Saturday, January 9, 2021

Small Things

"Life is not, for most of us, a pageant of splendor, but is made up of many small things, rather like an old fashioned piecework quilt. No two people have the same, but we all have our own, whether it be listening to Beethoven's fifth with a beloved friend, or seeing a neighbor at the back door with a basket of white dahlias. Or after a long, hard day, having the family say, "That was a good supper."

- Gladys Taber

“January is a rewarding interlude for human beings, a time for preparing not only for a new garden, but to take on new ideas and new thoughts. Some months are action months, some are thoughtful months. January, to me, is a thoughtful month, a ruminating time, an interlude for evaluating the year just past. Here we stand with twelve beautiful months before us to do with as we will. What will they bring, what challenges, what riches? Each month is a part of the whole, and it itself a new beginning, as is each hour. Each moment, even is new and untried. What will the pattern and shape of this year be? What in it do we want more of and what less of? We will probably carry out certain plans, each week will have its special rhythm.”

- Jean Hersey
A Sense of Seasons

by Audry Assad

If not today, bookmark this tutorial for making these beautiful stars.

This hearty soup would make a delicious addition to your winter menu rotation.
1 Tbsp. butter
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 pound boiling potatoes, about 3 medium, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
4 pears cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp. Grey Poupon Dijion Mustard
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Creme Fraiche
Red pepper flakes, optional

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter; stir in the onion. Turn the heat down to medium-low, covering the onions. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Turn the heat up to medium and stir in the garlic, potato, and carrot. Cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes.
Add in the maple syrup, pear, salt, thyme, and nutmeg, stirring gently. Allow to cook on low heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Add in the broth and mustard, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Transfer the soup in batches to a blender (or food processor), and puree for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche, a sprinkle of fresh thyme and red pepper flakes.

Pear hand pies would be a thoughtful addition to weekend breakfast buffet
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
5 cups pealed and diced ripe pears
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350*F
In a medium sized bowl, combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Mix well
Add diced pears to sugar mixture and mix gently until well coated.
Roll pie crust out.
Using a bowl as a pattern that is approximately 4 - 5 inches in diameter, cut out round circles for your hand pies.

Recently I discovered a lovely account on Instagram, Heritage Acres Homestead. If you are on IG and looking for inspiration for growing and preserving your own food, I encourage you to spend some time here.

Featured in the picture above, my Kati Steeping Cup and Infuser in Cranberry Forte from Tea Forte. I've owned mine for about four years and use it almost every day! They also have a wonderful assortment of teas. Some I've enjoyed in the past are Spiced Ginger Plum, Sweet Orange Spice, and Winter Chai. Just this week, on the recommendation of a member of an online community I belong to, I ordered a box of this tea*, because what better combination could there be, especially in winter, than Peppermint and Vanilla! - (*Affliate Link)

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