Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nana's Rum Balls...

Bungalow baking can be easy peasy...
and here's one with lots of flavour.
and this goes out to Tabitha from Bourbon and Pearls...

I use my food processor to grind the wafers and pecans
You'll also need a large bowl and be prepared to get gooey hands.

I have used rye in this but much prefer dark rum.
Keep these in a wax paper lined container in a cool dark cupboard
until ready to put into individual gift tins
or to serve.
Do not consume the day that they are made...the rum needs a few days to soak into the wafers.
I wonder if Tabitha might substitute bourbon for the rum when she makes these :)


A sprinkle of Pepper...

at rest

she has had a busy morning playing...

and in her wake
"toys" litter the floor

she's grown so much 

she is still getting into mischief
but you wouldn't know it just looking at her !

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thoughts on the the festive season...

Christmas in the Humble Bungalow is a treasured and much anticipated time of year.
I have come to terms with my expectations and abilities and do not try to create the "picture perfect Christmas"
I prefer a balance of relaxation and activity with gaps of time for reflection, mugs of tea, book reading, an opportunity to savour and notice the small things that enrich life for me.

I have simplified my life by shopping ahead for gifts. I attempt to find appropriate and useful gifts that the person I am gifting to would appreciate.
I often find thrift shops have lovely glass containers and cookie tins which I can fill with cookies, shortbread and homemade bath salts.

Pretty vintage cookie tins need little more than an ribbon and a simple tag.
I also find tea towels are invaluable as gift wrap.

I do not over decorate...
other than a few touches our tree is the focus and we do not put that up until 2 weeks before Christmas.

Family, friends and entertaining are the focus.
(as well as my sanity!)

I do not "do stress well" so the weeks before Christmas I am purposely enjoying life at a slower pace.

I bake time honoured family recipes for shortbread and rum balls.
I stumbled upon a Christmas cake recipe from Bon Appetit magazine which I have made for the past few years. It is much lighter than my mothers' cake recipe and can be made and served the same day if desired...these make great gifts for my uncle and other elders who no longer take the time to bake for themselves and it marries well with a fortifying glass of sherry!
(Harvey's Bristol Cream is a Humble Bungalow Basic)

Mother's cake recipe is very tasty, it is dark and heavy with fruit plus it makes and enormous amount and needs to be baked and stored for at least a month before serving.
(It also needs to be liberally doused with brandy or rum  every week!)

I have put a few simple things about the Bungalow to get ready for the season...

Mr. HB's mother had this vintage wreath for many years
when she gave it to us 
I was thrilled
it is one of my favourites...
made with
glass balls and Sherman rhinestone brooches !

Mr. HB strings up white mini lights throughout the Bungalow

The Ojibwa duck decoys which reside year round have some "greenery" now!

wire card holder waiting for cards
I send Christmas cards but my list is not as large as it once was...

I have purchased the cards
Mr. HB usually writes the cards
sometimes he adds a newsy letter.

My weekend has seen some busy moments and some quiet time.
I wrapped presents until I got a severe cramp in my hand
that made me cry out in pain.
I had only wrapped a few
and had to stop
I was in pain for 2 days and only now is starting to feel better
I am quite mystified

My son suggested it was something pinched in my neck
he has had this happen
and has had to go for massage to fix the problem.

So it appears that I am in need of a massage
 I have tight shoulders
maybe it was too much typing at work or 
 a build up of tension

I have been stressed about driving during the recent snowfall.
so it's time for some
Yoga in the Bungalow
it usually

what are your strategies for a relaxed and joyful festive season?

Friday, November 26, 2010

300 posts and counting...

A year ago I started my blog
and now I have over 300 posts
I have been writing on things that are near and dear to me...
family, home, garden, clothes, cats, cooking and collectibles.

I shared some serious thoughts and others that bordered on sheer folly.
I captured many images of daily life here in and around The Humble Bungalow

I do have a confession...

I have told nary a soul about my blog
my family knows and a few girlfriends but that's it...

I am trying to figure out why I am so shy about this "hobby"

I am not sure if I will be mocked
what I expect the reaction to be...
should I come out of the closet?

I am a gal of few words
(of this you might be surprised!)
a regular group of us get together for tea/coffee at a local spot
and when we do
I listen more than talk

my fashion sense doesn't match that of my peer group 
what is up with that and why?
I am far more interested in name brand luxe
and have an insatiable appetite for pearls and diamonds
I am still trying to figure this out...

I can get "lost" in my garden
time seems to be suspended

I am fascinated by flowers
am shocked and amazed by their detail

 whimsical things have a place in my garden
vintage pink flamingoes
bowling balls

roses are my passion
and it was my mission
to grow as many roses as I could
so that my vases would be full of fabulous bouquets
and this continues today

my love of wicker 
marry here and will be forever

packaging and presentation
woo me every time

Orange is not reserved for Halloween alone :)

I love ocean travel 
on our boat
 a summer tradition for almost 30 years

 a vintage vessel
2 years younger than myself
and still cruising along :)

sounds hopeful !

I love to cook

and try new recipes...

Roast Beef Sundays 
 a great way to entertain family
and friends

 food from the garden
fun and flavour
I feel a sense of comfort eating what I have grown

I became a grammy this year and it has been such a gift!
I wish that I could show you my brag book...but I cannot.
Out of respect for my family's privacy I have not posted images of lovely grandbaby Isla.
I would love to show you what a sweetheart she is...
you'll just have to take my word for it!

This pram
has sprung suspension
which affords a smooth ride
and is curb friendly...

I have learned a lot....
about cyberspace and digital photography,
made connections many whom I consider to be friends
and have opened my eyes on a global level...

I am feeling thankful and grateful...

Stickley, our Bungalow cat died of old age this summer
It was a sad and dark time for me...
and comments of support and understanding helped me through this patch of gloom
there are a lot of cat owners who blog :)

 recently we adopted a rescue kitten

she has been a breath of fresh air
and enthusiastic comments have encouraged me to post more images of her at rest and at play.

Time flies when you are having fun...
my archival posts remind me what I was doing this past year...
a visual diary.
I need to figure out what I am going to be doing this upcoming year...
stay tuned and life in the Bungalow will evolve as nature intended...

I appreciate your comments and critiques...keep them coming.

I have a mug of tea at hand...
won't you join me?

Make time to indulge in something that makes your heart beat a little faster
and savour...
celebrate the simple
and elevate the everyday to special

Please come back
there's a place for you here in the Humble Bungalow.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lemon drops....

The First year anniversary of my Blog is drawing near...
and I am wondering what I will do to celebrate...
maybe it's a non event...
in any case I want to share with you Mr. HB's delicious Lemon Drop Martini recipe

 the finest "Frou Frou" drink
 Hostess approved

My advice is to use freshly squeezed lemon juice 
if you are feeling lazy...
use organic lemon juice available in jars.

these are very easy to sip 
I suggest a 2 drink maximum :)

It is still freezing cold here...
our house guest has departed
the house is quiet
Pepper is snoozing in her bed 
I am in tidy up mode...

and feeling grateful...

Happy Thanksgiving!