Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sunday School and Onions

Gentle Reader ~~~

I am sitting in my living room, overlooking the garden, sipping a mug of warming, *spice infused almond milk, and watching the small, delicate garden birds feed from the few remaining apples that still, miraculously, cling to the trees ~~~ As ever, I am praying for snow, but all we have is rain, and now there is hail. Please, may I have a cross between the two? That would be snow, wouldn't it?


WINDY NIGHTS

BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
      Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
      A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
      And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
      By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

I wonder if, in the dead of night, a man on horseback goes riding by in the storms that pelt over us as the wind howls down the chimney making such noise that we would never hear if one did ~~~ don't you think this is quite a scary poem for children? It comes from one of those most loved books of childhood ~~~ "A Child's Garden of Verses" which most of us probably read as children ~~~

How the weather has changed, so suddenly, about ten days ago. While we previously enjoyed one of the mildest Octobers, and November began in similar vein, we are now paying the price for deliciously crisp Autumn days by enduring gale after gale after gale.

We now name our late Autumn and Winter gales and storms alphabetically, in similar nature to the hurricane system.  Oh, I do think someone in the Met Office has a dry sense of humour, for our first big blow was aptly named Abigail, which I may have mentioned I re~spelled ABigGale. After ABigGale blustered past with winds of 70 mph, we were welcoming the remnants of hurricane Kate, who was quickly followed by Barney {barney is UK slang for a fight} and last night we were battered by yet more high winds, this time from the North and bringing colder temperatures too.  so, the last ten days has been one wind storm after another. We now have a welcome break until Tuesday evening when the winds pick up again. Until then, they will be a comparatively calm 15 mph average.

I hope the garden is secure. It is as secure as I can make it, unless I have overlooked something.  It is definitely indoor weather now.

~~~~~

Do you recall that last year, one of my last gardening jobs was to plant some onions and garlic? I have never planted them so late before and wanted to see what would happen. Well, I was not impressed. I tended them well, but nothing happened. When harvesting time came, there was nothing to harvest, and the garlic was puny and not worth taking photographs. I was very disappointed.  Then, my circumstances meant I could not garden this summer and, with grace, I had to give in and accept that I could not garden and let the weeds take over.  The onions were forgotten, that is until two days ago when I was taking compost to the bin and noticed some familiar, bright green shoots sticking above the weeds as they die back. Investigation revealed that the onions that were lost are found! All are now growing!  I will leave them in peace now, until next Spring and see what happens. There may be onions yet.

As to the garlic, the cloves are many but dreadfully tiny, almost too tiny to peel, so last night I was roasting up a big pan of root vegetables and just threw in several of the miniature cloves to let them at least add some flavour. Wow! After forty minutes roasting with the veggies, the tiny cloves were perfectly cooked to the softest, sweetest, nuttiest, fragrant garlic flavoured purée I have ever tasted.  I will be roasting them up later and freezing the delicious purée for use over the Winter.

~~~~~

Recently, on a clearing trip to the attic, I found the following. Some of you may have seen these before, but I don't think I've shared them on here.   They are sheets of perforated tickets that were given to children to mark their attendance at Sunday School.  I have been trying to date them, and to find out more about them, but am not having much luck. I guess I must try to refine my search words some more.  So far, these ones seem to date from the early 1900's but were in use up until around the 1930's. I have no idea how they came to be in my attic, other than my strong family connections with the Cathedral, and the possibility of one of my forebears teaching Sunday School ~~~











