Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chinese Lanterns...

Here's a few photo's of one of my favorite flowers of the season...

Chinese Lanterns ~ Physalis alkekengi

Flowering in late summer then developing these fruits in October, turning from green to brilliant orange... they truly are stunning to look at.

Physalis is actually a herb, related to potatoes, and tomatoes..., its also known as "Winter Cherry," its fruit is harvested for its high vitamin C content, but can be toxic if not fully ripe, its  known for its inflamation-reducing and , cough suppressing qualities and has been used to treat many other varied symptoms... (such as bedwetting!!!)  I love learning about the herbal lore of plants grown right under our noses, don't you? 

However, I'm not in any hurry to chomp these fruit, but they are so very photogenic..., don't you think?

Look what happens to the outer papery skin as it ripens...

All that is left is skeleton like outer shell, cage like holding the little orange like fruit in the center.

Do you have a favorite Fall flower?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Maple Syrup and Toasted Walnut Scones...

Here's my prescription for spending a perfect day indoors when the chill Autumn winds are blowing and the rain is beating down on the windows...

A roaring log fire...

A cup of tea along with a favorite book or magazine...

And a plate of Gluten/Dairy Free Maple Syrup & Toasted Walnut Scones 
fresh from the oven... mmmmmmmmmm

Here's my recipe for the scones...

(by the way if you don't have to eat GF and DF simply substitute the GF flour
for Wheat flour, marg. for butter, and cream for the Almond milk.)

Maple Syrup & Toasted Walnut Scones


1/4 cup of good quality Maple Syrup
6 Tablespoons of Almond Milk (or other milk.)
2 1/4 cups of All purpose GF Flour (I like Pamela's or King Arthur brand.)
1/2 cup of GF Rolled Oats
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Baking Powder
Pinch of Sea Salt
1 1/2 cubes of chilled DF Margarine (I like Earthbalance.) 
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup of chopped Walnuts
4 tablespoons of Turbinado or brown sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3.  Mix flour, oats, baking powder and sea salt in a large bowl.
4.  Slice the marg. into small cubes and blend with the flour, using your fingertips to 
     make a crumb like consistency (or blend these ingredients in a food processor till they resemble
5.  Mix the Maple Syrup and Almond Milk and add to the flour mix.
6.  Blend well with a fork, then use hands to pull the dough together.
7.  Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll out till its about and inch thick.
8.  Cut out the scones using a cookie cutter or a small drinking glass.
9.  Arrange on the lined cookie sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between each scone.
10.  Brush the tops with the beaten egg.
11.  Mix the chopped nuts and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle the surface of each
       scone with a generous teaspoon of the mixture - press it down into the scone a little bit.
12.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, till golden brown and walnuts are toasty looking...

MMMMMMMMMMMMM........ Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stirring The Soul...

This hand sized, heart shaped leaf caught my eye in the park the other day...

Dear Friends, it has been a while since I last blogged, since putting back the clocks, my usual time for photographing (around 4-5pm) has had to change, as its almost dark by the time I get home from work... and as I prefer to shoot my photo's in natural light,,, I'm feeling a little frustrated... 

Seeing as my photo's help me focus on a subject to blog about, I am trying to figure out how (and more importantly) when I'm going to be able to get my photo's taken...

I'm having to relearn the meaning of patience, and show myself a little kindness as I try to navigate my "wish list" of things that I truly LOVE to do, as opposed to my daily task list of jobs I NEED to get done...

So this evening, I am curled up by a roaring, fire, crackling and hissing in the fireplace, T.V is turned off, and after browsing my bookshelf I have re-found a favorite poem that I would like to share with you,  written by the Pulitzer prize winning author ~ Mary Oliver... this poem truly stirs my soul...  

West Wind # 2 ~ 
by Mary Oliver

You are young.  So you know everything.  You leap
into the boat and begin rowing.  But listen to me.
Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without
any doubt, I talk directly to your soul.  Listen to me.
Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and 
your heart, and heart's little intelligence, and listen to 
me.  There is a life without love.  It is not worth a bent
penny, or a scuffed shoe.  It is not worth the body of a
dead dog nine days unburied.  When you hear, a mile 
away and still out of sight, the churn of the water
as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the
sharp rocks---when your hear that unmistakable
pounding--- when you feel the mist on your mouth 
and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls
plunging and steaming---then row, row for your life
toward it.