Happy Summer days to you! They are drawing to a close now and the colder days are coming. But what a lovely summer it has been! Here is a glimpse of my garden scattered with sunflowers. And our wisteria arbor all shady and green. This is a good spot for grilling out and for campfires on warm summer nights, looking up at the stars and moon, and slapping mosquitoes.
Penny has plans to make a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake to eat on the porch with her friends. You’re invited too!
HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKE
Mix together dry ingredients:1 cup flour1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup cocoa powder2 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt
Add liquid ingredients:3/4 cup milk1/4 cup melted butter1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Spread in greased 9×9 inch panOn top of batter, place topping:1/2 cup white sugar1/2 cup brown sugar3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Over this, pour1 1/2 cups boiling waterDo not stir!!
Bake at 350° for 35 minutes
Ooooey – goooey, chocolate goodness!
On the porch, under the pink geraniums, Penny gathers with her two solar light critter pals.
Come friends, let’s sit in the shade and enjoy this snack together.
Topped with whipped cream and one giant summer raspberry.
You, my friends, can split the berry among yourselves because you are my special guests today.
Here’s a wider view of the porch where we enjoy spending our time. On this day I had been picking flowers to make bouquets, with my faithful companions, Gracie and Jasper.
I found this poem online that shares some of the fun activities and memory making joys of summer days. What are the special things you enjoy about summer?
“O Lord, how many and varied are Your works!In wisdom You have made them all;The earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures.” Psalm 104:24
“O Lord, how many and varied are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures.” Psalm 104:24
As we look forward to celebrating Easter this Sunday, Penny and I decided to make some hot cross buns to enjoy with my family when they gather on that special day. I enjoy the flavor of these rolls with the sweet bits of fruit inside. I found my recipe on the Taste of Home website: Traditional Hot Cross Buns. Lets gather the ingredients, Penny.
Let’s take time to write out the recipe to be handy as we work here at the counter.
Penny is the reigning Kitchen Queen with her giant wooden spoon!
She watches over me as I mix the yeast into the warm milk and let it rise. I love the frothy stage of growing yeast.
Penny prepares the eggs, two large homegrown eggs from our hen house, to be exact.
Next, I got a bright idea, for the quarter cup of sugar called for in the recipe, I used pure Merle’s maple sugar from where my brother works tapping trees for springtime syrup making.
We add all these ingredients to the bowl of starter, including the soft butter, and the cinnamon and allspice.
Today we are using the KitchenAid mixer and I tell Penny to step back as it whirls around energetically. Be careful there, little girl!
I add one extra rising in here, to make a nice dough. I let it rise in the mixer bowl before I knead it on the counter.
Once it reaches this high, I dump it on the counter and begin the kneading process.
Keep your hands well floured, Penny, so you don’t get sticky!!
Now we cut them into divisions and roll them smooth, with hints of the dried fruit peeking out. I made two pans of a larger and small size, and let them rise before baking.
I let them rise a bit too much before cutting the “X” on top, so its not quite so distinct. Oh well.
Come celebrate with me as we sample our finished Hot Cross Buns with the frosting added, accompanied by spring flowers picked fresh from my garden.
Let’s celebrate the Easter season together.
Its wonderful to have fresh daffodils, so cheery and bright.
I have been enjoying this very special song, An Easter Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen and lyrics by Kelley Mooney. It is such a hauntingly beautiful song of praise sung here by Cassandra and Callahan Armstrong.
The lyrics begin with:
“A crown of thorns placed on His headHe knew that He would soon be deadHe said, “Did you forget me, Father did you?”They nailed Him to a wooden crossSoon all the world would feel the lossOf Christ the King before His Hallelujah
Hallelujah, HallelujahHallelujah, Hallelujah!”
And they follow the story all the way to the empty tomb, and the risen Lord, Hallelujah!
Have a Blessed Easter, my friends. ♥ Christ is risen indeed!!
