Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Tuesday Afternoon Tea - November 16, 2021

Good Tuesday afternoon, my friends! As you might have gathered already from the picture above, you should prepare to keep your expectations low this week, at least in the tea and treat department.

I mentioned in this post that last Thursday was my birthday, and it was indeed a perfectly lovely day. However, the next morning I awoke with the worst sore throat and earache that I have had in some time. I've had some sinus pressure for about a week, and my throat was even a little scratchy on my birthday. But I pushed through because all I really wanted for my birthday was Pappasitos, and since the nearest location is in Marietta, GA, 447.99 miles away, my only option was to try out the copycat recipes I'd come across and hope for the best! Thankfully they turned out incredibly good, probably not dead on, but close enough for this Texas girl.

Anyway, I think I pushed myself a little too hard on Thursday and didn't realize that my scratchy throat was trying to forewarn me. But it definitely got my attention Friday morning, and I knew immediately that my weekend was going to be spent primarily on the couch. So I loaded myself up with fire cider, sore throat tea, vitamin C, my new Snoopy blanket and some fresh batteries for the remote and entered into the world of Once Upon A Time. Kate and I had started rewatching it earlier that week, but now I'm, ahmmm . . . . an entire season ahead of her. Well, kind of, with the exception of the episodes I slept through. So we'll just back up to where she was and I'll watch them again. I'm sure since I wasn't feeling well I missed a lot. Also, in my defense, she kind of moved on to Gilmore Girls! I think she's watched it start to finish 4-5 times now, but I can let you in on a secret? I-JUST-CAN-NOT, and I'm hoping that surely I'm not the only one! I know a lot of women LOVE it, and if you do I hope this doesn't mean we can't be friends. But alas, I've tried (more than once), and something (several things actually), just get on my nerves. So if you're a Gilmore fan, my apologies, we'll have to find something else to bond over. :)

After being on the couch for two days, on Sunday Kate asked me to go run some errands with her and I thought getting out might do me some good, but . . . not so much. So back to the couch I went and finally yesterday morning the pain in my ear began to let up and I started feeling a little better. That being said, I am still not 100% and taking it easy, which FINALLY explains the reason for my treat of choice, Gingerbread Oreos. But guys, here's the deal. If you ever find yourself not wanting or able to bake your own Christmas cookies, buy a bag of these, NO ONE will complain! They are just that good, and those embossed images are pretty sweet, too! Even my teacup (pictured above) is a bit lacking this week, but this is just me raw and honest. This thermos has been my steady companion for several days, filled with warm honey lemon sore throat tea, and will most likely be close by for a couple of more days. 

But now that you know more about my weekend than you could possibly hope to, lets move to some cozier topics of conversation, shall we?

Thankful Hearts * Apples * Home Blessing


I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; 
and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.


Even though I have been putting up our tree and other Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving for several years now, it certainly does not detract from the beauty of this holiday, in fact, I've always thought that the lovely light from the tree and other decorations only lends themselves to the enchantment of this special day. I love Thanksgiving precisely for its simple beauty. For the intentional pause in our lives, when we take time to reflect upon all that we have, right before our thoughts turn to all that we are lacking and hope to find under the Christmas tree, at least, if you allow it to be so.

For several years when the girls were small I made a "Thankful Tree" similar to this one. I would put it out on November 1 and have all the little leaves already cut out and, then one by one we would all think of things we were thankful for and write them on a leaf and tie it to the branch. By the time Thanksgiving Day rolled around, we had a tree filled with bright leaves full of blessings. It was a very special tradition and one I'll always cherish. You could do something similar on Thanksgiving day, especially if you have a large family gathering, and have your tree filled in time for dinner!

This year it will be just me and my daughter, and I am THANKFUL for that! And while I'm not making up a Thankful Tree this year, I've been considering other ideas and here are a few I've pinned.

- Gratitude Conversation Starters - these might make for some fun conversation during the day. We can just pull one out from time to time and each of us can answer the question.

and I also like this;

Family Gratitude Pumpkin - we didn't carve a pumpkin at Halloween and we have several. One or two of them are designated to become our centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table (more on that later.) But we could easily use the other to record the things we are thankful for!

I'm thankful for so many things this year, primarily to be home for the holidays. We were here for Christmas last year, but because of my health scare I don't think I truly enjoyed them as much as I am this year, and my health is something I am TRULY thankful for! And even though I miss my husband, especially during the holiday season, I am thankful that he has been given this opportunity to pursue his dreams and that our love is strong enough to span the time and miles so that I can pursue my dreams, as well, which are small in comparison to some. My only dream, ever, was to be a wife and mother and make a cozy, lovely home for my family, and I am thankful that the Lord has allowed me to do so.

I've kept a Gratitude Journal off and on for years, and one of my goals for 2022 is to make that a more consistent part of my daily life.  I've personally witnessed the benefits of focusing on all that one has to be grateful for and documenting it. If that's something that you're interested in, too, this 30 Day Gratitude Journal Challenge might be a good place to give you a jump-start!

"If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough."


And now, on to our next topic, which is . . . 


"Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness."


