Monday, January 10, 2022

A Slow Day


In our grocery stores, this particular tea is available only during December. I discovered it last year and like it so much that I've stocked several boxes to last me through the year. With hints of chocolate, lavender, and mint, it's a winner. 

This afternoon I'm drinking copious amount of tea as I have come down with a cold. I had my booster shot on Saturday, felt achy and awful on Sunday, and this morning woke up with a runny nose. Sigh. It's been a slow weekend, never mind a slow day. I feel fine, but am keeping the tissue box handy. 

This old, cookbook, first published in 1962, followed by at least six editions, is identical to the one my mother has. She probably got hers in the 60s and I got mine in the late 70s.

How many recipes do you use from a single cookbook? From this one, I use about 20, but I so enjoy reading through the book that I won't be discarding it any time soon. There are many recipes from my Mennonite heritage that I remember from my grandmothers' kitchens. There's a section on butchering and preserving, and then a few incongruities like pot-au-feu, Yorkshire pudding (with an explanation of what to eat them with), and a number of dishes inspired by Asian cooking. Those ladies (and they were all ladies who cooked back then) were not afraid to try new dishes. 

Apples from our trees remain in a drawer in the fridge, and they are beginning to soften. Dough leftover from pies made in the autumn lounged in the freezer, so I combined the apples and the dough in a single-crust pie, a recipe from the above cookbook. It turned out well, although I baked it much longer than recommended in order to cook the filling properly. The recipe, with a few adaptations, can be found here

After putting away the Christmas decorations, I set out my ceramic houses representing the old colonial city of Quito, Ecuador. The set was a Christmas present from Tim while we lived in Quito. Looking around my house I see many objects with stories and memories. There's a seascape watercolour picked up on one of our boating trips, framed photos from European travels, the double pedestal dining room table that Tim built 35 years ago, a cabinet that once belonged to my parents, and many more things. 

I like a house layered with objects curated over time and would not want to replace everything with new things that matched perfectly. Our homes should reflect our life stories, in my opinion.

The forced hyacinth bulbs are blooming and perfume the air with sweetness. How I love their colour and shape, all those curly flowers bunched together. It's lovely to have them indoors now, and I look forward to the outdoor bulbs soon sprouting. I took a wander around my garden this afternoon, and there are a few green crocus shoots poking up through the snow, and little else. It's been cold. 

How's winter progressing in your corner?


  1. I still have a Mennonite Treasury Cookbook. That book was my lifeline when I first got married.

  2. Our southwestern Virginia weather is cold with a 5-degree temperature Sunday morning. We also had two snows last week. It has been a white cold world in our area for several days. And speaking of tea, I have been consuming quite a bit of my favorite tea--Bigelow's Constant Comment green tea. We have been feeding the birds and have had numerous varieties to visit our feeders especially during this cold spell. They are a delight to watch.

  3. Shoot- Just lost my whole comment...Darn it.
    Anyway, Will try again. Love that tea-I am not a tea drinker but it sounds good!
    I have many things that I have acquired over time that take me right back to the moment it became mine. One of my favorites is my grandmother's pie plate. It has a baked glossy finish on the inside and the outside is untreated rougher pottery. It bakes the most amazing pies! And my father's chair -that I am going to gift to my son this week-it's his turn to pass it on--and will someday go to his son.
    Love old cookbooks. I have a couple that I still use several recipes for things.
    Have a wonderful week, Lorrie. xo Diana

  4. The hyacinths are so, so pretty. I can imagine how they would brighten up the house in the window with a snowy view in the background. The little ceramic houses look quaint and charming. My house is a collection of family items and things we've collected over the years. Like you, I wouldn't feel comfortable in a place with all brand new things.

    Sometimes I think I enjoy cookbooks as much for the pleasure they give me just reading them, as for the recipes I actually try.

  5. I have an old rather tattered Mennonite Treasury that I've used over the years. I like looking through the recipes, many contributed by friends of my Mom's, women I remember from my childhood.

  6. i like to make Yorkshire puddings. I have tasted Amish cooking in Lancaster and it was delicious. I used to follow A Mennonite cooking blog.
    Nothing interesting in the garden for the moment it is all calm winter time! I wish we had snow instead of rain.

  7. Good idea to stock your favorite tea. I get nervous when there's shortage of something I like.
    Now, because of the pandemic, shortage of many supplies is expected.

  8. i have an old Newfoundland cookbook that I cherish. Some recipes are well used and family ones from other sources are written in the notes. I love the recipes connected to family heritage. Like the furniture and objects in our home, they wrap us in familiar traditions and memories.

  9. I searched and found some Breakfast in Paris tea that has lavender. Have you tried that? I put it in my wish list and might try it. Enjoy your day!

