Friday, November 19, 2010

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfilment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;—
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
Pearling his coronet of golden corn.

~Thomas Hood : Autumn (1798-1845)

Monday, November 15, 2010

"And the day came
When the risk
To remain tight in a bud
Was more painful
Than the risk it took to
~Anais Nin
Have a Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, November 12, 2010

"The thinnest yellow light of
November is more warming and exhilarating
than any wine they tell of.
The mite which November contributes
becomes equal in
value to the bounty of July."
- Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hire Vets First!

Presidential Proclamation -- Veterans Day


On Veterans Day, we come together to pay tribute to the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Americans across this land commemorate the patriots who have risked their lives to preserve the liberty of our Nation, the families who support them, and the heroes no longer with us. It is not our weapons or our technology that make us the most advanced military in the world; it is the unparalleled spirit, skill, and devotion of our troops. As we honor our veterans with ceremonies on this day, let our actions strengthen the bond between a Nation and her warriors.

In an unbroken line of valor stretching across more than two centuries, our veterans have charged into harm's way, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, to protect the freedoms that have blessed America. Whether Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard, they are our Nation's finest citizens, and they have shown the heights to which Americans can rise when asked and inspired to do so. Our courageous troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the globe have earned their place alongside previous generations of great Americans, serving selflessly, tour after tour, in conflicts spanning nearly a decade.

Long after leaving the uniform behind, many veterans continue to serve our country as public servants and mentors, parents and community leaders. They have added proud chapters to the story of America, not only on the battlefield, but also in communities from coast to coast. They have built and shaped our Nation, and it is our solemn promise to support our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen as they return to their homes and families.

America's sons and daughters have not watched over her shores or her citizens for public recognition, fanfare, or parades. They have preserved our way of life with unwavering patriotism and quiet courage, and ours is a debt of honor to care for them and their families. These obligations do not end after their time of service, and we must fulfill our sacred trust to care for our veterans after they retire their uniforms.

As a grateful Nation, we are humbled by the sacrifices rendered by our service members and their families out of the deepest sense of service and love of country. On Veterans Day,let us remember our solemn obligations to our veterans, and recommit to upholding the enduring principles that our country lives for, and that our fellow citizens have fought and died for.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation's veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2010, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

{Marinated Artichokes}

1 can water-packed artichokes, drained
1/3 c white wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon zest
½ clove garlic, minced
½ c olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
2 TB fresh parsley, chopped

Mix the white wine vinegar, lemon zest and garlic in a small bowl. Add the drained and rinsed artichokes and toss in the vinegar mixture. Set aside for half an hour.

Once slightly pickled in the vinegar, add the rest of the ingredients and toss well, mixing the remaining vinegar and olive oil to create vinaigrette. Serve with other antipasti and cheese.

{Spicy Cherry Chutney}

adapted from Gourmet Magazine

1 orange peel
3 c cherries
1 c red onion, chopped
1 red chili, chopped
¼ c balsamic vinegar
2 TB cider vinegar
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground pink peppercorns

Carefully peel the orange and slice into thin julienned strips. In a large, heavy pot, stir together all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer, stirring every couple of minutes. After about 35-40 minutes, stir more often and once the chutney has thickened, after 50 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool. Spoon into a jar and keep chilled for up to three weeks. Serve with cold meats or cheeses.

Cup of Tea

Peach Jam Scones

Yield: 8 large scones

6 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) chilled unsalted butter

1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup peach jam

3 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced, or 1 (8-ounce) package frozen peaches, defrosted and drained

Preheat the oven to 425º F. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt for about 30 seconds. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add it to the flour mixture. Pulse about 15 times, until the butter-flour mixture is crumbly. With the processor running, slowly pour 1 1/2 cups buttermilk through the feed tube. Stop the processor as soon as the buttermilk has been added. If the dough has begun to stick together in a ball, remove it. If not, add more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough begins to clump up and form a ball.

Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface. Use your hands to pat the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle, about 12 by 10 inches. Spread a thin layer of jam lengthwise over half the dough and arrange the peach slices in a single layer on top of the jam. Fold the plain dough over the peaches to make a 12 by 5-inch rectangle with the jam and peaches folded inside. Cut the dough into 8 triangles and sprinkle the top of the scones with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Bake on an un-greased baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, until the scones are a light golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway~
Thanksgiving comes again!
~Old Rhyme

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

{Caramel Pear Butter}

adapted from Bon Appétit
makes about 2 c of butter

4 TB apple juice
1 1/2 TB fresh lemon juice, divided
5 large ripe pears
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp coarse kosher salt

Add the apple juice and 1/2 TB of lemon juice in a large pot. Prepare pears by peeling, coring, and chopping into 1/2 inch pieces. To prevent the pears from browning, add to the juice mixture as soon as you mix pears into juice mixture in pot as soon as pears are cut, to prevent browning.

high heat cook the fruit until the juices begin to boil. Stir continuously for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender. Continue to stir frequently for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and pass the pear through a sieve or food mill back into the pot. Add the remaining lemon juice, brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Over medium heat bring back to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Reduce heat and continue to simmer until thickened and reduced to 2 cups. Be sure to stir ever couple of minutes to prevent the bottom from burning.

the hot mixture into sterilized canning jars. Leave 1/4 of an inch of space from the top. Wipe the rim clean with a damp cloth and screw on the lids. Process in a hot water bath for about 10 minutes. Will keep in a dark cool place for 1 year.