Hi Everyone! Guess what I’m doing? Hint: Yankee Magazine. Musica del dia.
What I’ve really been doing is getting inspired! It’s that time of year! I turned our steel-cut oatmeal this morning into a ticker-tape parade by sprinkling over chopped apple and walnuts; minced dried cranberries, raisins, and apricots, with the zest of half an orange, cinnamon and milk. ♥ Such a good way to start the day!
And it’s a gorgeous day here, well kinda, not really, now that I look out there, actually a bit overcast and chilly, but the tree outside my bedroom window called my name when I got up and I had to take a picture of it to show you! We’re going out to kick up a few leaves as soon as I finish here!
Isn’t that gorgeous? While I ate my breakfast, I was looking at some old magazines — I love the paintings on these covers. . .I wonder why they don’t use art on magazines anymore? The other thing I love about old magazines are the serials, the stories they used to run in them . . .
And look at this . . . so sweet . . .
They were so simple and clean in style . . .
Charming and evocative . . . had a bit of the fairy tale about them . . .
Plain gorgeous . . . this one above probably glows in the dark!
From a time gone by — I was looking at them because I was thinking that next month, a crew from a very wonderful magazine is coming here to take pictures of my house! This one!
Yes! YANKEE MAGAZINE is coming here on December 11, when the house is all decorated, to do a Christmas feature, which they will publish in December 2013! I’m so excited! I love this magazine, it’s been around since 1935; it’s one of the few remaining family-owned magazine publishers in the United States; it also owns the Old Farmer’s Almanac! I’m honored to be in it.♥
I want the house to be wonderful; I could really use what this magazine has to offer!
… so I’m getting ready, getting inspired; I will bone up by watching the movie Christmas in Connecticut! — such a WONDERFUL time of year, I can’t help but be excited!
It has all my favorite things. . .
Cooking and baking; thinking about making a small gingerbread house…and I should get my paper whites started a little earlier this year . . .
. . . I’ve started making lists of what I have to do and gathering goodies: Thinking about how I’ll decorate, wondering about the tree, hoping we’ll be lucky enough to have snow. What to cook; I want the house to smell wonderful for them . . . so I’m thinking about recipes. I’m thinking about dishes! I want to make it the prettiest ever; I’m going to make all kinds of garlands and banners for my hutches, over the windows and the fireplace. Thinking about how to decorate the Peter Rabbit room! Also thinking we have to have a party the day after they leave because the house will be ready!
This is the first video I ever made, and still my favorite; and this is the way the morning usually goes as I roam around thinking on how to do things, with Dean or Frank to keep me company. And of course, Jack.
I’m looking at my red things . . .
Checking out last year’s photos, making sure I have enough lights . . . Thinking, maybe do it a little differently this year. I’ll be sure to take pictures as I go along!
Already getting started with the basics, freezing the votive candle holders so I can pop out the old candles and wash them.
The ironing I did the other day was “planning ahead” too.
Time to bring out my little house and set it up on top of the stove . . . . I found this a few years ago at the summer flea market here on the island . . . The “lights” were my own addition.
I like to use my same things that have been around for many Christmases, many, many! Out comes the star linen runner and the old books!
This is going to be fun . . . I love a little whimsy, even with food . . . the people at Yankee want a recipe or two for the article, so I’m thinking about giving them my Christmas Jam. The smart thing to do is to start it at Thanksgiving, which I have every intention of doing, but I thought I’d remind you, especially for you newbie kindred-spirit girlfriends who weren’t around last year, I thought I’d give you this easy quirky wonderful recipe so you can be ready.
You start with my basic Cranberry Sauce recipe, which is beyond easy, and soooooo good! It’s three parts cranberries to one part sugar; for a big Thanksgiving dinner, I usually use three cups of fresh cranberries and one cup granulated sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you can, use organic cranberries; pick over and discard any that aren’t perfect; rinse and drain. btw, See that basket strainer hanging in my sink? It’s one of my all time handiest cooking utensils. It hangs on a hook over the sink, and I use it→ almost every day — to dry lettuce, wash and drain fruit and vegetables, to drain chicken stock too. You can get one here.
Then you pour the cranberries in a large ungreased baking dish. Sprinkle over the sugar, don’t stir, and pop into the oven for 30-35 min., until the first berries begin to pop. Stir twice during the cooking. That’s it, honestly, it’s to die for, delicious hot or cold, never a prettier color will you see.♥
Did I mention this cranberry sauce is delicious with Chocolate Cake? And if you are lucky enough to have any left over, you are in for a real treat.
You can do what I did a few years ago. Wanting to try something new — I mixed equal parts cranberry sauce with prepared orange marmalade! Flavor-burst heaven! It’s a wonderful Christmas present too if you want to put it in cute jars; everyone loves it!
Insane on hot biscuits with turkey leftovers! Or later on with a chicken dinner.