Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

 "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of christian, but the fact that I am a christian makes me a different kind of woman."

~ E. Elliot 
~ Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.  Proverbs 31:10, KJV ~

Painting by Albert Lynch ~ Gathering Flowers

Friday, December 5, 2014

Favourite Fictional Reads for the Holidays...

  I thought I would share a few of my very favourite books with you just in case you felt like curling up and reading sometime during the holidays...  I do not read as much as I would like to, mainly because I always seem to have a 101 other things I need to do, but also because I love to live in a story and once I am in it, I am afraid it is only the end of the book that brings me back to reality!  However, these books are beautifully written and truly inspiring... I am sure you will enjoy...

The Curate of Glaston Inspiring, moving, faith building, arousing.  The Curate of Glaston tells the story of curate Thomas Wingold - his awakening and the way in which he helps the people of Glaston to come to know the True God.  Written by George MacDonald, this is a wonderful trilogy, especially for the new believer...

A Lineage of GraceThe stories of the five unlikely women who changed eternity – Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. Beautifully written by Francine Rivers, this book shows the wonderful grace and forgiveness that God extends even to the most unworthy person...

ChristyOn hearing a missionary speak about the great need in Appalachia, nineteen year old Christy Huddleston feels called to go to the heights of Cutter Gap to teach the children there...  As Christy begins to teach school, she is faced with more challenges than just the lack of textbooks...  Written by Catharine Marshall.  Read my complete review here.

Please feel welcome to share a few of your favourites too...

Note:  I would personally recommended these books for ages 15+...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

~ Hospitality is love in action. 
Hospitality is the flesh and muscle on bones of love. ~
 Alexander Strauch
Painting By Helen Allingham

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

...For the Love...

 ...Of summertime preserving...

Summer is upon us, dear friends!  And the arrival of this lovely sunny season means many happy and pleasurable hours spent in the kitchen, turning abundant blessings of fruit and vegetables into delicious, homemade preserves, pickles and chutneys for the rest of the year!

 Homemade Pickled Onions ~ November 2014

Preserving is a favourite pastime of mine...  I love the sweet, hot smell of boiling fruit permeating the house...the spicier combination of ingredients for fruit chutney...whole fruit boiling until just tender in a light sugar syrup to be stored away until wintertime...  Hmmm.... 

I feel a bit like Ma and her girls in those dear and treasured stories of their pioneer lives in the Little House series...

Apricot Chutney, December 2014

Often our entire day is spent in the kitchen, and we love it...  We work together as a team to reach a certain goal and this makes the process (and the end product) that much more enjoyable...

And homemade is always special, of course...  We love giving our preserves as gifts to dear friends and family members, particularly over the festive season.  There is something so satisfactory in the giving of something that took you time and effort to make, isn’t there...?

 Homemade strawberry jam made from our own organic strawberries ~ what a delight!

Whenever possible, I make pretty labels out of scraps of craft paper, or I simply use a whole dried chilli for our delicious tomato chilli jam or an orange slice to decorate a jar of marmalade, just to add that extra special touch...   

Do you enjoy preserving in your home?
How do you present your gifts of homemade goodies...?

~ Blessings ~

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Monday, December 1, 2014

Loveliness Today ~ Strawberry Delight...

~ Homemade strawberry jam made from our own organic strawberries ~

Happy first of December, dear friends!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Sparrow's Faith

 A Sparrow's Faith

 I'm just a little Sparrow
I have no pedigree
I'm rarely ever noticed
But the Lord is watching me

He gave me a coat of feathers
'Tis very plain I know
Without a speck of color
For it wasn't made for show

It keeps me warm in winter,
Protects me from the rain
Were it trimmed in gold or silver,
Perhaps would make me vain

I have no barn or storehouse
I neither sow nor reap
God gives my daily portion,
With never a seed to keep

There are many other Sparrows
All over the world they're found
And my Father always knows
When one falls to the ground

I'm only one little Sparrow
A bird of low degree
I know my Father's love
Dost thou know His love for thee?

By Yolanda Cohen
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Matthew 10:29 ~

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Our Favourite Christmas Fruitcake Recipe

  ...And here is the promised recipe for a lovely moist Christmas fruitcake... 

Christmas Fruitcake

500g dates, shredded

4 ½ packets (250g each) dried fruitcake mix OR

500g seedless raisins and 375g golden sultanas and 250g mixed candied citrus peel

200ml brandy

450g butter, at room temperature

475g brown sugar

9 large free-range eggs

600g cake flour

5ml bicarbonate of soda

5ml salt

2ml ground cloves

2ml ground cinnamon

2ml ground mace

5ml cocoa

50ml ginger syrup

125g ginger preserve, finely shredded (make your own!)

125g walnuts, chopped

Grated rind of 1 lemon

250g glace cherries, halved and sprinkled lightly with flour

60ml brandy

The night before place the dates, cake mixture or raisins, sultanas and candied citrus peel in a container and pour over the 200ml of brandy.  Close tightly.

Butter a 25cm cake tin, line it with three layers buttered brown paper and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius.

Cream the butter and brown sugar and add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.  Sift together the dry ingredients and mix with the butter mixture.  Stir in the fruit mixture and add the ginger syrup, preserved ginger, walnuts and lemon rind.  Mix well.

Spoon a layer of the batter into the tin, followed by a layer of cherries.  Repeat until everything has been used, ending with a layer of batter. 

Cover the tin with a round paper plate or use a piece of cardboard cut to size.

Bake for 4 hours, remove the plate and bake for another hour or until done.  Remove from the oven and pour 60ml brandy evenly over the hot cake.  Leave in the tin to cool.

Wrap tightly in aluminium foil and place in a container with a tight-fitting lid, 

Pour a few tots of brandy over the cake every seventh day, closing it tightly each time.

Makes one large cake or two smaller cakes...

For decorating ideas and other festive bakes and cakes, see this post from Christmas 2013!

~ Have a truly beautiful day, sweet readers ~