Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Grateful Heart

Gratitude ~ the quality of being thankful; 
the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Welcome Friends!

It's quiet at our home
this Thanksgiving holiday.

Typically we host a Thanksgiving meal here in our home with
friends who may not have family with whom to celebrate.

This year we will join friends in their
home for a small Thanksgiving celebration.

The weather in recent weeks has given me
cause to be grateful for a perfect Autumn with 
sunny skies and crisp cool days.

Just enough chill in the air to cozy
up by a fire with hot tea
in the late afternoon.

~ Autumn ~
A time to savor and appreciate the 
rich spectrum of seasonal colors    .   .   .

To relish morning walks along a creekside 
as water flows from recent rains   .   .   .

To bask in the beauty of Mother Nature's
change in the seasons   .   .   .

To huddle in the warmth of a favorite sweater
and snuggle up with out sweet Sadie girl   .   .   .

To reflect on the gratitude one feels for   
the many blessings of our lives.

For our blessings  
are plentiful!

We've abundant  
food on our table   .   .   .

A warm home to
shelter us day and night   .   .   .

And beauty can be found
all around us.

I'm especially grateful for the good health and love
of my wonderful family and friends,
and for each of you who visit and comment here at
Hyacinths for the Soul.

2014 has been a year of final
good-byes to several women close to my heart.

At times sadness rushes over me, but even with death, we can
choose to be grateful. I want to cherish each special memory,
to honor these amazing women and feel grateful for the beautiful
 life each led, the incredible legacy each left behind, and
especially so for the love and friendship we shared.

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it 
is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
                                              William Arthur Ward

Research shows it is helpful and important to make 
an ongoing list of the things for which one is grateful.

On this Day of Thanksgiving, I thank you 
for allowing me to share a grateful heart.

"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way."
                                                              Native American Saying

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Southern Lady Autumn Inspiration

I'm a fan!
Southern Lady
Another stellar publication of Hoffman Media.
This beautiful magazine celebrates those who live in the south.
It inspires and delights and brings southern
hospitality into the lives of each reader.

Case in point!
Enchanted Evening
Southern Lady ~ October 2014 
"As the sunset paints the sky the brilliant 
shades of fall leaves, gather friends for an elegant outdoor 
meal served in dazzling surroundings."
Enchanted Evening, Southern Lady , October 2014

Enchanted Evening, Southern Lady , October 2014

And dazzle it does!
Just look at the details on this table!
In addition to the magical alfresco setting,
 everything on the table delights and enchants my senses.

Enchanted Evening, Southern Lady , October 2014

Especially this salad plate!
Do you recognize it?
It's one of my favorite patterns
~ Bird and Butterfly, by Mottahedeh ~

Lucky me!
I have a dozen dinner plates in this gorgeous pattern.
All were a gift from the sweetest, 
most generous blogging friend,
A heartfelt "Thank You, Cherry Kay!"
I adore these plates!

Sacred Bird and Butterfly by Mottahedeh
This design is true to the original 
antique Chinese export china used in the 
Nathaniel Russell House in Charleston, SC.

The design is in 
iron red with 22k gold rim.

Click here to read
about the details of this autumn table
that I created for a 50th birthday celebration.
While not as elaborate and awe inspiring as
the incredible table featured in Southern Lady,
my table features layers of textures and natural
elements to compliment the elegance of the china.
I hope you will take a look.

Our Thanksgiving celebration last year also
featured my treasured Sacred Bird and Butterfly plates.

With twelve guests for dinner, 
I decided to keep things simple
with two tables of six out in the sun room. 

I used natural linen table toppers over
longer brown linen cloths for the textiles.

Napkins were heirloom white linen with hand
stitched monograms by my husband's grandmother.
Each presented with a sterling antique French napkin ring.

The little bundles of hypericum berries and greens
were copied from an idea seen in Southern Living.

Simple arrangements of sunflowers and mums
in natural bark containers offered a touch of color.

Battery operated faux bark
candles gave a warm glow to the setting.

Woven chargers, enameled and silver flatware, 
and rosewood steak knives offered
additional textural elements.
As you can see, I like texture!

Thanksgiving Dinner 2013
~ Not The Traditional Fare ~

Prime Rib Roast
Brussel Sprouts and Carrots
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Cornbread Muffins


Your can order your own copy of
Southern Lady, October 2014 here.
Believe me you will not be disappointed!
It is filled with gorgeous photography, scrumptious
recipes, and boundless inspiration.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gingerbread Acorns

In celebration of 

National Bundt Cake Day

I'm joining

~ Acorn Cakelets ~

Majestic and long lived, 

many varieties of oak trees grow in Texas.

And with oak trees

come an abundance of acorns!

Squirrels scurry about to

gather their store for the winter months,

but I, too, like to gather a few of these

icons of autumn for a festive natural touch.

Autumn is when I like to use one of my

favorite teapots with its acorn finial.

And white linen napkins embroidered

with acorns and rusty brown oak leaves.

The current arctic blast pushing

cold temps as far down as the southern states

has us enjoying a cozy fire in the living room.

And these little gingerbread acorn bites

are the perfect addition for afternoon tea.

I've set out two cups

with the hope that you will join me.

Care for a bit

of sugar with your tea?

This little hand carved box

is one of the treasures I found

on my recent trip to Paris.

I don't use sugar in my tea, but couldn't

leave these petite sugar packages behind.

They make the perfect tea time souvenir

from favorite Paris Tea Salons,

especially when served in the antique French box.

A recipe for spice cake made into

three-dimensional treats filled with a

cream cheese icing came with the cakelet pan.

More yummy and delicious 

bite sized treats!

~ Acorn Cakelets ~

Printable Recipe

If you are looking for a savory treat,

the cakelet pan is also perfect for 

mini cornbread bites to serve for Thanksgiving.

You can use a packaged mix

or mix up your favorite cornbread recipe.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground ginger
1 cup dark molasses
1 tsp soda
1 cup boiling water

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and molasses.  Mix throughly.  dissolve soda in boiling water and add to batter.  Mix well.  Pour into greased 9"x11" pan and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.  When cool, dust with powdered sugar.  ( This is a cake like gingerbread.)

The recipe calls fora  9"x11" pan to bake the gingerbread and serve it as a piece of cake.  To adapt the recipe to bake in the acorn cakelet pan, I fill each cakelet half full, about 1 tbs. of batter, and bake till a toothpick comes out clean.  About 10-15 minutes.  Let cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Using a toothpick helps lift out the acorns.

I purchased my pan at William Sonoma several years ago, but these versatile pans are still available from a variety of sources on line.   Click the link above for Nordic Ware site.

National Bundt Cake Day
November 15, 2014