Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween ... From Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord Massachusetts isn't the least bit frightening.  I have visited several times and find the historical graves rather interesting.  Here in this modest grave rests the famous Harvard graduate, American  author, philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862).  Many of you will remember him for his book Walden or from some of his famous quotes. "Be true to your work, your word, and your friends."
Buried nearby on Authors ridge is Thoreau's friend Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)  another Harvard graduate was a prominent member of the Transcendentalist Movement.  Emerson's final resting place is more ornate than the other authors on the ridge, yet still rather simple by today's standards.  Most of Emerson famous essays were written for the 1500 lectures he gave. "Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there is no path and leave a trail."  I have always loved that quote.
Is there a girl out there who hasn't read Little Women written by Louisa May Alcott ?  (1832-1888) The novel is based loosely on her life with her sisters in their home in Concord MA..  Louisa was also a feminist and was the first women to vote in a school election in Concord.   Her father was Bronson Alcott another famous member of the Transcendentalist Club and who was also the founder of the Utopian Fruitlands in Harvard Ma.   You might remember from an earlier post, I visit there quite often.  Louisa has so many notable quotes it is hard to choose just one,  so I will choose two that have been meaningful to me.  "Stay is a charming word in a friends vocabulary." the other "Far away in the sunshine are my aspirations, I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) is another famous author and friend of Emerson and Thoreau.  The  Scarlett Letter and The House of Seven Gables  are two of the more notable books written by Hawthorne. I can remember reading The Scarlett Letter in high school and my heart aching for Hester Prynne. Great book!!    One more inspirational quote.  "Happiness is like a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

I hope you  have enjoyed your Halloween visit to Authors Ridge at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baked Apple Oatmeal.....

There is a reason I only buy Macintosh scented candles and if you've ever walked through an apple orchard when its harvest time,  you'll understand why that is.  The fragrance of the orchard is intoxicating.  I made my annual fall trek to the orchards with Kerry the lovely, my oldest sons girlfriend.  Kerry was kind enough to come home from school for the weekend and accompany me to Brookdale Farms.  This is our third season going together and do we ever have fun. We always pick huge bags of apples so there is always plenty to eat and plenty to bake with.  Soooo....instead of baking up a dessert storm,  I thought for a change of pace, I might try this baked breakfast masterpiece.  This delicious, filling oatmeal treat is why I love to cook.  You can take the most ordinary ingredients throw it all in a casserole and the results are extraordinary. Baked Apple Oatmeal is very close to a deconstructed Apple Crisp, but healthier.

If you are a fan of oatmeal you will absolutely love this easy to make breakfast delight. Oatmeal, brown sugar, dried cranberries, nuts, apples and cinnamon baked along with a few cups of milk.  Wow!!!   
Baked Apple Oatmeal is from a lovely blog I follow called    rita-may-recipes.blogspot.com . Pop over and visit Rita's blog for her recipe.  You will be so glad you did!!  Thank you Rita,  it exceeded my expectations.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins....

This is one of the easiest recipes you will ever make.  You need one box of spice cake mix and one 15 oz. can of plain pumpkin.  Mix together the dry spice cake mix with the canned pumpkin.   No oil, no eggs, no water.  Just the dry cake mix and the canned pumpkin.  Scoop into a muffin tin and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. I sprinkled diced walnuts and raw sugar on top.  Could it get any easier?  These muffins are super moist and packed with flavor. Makes one dozen spiced pumpkin muffins.  Recipe courtesy of my sister Ann.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In Pursuit of Happiness..... .

I love this old red New England barn.
I want to work on the farm that owns this barn.
I want the farm to have a large flock of chickens.
I want to be in charge of gathering the eggs from the chickens.
I want to experience all the growing seasons first hand and up close.
I want to go to work early while there is morning dew still clinging to the vegetables plants.
I want to hear the rattle and clunk of the old farm tractor as it heads up the road.

 I want to lovingly arrange all the fresh produce in wooden bins for the customers who come to visit.
 I want to marvel at the magic of the farmers bounty.
 I want to walk through the orchard and smell the sweet fragrance of the apples.

 Next summer if there is a farm stand position I think I might just apply.  Talk about being in heaven!!!
"Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."  
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington (1787

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