Inward, Summer Days

Good morning, friends!~
I’m sitting at my dining room table writing to you today on a beautiful, sunny morning where the sky is a perfect robin’s egg blue, with no clouds. This sun is so welcome after rain and clouds all yesterday, and storms throughout this spring.
I’m getting off to a slow start this week…..although I am trying to keep to the housekeeping routine that I set for myself a few weeks ago. This summer has had me feeling the need to go inward….to quiet my mind and my life and to try to cut out all the noise I can, and not juggle so many plates.
I’ve been thinking so much about my great-granny Emma, who lived just a couple of blocks down my very same street, and how she might have organized her days. She’s been gone over 3 decades now, but we all remember her so fondly….she was the glue of her family. So naturally as I contemplate being more intentional in how I keep my home and the food I prepare (it is SO HARD to try to make authentic, wholesome, natural foods these days…..it’s become a project in and of itself, and I cant say that Im 100% succeeding, even with trying to be intentional) I find myself thinking of her.
The other day I was at an antique shop on our day-trip to Independence, KS, and found this fun little cookbook. From the cover art, I suspect that it was published in the late 20s, but more likely the 30s. There’s no publishing information in it. I love it because it assumes you know absolutely nothing about cooking, and its good to start from square one! There are recipes as simple as making coffee and toast. Then there are main meal dishes, desserts, and even suggestions on what to pack in lunches for people going off to work or children going to school. There are even recipes to give people who are sick (toast water!?!?!) and I have found it completely fascinating!

   I have found myself cooking more and trying to make more from scratch. I am trying to pace myself and make myself a schedule that makes room for these things, because it’s taking a whole change in my mindset. Usually, things like making slow cooking meals or bread, etc. seem like a huge time suck. I often would find myself looking around my house at the 5,000 things that needed to be done and feel a huge anxiety attack coming on. WHEN was I supposed to tackle all this? How on earth could I keep up?
   I embarked on a week or so of a massive clean-out, each day devoted to a specific room. When I got most emergency things under control, I wrote myself out a schedule of which room to do for ‘upkeep.’ Today is the dining room and living room. I’ve noticed that I feel calmer working within this daily rhythm and Im not sure why Im surprised by this— since I know that kids do better with a daily rhythm too. We all need to know what the day holds for us, as much as we can….what we need to get done, and also what can wait.
   And although I initially felt like it would take time away from my painting, I’ve found that it really doesnt effect it….I block out time for it, and when I finally sit down to paint, I can do it with a peaceful mind and know I have a certain amount of time where its my only concern. That’s been really, really nice.

I’ve been making bread, and also some ‘treats’, as I find that the snacky things in our house are where we tend to eat the most processed food. So my idea has been to make treats that, while not diet food— are still more ‘whole’ food than the processed bars and cookies I’ve been getting at the store. One such treat was making “Dady’s Brownies” from the Tasha Tudor Cookbook, which came out nice!
They are a very old fashioned brownie….cakey and not as dark and rich as most brownie’s we we eat these days. Tasha suggests frosting them with a fudge recipe also found in the book, but since I didnt have time to make fudge as well as brownies, I just made a simple chocolate glaze, and that worked fine.

I feel like these brownies do need some sort of glaze or frosting though to be at their best— or perhaps that’s just the chocolate fiend in me talking 😉 The recipe makes two square pans worth of brownies, so a good amount. I made one with nuts and one without. They didnt last long!

Well, off to start my routine! Hope you are doing well. I have a new painting to show you that I finished last week, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I’m still on my Scotland kick— but this time, there’s SHEEP! Stay tuned 🙂

And of course,
Take Joy!~
h

5 thoughts on “Inward, Summer Days

  1. WooHoo, a new blog format that makes it easier for folks like me to reply!!! I do love these ideas and inspirations from homemakers of our past. Cookbooks are like little history snippets of how the family life was ordered. Because so many additives and artificial ingredients didn’t exist, I think healthy cooking was a lot easier in the past since you only had the real food items to work with. The brownies look delicious despite their difference from “in the box” brownies that we make today.

    Have you read that neat old book on the shelf , Boys and Girls of Pioneer Days? The title has me wanting to sit down on the porch and dig into its pages!!

    Hang tough on your work to weed out the unnecessary and find ways to live more authentically. It takes time and trial and error to figure out what and how these changes are going to work for you in a realistic and sustainable way. Also remember nobody ever hits 100% with a living organism called family life. But hey that is part of the fun and reward, I think!

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    1. I havent read the book but it looked SUPER cute….I found it at the antique shop I found the cookbook at as well. I loved the fireplace with the spinning wheel, you know that was right up my alley! thanks for all your support!

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  2. Oops, it appears now. How do we read comments once they are posted because when I first opening up this link this morning, there were no comments present. Hmmmmm??? any ideas?

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