Thursday, February 25, 2016

Popovers Postscript

First, let me pour you a steaming cup o' tea. And then you can read my quick follow up on the Popovers we made last Saturday -- since some of you were wondering how they turned out. You will recall this was my very first attempt; I didn't even know what popovers were until I did some online research.

In one word, the popovers were #YUMMY!

Turns out, rather than baking the popovers at our house as first planned, we took the prepared batter to our friends' home for our spontaneous Afternoon Tea Party. We didn't want the popovers getting cold and falling in the middle like a broken souffle.

With the oven already pre-heated to 425F when we arrived, it only took a moment to have the muffin pans greased and batter poured in. While they baked, we put our hands to slicing ripe pears, filling the glass bowl with Saskatoon jam, and grating a bit of cheddar cheese we just knew would m-e-l-t wonderfully into the anticipated warm, hollow middle.

Note: We used muffins pans as neither of us own popover baking pans, which I understand are narrower and taller, and give the finished popover a fluffier, airier lift. People who use the real thing seem to swear by them -- they say you cannot experience a real popover in all its true fluffy lightness using muffin tins. No doubt they are right.

Although our popovers look a little flat, more like muffins in shape, they did not taste or look like muffins on the inside. For, when we broke them open there was that soft, hollow inside just waiting for slathers of butter and jam -- and they tasted somewhat like a dutch skillet pancake (which I love).

We all numm-nummed our way through the whole batch, and I cannot image why I didn't double the recipe ... for, even though they weren't baked in the 'proper' popover pans, we were definitely wishing for more. And, we might have to ask the Birthday Fairy for some real popover bakeware for next time.


People have since asked me how to eat these little puffy delights. I'm offering some of the suggestions fellow bloggers have shared with me as well as what I found online:

You can eat popovers at breakfast or afternoon tea, Sunday brunch, with soups and chowders, or with Christmas or roast beef dinner. You can serve them with:

- butter and jam -- see one fellow thoroughly enjoying his buttery popover here;
- lemon curd, creme filling, maple syrup, cranberry sauce, or golden syrup;
- cinnamon and sugar dusted over them -- recipe here;
- with soups or chowders instead of bread or buns;
- roast beef or turkey, with gravy, in place of the traditional Yorkshire Pudding.

In case you are also wondering, from the list of three I shared in my earlier post, I finally chose the recipe from Growing Up Julia. She provides optional ingredients -- we did not include them this time.

Popovers are so simple, easy, and quick. And don't forget, yummy! Four great reasons to have a popover recipe to your collection.


Julia Child:
"It's fun to get together and have something good to eat at least once a day."

If you feel the urge to make popovers this weekend, spread the joy
and invite someone to share this yummy pleasure with you.

Wishing you a pleasant day and a beautiful weekend ahead.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Saturday At My House: Making Popovers

Today I'm making popovers. I've never had popovers before and until yesterday had only a fuzzy idea that they were some sort of bready concoction, maybe close to a muffin. Well, it turns out they are a version of English Yorkshire pudding, i.e. baked hollow rolls with a contrasting crunchy, flaky exterior and a moist, eggy interior. I love Yorkshire pudding with roast beef and gravy, so what would there be not to love about its American cousin.

But I ask, how does one eat this puffy popover when it's not meant to be slathered in savoury gravy? From my research, popovers are often served for breakfast, cut open and slathered with butter and jam, sprinkled with sugar, or stuffed with cheese. Yum! Sounds then like they'd make a fine accompaniment to Afternoon Tea, which could turn this overcast wintry grey day into a 'jolly little holiday' with dear jolly friends. And, that is exactly what we are doing later today.

I'm off to the kitchen. Here are three versions of Popover recipes I checked out -- they all look delicious:

“My uncle ordered popovers from the restaurant's bill of fare. And, when they were served, he regarded them with a penetrating stare. Then he spoke great words of wisdom as he sat there on that chair: To eat these things, said my uncle, You must exercise great care. You may swallow down what's solid, but you must spit out the air! And as you partake of the world's bill of fare, that's darned good advice to follow. Do a lot of spitting out the hot air. And be careful what you swallow.” ~ Dr. Seuss, source

Wishing you a happy weekend,

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

Our winter has been unusually mild, so it was not so many days ago I found myself still yearning for a few cozy snow days -- we've been in short supply of those so far this year.

Yet, even as we see a noticeable difference with daylight peeking over the horizon earlier each morning and staying longer each afternoon, something in my psyche has shifted too.