This is the building where I attended Sunday School, and where these tickets would have been given to the children of the early twentieth centure too ~~~ I was a rebellious child and was expelled from Sunday School twice for being a "disruptive force" which I prefer to think of as being a

~~~ a Free Spirited, Independent Child ~~~ 


Until next time ~~~

Sincerely yours
Deborah xo

*to make a mug of spice infused milk, gently simmer 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and two cardamom pods in 8 fl. oz of milk of your choice for five minutes. Strain into a cup or mug. I used almond 'milk' today, but coconut milk is sublime, and regular cow's milk works if you like it. I don't drink cow's milk.  You can adjust the spices to include personal favourites too. Sometimes, I add a spoon of cocoa powder.  It is warming and comforting when the weather outside is less than pretty.

18 comments:

  1. Dear Deb, what tasty tidbits you share today! The spiced milk sounds quite good. Maybe that would help in the evenings when I can't fall asleep. I imagine your closeness to the ocean sends the first blast of weather to the UK. We are experiencing a windy morning that is quite chilly... It is November and to be expected. What a nice surprise to find your garlic to be so flavorful. Have you ever roasted the whole garlic head? Slice whole head at the equator and splash olive oil over and then wrap with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Squeeze garlic over bread or veggies.
    The sheets of Bible verses are just beautiful. What an interesting attic you have...a treasure chest of goodies. I can't imagine you being expelled from Sunday School! Free spirited, independent children are often misunderstood. Your cathedral is just beautiful against the blue sky of Wales. Stay warm and cozy. xoxo ♥

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    1. Dear Martha Ellen ~~~ Thank you for your kind words, but I assure you I was expelled twice, and there was another 'incident' as well ~~~ I was an interesting and challenging child! Yes, I often call my Shire "The Windbreak for Britain"
      ~~~Deb xoxo

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    2. p.s. Yes, I used to bake/roast my garlic that way, but not for a long time. Thank you for the reminder!

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  2. We were given "texts" like that for Sunday school attendance in the 1960s. Although I didn't know they came on perforated sheets. When we had collected 10 small ones we could swap them for 1 bigger one and then 10 big ones became a book - religious of course-. I went to a Strict Baptist Sunday school once and often twice each Sunday from age 7 to 16. I went by choice as my parents didn't go any sort of church and it started because I wanted to be like " the big boys" who lived next door but 1

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    1. I think we had pages of Biblical stories to colour in. I did not like Sunday School at all. To make matters worse, the dour and humourless Deaconess who taught us lived across the street from me, which added to my misery.

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  3. The poem fits perfectly with how you've described your weather. It sounds like you grew "concentrated" space-saving garlic! ☺︎

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    1. It may be tiny, but it packs a garlicy punch! Deb

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  4. Glad you are keeping well and warm, indoor weather for sure, although I ventured out today, it was very cold. I love the tickets, I have never seen anything like that before, lovely detail.

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    1. It is biting cold, but I don't mind. I do have a peculiar fondness for the wind and rain too. The tickets do have fine detail, don't they. They are not big at all.

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  5. So your garlic and onions gave you a pleasant surprise too just like mine did.

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    1. I shall look forward to learning how we both fared!

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  6. I have been wanting snow too, desperately. I don't like mild autumns, mild winters even less. While I think we had a perfect September and a fairly good October, November was far too mild. Now it is suitably cold. All that is needed is a bit of snow.

    I adore the last picture.

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    1. The last picture was taken this time last year. I am glad you like it. We are in desperate need of a proper, frosty winter after three mild and wet ones in a row. The bugs are thriving!

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  7. A delightful blog, and much needed. I'll leave it at that! I was caught off guard, too, though not quite as severely as you. We had a hard frost last night, and I discovered the pots of pansies I plan to get in the ground were frozen this morning! I worked in the garden yesterday and cleaned out the front, but was frozen through and left it to do the back tomorrow. I think things will thaw out, but I am pushing the envelope!! I love the church of your childhood! So picturesque! Your almond milk drink sounds delicious! I don't care for cow's milk either, and never did as a child! Thank you again for some delightful diversion! xoxo Jane

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    1. I think, unless we are the most diligent of gardeners with nothing else to do we can all be caught unaware. The next "diversion" is in progress, Dear Jane xoxo

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  8. Snowy greetings from the Midwest, my free-spirited friend!
    We had our first snowfall this weekend, in the form of a huge snowstorm. This is our snowiest November in 100 years. We have extra snow to share! I hope that your snowy dreams will come true very soon, Deb!
    What an interesting post, just filled with discoveries! So happy for your garden surprises. Your attic treasures are lovely. Will you find a way to display them? What a blessing to attend Sunday School in your beautiful cathedral, Deb! So peaceful, surrounded by the beauty of the Welsh countryside. Sending hugs! ♡

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  9. Ah! Snow in the Midwest! Well, you know that makes me jealous, don't you? Do send some east, please?
    I am open to suggestions for displaying the tickets {such a common name for such a pretty thing} I have multiple copies of each sheet. Maybe part of a future giveaway?
    ~~~Deb xoxo

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  10. What a BEAUTIFUL and very poignant post Deborah and I LOVE that poem by BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON too.....I almost feel happy that it's winter! Karen

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Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments