Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Friday, 24 March 2017

Early Autumn

Hello again,
ahhh Autumn..just the very word is lovely..
..before I know it, the rose bushes are looking bare, leaves are falling, mornings are cooler and there's a definite nip in the air. We've even had the wood stove lit on a few cooler days. This is all good news to me, as I love Autumn !! I start to get a 'hibernating' sort of feeling..stocking up the larder...planning soups and meals we'll be eating as the cold weather creeps closer. I saw a lady in the supermarket and she said "It'll be soup weather soon"..I had to laugh, as we've already had Potato & Broccoli soup twice !.

But for now my thoughts are turning to the firewood we have enough? As its our main source of heating for this big old house, its always a bit of an obsession for me. There's nothing that makes me feel all tucked up cozy for winter than seeing that stack of firewood grow higher and higher...and hearing my husband outside stacking wood or splitting it. ~ a true blessing :)

 Garden Update: In our little orchard, the summer stone fruits are all finished and now we're enjoying fruit from the apple & pear trees. Well I should say I am enjoying the apples :) I planted old fashioned varieties (Cox's Orange Pippin, Granny Smith & Sturmer). The Cox Orange is sweet-ish, with a tang. My husband thinks it's not sweet enough and the other two varieties are intended for cooking I however love a tart apple, that makes my face screw up a little bit :o) I think they're especially delicious eaten with some slices of cheese !  So I think I really need to plant at least one other sweet eating apple for my husband, so he too can be excited about the apple season. I'm sure he'll appreciate the apple pies though! being the sweet tooth that he is.

Here's a recipe for Apple Gingerbread, an old favorite of mine in Autumn.

'Cox's Orange Pippin' ~ sweet blossom in the Spring'

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Apple Gingerbread

This is a lovely light and moist spicy loaf.
I normally double the recipe to make 2 loaves.

Heat oven to 180 C.
 1 x Granny Smith Apple (peel, dice small)
 60g soft butter
 2/3 rd cup brown sugar
1 x egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ Cup Buttermilk (or regular milk with 1 t white vinegar stirred in)
2 cups plain flour
 1/2 t salt
1 & 1/2 t baking soda
 1 & 1/2 t Ginger & cinnamon
 1/2 t mixed spice
90g chopped walnuts (optional)

1. In a good size bowl - beat the butter and sugar to a nice soft cream.
2. Add the vanilla essence & the egg and beat again until fluffy.
3. Sift all the dry ingredients. 
4. Add the apples, buttermilk & creamed mixture to the dry ingredients. Add walnuts if using and mix all gently until well combined. 
5. Spoon into a largish, lined loaf tin. Bake for 40 - 50 minutes. Test with a skewer.  Serve thickly sliced and buttered. 
Note: This can also be served as a lovely Winter pudding. Bake in a round dish. Serve warm with custard and ice cream.

                                                     and delicious with a cup of tea :)


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Another meal that we enjoy during late summer and early Autumn is Enchilada's. These are made with re-fried beans, cheese, extra beans and a fresh salsa. I took pics of the recipe as I made it and hope you'll try it. Its very very delicious and quite economical too. We find one can of re fried beans, a cup of cooked beans, salsa, cheese and the tortilla's will make at least 8 good size enchiladas. I roll them up, lay them in the oiled dish, and spoon over extra salsa and grated cheese. Bake for about 40 minutes at 180 C. Serve with a salad.

this is not included in the recipe ..but my husband said "Why don't you take a picture of the book I'm reading out loud to you, whilst you cook?" and I said "Go on then :) " We enjoy Paul Washers teachings ..anyway back to the recipe. 

Recipe: Enchiladas with Salsa Picante

1 x Can Refried Beans
Cheese - Edam, Tasty  & Parmesan - mix
Cooked Black Beans - 1 1/2 Cups (or Pinto etc)
Salsa Picante - recipe below or Jar salsa

Salsa Picante

1 medium onion - diced small
1 Green Pepper - dice small
6 - 7 tomatoes - chopped
1/2 t Cayenne Pepper
3 - 4 T Cider Vinegar
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Parsely
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/4 Cup Tomato Sauce (Ketchup)
1 - 2 Sugar
Salt & freshly ground pepper

Prepare the Salsa Picante and assemble the enchiladas. Bake at 180 C (moderate oven) for around 40 minutes. Serve with a green salad. A perfect summery meal !

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Above is a picture of some soaps I've made over the last couple of weeks. They're all cut and curing now. 2 days ago I made one of my favourite soaps: "Lavender & Lemongrass Goats Milk Soap" - big fat chunky bars. I cut those today. Now my curing shelves are full. I have a market coming up in a few weeks time, so they'll be many busy days and nights wrapping soap and preparing products.

I hope everyone who reads this will gather something from this post to refresh a desire to cook or bake something delicious for yourself or your family. Blessings to all ~ Linda


  1. Love your heart!
    Great sharing, def finding my way to the kitchen very soon.

    Love the apples that are tart also, so enjoy and wiggle your nose on a tart one for me

    Much love

  2. Lovely to hear from you Marion :) and for your sweet words xo

  3. Also blessing during your Autumn 🍂 season.
    My favorite too!


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