Tuesday, February 1, 2022



Layla...one cold but spoiled doggie

Well, I did it again. Promised to get better at posting and then life got the best of me.  Yes, the best and the rest.  Please know I'm challenging myself, it's all about me.  I know we aren't supposed to beat ourselves up, but there are times I do.  We all have some time on our hands with the pandemic shutting us in.  At first we found that we could accomplish more, and we did.  But our expectations were/are high.  Now that enthusiasm is waning-at least for me. I try to find ways to keep pushing on to have purposeful days.

So I'll digress here since I know you are all waiting with bated breath, here is my beautiful, most perfect Christmas tree in the whole wide world. I seem to have nailed the perfect size and width in the past few years. I love the beauty of the Balsam firs.  Such a nice blue-ish green.  I'm not the happiest camper doing the lights, and this year I had to unwind them after I thought I was finished because I ended up with the "male" end at the bottom.  I waited a day to get over the tantrum and then started over from the bottom up. It turned out better as I added another strand of lights.  I went all out and used all of my ornaments which total about 200. I absolutely do not say this to brag, it's thirty-six years of collecting and inheriting treasures, and I hang them so proudly and with heart tugging emotion.  Little Madelyn helped me one afternoon.  I explained that we had to tuck some inside the branches.  She came to me after awhile and said, "Grandma, I really camouflaged a few."  Really?  Out of a five year old?  She amazes me.  

(Christmas treats to be boxed up for family and friends)

The Husband and I decided to stay home and not go to the several Christmas parties we usually go to.  We have all of our vaccinations, including the booster, but I just didn't want to be one who caught the Omicron, and we knew a lot of people, some of whom were in our immediate family catch this variant after having all their vaccinations.  I go shopping,  to the doctor, run errands, etc., and I wear my mask.  My life can't be in a bubble but  I absolutely avoid social groups. I stop in to see my daughters and grands, it is the most special thing in my life.  

I've been so frugal since The Husband retired so I started my Christmas gift shopping in early November so I could do a bit at a time.  I was on top of the shopping, wrapping, decorating and baking. Then we took cover when the omicron arrived. Ironic that I was so organized and ahead of the game for once! This month we have been giving the gifts on the chance that one of the kids stop by with the kiddos. They seem to like Christmas weeks after the real deal!  


Abby and Tom had their much awaited baby on December 15,  a girl, 6 pounds, 3 oz., and named her Colette Jane. I love that they included Abby's French ancestry on her father's side, along with Tom's Irish heritage.  And the family name Jane, for Nana, Abby's middle name, and the middle names of so many others in our family.  Nana was just a gem and is so, so missed.  

My First Dutch Baby

We have been so confined to home and I have so many projects as irons in the fire.  Ironically, sometimes getting out and finding a cord of wood in the city which can be delivered and stacked in the backyard is an activity of its own.  So I dabble in sewing my little softies for the grandkidlets, working on some cross stitch (is anyone else my age going blind?), reading competitively with myself to top last years total books read; my own literary olympics or the 2022 reading challenge on Goodreads, and finally cooking. It continues to be a love/hate thing for me but I think I've figured it all out.  Most of all I have to take into consideration The Husband.  He is really attached to having dinner.  He mostly wants it at some point in the early evening.  When I get into the mood of putting on my lab coat and going into a time warp trying out obscure recipes to our lives, country and culture, he sometimes gets a wee upset when 10:00 p.m rolls around.  In my defense, sometimes I just can't calculate greatness.  

So, I was going to share some meals I made that I felt were progressive and made me so proud to make and come out halfway decent.  Those being on my quest to make include foods from other countries and cultures.  I'm keeping a journal and photos and soon I'll share what I've accomplished, or not. 😬

I made my first Dutch Baby or German pancake recently for breakfast.  I had been sort of planning to make one or two at the lakehouse for breakfast but people really don't want someone dabbling in the kitchen for hours when they want to get out into the sun.  Hello Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.  

Here's the recipe. It turned out lovely.  Give this one a try and then do the toppings and all the goodies you love.

Jane's Dutch Baby

1/2 c flour

1 c milk

2 eggs

1/4 t salt

1 T sugar

1 1/2 t vanilla

3 T butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and milk til smooth, then add the eggs, salt, sugar and vaniila.  Whisk to combine well.

