Thursday 30 April 2015

A Note to Let You Know ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ this is a very quick note to let you know that due to personal circumstances which have taken over my life during the last few weeks, I will not be making any entries while I take a sabbatical to give me some much needed time out.

Before I forget, I must say a heartfelt thank you to all of you for following me and I am ~~~waving~~~ to all of you who have joined here in the last few weeks while I have been away.

Sadly, I do not have any energy left after my caring duties are done each day to devote much needed time and work in the garden; even the most urgent of jobs are left undone, while the weeds are taking over as the days warm up and gentle, April rain begins to fall. April Showers never really happened until two nights ago, but they have made up for their absence with a few torrential downpours overnight, and that was all that was needed to kick start everything into burgeoning greenery.

I apologise for not having any photographs to share, but I do not have the spare time at present to take any.

I will do my best to pop in and out, visiting all your own lovely blogs, and hope you will await my return as soon as I can manage it.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Friday 3 April 2015

Pasg Hapus ~~~ Happy Easter ~~~ From The Shire

Gentle Reader ~~~  
Pasg Hapus
Happy Easter 
Greetings From The Shire

{door bunting made by me using my Brother Scan 'n' Cut machine}

I do hope the weather is good where you are, but here in The Shire it is not good gardening weather. Nor is it good for the start of the tourist season, as people flood into the village on Easter holidays and long weekend breaks. I do feel so sorry for them as it is biting cold for the time of year. Earlier in the week, the winds reached strong gale force and there was a lot of damage and disruption right across the whole of the country.  It could not have been more badly timed as gardeners across the land prepare to bring their gardens back to life after winter. Daffodils are in full swing now in The Shire ~~~

As I write this entry, it is Good Friday.  By tradition we eat Hot Cross Buns for breakfast. Hot Cross Buns are a deliciously sweet, spicy bun filled with currants and candied peel. They have a cross on the top which is made using marzipan, icing, pastry, or just a simple knife slit before baking. I like them best hot from the oven, slathered in butter, or if they are a day old they are great toasted too. Again, with butter. There must always butter.

When I was little we sang this old {circa 1798} nursery rhyme ~~~

"Hot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
one a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons. One a penny two a penny, Hot cross buns!"

I bake my own Hot Cross Buns, and you can find a good recipe for them here.  If you Google Hot Cross Buns there are many recipes, just pick one you like the look of.

Unfortunately, I got called away to the phone as my buns were baking, and as they aren't in the oven for very long it didn't take two minutes for my marzipan crosses to slightly over~bake, but they still tasted good.  

Hot Cross Buns ~~~

Hot Cross Buns are incredibly popular. Sadly, this causes them to be readily available in supermarkets all year 'round now, and I think this takes away from the specialness of the Easter time treats and celebrations. Even the shops that don't sell them all year start selling them before Christmas is cleared from the shelves. You can also buy an ever increasing variety of flavours now, but in my opinion chocolate, or salted caramel, or chocolate orange, or spicy apple, delicious as they may be, have no place in the Hot Cross Bun which is meant to be a simple, sweet, spicy bun with dried fruit. Make those flavoured buns all year around and market them as "sweet, sticky buns" or something else, but keep traditional Hot Cross Buns for Easter! I can be quite the pedant when it comes to tradition. I love Hot Cross Buns and they are all the more special for being kept for Easter treats.

{~~~Steps down gracefully from soapbox, removes splinters from feet ~~~}

I am certain we are all eager to see the back of Winter now, and I think someone needs to go out and find Spring and remind her it is her turn on centre stage!  I am longing for the fragrances of Spring and Summer to be filling my cottage, with the fragrant flowers right outside the door and windows, and with bowls of cut flowers from the garden, but for now I have to satisfy myself with one of my favourite Yankee Candle fragrances, "Garden Hideaway" {which I believe is now, sadly, discontinued} ~~~hints of Lilies of the Valley and other garden scents~~~ and the pretty floral relief design on the side of the wax melt burner ~~~

Unless the weather improves I can't see much gardening happening in my corner of The Shire, but then seeds sown, or plants moved wouldn't be very happy in the cold.  I don't think anything will be that much behind by waiting a couple of more weeks, do you?  Maybe I will hang out in my craft space {aka The Cottage} and make something springlike to cheer the warmer days along ~~~

{Spring bunting made by me using my Brother Scan 'n' Cut machine}

Here are some of my Peter Rabbit collection, for Peter is always part of my Easter celebration ~~~

So, I send you all heartfelt wishes and blessings for a Happy Easter, however you chose to celebrate. Try to spread your chocolate out and don't eat it all in one go ~~~says the Queen of Eating Chocolate~~~ 

{made by me using my Brother Scan 'n' Cut machine}