"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life becomes a beautiful success, in spite of poverty."
~One of Marmee's life lessons to her girls.
today, beckham asked, "mommy, why does daddy go to work? Is it to buy me a house, and food, and toys?!"
ha. yes, he learned that answer from us, minus the toy part which was added by peyton when she used to ask us that same question. it just stuck. we loved it. we laugh when he says it and assure him that yes, daddy works hard to provide for us the things we need.
at some point, it dawned on me to start teaching the kids about other people that may not have as much as we do. i say that some children don't have the things they need to eat or to keep warm. i am always met with big eyes and many, many questions. i am always at the crossroads of Teaching Them Things about the World and How Much Should I Share with a Three & Five Year Old?
so we try to live our lives doing our small part to help people in need. we could do better.
i watched little women recently. oh, how i long to live in a time that in a lot of ways was much simpler than it is now. a time of hard work and honest living, simplicity, and family values. a time when collecting wildflowers in a nearby meadow was a pastime enjoyed by women and children. a time when picnics and afternoon tea was the entertainment and not the television. when a stolen kiss between young love was the big gossip. a piano and a family full of voices was the 'radio.'
Petticoats, bonnets, crumpets...oh my!
I am sure i am romanticizing this period, as i only know what i know through a few movies and books i love and adore...
i went a little crazy on the images, but i was having fun finding them.
a couple of weeks ago we went to our friend's lake house near jackson, mi. they have worked so hard and just a
couple of weeks after finishing the renovation of their little beloved cottage on the lake, they invited us to share it with them.
they gave us the grand tour, taking us to a famous ice cream parlour and a michigan vineyard. but one of my favorite
places was a farm called, meckley's flavor fruit farm.
i have many photos to post of that lovely weekend with tony & jenn, but first, the little town they stay in that reminds me
of these movies and stories. no, there aren't horse and buggies or women with parasol in hand but there are some
qualities that i admire and long my children to be a part of more and more. there is something about having babies that
makes me want to ditch the city and envelope them in a big field of horses. ha. that cracked me up a little.
homemade pies and freshly baked goods. little towns where people are full of pride for their homes. neighbors that
know and speak to their neighbors. elderly couples sit on their porches and smile at the people on the street.
where little bonfires sprinkled the lake and little italian grandmothers prepare too much delicious food (okay, tony's mom did spoil us a bit),
and a where an early morning jaunt to the fruit farm rewarded our senses with fresh donuts and coffee!
i wish i could share this place with you. when you walk in, sugar and flour, pepperoni, and cinnamon. coffee and warmth
consume you. i felt drugged at the charming barn-like building we were standing it. eye-candy everywhere. i snapped away
not noticing the good people of the town trying to enjoy their cup of joe, but when i noticed some
people looking, i smiled as if saying 'thank you for sharing your place with an outsider like me.' they would
smile back and when the shop owner looked at us, i think i saw the pride on his face as we asked if he
minded that we take pictures of sweet, eighty year-old store.
i am currently intoxicated with small town life and these damn donuts. I think i stopped eating donuts except on special
occasions before i graduated college, but donuts are back in my life...at least when i make my visits to this place.
penny candy buried in original bins and homemade goods hung from the walls.
the pies. oh the pies were divine. there were so many of them and we were told that they would sell out before the afternoon...
can you imagine? i had a bite of a berry pie and it was...heavenly. butter & flour therapy.
and for good measure, they threw in some baby animals that we could feed out of an ice cream cone.
hello, a little heaven on earth here in michigan. we have isle of capri in florida and meckley's in michigan among others.
I URGE you to drive one hour in any direction of your home and find your capri or fruit farm. i know you will find something you love and
you will want to share it with family and friends. in my case, it's the feeling of this little place that i am attracted to. i'm sure we'll only visit
it once a year, but it's something to look forward to. a feeling that recharges who we are or what we want from this precious life. ramble
ending soon, promise!
okay, so non-stop obsessing over baked goods got me itching to make something homemade and new...for me. i didn't have my mom's
crust recipe, so we did it a little healthier and did a graham cracker topping instead. not as good, because there is nothing better than that
buttery and salty flaky crust...but this was still a treat and hopefully didn't contribute as badly to my waistline.
Elaina's Fresh Apple Crumble
*preheat 425 degrees
you will need:
I/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (i crumbed my own in a ziploc bag with a glass cup)
juice from half a lemon (soften the lemon by rolling it on the countertop first)
3 pounds or about 7 cups of thinly sliced apple slices. I used granny smith, but macintosh apples are the kind that i prefer most.
3 (or 5) tablespoons of cold butter cut into half inch slices
3 teaspoons of cinnamon, divided. (sprinkle to taste. I used more than perhaps I should have but i think it needed it as the apples were really
tart. the same rule applies for the sugar.
1/8 of teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided.
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup of granulated sugar ( you can use splenda, about 1/3 cup) again, i used more sugar than i wanted, but my apples were really tart. be sure you
taste your apples. remember, you may serve it with vanilla ice cream which will add some sweetness as well.
8 tablespoons of rolled oats and not the instant version.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, a 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of flour (optional), and
one teaspoon of the cinnamon. CUT in the butter using a pastry blender or by using two butter knives to 'cut' or mix it together causing it
to look like like little crumbles.
in a large bowl, toss the apples with the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon of flour, the remaining cinnamon, nutmeg, and the lemon juice. let
the apples macerate (sweat) the mixture for about fifteen minutes so the juices are pulled from the apples a bit.
pour mixture into buttered dish, put topping on top, randomly put butter slices on the top, put in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes...or longer.
it took mine about 40 minutes.
i baked it until the top was golden brown and crunchy. i served it warm with vanilla bean ice cream. even the hubby liked it and he's
not really into dessert.
peyton and beckham were my little helpers and they did a fab job of cutting the butter in and smashing the graham crackers.
elaina, my sister, did the real job of slicing the apples. i got off easy running after the kids and trying to make them lunch...whew.
baking is not easy to do while trying to run a household. i kinda suck at it, so i was super happy with the help. bottom line:
if your doing this with fresh apples, do it with a friend and give her half of it when it's finished. more fun and easier this way.
jeff and sito took peyton and beckham to their first detroit tiger's game!!!
i can't believe my babies are so big. what amazing little souls i have for kids.
they remind me everyday to take time out and enjoy the day.
like really enjoy it. facials one minute in peyton's spa and rocket ship rides the next with becks.
hello, rocket ship rides! how amazing children are!
thank you for giving me time to work sito and daddy! XOXO
next post, a giveaway!!!