Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Friday, December 28, 2012

Scottish Mulled Cider

The cold weather months bring their own kind of comfort & yumminess with them, don't they? Everything from stews & soups to warm drinks.

If you love cider drinks this mixture will quickly climb to the top of your Favorites List. This is the taste treat of authentic Scottish Mulled Cider
You will need:

~8 c. apple cider
~1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
~1 pinch of ground nutmeg
~8 4-6" cinnamon sticks, + a few extra
~1 ts whole allspice
~1 ts whole cloves, + a few extra
~8 orange wedges, with rind
~cheesecloth
~string

Directions:

1) In a saucepan, mix the cider, brown sugar & nutmeg.
2) In the cheesecloth, put in the cinnamon, allspice & 1 ts of the cloves; tie with a string
3) Add the bag of spices to the cider mix & bring to boiling. 
4) Once it boils, reduce the heat, cover & simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
5) While the mulled cider simmers, stud the orange rinds with 2-4 whole cloves.
6) Once cider has simmered, take out the spice bag & throw it away.
7) Serve mulled cider in mugs with one of the clove-studded oranges in each one; you may also wish to serve with an extra cinnamon stick in each mug.

Enjoy!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><          

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Warm and Cozy on a Cold Winter's Day

This is how I feel today . . . 
Enjoy the blessing of a warm and cozy home on a cold winter's day.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<>< 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mini-Blizzard of 2012

BRRR! What a day!

After a blessed and happy CHRISTmas, we had a day full of crazy weather. Our Ohio mini-blizzard afforded us a day when we were glad to be inside our warm home where we could bundle up in warm clothes, under comfy quilts, watching the movies we received as Christmas gifts and left-overs from Christmas dinner to nosh on through-out the day.

Here's a peek at what it looks like at our house . . . 
This was the view from our front porch looking across the road at mid-day ~ it was ONLY about 6" at this time.
Our front porch swing ~ retired for the winter ~ collected a dusting of snow at mid-day.
Poor little Maggie ~ it's hard to go potty when the snow is up to your . . . well . . . you know.
My hand is 7-1/2" from wrist to tip of middle finger ~ at mid-day my entire hand went all the way into the snow! We ended up with 10" by the time it stopped snowing in the late afternoon.
But we were snug in our house watching the snow from the warm side of the windows

Here are a few more shots of our CHRISTmas tree, that I showed you in an earlier post, and some favorite ornaments . . . 
This photo doesn't exactly do our tree "justice," but since we bought a rustic-real-looking tree (about 4 years ago) & cut down on the more glittery ornaments, took away the tinsel & started using the more vintage, rustic ornaments, I can't hardly stop admiring our tree. In person, it is simple and lovely to me. My favorite look of any trees we've had.
This ornament is in memory of our sweet dog, Hickory, a Sheltie. I'm sure you can guess that he was much loved.
A sweet cabin in the snowy woods.
And we HAVE to have SOMETHING with wolves on it!
A little somethin'-somethin' for THE Man. :-)
I love the red tartan & gunnysack ribbons on the brown wrapping paper.
And, as always, it is ALL about JESUS.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Friday, December 21, 2012

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree . . .

 O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
Not only green when summer's here,
But also when 'tis cold and drear.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging!

Yes, to so many of us, this is an old, familiar tune. Brought out every Christmas just like the ornaments & tinsel we decorate our own Christmas trees with. But do you know why we decorate our trees? Here's a little bit of symbolism to help you ~ and your family ~ appreciate the tradition even more . . . 

Many pagan cultures "worshipped" the Evergreen trees as a sign of immortality but to counter pagan falsehood with a degree of Godly truth, believers started erecting Evergreens on December 24th. Then, to honor Christ's birth Martin Luther began the tradition of bringing in and decorating small Evergreens  at around 1500. Then, by the 1800's the Christmas Tree was well established.

 O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
From base to summit, gay and bright,
There's only splendor for the sight.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!

