Sunday, May 05, 2019

Notes from Domesticity

On Friday evening we went to the boat show. It's fun seeing what's out there in the boating world. We toured a couple of fabulous boats, far beyond our taste and budget, and it was fun to see them. The great thing about our own little boat is that we see exactly the same things the bigger boats do - out on the water is very egalitarian.

After wandering the docks for an hour or more we enjoyed a casual dinner at The Rum Runner restaurant overlooking the water. 

In an effort to use up the fruit from the freezer before the new crop goes in, I made a Mixed-Fruit Platz. (link is to my recipe blog) Platz is a dish from my Mennonite roots - versatile and easy to prepare. One end of the cake has the last of the plums I froze, and the rest of the cake has rhubarb along with frozen (thawed and drained) strawberries. I love the crumbly topping best of all. 

With the juice I drained off of the frozen strawberries, I made some stewed rhubarb. Rhubarb is the first thing I harvest from my garden in the spring. It's so satisfying to pull up the stalks, whack the leaves off, and dice the pink and green stalks before placing them into a saucepan with a fair bit of sugar to gently simmer for not very long until softened and sweet.

I like stewed rhubarb with unsweetened yogurt; others like it on cake or ice cream. A friend mentioned eating it with sour cream and I plan to try that soon.

I love taking care of my home. It's a safe place for me to relax, be creative, and regain energy for the things I do outside of my home. I hope it was that way for my children, and continues to be that for my husband and others who might share our roof from time to time. 

Ursula K. LeGuin writes, "I always wondered why the makers leave housekeeping and cooking out of their tales. Isn't it what all the great wars and battles are fought for -- so that at day's end a family may eat together in a peaceful house."  

“Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks.” 
― G.K. Chesterton

I like Chesterton's words, too, especially that he doesn't relegate the word "domesticity" to women. I'm so glad that I live in an age where I can chose what career path I will follow. 

Weekends are precious to me; I use them for doing the tasks that keep my house to my standards - cleaning, laundry, some cooking. Gardening, too, now that spring is here. New recipes are often tried. Last night I made a sheet pan dinner with chicken thighs and vegetables. Delicious, and good for more than one meal for us. The recipe is very forgiving - use vegetables you and your family enjoy.

Balsamic Chicken Dinner

8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons mustard (I used Dijon)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs and leave to marinate while preparing the vegetables.

Fill a baking tray with slices, batons, or cubes of vegetables. I used butternut squash, zucchini, onion, and rutabaga. Other options could include carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, green beans, or mushrooms. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt. 

Place the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables. Roast at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until the thighs are cooked through and the vegetables are tender. There will be some liquid on the pan that is full of flavour, so don't discard it. 

I added a handful of Marzano tomatoes, halved, and a generous sprinkling of chopped parsley when I served the dish. 

I'll leave you with some of the tulips blooming in my garden. These are in a shadier spot and bloomed later than others. Some are finished already. I potted up a few and they are still appearing. 

Wishing you a week full of gentle beauty and a quiet heart, even in the midst of busyness. 

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Angie of Letting Go of the Bay Leaf. 


  1. Tulips, lilacs ...just beautiful ... Spring! We’ve been having fun with sheet pan dinners lately too. (and I’d emphasize the ‘we’). Yours is so colorful ..nice food photography. Enjoyed the quotes and your musing as always....

  2. Doesn't life consist mostly of blissful domesticity? Happily, my husband shares many domestic chores with me--always has all our marriage, and we enjoy performing chores together. Today we cleaned our front and back yards from Winter debris and mowed the lawns, It is still too early to plant, but hopefully soon.

    Your lilacs look beautiful, Lorrie, and I know their scent is intoxicating!

  3. Lorrie - a thoughtful post today, and accompanied by lovely photography, as always! I know sometimes my daughter struggles with "feminism" in today's world. She enjoys many of the "domestic arts" but feels that she is letting down her gender by doing so. I remind her that, at its most basic, feminism is about having choices! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with Mosaic Monday!

  4. Thank you for your thoughts of domesticity. I like being at home, home is important. My husband and I share the household work - that is feminism at its best :) So beautiful pictures & so delicious recipes... I loved them all and especially the first - blue sea with the boats. Wishing you a pleasant week Lorrie.

  5. Lovely photos. Boat and camper shows are fantastic fun, and sources for great dreams.

  6. Anonymous4:59 AM

    What a beautiful post, it is so much very my own life I could have written it lol,, even the boat show lol, thank you for sharing this,

  7. I think our homes are very much a reflection of ourselves, in what we cook, what flowers we grow, what colours we use. The word 'domestic' has become overused in rather an uncomplimentary way, but to create a home is for me, the epitome of satisfaction.
    Lovely tulips. Mine are over now and the bulbs are drying off ready for next year.

