Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Peace & Joy

The tree is decorated...

The scene is set...

The love is growing...

The light is streaming...

Wishing you all a wonderfully magical Holiday Season!!

Because it is all Rather Delightful!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Santa Lucia Day

We baked some lovely Santa Lucia Buns!!!  Inspired by traditional Northern European lussekatter.

Fresh out of the oven!  I have vivid memories of baking these kind of buns with my mother as a small pup.

My personal designer helped me with my Santa Lucia look, having had experience when she was young.  We kept it very traditional with the white dress, red sash and greenery.  

Nothing says holiday cheer like a dog with a wreath on her head!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

St. Nicholas

Ida Bohatta

From a very young age, I can remember our family celebrating St. Nicholas.  At our house, Santa isn't known for bringing presents (we exchange gifts, often handmade, from one another on Christmas morning), but on the eve of the 6th of December, we shine our shoes and set them out with a little hay and a carrot for St. Nicholas' white horse!  

In the morning, we rush down to see if he has left us a small surprise--a clementine or little book, something small enough for your shoe.  St. Nicholas was a 4th century Greek bishop known for his kindness and generosity and was said to have left coins or other small things for the poor on their windowsills or in their shoes. This story inspired the idea that he would leave children presents in their shoes on his feast day.  This has been a tradition throughout Europe since the 12th century.  St. Nicholas was the inspiration for Santa Claus.

This year, St. Nicholas was very generous and left a package of biscuits and a handknit scarf in my little shoes! 

Of course, I had to take a frolic in the snow!!  My scarf was just in time for our fresh snow too!  Maybe its bright colors will help me to not get lost, as well as stay warm. 


                 I just adore my new scarf!!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013


Advent...what a beautiful time of year!  A time of waiting, reflecting, preparing and traditions, but most of all a peaceful time to spend with family.  Advent takes us into the darkest part of winter and brings us a luminous light from within.

  I love lighting candles at dinner, making presents for friends and family, and opening a door on the Advent calendar each day; it makes Christmas more special for me.

Our main Advent tradition is "Mary's Star Path."  On top of a bookshelf, we lay out a "snowy" piece of fabric, and on it place a path of 24 gold paper stars, with bigger stars for each Sunday of Advent.  Mary, from our Nativity set, travels along this path each day drawing one star closer to the manger.

Each day, accompanied by a special song, Mary moves on to the 
next star, and the previous one finds a home in the "sky," a 
blue piece of fabric with little stars draped across the back of 
the scene.  During the first week the landscape is bare except 
for rocks, crystals and shells; the second week plants are 
added; the third, animals; and the fourth, people. 


"On the golden star path walking,
Mother Mary travels far, 
Brings to us the light of heaven, 
Brighter than the brightest star."

Oh, where do you come from,
You little flakes of snow?
Falling softly, falling softly,
To the earth below.
On the trees and the bushes,
On the mountains so far,
Tell me snowflakes,
Do you come from
Where the angels are? 

- Hedwig Haberkorn

Ida Bohatta

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

First Snow!!

I love the first snow!  And yesterday, I woke up to a Winter Wonderland!  The farm is always so beautiful under a crystal blanket of snow!

 I dare say this is possibly one of our most beautiful first snows!  Of course, I donned my hat and coat and went for a brisk frolic in the snow.  I bravely set out through our transformed garden.  

On my way through the garden, I met my good friend Bobo--can you see her?  She was hiding out from the cold.  After a vigorous walk in the cold, it's always nice to come home and eat something warm!  With Thanksgiving coming up it has me thinking of recipes, and I've been just waiting to try this one out!  It's my variation on a traditional recipe.....