Place butter in a 10 inch cast iron pan or a 9 inch cake pan and place in hot oven til butter sizzles.  Add the batter, shut the oven door and don't even think about opening it for 18 to 20 minutes.  It will deflate!!!! Once it is crisp on the edges remove form the oven. slice into four quarters and serve hot. I do this with  a squeeze of lemon and a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar.  There are numerous and delicious toppings such as warmed jam, applesauce, butter and cinnamon, or berries.  I've heard from some great people that they cook diced apples in the butter at the beginning of the recipe and pour the batter over.  I really want to try this! 

 Serves 4, possibly 5-6 if you add bacon or sausage and some fruit to fill it out as a hearty breakfast.  

I leave you with a pic of Poppy girl. I can't believe she is going to be three this summer.  She brings a lot of joy to us and mischievousness   to our home and we need this liveliness.

    And lets not forget little Layla.  She'll be eighteen mid February.  I think she is Wonderdog.  She is absolutely fine other than being deaf.  It makes for a problem when you call her but I just jump up and down like a madwoman to catch her eye.  I pray she has a lot more time with us.  She's such a sweetie.  Her long relationship with Milo kind of keeps his presence in our house.  

I'm off.  Love you all and hope to be back soon!

Jane x


Mary said...

Good morning dearest Jane - lovely to open the laptop and find you here writing such fun things. . . . . .and making me wish I had a hot Dutch baby rather than this cold bowl of Greek yogurt sitting in front of me!!! When I lived in NH years ago we went to a place that made the best DB pancakes in the world - I always chose the apple version. I keep saying I must try to make one - with your easy instructions I will give it a go soon, but have to knock off the COVID 5 lbs first, haha!

Loved hearing about your Christmas, the sweet new baby, your tree etc - seems so long ago already with February already here!

Wishing you every happiness for your upcoming special day - we'll be thinking of you. We too don't go far these days - we eat dinner around 6 pm so will raise a glass in front of the fire that evening - it's very cold here but just a little snow - and wish you well as you celebrate with A.
Love to you both - M&B xx

Kim said...

Always fun to catch up with Jane, no matter how long in between visits. Congratulations on that new baby and thanks for recipe! Yum...going to try that for sure.

Lorrie said...

So lovely to read a post from you this morning. I agree with you - that tree is the perfect size and shape. I wish I could find one like that some year. (We always have real trees) I'm afraid that if I didn't have my husband to cook for, I'd eat any old time or not at all. Good thing there's someone to keep us to a schedule.
Congratulations on a new darling granddaughter. Such sweetness!

Helen said...

A great post Ms. Jane! This line is the butter crème icing on the cake .. 'sometimes I just can't calculate greatness.'

Stay happy, stay well.

Theresa said...

Same here! We are vaccinated, boostered and masked when we go out. I attended a b'day party on Saturday and that was the biggest group that I have been in. I made it and it was nice to be with people:) I love your tree, I also started early and stayed caught up with wrapping. It made Christmas not so rushed. We had some AFTER Christmas gift giving too:) Great minds:) What a beautiful little baby girl! I know you are over-the-moon with love! Enjoy your day dear Jane, HUGS!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

I'm always happy to see a post from you, Jane. I, too, have been blogging less than I want to, because my schedule here in Florida is very different than life in NJ. Once again,I need to get back on track.

Susan~aredheadonthego said...

Sweet Jane what a great post, the high point of which is beautiful Collette Jane . What a pretty and meaningful name. I love the name Jane. I think we are close in age and I can’t remember the last time I threaded a needle in under five minutes. Will have to try that Dutch Baby. It seems so easy. I’ve always been intimidated by them. Thanks so much for taking the time to takes us through the recipe!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jane, congratulations to Tom, Abby and all of you on Cilette Jane's safe arrival into the world! What a gift, and she's a beautiful tiny bundle. We're also keeping a low profile with covid. My 4 mo grand girl got it along with her mama & daddy and just made me dislike January for one more reason. Your Christmas tree was beautiful! Madelyn's vocab!! Gosh, time is flying. Stay well. So good to hear from you.

Dewena said...

Precious Layla! And the darling name Colette Jane! It was a different kind of Christmas and who knows how long this will last in one form or another. Your Dutch Baby is so pretty! I haven't made a German pancake in ages but used to use a recipe from a German cookbook so I'll have to compare yours with it and make again. I find myself wanting to cook up a storm and then some days I look longingly at all the food delivery online commercials and consider trying one. One of our sons who could never even heat up a can of soup has discovered an interest in cooking by first trying the Hello Fresh service. I certainly understand your sometimes lateness in putting your creation on the table because at my age I'm much better off cooking supper right after breakfast.

