Monday, November 23, 2009

Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard by Suzee Que.
I’m Thankful for You

Thanksgiving is the appointed time
for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days,
we can find small blessings,
but too often we overlook them,
choosing instead to spend our time
paying attention to problems.
We give our energy
to those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,
let’s be on the lookout
for the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people who
bring love and light to everyone
who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving,
I’m thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!

By Joanna Fuchs

Sunday, November 22, 2009

To live content with small seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, never a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious...grow up through the common...this is to be my symphony.

William Henry Channing

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ray Stannard Baker
Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Simple French Omelette
3 eggs
1 tablespoon cream
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon curry, optional
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until light. Gently whisk in the cream and seasonings. Heat a medium sized heavy skillet with rounded bottom and sloping sides. Swirl a tablespoon of butter over surface of pan. When the butter stops foaming, pour egg mixture into the skillet. Cook over medium high heat until the bottom is set. Using a spatula, move the cooked mixture to the center, allowing the uncooked mixture to flow to the bottom of the skillet. When the omelet is lightly browned on the bottom, and soft and moist in the center, spoon filling down center (such as sauteed scallops, smoked salmon, sour cream with strawberries and grated orange peel). With a heated serve plate in one hand, and the skillet in the other hand, tilt the skillet so that the omelet rolls over onto the plate. très bien
"I saw the lovely arch
Of rainbow span the sky,
The gold sun burning
As the rain swept by."
- Elizabeth Coatsworth, November

The image after blurring the rainbow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Balsamic Cabbage
2 cloves garlic -- minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound red cabbage -- thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

In a large skillet, saute the garlic in the oil for a few seconds. Stir in the remaining ingredients; cook until cabbage is soft, about 7-10 minutes. Serve warm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hotel Blue
a simple palette of unpretentious luxury

110 Anglers Rd # 107
Lewes, DE 19958-1192
(302) 645-4880

Hotel Blue

Welcome to Hotel Blue.

Hotel Blue is redefining luxury in historic Lewes. "Blue" is an inspired fusion of coastal Victorian, contemporary design and first class amenities. Sixteen suites and rooms offering lush surroundings with a modern twist. With original art by local artists, ice buckets that change colors, sinks that glow and mirrors that come alive, whimsy and surprise abound in Delaware’s first 'Boutique' Hotel.

Buffet Breakfast Casserole

serves 20

1 large loaf day old French bread, torn into pieces
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 pound chopped ham
3/4 pound shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese
16 eggs
3 cups milk
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup Parmesan

Grease two 13x9x2 casserole dishes. Spread bread pieces in each pan and drizzle with butter. Sprinkle with ham, Swiss and Monterey Jack cheeses. Mix eggs, milk, wine, green onions, mustard and pepper, and beat until foamy. Pour half over each casserole and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 325, cover and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, spread with sour cream and sprinkle tops with Parmesan. Bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Tea and Framboise Cocktail

6 ounces green tea
2 ounces framboise liqueur
Fresh mint to taste
6 ounces blush-colored champagne
Brew tea to desired strength. Chill until ice cold. Chill glasses. Fill with crushed ice. Add 1 ounce framboise to each glass, top with mint. Pour tea over ice, top with champagne. This recipe makes 2 servings.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Poetic Praline Martinis
(serves 4)
Brown Sugar Rim
Equal parts Frangelico and amaretto, combined
brown sugar

1 cup Frangelico
1 cup Amaretto
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Dip edges of 4 glasses in the liqueurs and rim them with brown sugar.
Combine the Frangelico, Amaretto, brown sugar and butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter has belted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue heating until the mixture is warm but not hot. Remove from heat, pour into rimmed martini glasses.

JoAnn Balingit is Delaware's 16th Poet Laureate, appointed by Governor Ruth Ann Minner in May 2008. A resident of Delaware since 1990, JoAnn was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Lakeland, Florida. She has travelled widely, living abroad for several years in Morocco and Portugal. She holds masters degrees in American Literature and Library and Information Science. In summer 2008, she earned a Doctorate of Education at the University of Delaware.

JoAnn has taught poetry for many organizations and in a variety of settings. At the Wellness Community of Delaware, she initiated an ongoing weekly poetry workshop for cancer patients and their families. JoAnn sees poetry as a facilitator of conversation and community, a way for individuals to navigate the wonders and challenges of being alive. With attention to craft, she believes, poetic language creates new understandings. JoAnn encourages educators, parents, and poets to collaborate in the development of "Poetry in the Schools" programming, a program in which guest poets teach the art of poetry to young people.

JoAnn's poems have recently appeared in the journals Smartish Pace and Salt Hill, and in the anthologies DIAGRAM.2 (Del Sol Press, 2006) and Best New Poets 2007 (Meridian/Samovar). She was a recipient of a Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in 1995 and was nominated for a 2004 Pushcart Prize for her poem "Your Heart and How it Works." Her essay, "Some Boy Somewhere," was awarded the 2008 Dr. Norman H. Runge Award.

excerpt from

Never-Never Land
by JoAnn Balingit

after Malay proverbs

where cats have horns
where turtles climb trees
where green fish snap at
sleeping birds on the banks

where east lies west of tidal pools
where midnight crawls out of your hand
where rocks roll down
but pebbles roll up

in other words,
where the rich fall down
and the poor rise up
like dough in earthenware

and spread, like butter on satin…
where crumbs brush away
and the smell of fine clothing
graces an open fire

"Never-Never Land" was originally published in Can We Have Our Ball Back?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Angel Hair Pasta with Basil and Lemon
12 oz. angel hair pasta
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Grated Parmesan
Cook pasta 3 to 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain.
Toss with remaining ingredients, sprinkle cheese on top. Dinner...delicious and fast.