  10. That tea sounds wonderful. Sorry to hear about your cold. Feel better soon.

  11. Fee1 better soon!!! You pie is amazing! I can sme11 it from here.!
    I used to co11ect 1oca1 recipe books when we vacationed. But, there came to be too many so I 've on1y kept a few. Most new recipes I find on b1ogs 1ike yours!!!

  12. How delightful to have such a village to put out, when you put Christmas away. And the bulbs.

    Here, any flowers indoors make us sneeze etc. -sigh-

    I hate to take decorations off my mantle, since I don't know what to replace it with. And bare is not gooood. Ugh...

    Oh mercy, you got your Booster, and a cold. (The latest variant, pronounced "Imacold"????) What people do not know is, one's immunity is lowered after these "Jabs." Not much info about this now, but I made sure we were very careful, for 2 weeks, after our 2 regular "Jabs." People knew to do this, then.

    No Boosters for us. We have been so advised. Each "Jab," lowers one's immunity.

    Be well...

    Merry Midwinter

  13. Prayers you feel better
    The hyacinths are lovely. My grandmother wore a cologne in the spring with the same sweet scent. She was like a walking flower.
    Cookbooks. A paperback and a hardcover in use so long, I don't remember the year or where I got them. Mainly, I use them to bake cookies. and check on oven time and settings.

  14. Good morning, Lorrie. The tea sounds lovely. Whenever I find something I adore, I do just as you do. Try to purchase enough to last a while. I also agree with you about decorating a home. Ours tells our story and to me, that is what makes it home.

    Wishing you lovely winter days and I hope your cold leaves soon!

  15. What a pretty shade of lilac those hyacinth are. I have some on my kitchen window sill that are pale pink. Love those ceramic houses and I agree with you that a home is made up of all those objects with special memories. Hope your cold is gone soon. I’ve had one for over a week now, the first in a good few years. B x

  16. Hope you feel better soon. This was such a pretty post . . . having a bad cold has not damped your creativity.

  17. I love your Quito houses!

    Winter has not been too bad here the last few days, because the SUN is shining!

  18. I agree with you that I would not like to live in a home that was changed on a regular basis with matching things or that followed the latest trends. I enjoy being surrounded by objects and things collected across the years, some that have been with us since we made our first home together. Objects that reflect places where we have travelled or are part of our family history.
    Hope that you are soon feeling better. Neither of us, touch wood, have had a cold for ages - maybe its the mask wearing or not being around many people.

  19. There is no doubt that it is winter in our corner. That pie is something else! Love the look of it. Our house is definitely a reflection of things gathered over the years. Sorry you are under the weather and I hope you get better soon. I've never seen that tea. It does sound good. Take care...

  20. Oh that tea sounds good (I've never seen that here). - It's fun to look through old cookbooks. I like trying new recipes but a few of those sounded a bit "odd" to me. The Hyacinth was gorgeous. I am looking forward to spring flowers. I bought a bunch of new tulips this year and some lilies so will be anxious to see them.

  21. We are enjoying a reprieve in the frigid weather. It was so nice yesterday to go outside and not freeze your face off. Lovely post, Lorrie. I couldn't find that Christmas in Paris tea this year. How clever of you to stock up a supply to last you through the year - I do enjoy that flavour. Your ceramic houses of Quito are charming - a lovely thing to set in place of the Christmas decor.

  22. Tea drinking in winter is a very good thing.
    Forced bulbs are so special too.
    Happy wintering!

  23. Lorrie - I can relate to feeling crummy/having a cold. I had the same experience with the booster, and I seem to have picked up the cold from our son. Of course, there are no COVID tests anywhere to verify that it is just a cold ... We tested him when he first came down with the cold, and he was negative. Hopefully ...

    As you know, my husband does all the cooking, and his recipes are drawn from here, there and everywhere!!!

    Our winter has warmed significantly, which makes everything a sheet of ice - not good!

  24. I love old cookbooks and look over the shelves at the thrift stores. Vancouver Island has lots of good campgrounds and RV parks. We are partial to ones wit full hookups or at least power so we can run our appliances easier. If you ever come over to Powell River on the ferry (I know it’s an added expense) I recommend the Willingdon Beach campground in town and Kent’s Beach near Saltery Bay. Look up Barb Rees on Facebook. She moderates a Canadian RV group and has written numerous RV On a Dine guides. Margy

  25. I took a bit of time to peek back at previous posts to see what you have been up to while I was celebrating/hosting/baby-snuggling/recuperating. As always, your blog is pleasant and gentle and a pleasure to read. Loved seeing your grands playing in the snow. That snow day must have been a treat for them! I salivated over your one-bowl meal. And I enjoyed hearing about the number of things in your home that originate from your time in Ecuador. Yes, I agree that our homes should tell our stories and our family's stories! Happy New Year!

  26. I do like the look of your hyacinth bulbs, their scent must be wonderful.

    All the best Jan


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