- - - Itty Bitty Butternut Squatty Squash Pie - - -

For the Crust                      In addition you will need 5 8oz (this is a recipe from one of           ramekins for baking.
my favorite cookbooks, 
Nourishing Traditions)
1 cup almonds              
3/4 cup arrowroot flour
3/8 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Filling
(this recipe is an adaptation of Tasha Tudor's pumpkin pie recipe)
2 cups Butternut squash (about 1 medium squash)
3 medium eggs (because that's the size our chickens lay)
1 1/2 cups cream
scant 1/2 cup sugar
scant 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp clove 
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

*  Cut the squash in half lengthwise and bake face down at 350F 
 for 45 min. in a baking pan filled with a 1/4" of water.
*  For crust, place almonds in food processor and bring to a 
 fine meal, proceed to add the other ingredients and 
 blend together.
*  Press dough into each ramekin about 1/4" thick, and 
 about 1/2" from the rim of the ramekin.
*  Bake at 350F for approximately 20 min. with ramekins sitting 
 in a baking pan filled with 1/2" of water.  Set aside.
*  For filling, scrape 2 cups of squash flesh out of the shell 
 and place in a bowl, add the spices and salt, and beat the "heck 
 out of it," then add remaining ingredients and whip. 
*  Pour the filling into the ramekins almost up to the 
 top of the crust.
*  Bake at 350F for approximately 50 min. or until a knife 
 inserted an inch from the edge comes out clean.
*  Serve with homemade whipped cream and enjoy!  The ramekins
 stay hot for quite a while, so be cautious.

Enjoy the snow!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Life has sent a very unexpected and challenging event which has left us quite speechless.  On this All Hallows' Eve, I decided to focus on my favorite things about this time of the year.

  I took a beautiful walk with my good friend today; we walked down our usual path first, then went across the newly-harvested fields to the forest, where we walked in the dappled sunshine with the colorful leaves underfoot and the pigeons flying out from the brush at every turn in the path.  Entering the forest, there is always a hushed, beautiful peace that is at the same time buzzing with activity--nature is always a wonder and a comfort to me.


Some lovely fall artwork by my dear friend and 
personal designer...

Some favorite past costumes and jack-o-lanterns...

mouse & cat

John Lennon

Aladdin's monkey

Some Halloween mystery...OOOOOOO......


"It's not the length of life, but the depth of life."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

In loving memory of a truly beautiful man
known for his great hugs and heartfelt smiles.  He touched many, many lives in his very full 73 years of living.
There are no words to express how much we will miss his 
presence here on the farm.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Last Rose of...Fall?

I love this time of year!  Truthfully, I love most times of the year, but there really is something special about the crisp air and misty mornings, and of course, the colorful leaves!  We have had some marvelous weather which I've been enjoying every chance I get!

A good friend of mine went on a little trip and just returned home yesterday, so I was suddenly inspired to 
make a nice little cake for her.  

Our chickens have been laying lots of eggs, so I decided on an angel food cake.  Of course I had to collect the eggs first!  

I do love making angel food cakes, but usually save them for special occasions.  I found the few roses left in the garden a great inspiration, so I let my creativity run wild (creativity needs exercise too!), and this is what I came up with: an angel food cake with a center layer of rosewater whipped cream, and topped with raspberry rosewater glaze, fresh raspberries and rose petals.  Below I will share with you the way to give your angel food cake a rosy glow! 

  - - -  Raspberry Rosewater Angel Food Cake  - - - 

*  For the cake use your favorite angel food cake recipe.


*  2 tablespoons milk
*  rosewater 
*  powdered sugar  
*  2 raspberries

  Whipped Cream

*  1 cup heavy whipping cream
*  1/2 powdered sugar
*  rose water

*  in addition you will need raspberries and rose petals 

I must confess I wasn't especially exact with measurements when I was making this (I was with the cake of course, but the other parts were more "make it up as you go").

For the glaze, start with 2 tablespoons milk and whisk in the powdered sugar until it is the desired consistency (mine wasn't especially thick), then add the rosewater to taste.  To color it a pleasant pink, mash the 2 raspberries through a sieve into the glaze discarding the seeds.   

For the whipped cream, beat the cream and sugar until it is the desired consistency (I made mine thicker than usual because it would be in the center of the cake), add rosewater to taste.  

To assemble your cake, carefully cut it in half, set the base of your cake on the plate and spread evenly with the whipped cream. Now place the top of your cake evenly on the whipped cream surface.  Drizzle the glaze across the top and decorate with raspberries and rose petals (if you intend to eat the rose petals be sure to cut off the white base of each petal). You now have a finished cake!! 

- - - - - 

I really must thank our lovely flock of feathered friends for the eggs!  They were quite excited for their blog debut; they excite rather easily though, so it's no surprise!  

Penelope & Velma

Eugenia, Stella, Penelope, Aibileen & Velma