We sure have had a snowy February here in New York! It has been clean and bright white, but the sunshine has been rather rare. One frigid day, Penny went out for a walk in the snow on our farm. She climbed an elm tree to gaze about. Suddenly, she heard a warm and friendly voice from below inviting her to drop in for a visit.
Mr. Jedidiah was so happy to have some company after so many cold and snowy days when most creatures have been staying indoors. He met Penny in the tree and showed her how to reach his home under the low gnarly log.
WEEEeeeeee!! Down Penny slid in the soft, fluffy snow.
Mr. Jedidiah had a safe little porch where they could chat together and gaze at the lovely scenes around them.
Such a delightful visit it was for both of them as Mr. Jedidiah was full of knowledge about the forest and all the critters that lived there. He also had a rich memory of many past winters and the varieties of weather he had seen and the adventures he had lived through. He was eager to share stories and tales with Penny and she really enjoyed making a new friend that wintry day as the snow fell softly around them.
After Penny trudged home to the dollhouse that night, she fixed herself a cup of hot cocoa and burrowed down in her favorite chair to sip it slowly and recall the stories of the afternoon. The fire in the fireplace crackled and popped contentedly beside her.
Just a little whipped cream on the cocoa added the perfect touch, and Penny even got a bit on her nose before it all melted away into a hot creamy pool.
This jar of cocoa mix came for Christmas and he is sure loving Penny’s warm house. How about a cup for yourself, Mr. Jolly Cocoa Jar?
“Don’t mind if I do,” says he.
May you all have a safe and warm winter season where you are today!
God bless you, real good!
Hello Friends, winter days are here and our view is full of clean, white, lovely snowflakes.
Please join us as Penny hosts a craft day on cutting paper snowflakes. We have decorated our windows by taping up paper snowflakes that match the white world outside. It looks so festive from both inside looking out, and outside looking in!
For this project, I would like to thank Lynnea and Emily Mayne for hosting Penny and organizing the instructions to share with you. They are some pretty talented snowflake cutters!
First, let me share some snowy photos I took outside to capture some of this pure white beauty.
And now, lets begin our craft by selecting a sheet of smooth white paper, and some sharp scissors.
Carefully folding our first triangle….
Time to trim it up on the paper cutter. Good thing you have someone to supervise, Penny!
Folded and folded again….
And now friends, we are ready to do some creative cutting!
Chop, chop, chop!!
The exciting part is when you open your folded paper to discover the design you invented!
Hurray!!! Good job!
Thank you for joining us, this has been a fun craft, and it was special to do it with Lynnea and Emily. ♥
Its time now to bundle up and head outside together for some sledding and laughter. Are you ready? Let’s take a close look and admire how God made each snowflake beautifully designed in miniature, with no two alike.
That’s pretty amazing.
How many snowflakes do you see?
Penny has a cousin that has been living in Mongolia. She wanted to send her own Merry Christmas to you readers. Here she poses with a hand-carved Mongolian nativity scene. She is making friends with the camels.
Camels are native here in Mongolia; they are used for transportation and for milking. In this land the animals have owners but are allowed to run loose and feed themselves in the wild.
The herdsman live in little round houses called “gers”. The fences are used to keep animals away from the houses.
Mongolia is a land between Russia and China. Far in the north, the summers are short and snow can often be seen out on the mountains.
Come visit and take a turn at riding a camel for yourself!
Christmas is not celebrated here as in Christian countries.
Maybe you’d like to see a close up of that nativity scene at my friend’s house. It is beautifully made.
Mary and Joseph in the background and the baby Jesus in the manger.
We three Mongolian kings…bearing gifts.
I see a restless camel itching to go out exploring!
Our little gal also enjoyed checking out the gingerbread house competition for Christmas. Here is a scene with gers and animals and the mountains in the background. So detailed and clever!
Next, a tall skinny house dusted with snow.
And last of all, a little log cabin, complete with interior furnishings.
Before we say goodbye, you are welcome to sample some “aaruul” or dried yogurt that they make here in Mongolia.
Thanks for visiting!! Merry Christmas!!
Happy New Year!! from Mongolia.
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