A very happy birthday to you! I think it's lovely to have a birthday in the most romantic month of the year!

Billie Jo said...

Hello! So happy to see you here! Your Christmas tree was indeed beautiful! I love seeing your gifts all wrapped and ready. I try to do the same, and I am getting better at it. I am the same with this virus. I go where I need to, but avoid crowds and unnecessary groups. we have had it, but know it is possible to have it twice. No thank you! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Sounds delicious! Have a cozy afternoon, and congratulations on that precious, precious baby!

Jeanie said...

Colette Jane is an absolute doll! And it's good to see your post. I love seeing the Christmas. We are doing Christmas with the kids this weekend and we finished shopping last week. With toddlers, you don't shop too early -- they change! I go nowhere. I was told in no undertain terms from my doc to lay low so low I am laying. I'm even nervous about seeing the kids, though three of the four have Covid in December. I may keep my mask on at times. And I hate that. We have one set of friends we will see in person without masks. Did you get the super snow? At least when it's snowing, I have no desire to be out, so going through photos, reading, felting, blogging, writing, cooking. And I love it. Stay well, safe and cozy!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the birth of Colette Jane. Such a pretty name. Welcome to the world Colette Jane. God Bless.

Stonecropsister said...

Lovely post Jane. It was so nice to see the email nitification of the new post waiting for me as I had my morning coffee. It must be wonderful to decorate the tree with your granddaughter! And so special to have a new arrival as well. My husband has just retired as well. I retired last January. I am looking forward to writing on the blog more, and visiting my favorites more often (hint, hint) so hope to see lots more posts from you. Xx Nancy (aka Stonecrop Sister)

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...

Great to read this post and catch up! Oh, that precious pup.. may she live into her 20's. Congrats on the new baby! love her name....

jmac said...

YAY!!!! I love seeing a post from you!!! Altho, I'm one to talk...just can't seem to get my blog to the top of the list, but I must keep plugging along for I always make yearly books of it for my kids and grandkids. They absolutely love having it as a diary of our lives. Content these days is tough because we pretty much stay in a cocoon away from the virus...even tho I'm on my 8th day since testing positive and feeling like crap. I'm spending my days making lists of all the things I'm going to do when it's over that I haven't done in the last 2 yrs!!
Thank goodness for my PoppyPearl...your Poppy's namesake!! (did you know my name is jane also??? actually janey!)

handmade by amalia said...

So glad you're posting again, dear Jane. Your post really spoke to me as I've been feeling in recent months that I have more time and yet do less, very annoying. Also trying new recipes and taking every opportunity to spend time with family. Really enjoying reading you this morning.

La Contessa said...

THAT was a LOVELY READ!I have not had a DUTCH BABY since I was a teenager........and now I"M GLUTEN FREE SO ..........
WE know a few who have been VACCINATED and BOOSTED and gotten the DREADED O..........for them it was a COLD. SO we are hearing both sides!I stay tucked in at HOME with the ONLY excursion to the grocery store..........I saw last night they are going to LIFT MASK MANDATES here in CALIFORNIA.I do not KNOW how I feel about THAT!
The LIPSTICK INDUSTRY should pick back UP!!

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Hello Jane, good to see your post! I'm a little late in catching up - like you, I am not keeping up with blogging lately. I seem to have found my sweet spot at once a month or so. I really got a giggle out of you putting the lights on your tree only to find out it was all wrong. That is something I would do. It did turn out very pretty! I am with you on staying away from society these days, even being boosted and all. I just don't recover as quickly as I used to and the Omicron sounds nasty. Your new little family member is precious as can be and I love her name. Thanks for the recipe, it looks and sounds yummy. Cooking does get to be a chore and I always get in a rut. I like your idea of trying recipes from other cultures. I'd be interested in seeing your recipes. Your pups are sweet - what would we do without our little pals? Hope you share your needlework projects. Let's hope we are finally seeing the end of this darn pandemic soon. I sure would like to go have dinner and a movie again. Hang in there. Hugs xo Karen

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It's me said...

Love love love from me and Leaf ❤️🐾🍀❤️

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Congratulations to Abby and Tom on the birth of their baby Colette Jane. I'm sure the whole family was so excited.

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

The same intentions for me and then "what happens?" Hope all is well my friend! ♥

rohit sharma said...

Very nice. Plz share something on FLUORESENT MICROSCOPE 1 also !!

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