Friday, November 6, 2009

"Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable, the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street or road by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese. Both are warnings of chill days ahead, fireside and topcoat weather."
-Hal Borland

Track from Penny Pot Lane by Walruscharmer.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I love my past. I love my present. I'm not ashamed of what I've had, and I'm not sad because I have it no longer.

Sophisticated, nurturing, wise-she was everything that style stands for.
She was known as Colette. In her remarkable writing career, she gave the world such unforgettable characters as Gigi. And in her native Burgundy, one of the foods that nourished her youth was the unique local cafe pastry called Gougeres. With a subtle flavor of melted cheese, these charming little snacks will remind you of miniature popovers. They will keep for days in the refrigerator. And needless to say, they're best served with a sturdy red wine.
colette from wikipedia
A Recipe for Gougeres
5 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
5 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 425. Add butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg to 1 cup water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. When butter melts, reduce heat to low. Add flour to butter-water mixture all at once and cook over low heat, beating with a wooden spoon for 1 minute until mixture pulls away from sides of pan.
Remove pan from heat.
Add cheese to pan and beat in with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Add 4 of the eggs, 1 at a time, beating each egg into the batter until thoroughly absorbed. Continue beating mixture until it is smooth, shiny and firm. Drop batter in small spoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet to form Gougeres. Beat remaining egg with 1/2 tbsp. water then brush tops of uncooked Gougeres with egg wash.
Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until Gougeres are golden and doubled in size. Remove from oven and serve or allow to cool to room temperature. Makes about 3 dozen Gougeres.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

tower of tea cups by bohemiangirl.
Tea time is my response to a fast paced life and a return to a relaxed tradition. It's also, without a doubt, my desire to return to reflective, civil conversations and perhaps to another age that I imagine less complex. Here are two of my favorite tea time recipes.

Maids of Honour
(makes about 30)
1 lb. puff pastry
1/2 pt. milk
4 tbsp. white breadcrumbs
4 oz. butter, cut in cubes
2 tbsp. superfine sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 oz. ground almonds
3 eggs
Preheat oven 400. Roll out the pastry and cut in rounds to fit small bun or tartlet tins. Bring the milk with the crumbs in it to a boil, remove from heat and leave for 5 minutes. Beat in the butter, then the sugar, rind and almonds. Although the mixture has a slight texture, make sure it has no lumps. Lastly beat in the eggs. Half fill the pastry cases with the mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and has shrunk from the sides of the tins and the filling is golden brown. Remove maids of honour from tin and cool on wire rack.

Cherry Cake
3 oz. self-rising flour
pinch of salt
8 oz. glace cherries, washed and drained
6 oz. butter
6 oz. superfine sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3 oz. ground almonds
Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 7 inch cake tin and line with parchment paper. Sieve flour and salt together. Cut cherries in half and mix them together with a little of the flour to prevent them from sinking to base of the cake when cooking. Cream butter and sugar together until they are pale and creamy. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, adding two tablespoons of flour after half the egg has been used to keep the mixture stiff. Fold in remaining flour, cherries and ground almonds. Turn mixture into tin and bake for 1 1/4 hours or until skewer inserted into cake comes out clean.

Earl Grey is a lovely tea to serve with the above recipes. It is a traditional blend of China and Darjeeling teas, scented with oil of bergamot. It was created by the Chinese for the second Earl Grey. Serve it with our without milk.

Tea, like wine, should be chosen to accompany the food it is served with. Some of my favorite teas are...

Assam is a strong, bright colored tea with a malty flavor. This tea is grown in the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam, northern India. Drink it with milk and serve hearty food.
Rose Pouchong is tea from the Guandong province in China. It is mixed in the traditional way with rose petals to give a fragrant liquor. Serve it black with sweets.
Russian Caravan is a blend of fine quality China and Taiwan oolong teas, delicious with or without milk, hot or iced. It was traditionally brought across Asia to Russia by camel caravan. Serve this tea with sandwiches and salads.
Keemun is a traditional black China tea with a light, delicate flavor from Anhui Province. It can be served with or without milk. This tea goes well with Chinese food.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mashed Caramel Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch sage
1/4 cup Caramel Sauce
6 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Halve lengthwise and scoop out flesh; discard skins. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry the sage leaves, turning occasionally, until crisp but not browned, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. In a medium saucepan, combine the caramel sauce and cream. Stir in the potatoes until smooth; season with a pinch of salt. To serve, top with the fried sage.

Homemade Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons poire William (French pear brandy)
In a dry 5-quart heavy kettle cook sugar over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork (to help sugar melt evenly) until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel, without stirring, gently swirling kettle, until deep golden. Remove kettle from heat and add cream and butter. Mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden. Simmer mixture, stirring, until caramel is dissolved and stir in poire William.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beech in November - Buche im November by annjoch.

"November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear."
- Sir Walter Scott

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard by Suzee Que.
Ye Olde Tavern's Cheese Straws
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 stick butter, chilled
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
smoked paprika
Preheat oven to 400. Sift flour, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl. Mix butter into mixture until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add eggs and cheese. Mix until it forms a stiff dough, roll into a ball, cover with waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. On a floured board, roll dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut dough into sticks about 1/2 inch wide and 6 inches long. Brush each stick on one side with a little of the beaten egg and sprinkle with a little paprika. Twist each stick and place on baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, until a light golden color. Cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container.
"So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world."
- John Clare, November