While an apple is something that you might associate more with early Autumn and September school days, it is a decidedly autumn fruit and not too far out of season! My grandmother always had an apple pie on the table at Thanksgiving, and served up warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream is one of my favorite treats! I've actually never made an apple pie (but its on my list of things to make someday!). But I have made an apple crisp several times, and the one I made this year was probably my best yet, and story behind it, even sweeter. You can read about it here, Mom's Hidden Recipe - Apple Crisp.

But when it comes to the holidays, one of the things that I love to make are dried orange and apple garlands. Typically we make ours with oranges, but I came across this garland recently, which combines both,  as well as pears, and I rather think I like it. 

Something I also enjoy this time of year are simmer pots, and apple cider and apples feature nicely when combined with spices like cinnamon,  ginger and allspice. Here's a recipe I've been making around this time for years now.

1 apple
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
3 to 5 star anise (I found mine in the Mexican Spice section at Food Lion, but I've seen them at Walmart, as well)
5 to 15 whole cloves 
1 tsp of apple pie spice
2 cups of apple cider or juice
2 cups of water

Place the apple juice and water in a sauce pan
Cut the apple into 4 pieces, you can leave the peel on them.
Add the apple and the remaining ingredients to the sauce pan and bring to a boil
Reduce to a simmer and let the smell wondeful scent fill your home!
You'll need to keep an eye on the liquic level and don’t let it get too low.  This can be refrigerated and used the next day or two. You can freshen the spices if it starts to lose some of the scent.

“I had also planned to stop at Herbert's Orchard and pick a basket of apples."
He could do apples. There was a small family store on-site that featured homemade fudge, pies, jams, jellies, and maple syrup, plus Maine-made crafts and gifts.
"Do you have a favorite apple?" he asked.
"Two favorites, actually. The Honeycrisp for sweetness and crunch, and the Ginger Gold, sliced with sharp cheddar cheese on salads. How about you?"
"Macintosh, all-around good. The best for pies, in my mom's opinion.” 

- KATE ANGELL, The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice

And finally, let's move on to our last topic, and one of my favorites!

I've been reading Heather's blog for several years now, and have learned so much from her. Last year she launched her wonderful online community, Hearth and Home, and I'm thankful to have been a part of it from the beginning. It's just the loveliest little space, filled with all of Heather's cozy, homey goodness! I can't say enough good things about it! I'm not sure when she'll be opening up membership again, but I'll try to remember to keep you posted, because I just know you would love it!

But before Hearth and Home, Heather would regularly host online courses, and it was here that I first heard of a lovely weekly ritual that she established and referred to as Blessing The Weekend. The idea so resonated with me that I knew I had to put into practice immediately, and I did! I've even taken it a bit further and "Home Blessing" has now become the term I use for the daily tasks I perform to maintain and keep our home cozy, clean and inviting. I've written on this subject a couple of times, and rather than repeat that here, for now I'll just refer you to those posts.

- A Sabbatarian Rhythm - Blessing The Weekend - which includes a few free printable worksheets to help you establish your own ritual, if you desire.

and this post;

- The Weekly Home Blessing - which explains how I expanded upon this idea and have now made it a regular part of my day. Everything I do as an act of cleaning and keeping our home, I now view as  blessing my home.

This week, hopefully, my plan is to give our space here a little "extra blessing", if you will, in preparation for the upcoming holidays.  I'm proud to say that I keep a tidy home, but there are some things that need to be done, like taking things out of cabinets and giving them a wipe down, especially in the kitchen. It just makes everything so nice and clean as we begin our holiday cooking and baking, and gives me a chance to take inventory of anything I think we still might need. I've already bought most of the ingredients for our Thanksgiving meal, but there are a few things that always have to wait until the last minute to make sure they are fresh.

And now my friends, we've come to the end of another lovely tea-time, and while my tea and treat were a bit underwhelming, I promise that with all the holiday baking that is upcoming, I will more than make up for it! I've enjoyed spending time with you and hope you'll join me here again next week when our topics for conversation will be a few of my favorites, and I'm so looking forward to sharing with you!

Over the River: Thanksgiving Memories * Family Recipes * Traditions

Remember everyone who participates will be entered in a drawing for a COZY WINTER WELLNESS KIT which I'll send out mid-January. You'll find all the details here.  


Anonymous said...

I am SO going to get those Oreos for my Kate, who LOVES gingerbread!!!
Thanks for the heads up. And glad you have turned the corner.


Kimberly Lottman said...

If she loves gingerbread, she will LOVE these! :)

Angela said...

Oh my goodness was I ever shocked to see you were wishing to visit a restaurant I used to go to frequently with a friend. It is not too far from my home and near my favorite fabric shop!It is good!

Kimberly Lottman said...

Angela, Pappasitos is my absolute favorite Mexican restaurant and I definitely miss it!The copycat recipes were good, though!

Kimberly Lottman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
e l i z a b e t h ♥ said...

What another lovely post! The quotes scattered throughout are so perfect and I'm going to check out those links for the home blessing section. I'm so sorry that you're not feeling the best right now...I do hope you feel back to normal very soon!

Here's my post for this week: http://ponderingsfromtheinglenook.blogspot.com/2021/11/a-cozy-teatime-thankfulness-blessing-of.html

I am absolutely loving these weekly teatimes...thank you for hosting them faithfully each week! Have a lovely week! And stay cozy! ♥

Kimberly Lottman said...

Elizabeth - thank you for your kind words and for faithfully participating each week! I loved your post! :)