Baby Shower

It was Felicity's baby shower today!  The color palette was neutrals.  But not greens and yellows...oh no.  Neutrals as in: chocolate brown, ivory, tan, oatmeal.

And the theme was owls, as Felicity's had a love affair with owls for a long time.  The centerpiece was a cylinder vase filled with shell fragments and holding twigs from our property (the beech twigs with a leaf or two still clinging to them).  Seemed appropriate for a winter shower, especially with a parliment of owls, drawn by Colette, roosting in the branches.

The menu:
fruit platter with fruit dip
vegetable platter with dill dip

mixed nuts
crackers and assorted cheeses
chocolates (packaged in pink and blue, please)

raspberry-lemonade-white grape punch
water infused with oranges and garnished with mint leaves (so light and refreshing!)

and the most amazing owl-crowned cake (decorated by Felicity's talented mother-in-law)

And, of course, there was a shower of blessings in the form of gifts!

I knitted a pumpkin hat for the baby, and can hardly wait for next autumn!

It was a lovely, lovely day!

And then, when the loveliness had come to and end, and the presents were all bundled off with Felicity, and the dishes were all washed, Max took the balloons, stood in the doorway, and used them for target practice.

Back to reality!  It's a wonderful life!

Delightful, Beautiful Snow

Winter is my favorite season, and I have to confess that I've been a bit sad lately to see our three-ft. deep snow pack diminish to closer to one foot.  My heart is not quite ready to say goodbye to the quiet, peaceful, pristinely beautiful days of winter.  So I was thrilled to awaken this morning to see huge, fluffy flakes drifting down.

I usually stay home on snowy days, but today Colette and Max were snowboarding, so out we went into the white New England countryside.  Some scenes along the way:

All told, eight more inches coated our world.  Lovely!

Sugar on Snow

Last week, just as the snow storm was ending, Colette and I made sugar on snow.  Remember the story in the “Little House” books where the Ingalls family drizzles maple syrup on fresh snow?  Well, that’s what we did!

First, you have to slowly bring maple syrup to a temperature of 240 degrees.  Patience required for this part.  I think it took us at least 20 minutes, because we were constantly adjusting the temperature to keep it from boiling over (since cleaning hot, sticky syrup off of my stove top does not rank high on my list of fun things to do).

Then Colette scooped up a plate of fresh, clean snow.

Then she drizzled the hot syrup on the cold snow.

The syrup does harden, but not as much as I was expecting.  I assumed it would harden up like a hard candy, but that’s not true at all.  It hardens to more of a rubbery, soft-caramel-like texture.  You can peel it right off the snow and eat it.

Delicious, intense maple flavor!

Snowy Day

The snow came.  Technohubby worked from home.

Snowy days call for something special...of the baked variety.  I kneaded.

The snow plow rumbled by.  God bless the men who drive them!

The dough was set to rise, and rise it did.

Colette taught me a card game she learned from her friend in California.

Colette joined in the baking.

Technohubby took advantage of a lull in the snow to snow blow the driveway.

Copious amounts of melted butter spread on dough and topped with cinnamon and sugar...oh my!

Snow markers were located.  This one was easy.  Others had to be dug out.

Deliciousness taking shape!

Then it was eating time...even before the cream cheese frosting!

If you like Cinnabon's cinnamon rolls, these are a copycat recipe.  I think it may be even better.  You can find the recipe here.  And the best thing about this recipe is that they freeze beautifully!  Just a quick reheat in the microwave, and they are almost as good as fresh-baked!
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