Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Tuesday, October 31

merry Hallowe'en!


Here's to plump pumpkins

and pint-size imposters...
cowboys & superheroes, 
pirates & princesses

Time to store up memories!

Friday, October 27

October magic...a joyously busy time.

October has ushered in the harvest season...and with that she has flung a brilliantly colored cloak across the fields, valleys, and woods. 

A week ago I decided it was time to put the garden to bed, and I spent the afternoon picking the last of the peppers (who this year have refused to stop sharing their bounty!) and removed spent plants, then tilled the garden under. Except for the row of peppers...I just couldn't! They still have blooms, and if the weather is just right, we may yet harvest more.  While I was working the sun was bright and hot, it felt like a summer's afternoon, but that night a chill set in, and yesterday morning we had our first heavy frost, waking up to a temperature of 24 degrees. Brrr.

When October comes, I feel beset with busyness. It's such a happy time...the 
temperatures are cooler, the colors are glorious, and the nesting instinct has intensified. I can get more done without the humidity of summer, so I'm tackling chores as the days go by. Quilts are dancing on the clothesline, the porch has been swept and the rugs shaken.  It's also time to tuck the honeybees in for winter...this week the feeders need to come off, and soon the hives will be wrapped to keep them as safe and warm as possible. 

The last of the corn surrounding our farm has been harvested, and in the distance I can hear the corn dryers hard at work.

Wild bittersweet grows along a fence in a neighboring field, so I've come home with armfuls that have found spots both inside and out...mantels, cupboards, vintage buckets, and next to plump pumpkins are curly vines of dazzling orange berries that brighten the days.

It's my favorite month, in my favorite season. For me, a time like no other.

Sweet country life...simple country pleasures. October is the autumn idyll.

Wednesday, October 18

bread recipe you have to try!

Today's post is short & sweet...

You can whip up the start to a wonderful loaf of homemade bread in about 5 minutes...

This recipe (thank you for sharing the original!) is oh-so simple and wonderful! And in 8 hours (yes 8 hours...but we all have enough to keep us busy, so time will fly!) you'll be enjoying warm, butter-topped slices of this:

I won't spend any more time telling you how easy this is to make, or how your family & friends will think you picked it up at an artisan bakery, or how you will BEAM with pride when you serve it. What are you waiting for? Let's get going!


3 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. salt
1 t. active dry yeast
1-1/2 c. water (110 to 115 degrees)

Whisk together the first three ingredients; add water and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; set aside 8 hours.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 450 degrees, place a 6-quart Dutch oven, covered, into oven and set timer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove plastic wrap from dough, gently punch down and turn dough out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Flour hands and shape dough into a ball; sprinkle top lightly with flour. Set aside while Dutch oven is heating...30 minutes.

Remove Dutch oven from oven, and using parchment, lift dough and place it, keeping parchment underneath, into the Dutch oven. Cover Dutch oven and bake 45 minutes; remove lid and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven, lift loaf from Dutch oven and place on a rack to cool.

I'm not going to tell you to wait until it's cool to slice it...that would be silly. Wait until it's cool enough to carefully slice, then top with oodles of real butter. Yum! 

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