What’s for Breakfast?

February 2, 2013 | My Jottings

Another bitterly cold morning here, way below zero. But things are going to warm up and we may get snow tomorrow, which always lifts my spirit. Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday, and my husband, son-in-law, grandson and some beloved former neighbors will be coming over to watch. If I had a bucket list, “Watch a Super Bowl” would not even make it to the top 300 on my list. But I will make this for their snack and then retire with the Schnauzers to our bedroom so I can read, do my CBS lesson, and perhaps play a game or two of Words With Friends.*Happy contented sigh.*

My friend Kay in Cornwall told me about Susan Branch’s blog several months ago, and I visit there often. I was familiar with Susan Branch’s cookbooks and beautiful watercolor calendars, but had never thought to look if she has a blog. If you haven’t visited, you might like it. It’s like taking a mini-vacation each time you read one of her posts. She’s from Southern California (like me) and lives in a beautiful old home on Martha’s Vineyard (unlike me–boo). I love the beauty and the whimsy she creates on her blog. So when I read this post of Susan’s, I was intrigued. She wrote about what a wonderful treat B & M canned bread is. B & M canned bread? I’d never heard of it, and I wasn’t sure it sounded like much of a treat to me, on more than one level. Canned is so 1950s, right?

But because of the way she raved, I decided to see if I could find any B & M canned bread, and of course since I don’t live in New England, I couldn’t find it in our grocery stores. So I bought some on amazon. I had to buy a case of twelve, but that was okay, because I could use a few for us and give a few away. Well, I think this bread is yummy. You can taste the molasses and the rye, and when Susan says to toast it until the edges are very crispy, she’s right. If you ever try some I would recommend you toast it slowly until it’s slightly crunchy on the edges. It takes longer than you would think.

I like a lot of different things for breakfast but here’s what I’ve been having at least once a week ever since our case of B & M canned brown bread was delivered:

A thin slice of the rich and chewy bread, thoroughly but slowly toasted…

With just a bit of butter melted on it while it’s hot…

And a small dollop of creamy peanut butter spread on top. And I add a juicy orange and some raw almonds. And a steaming cup of tea. Wonderful!

Today will be a paperwork day for me. I hope to have enough self-control (that’s iffy) to work on just paperwork for four hours today. Then I will fix dinner, make Pico de Gallo and let those delicious fresh flavors marinate overnight for tomorrow’s Super Bowl recipe, and maybe fold some laundry. Michael and I were planning to watch Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont tonight, but when our Netflix copy arrived in the mail yesterday, it was broken. Another one will arrive on Monday, they say.

How is your weekend going?

What are you doing for Super Bowl Sunday?

May you have God’s peace and hope today….(and if you leave a comment with your first name, what area of the world you live in, and what your favorite breakfast item is, you’ll be entered in a drawing here on the blog and could win a can of B & M Brown Bread! Winner will be announced on Tuesday afternoon.)

I’m so glad you stopped by….

A Song From My Past

February 1, 2013 | My Jottings

I love how music attaches itself in our brains and never lets go. When we can’t find our keys, remember where that important paper was filed, or recall a person’s name, a song from our past can be heard and every lyric is instantly there. At least that’s the way it is for me.

Below you’ll find a song I played at least 437 times on my car stereo when I was about 22-23 years old. My marriage had suddenly ended and I found myself in straits I hadn’t foreseen. The Lord was faithful to me and to my two little girls and our needs were met, but I remember sort of putting one foot in front of the other during that season, and hoping the emotional hard times would soon ease.

So this old song sung by Jennifer Warnes spoke to my heart back then, and I used to drive my green VW Rabbit on the crowded Southern California freeway system, early to work in the morning and then home again in the evening, singing along with everything in me. When I heard this song today for the first time in years, every single word came back, almost like I’d written it myself. It was really composed by Stephen Foster, and I’m sure the hard times he was talking about were so much worse than anything I’ve ever experienced. But I do believe that this song could be the plaintive anthem of so many hurting people.

You can click here and it will open a new window so you can play it. Then you can just come back to this window to read the lyrics if you like, as the song plays.

Hard Times by Stephen Foster

Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all share sorrow with the poor;
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.


There’s a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o’er:
Though her voice would be merry, ’tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.


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Have a good weekend everyone…