Hello dear friends! The autumn leaves pass by my window. Have you ever heard Nat King Cole sing this in French? Lovely!
I'm sorry but this post is going to be a rather hodgepodge of thoughts. We are busy here preparing for the holidays, as most of our guest visit at the end of November and the beginning of December, so we have to prepare now. By mid-December our guest have come and gone and we are ready to settle down for our "long winter's nap".
One thing I did this week is make a batch of Lebkuchen, a German Christmas cookie that is a tradition in our home. They must be made now to be enjoyed in December because in order to develop their flavor they are placed in a tin with apple slices for at least four weeks. I won't include the recipe unless someone writes and tells me they want it. It is not a thrifty undertaking, with expensive and unusual ingredients, such as citron, almonds, white pepper and cardamon. But they are part of our heritage, as Ran's grandparent's immigrated from Berlin and my family came somewhat earlier to America, but still maintained a lot of the German customs. My mother was the first generation to speak English as her first language.
This week we foraged for pinecones. We use them for crafts and for fire starters. And I just like to place them around the house for holiday decorating. Did you ever see the bags of them for sale in craft and gift shops? Who buys them when pinecones are everywhere free for the picking? We made some little pinecone gnomes from a few to put on Christmas packages.
Another easy-peasy craft for gifting is these little coffee cake soaps we made:
To go along with the other kitchenalia we have been making, Ran made these pig cutting boards using a vintage one I bought at a garage sale for a pattern. He used tiger maple.
I'm still knitting! Somedays I feel like Madam Defarge, knitting, knitting, knitting. This week I knitted this super-easy toddler's jester hat, which is a free pattern, The mittens pattern is located here
and is free on this blog.
Isn't it funny? I just used up the last of our canned ham and said to Ran we needed to be on the lookout for a sale on it, when our bulk food advertised ham for ninety-nine cents a pound. At that price we canned up eight jars plus had enough for a nice meal (made a great glaze from ginger ale, peach preserves, mustard and a pinch of cloves) . I also canned up our sauerkraut.
Started upholstering this Eastlake settee that we bought for $45 at a garage sale this summer:
A nearby village was having their holiday open house this weekend and one of the stores participating was the Ben Franklin. They were 20% off on any purchase, so we bought things needed to upholster this settee and craft items for other projects.
I took advantage of another store's sale to buy a few decorative items for the holidays at 25% off.
I used a coupon of $5 off and various other coupons at the Family Dollar to buy a lot of household items that were on sale like toilet paper, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc.
While we were out, we stopped at a thrift store and Ran found a beautiful Pendelton wool shirt for $3 and I found an antique ironstone cup for 35 cents. At another thrift store I found a pewter platter for $1.99.
We replaced our dead mums in our urns with branches from our corkscrew willow.
I harvest some green onions that had self-sowed themselves in the garden. Tomorrow I'll make some potato soup and use them for a topping. Yum!
I started knitting a pair of ragg wool socks for a present. One down another to go! Knitting plain stockings is a bore!
Ran found some beautiful tigered maple when splitting the firewood, which he set aside for woodworking.
Well, that's it for another week at the old Zempel boarding house! This week we Americans go to the polls to elect a new leader. Please pray that God's will shall be done. I hope that you all have the loveliest week!