I'm not weary of winter so much as feeling this gentle stirring, a growing anticipation, to feel the brush of Spring air on my cheeks. To smell the earthy fragrance of soil thawing in the sunshine. To catch wild glimpses of Spring's bold blossoms in garden nooks and woodsy spots.

It will be a while before we sight anything abloom in these little corners of our world, so I am sharing photos I took a few years ago as my way to satisfy the growing longing for Spring's sweet gifts.

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
~ Henry van Dyke

Wishing you the loveliest of days,

Friday, February 12, 2016

Five On Friday

This photo is for anyone feeling a winter bleakness setting in. When I saw this one by Annie Spratt it made me smile and I felt it would surely provide a beautiful pick-me-up for anyone today, whether you are in winter ho-hums or not. Aren't these pails of beauties a sight to behold?

On my quick list of five for today:

1. Meeting a dear friend for lunch this afternoon. It's been a long time since we've had a good visit, so the tea cups will no doubt be refilled a time or two or three.....

2. Declobbering project begins in my study this weekend. The rest of the house is nearly done. Woohoo! But anything I wasn't sure what to do with went in here, so there's some sorting to go through. Maybe it's not as bad as it looks but we won't count on it. Do I have to show you? That's just one corner. 

For my earlier posts about this cleaning project,

3. Making Made Chicken Moroccan Soup yesterday. While I'm off with my girlfriend, Hubby will be enjoying a bowl for his lunch today. We both love this soup -- it's so appetite-stirring when it's simmering away on the stove. Recipe here.

4. Visiting a blog Avignon In Photos I haven't visited in years. What was I thinking to let this beautiful blog slide past me! If you cannot get away on a little trip somewhere lovely, take an armchair visit to Nathalie in Avignon, France. Don't waste time pining you're not there; just enjoy the beauty right here, right now. Your soul will love you for it.

5. Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day. I've had hankerings to make a chocolate raspberry layer cake and I thought Valentine's would be a perfect time for it. I went to library and just 'happened' upon a Julia Child DVD -- lo and behold, it was the baking series. Splendid. And, you'll never guess, she and her guest Alice Medrich were making Chocolate Raspberry Ruffle Cake. Splendid again!

Oh my, it looked divine. Except, rats, it looks a great deal of time is needed to prepare -- something I would be most willing to give; however, I'm not sure if it works out to make it this particular weekend. We'll shall see. We can spread out Valentine's loving all month long, so maybe another day.

In the meantime, I might entice my very own Sweet Baboo to watch it with me as I make notes. If you want to watch the video, here is the episode on Youtube. If you want the actual recipe click here.

Happy Heart Weekend, Beautiful Friends!


Hugs and love,
♥ ♥ ♥

 Linking with Five on Friday

Monday, February 08, 2016

Monday Moment

Monday Moment
“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places,

Friday, February 05, 2016

Five on Friday

Mikael Kristenson

Favourite Winter Photos I Spotted This Week

I am not pining for cold weather, but today I am missing some of the pretty snow shows we usually get sometime during our northerly winters. The little snow we have this year is melting fast, which leaves our corner of the world a sad shade of dirty with accumulating icy puddles on streets and sidewalks.

So this morning I'm taking a winter wonderland walk cyber-style and offering a few favourite photos I discovered this week. Please note the photos are not my own -- click on the links to find more about these amazing photographers found at

Wishing you a beautiful day and a wonderful weekend ahead,

Linking to Five on Friday

I love everything about this photo -- the colour combination of blue and white both in the snow and sky... the fat snow layers hanging from branches... millions of tiny snow crystals glittering in the sun light... the inviting roof top of that chalet off in the distance. Surely there must be a cozy fire at the ready, along with something warm in a mug around which to wrap chilled fingers.

What catches my eye with this one is the curvy clusters of iced berries luminous against the hazy golden light coming through woodsy distance.

I love the wide open spaces of prairie land, and this combination of sky and snowy field with the wintery sun hazy behind clouds makes me wish for a pair of happy dogs to go for a nice walk, and where we can see wispy clouds with every breath we take.

 Nathan Walker

What grabs my eye, of course, is the blaze of colour right in the middle of winter greys. Now this would be a lovely spot to hibernate over winter, don't you think? My study would have to cozied into one of those turret round rooms... the second floor, I should think, neither the first nor third. And what a room with view it would be with all those windows.