  8. This has topped my favorite posts from you, Lorrie. It made me so happy to read it. Chesterton would have been a happy guest in your home and wouldn't he have been a dear man to have visit. I'm still without a computer but had to try to peck out a comment by phone to this post that truly seems to be essential Lorrie.

  9. Your chicken dinner sounds wonderful!

  10. I love the quiet and peace of a tidy and pretty home. I've got some late tulips like your and they seem to last a bit longer. It's already watering time here as there's been no rain. I'm definitely making the chicken dinner!

  11. I love your domesticity and I have taken notes on your chicken dish. We too have a boat show at the moment although it was a little too cold this weekend to stroll around and enjoy. Have a good week. B x

  12. The boats are beautiful and that water is so calm! Love your tulips too. I just told my hubby about a memory I had this morning about food! When my Dad came back from the war, his mother told him she would make him anything he wanted to eat. He wanted banana pudding. She made such a big batch that she served it to him in a dishpan! All for HIM!!! I made myself a little banana pudding this weekend and remembered that story. Hugs!

  13. Each photo was beautiful!!!!

  14. Thank you for posting the recipe I will print it out and make it as it sounds ( and looks) delicious!

  15. Happy mosaic Monday. Yummy recipe. Very intetest quote


  16. Those are great quotes! The beautiful, and I know tasty, results of your own domesticity are the perfect illustrations.

  17. Dear Lorrie - I like Chesterton’s words, too. I also agree domesticity is not a must but a choice to women. I like how you enjoyed domesticity. Thanks for the chicken recipe. My husband and I are homebodies. Though we have a good time going out alone or with friends, we prefers to be at home with families or have friends come over. The top photo of the boats are lovely with all the reflection.


  18. I share your feelings of the comfort of home, Lorrie, and I loved the quotes that you perfect! Your balsamic chicken meal looks wonderful and I'll be trying that soon. Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful week.

  19. Nice post Lorrie, I'm retired and love being home after working for 38 years. Your tulips are so pretty and your Balsamic Chicken dish looks delish. The bright colors of the vegetables make me want to try your recipe. Thanks.

  20. Oh my gosh...everything looks so delicious! I am a lover of rhubarb but not many grow it around here BUT I can get it a local market. I grew up with it growing behind our garage and I remember pulling a stalk off, taking it in the house to rinse off, dip it directly in the sugar bowl and eat it! There may have even been some double dipping going on! The fruit platz looks amazing and so does everything else, including the flowers!

  21. What a thoughtful post. I have always considered my home to be a sanctuary but not, I think, a place of wildness. I love that Chesterton quote, thank you, and I, too, love the fact that he doesn't confine domesticity to women. I think I'm going to love my home a bit more. And I'm sorry, but not even your gorgeous photos can convert me to rhubarb! x

  22. A boat show would be fun! Love, love your lilacs and tulips. Both recipes sound amazing. With the rhubarb in my garden now I am thinking of things to make and some stewed and put on yogurt would be so good. I did make some rhubarb syrup recently which I think I will add to my morning yogurt tomorrow. Yummm! Now I am hungry for both.

  23. I enjoyed reading the quotes along with your thoughts. Thanks for the recipes, ideas for rhubarb and the lovely photos!

  24. There is nothing I love more than my home and family. Funny how routine chores and puttering about give me such joy. :) Kit

  25. Hello, the view of the boats is wonderful. I love all the gorgeous blooms. Spring is lovely. Thanks for sharing the recipe, they look delicious. Great post and photos. Enjoy your day and week ahead!

  26. Your food always looks so good especially that Balsamic Chicken Dinner followed of course by the equally delicious looking Mixed-Fruit Platz.

  27. Another lovely post Lorrie.
    Your words and photographs just go together so well …

    Many thanks for the chicken recipe, it looks and sounds delicious.

    All the best Jan

  28. Love your flowers!

  29. Lorrie, I loved your thoughts (and quotes) about domesticity. I'm going to Pin it to reread on those occasions when I might be feeling a bit less than appreciative about certain housekeeping tasks! Love your sheet pan dinner, too, and can't wait to learn about platz, something I've never heard of.

  30. Looks delicious! And I agree, I love taking care of our home. Well, I'm not much for cleaning regularly or fancy meals, but I cook good meals and just make it home. I see it as such a gift to myself and all of my family. It's refreshing to see someone write about it in that way. Thank you.


Thank you for your comment. I read and value each one, cherishing the connections we can make although far apart. Usually, I visit your blog in return, although if you ask a question I try to contact you directly.

Living Alongside Medieval History

  Several people have asked why we chose Leiden for our visit to the Netherlands. We've found it's easy to stay in the large cities ...