making a few changes, but was nice enough to ask for feedback. That's what I'm giving her today...a little feedback.

The cover is still beautiful and every time I get an issue, I still want to brew tea and sit down immediately to read. This has been going on for well over twenty years.

It's the back cover now cleverly called "back page" that I want to whine about. I mean nothing against Idaho, but this is not what I want to see as I am leaving Country Living.

This is what I am used to seeing and what I wish would be returned to CL readers...a beautiful picture, a poem or a quote. Yes, please return to Simple Country Pleasures. It's such a nice way to say goodbye.

Really, I ask you, which would you prefer to see at the end of your Country Living?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Fun Twist

Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread had a birthday and she gave me a present! Now isn't that a fun twist?

Dinner was on the table yesterday when John brought in the mail. I had worried about the lack of dessert and figured that I might just have to open a can of peaches, but those yummy little Reese's peanut butter eggs worked delightfully. Thanks, Kathy! The bookmark is beautiful and the little tag has also been made into a wonderful bookmark. What a great birthday party it was with wonderful birthday favors!

Has anyone read The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey? After just finishing one of Beth Moore's books written in a conversational style, we are finding Yancey's quite intense and thought-provoking, even mildly disturbing. That's good. We need to be disturbed from time to time.

In other news...

Yes, it's the end of sap season in the Maple Grove. I forgot to tell you that I was able to enjoy something that I've always wanted to do because of the sap collecting going on right next door. I was able to have a cup of cold sap to drink straight from the bucket. It was really very tasty and thirst-quenching. Some time, if I'm blogging next maple syrup season, I'll share more about this strange wish of mine. Sorry that we didn't document it! Just imagine my neighbor visiting one day and my sharing this long-held wish and even my considering borrowing stealing a cup in the dead of night. He laughed and said, "The time is now!" Yes, he's getting a gallon of maple syrup, but the sad thing is that he is allergic to it. I've never heard of that before.

John would like to thank you all for your sweet comments on his great-grandfatherhood. He's feeling a little old these days so he most appreciated those that included some surprise and shock that such a thing was possible. =D

I'm off to help take my grandmother to the doctor and for some tests today even in the rain, but I hope to be around later to visit. Enjoy your day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

*Bunny Tales

Pssst! Psssssttt! Right over's me the bunny. Listen, the bird and I have a few things to show you.

There've been a few changes over the weekend.

For one thing She-Who-Always-Putters put that forsythia way over there so I wouldn't be able to eat it. Drat! Oh well, that's one thing — the forsythia is blooming.

Yup, here we are again. She-Who-Always-Putters found an old window frame. Big deal! But, noooo, She thinks it's the greatest thing since soap. Apparently, so does He — He-Who-Always-Putters. See that joint on the end there below? He goes ga-ga for that kind of stuff. So between her going on and on about patina and his going on and on about old construction...weird!

What did She do with the old frame? It's out on its keister...

But that's not the best news of the weekend. The best news is that He is a brand new great-grandfather. Yup, great: G.R.E.A.T. Grrrreat! His granddaughter and her husband have welcomed a precious baby boy to their family.

Say, come back tomorrow and see how much mileage She can get out of the same old story retold. Oh, She says to have a great day!

*Every pun intended. Check out "the real" Bunny Tales. Err...the real Bunny Tales.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trust in the Lord With All Your Heart

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. Proverbs 3:5

"I once asked the Lord why so many people are confused and He said to me, 'Tell them to stop trying to figure everything out, and they will stop being confused.' I have found it to be absolutely true. Reasoning and confusion go together." ~Joyce Meyer

"I once believed that after I prayed, it was my responsibility to do everything in my power to bring about the answer. Yet God showed me a better way and showed me that self-effort always hinders His work." from Streams in the Desert (emphasis on always mine)

"The difference between those who are being led by the Holy Spirit and those who are being deceived is joy, gladness, and a calm expression instead of sadness, sorrow, and depression." ~Smith Wigglesworth