Friday, October 04, 2013

goodbye summer, hello fall

The weeks of lessons have whizzed by and the scenery has changed outside. Summer is behind us and in its place the autumn colors and climate now bring beauty and enjoyment. I try to look for ways to create beauty and goodness to counter the long days of necessary lesson routines and constant homemaking chores. Sometimes some of my ideas remain just ideas and other times, they just show up in my backyard waiting to be photographed. I have found inspiration for keeping a journal of pressed plants and botanicals from here. I have preserved some lovely shiny acorns following these directions.

The pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are from Susan who used to blog at High Desert Home and My Summer Notebook. I copied the recipe down before she took her blogs down and although I do not follow the recipe exactly, I will post it below and you can make your own changes if you like.  My garden is still full of celery, yellow zucchinis, a few yellow bean plants(the bunny has gotten to many of them), herbs, sunsugar tomatoes, rainbow carrots, and cucumbers.  This is the first year I've had trouble with a bunny and I plan on it being the last, even if he is cute.

We celebrated the last day of summer and first day of fall with a whole roasted chicken, my favorite rice pilaf concoction and broccoli. It felt like a true Thanksgiving harvest meal for me as the civic holiday feels more contrived. Even Shane's dinner prayer rang more true for me than how we pray at a typical Thanksgiving meal. Something about celebrating the harvest and the change of seasons right when they are happening feels more genuine and meaningful and fills my heart with gratitude for all that God has blessed our family with. His goodness never ceases, but far too often my conscious thankfulness does. And the more I garden and pay attention to the details of Creation, the more thankful and awestruck I become.  Even a rough day at home can be smoothed over by a blue-jay or chipmunk hopping onto our back step looking for some corn.  God's creatures remind me of how He cares for them and how much more He cares for us.

* Susan's Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins *: (the following are her words, not mine)

2 c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ginger
1/4 t. all-spice
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. bran flakes
6 oz. chocolate chips (we almost double this)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together first 9 (dry) ingredients on list and set aside.

In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs til foamy; add pumpkin, oil, and cereal. Mix well. Add sifted flour mixture, stirring only til combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon evenly in greased muffin tins (or use papers to line).

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (we never bake this long, usually only baking for 22 to 24 minutes; depends on your oven, I guess). Cool completely on rack before removing from pan.

Yield: 18 muffins


  1. Anonymous10:07 PM

    I enjoyed Susan's blog "My Summer Notebook" -- I discovered her blog via one of your links. I will definitely be trying that recipe. Yummo. Also, I'd love to talk to you about your nature notebooking. Which process are you using to dry out your plants. I just pciked up a flower press at the second hand and have been itching to try it out.
    Love you!

  2. you may see those muffins at fellowship lunch tomorrow, if they don't get eaten tonight...
    love - k

  3. Heather,
    Beautiful photos. Your salad looks delicious, by the way. And your drawings and pressings inspirational! We have been doing plenty of collecting and some watercolors- but I hadn't thought to press anything yet this year.

    Blessings to you and yours,


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