Crisp air…. Falling leaves…. Warm sweaters & cocoa around the fireplace…. November is the time we find gratitude and thankfulness in the little things that bring us joy in life. As you take time for meditation this month…. Think about those things that you enjoy…think about the things what makes your “heart sing”. Pumpkin Lattes, autumn leaves in shades of red and gold, the smell of fresh baked apple pies and homemade soups for dinner make me smile…. How about you?
This past weekend, I enjoyed meeting and greeting friends and strangers alike, at a local “Holiday Bazaar” in town. It is so heart-warming to see people from all walks of life, tending their “booths”, lovingly cradling beloved handicrafts… and selling their favorite hobbies and small business arts to the “early holiday shoppers” that enjoy ‘craft shows’ as much as we do. I opened my space at the show… advertising The Platt House Bed & Breakfast (my other alter ego…. Or job…. Although – it’s a passionate love, more than a job….) and I shared the booth space with a close friend… so we enjoyed hours of chatting and just ‘hanging out’ and discussing whatever topic happened to come up… knowing it was ok to talk about religion, politics and all of the normally ‘taboo’ subjects that we don’t like to talk about with strangers. It was fun and relaxing during the 2-day bazaar. However, the week leading up to the bazaar was anything but relaxing. In order to highlight the amenities of my B&B, I spent a great deal of time making and baking all of our favorite treats, scouting for specific packaging, making tags and sticky labels, tying on those tags and then pricing them… gathering ‘vintage’ objects that were old and tired and needed recycling to others who would love them as much as I had. It was a whirlwind week of activity, and trying to keep up with my teaching classes at the Caldwell YMCA….was enough to actually be called “stress”. I returned home with enough $$ to cover the cost of the materials, and the booth space…. And lots of leftover scones, hand decorated cookies, nuts, caramel popcorn, breads and specialty dessert items. Oh well…. I took the leftovers (over 100 items) LOL and distributed them to the students in my classes today. I certainly hope it made their hearts happy. Several people asked for recipes… which I hope to include in this blog today….so, try and wade through all of this chit chat and just remember to take time to feel grateful and thankful for at least 3 things in your life everyday…. Find something to be positive about… even in the midst of stress and anxiety… we can still find goodness in ourselves and in others. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday season.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
3 cups - flour
2 cups - sugar
½ teas. - Baking powder
1 ½ teas. – Salt
2 Tablespoons - poppy seeds
1 ½ cups- milk
¾ cup - vegetable oil
1 ½ teas. Vanilla extract
1 ½ teas. Almond extract
1 ½ teas. Butter flavoring.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl – medium speed mixer. Spoon batter into 2 (greased and floured) 8” x 4” x3” loaf pans. Bake in preheated 350º oven and bake for 45 min. to 1 hr. Remove loaves and immediately drizzle the glaze over the top.
Glaze: ½ teas. Vanilla extract ½ teas. Almond extract, ½ teas. Butter flavoring, 2 cups sifted powdered sugar. 4-6 Tablespoons of lemon juice (more if necessary)
Remove bread from pans and drizzle any leftover around the edges and down the sides of the bread. (I actually make 3 smaller loaves in medium size pans for 50 min. in the oven!)
“Country Spice Tea Mix”
1 jar of Tang (or equivalent orange drink mix = about 1lb. 4 Oz.)
¾ cup of instant tea with lemon(I actually use about 1 cup of plain instant tea and then one of those tubes of **makes 2 quarts***)
1 ½ cups of sugar
2 teas. Cinnamon
1 teas. Ground cloves
½ teas. Nutmeg
½ teas. Allspice
Mix everything all together in a big bowl…. I spoon it into a small Mason jar and add a pretty fabric lid and tie a ribbon around it. You can put a sticky label on the front… (something pretty?) or just tie a tag with directions on it. (“add 2-3 heaping teaspoon-full to a very hot cup of water") Use as a gift or for yourself!
If you are interested in a holiday recipe of mine that you have tried… please send me a message on this site under the “connect” tab on the home page of www.deboates.com … and then go to “contact”… and type a message and it will appear in my email account. I’ll send you a private message back. Thank you. DebO