Ales Krivec

If we were standing in that field watching the Sky Painter's latest in sunset splendours, my soul will be filled and overflowing at the grand beauty our world gives us. If you and I were standing there together, we'd have to grab hands as we share the moment.

the end

Monday, February 01, 2016

February. The Simple Woman's Daybook

Robin, Whitebreasts, and Snowdrops, February 1906
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady

A new day, a new week, and a new month ... all rolled into one. Certainly cause for bouncing out of bed with anticipation. That is, if you are a morning person.

Do you bounce out of your bed of a morning? Or do you require time to feel yourself waking slowly, preferably to the fragrance of coffee brewing? For me, I relish a more leisurely tempo -- I save the 'bounce' for other times of the day.

Although the Edwardian Lady, Edith Holden, makes mention of robins and snowdrops in her February 1906 journal entry, there are no signs of these harbingers of Spring in our corner of the world yet. But we dream. 

With it being the first Monday of this new month, I'm linking with The Simple Woman's Daybook Edition.

Also linking with
No Place Like Home
 Mosaic Monday

Wishing you all a beautiful week and Happy Heart Month,
♥ ♥ ♥

For February 1st...

Outside my window... Sunshine sneaking over roof tops, streaming over fences, tumbling into snowy garden corners. Filling my day with brightness and light.

I am thinking... About what special treats I could make for Valentine's Day. Heart-shaped vanilla rolled cookies with pink icing? Or, perhaps a toothsome chocolate layer affair with a creamy raspberry filling and a glossy glaze dripping off the sides? I'm also wondering why it's the sweet treats that come to mind first thing.

I am thankful... For the mostly milder weather we've had so far this winter. Thanks, El Nino!

I am wearing... Comfy jeans with glittery designs on the back pockets and a green patterned top with a slightly frilly collar.  

I am creating... Chaotic piles in my study/office. Because as we clean the other rooms, some items I'm not sure what to do with yet go in here. It's quite the pile -- a jumble of books, old calendars and Christmas cards, stationery and office supplies. It'll be the last room to sort and declutter. I'm keen to once again make my work space into a tidy, comfortable, and inviting nook for creative pursuits.

I am going... To write out a few Valentine's cards on this first day of Heart Month. You know how the date will sneak up on a person if you don't get to it right away.

I am wondering... About nothing in particular today.

I am reading... Susan Branch's new post (with spoilers) on last night's episode of Downton Abbey. We really love her commentary on all the highlights (and the low ones too) each week as the series unfolds. Besides DA info, Susan includes lovely sneak previews into her own 'goings on' in her corner of the world, as well as her and Joe's upcoming trip to the UK later this summer.

I'm also reading An Autobiography by Agatha Christie. It's a fat, satisfying book so far. In her Foreword, she confesses that...
"I ought to be writing a detective story, but with the writer's natural urge to write anything but what he should be writing, I long, quite unexpectedly, to write my autobiography. The urge to write one's autobiography, so I have been told, overtakes everyone sooner or later. It has suddenly overtaken me.

... So what I plan to do is to enjoy the pleasures of memory -- not hurrying myself -- writing a few pages from time to time. It is a task that will probably go on for years."

I am hoping... that somewhere under those chaotic piles in my office, I will find my little sketch book soon. For I've realized suddenly the other day that I have not played with paper and pencil for a long while.

I am learning... To stay in the present in my thoughts as much as possible as I go through my day. Not to cast my thoughts down the road about what needs tending in upcoming tomorrows (unless there is something specific I need to plan in advance). For it often brings a sense of niggling unease and slight anxiety. I'm not sure why -- perhaps I tend to forget that 'sufficient for the day is our grace'. I have grace for today's projects, I will have new mercies and strength for tomorrow's work. Even the slightest of frets wastes today's good energy.

In my kitchen... What pleasure to see sparkling clean glassware and china again.

In my garden... It's all aflutter with birds at the feeders and heated birdbath. Worn looking snow piles. Blue jays asking for peanuts. Resident Northern Flicker feasting from the peanut suet ball.

A favorite quote for today... "Don't dawdle. It won't take as long as you think." BL

A peek below into one of my days... Working away at making my house feel nice again as we clean, sort and discard, tidy and declutter.

One of my favorite things... A supply of small continuous treats in my life, such as a few stolen moments of idleness enjoyed somewhere in a busy day, or that lovely sense of refreshment after a freshly brewed cup of tea. 

Post Script... If you're so inclined, here's a link to my past editions of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

the end