Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR..WELCOME 2012

Hello my friends and Happy New Year! I hope you had a lovely Holiday season, and wish you all the best in the coming year. I am looking forward to more blogging and meeting all my new followers. Thank you for making this past year a wonderful learning experience. Hugsxxxx

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Legend of the Christmas Tree

THE LEGEND OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE 
BY LUCY WHEELOCK
Two little children were sitting by the fire one cold winter's night. All at once they heard a 
timid knock at the door, and one ran to open it. There, outside in the cold and the darkness, stood a child with no shoes upon his feet and clad in thin, ragged garments. He was shivering with cold, and he asked to come in and warm himself. "Yes, come," cried both the children; "you shall have our place by the fire. Come in!" They drew the little stranger to their warm seat and shared their supper with him, and gave him their bed, while they slept on a hard bench. In the night they were awakened by strains of sweet music and, looking out, they saw a band of children in shining garments approaching the house. They were playing on golden harps, and the air was full of melody. Suddenly the Stranger Child stood before them; no longer cold and ragged, but clad in silvery light. His soft voice said: "I was cold and you took Me in. I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was tired, and you gave Me your bed. I am the Christ Child, wandering through the world to bring peace and happiness to all good children. As you have given to Me, so may this tree every year give rich fruit to you." So saying, He broke a branch from the fir tree that grew near the door, and He planted it in the ground and disappeared. But the branch grew into a great tree, and every year it bore wonderful golden fruit for the kind children.


* From "For the Children's Hour," by Bailey and Lewis. Used by permission of the authors and the publishers—Milton Bradley Company.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Old World Yuletide Plum Pudding



Plum Pudding is a traditional English holiday dessert. Try to start at least a week in advance for the flavors to marinade together. It's a rich dessert, and this recipe makes 3 medium cakes. If not, a couple of days will be fine.

FRUIT:
1/4 lb. citron (candied lemon peel, found with the dried fruits in the grocery store)
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. currants
1 lb. prunes
1/2 lb. dates
1/2 lb. cherries
1/2 lb. walnuts
1 pint red wine
Combine all fruit ingredients in a large bowl and stir together. Set aside and stir once a day for about a week for all the flavors to marinade together, or if set for time, two days.

CAKE:

4 cups sifted flour
2 cups. sugar
1 lb. (4 sticks) butter, softened
10 eggs
4 tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. grated lime rind
Preheat oven to 325^. Line with foil and grease 3 formed molded pans, bundt pans, or angel food cake pans.

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs. Mix in vanilla, spices, sugar, and lime. Fold in the sifted flour. Stir in the fruit and baking powder. Consistency should be softly dropping.

Fill each pan two-thirds full. Place in pans in baking dishes and pour boiling water in the baking dish around the pans, so that water comes at least 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until cakes are done by checking with a toothpick in the center.

Serve warm with hard sauce.

HARD SAUCE:

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract or brandy
Cream butter with powdered sugar until light and fluffly. Add vanilla or brandy. Spoon over cake at serving time.

These cakes may be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator or frozen. Steam in the oven to reheat before serving.

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas......

I can't believe Christmas is almost here! Going to do some last minute shopping on Friday, which should be fun...looking forward to the hustle and bustle of the shops on 'Maine' St.! The month seemed to fly by with all the cookie and cake baking, gifts and wrapping paper, and visits from friends and family. Can hardly wait for the peacefulness of Christmas Eve..I think we will be getting snow which just adds to the magic of the season! See you soon, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my friends and family! Enjoy the warmth of love.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Free Printable Vintage Christmas Tags!!

Hi everyone, it has been so busy here getting ready for Christmas! We have been baking cookies and cranberry bread, and making some handmade gifts for friends and family. It snowed last night and it is so pretty...not a lot just a nice dusting to make it feel more like Christmas. Here is a sheet of Vintage Christmas Tags that you can print out for your gift giving. Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Crochet a Holiday Wreath Gift Topper

Hi everyone! Wow it has been very busy here getting ready for Christmas...I love this time of year. I thought I'd give you an easy Crochet Wreath project that is quick and nice to put on presents. Enjoy!

What You Need

100% mercerized cotton -- white thread: 400 yds. (366m); colored thread: 350 yds. (320m); bedspread weight
Size 2 (2.5mm) steel crochet hook OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE
Mini pony beads (for tree and wreath)
Blunt-end yarn needle

How to Make It
With C, ch 24; join with sl st to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 1, work 42 sc in ring; join with sl st to first sc.
Rnd 2: Ch 1, (sc in 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around -- 49 sts; join.
Rnd 3: Ch 1, (sc in 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around -- 56 sts; join.
Rnd 4: Ch 1, (sc in 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around -- 73 sts; join
Rnd 5: Ch 2, (sc in 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around -- 70 sts; join.
Rnd 6: Ch 2, (sc in 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around -- 77 sts; join; fasten off.
Bow Strip
With B, ch 6, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across; ch 1, turn.
Next row: Sc in 5 sc across; ch 1, turn. Rep last row until piece measures 9 inches long.
Edging
Sc evenly around all edges, working 3 sc in each corner; join to first sc; fasten off.
Knot Strip
With B, ch 4, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across -- 3 sc; ch 1, turn. Work even in sc until piece measures 1 1/2 inches; work edging around piece same as for Bow Strip.

Finishing
Fold Bow Strip to form 2 sides for bow and tails. Wrap Knot Strip round bow loops and sew tog at back of bow. Sew pony beads at intervals around Wreath ring. Use piece to cut a shape from felt. Glue felt to back. Tack package ties, a hanging loop, or a pin back to the back, or adhere a magnet button.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cutting Down The Christmas Tree & Shopping In Portland

Well, it's that time again to go get the Christmas tree...we make it a tradition to go to the farm to find our tree. This year it was at Hummer Farm in Bath, Maine and we sang carols and sipped hot chocolate on the way. It didn't take us long to spot the one we wanted. 
It was bitter cold today, about 27 degrees this morning but it didn't stop us from finding our tree!! It is quite the tradition of hunting for just the right one. We got it home and set up..then took a break for some lunch then went to decorating.
                                                          I think it turned out perfect!! 


Later today we headed to Portland, Maine for some shopping and dinner...we spotted some pretty trees along the way.
                                      This one was in the window at Longfellow Square.
                                And this is the town Christmas Tree in Monument Square.