In the late 1700's, people started adding more decoration to the Evergreens. They added candles to symbolize the birth of Jesus Christ as The Light of the World (the same symbolism is why we decorate our homes with lights ~ to show the world that our Light has come!) [John 18:12]; ornaments of pine cones, baby's hair, embellished combs, hand-made paper snowflakes and chains, holly and ivy, fruit, cotton batting as snow or "angel hair" . . . items that were special and had meaning to the family. Christians also began to hang wreaths on their doors and in their homes and even small wreaths were hung on the trees. These never-ending circles of Evergreen represent eternity, endless hope and even God Himself as our Alpha and Omega.

 O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
Thou bidst us true and faithful be,
And trust in God unchangingly.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee! !"

And the crown of every Christmas tree is either an angel or a star. Both recognise the fact that a heralding angel of God came to the Shepherds to announce the birth of God's only Son, Jesus Christ, and that a star led their way to the family, find the holy Babe lying in a manger.

And gifts under the tree? Well, that has a couple of meanings. One is that after their long journey following the star, the three Maji (Wise Men) gave gifts of precious worth to the Boy King ~ gold, frankincense and myrrh. The other is that the Lord, in His love and goodness towards us, His children, has blessed us with the opportunity to celebrate His birthday by giving and receiving gifts  

We truly serve a wonderful Father God, a precious Lord & a tender Holy Spirit ~ they do all the work and we have all the fun.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of our family Christmas tree and the blessings wrapped in brown paper that wait for our family to open on Christmas Day. 

 From my family to yours ~ have a very merry and blessed CHRISTmas.

CHRISTmas blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><   

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Comfort and Joy

"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you . . . " ~Isaiah 66:13(a)

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord." ~Luke 2:10-11
Christmas, comfort and joy ~ seems as though they were made to go together, doesn't it? These are what God gave to His people when He sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to us as the world's first Christmas present.

Comfort ~ in that we can have the assurance of God's love as our Parent. He will be with us through thick or thin. His Word offers us the best of all parental advice.

Joy ~ in answering His call to accept Jesus as our Savior and receiving the ultimate gift of eternal life with God, our Father. Joy in being adopted as God's child. And joy in knowing that our many sins have been forgiven. 

At Christmas-time, comfort and joy can conjure images of a watching fluffy snowflakes falling outside our window while sipping hot chocolate beside a fire in our warm, cozy home. That's all well and good; but to a Christian, God's comfort and joy is both internal and eternalThey are gifts that no box can contain, no bow could be lovely enough to decorate. They are gifts that are held in our hearts, miraculously multiplied as more and more people accept the Christmas Gift of Jesus Christ.
We live at a time when so many people need the true comfort and joy of Jesus. Be prepared to share the Gift this Christmas.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Monday, December 17, 2012

Out of Service...

It may be a couple of days until I'm back. When you work at a place where so many sick people come in and breath, sigh, cough & sneeze in your face & then hand you their dirty money ~ you are bound to pick something up from them. I have been buried in my favorite quilt on the couch for the last few days with Maggie snuggled beside me, a stack of old Christmas DVDs and lots of hot tea and chicken soup. So . . . until I feel better I'll be using as many of my home remedies as I can. :-)

Until then . . . please pray for those touched so deeply by the Newtown, CT tragedy.

Back soon . . . 

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Treasuring Up All These Things

"The angel answered, . . . 'So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'" ~Luke 1:35

"'Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You [the shepherds] will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger' . . . So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby, Who was lying in the manger. When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this Child . . . But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." ~Luke 2:11-12, 16-17, 19

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." ~Matt. 5:8
This time of year, we watch wonderful movies about the birth of Jesus and it always seems that, as much as they try to make it real for us, they usually have a woman in her 20's or 30's playing Jesus' mother, Mary. Even the faces of most mantle-top Nativity scenes portray Mary as an older women. In reality, Mary was only about 13-15 years old.

Mary was just past what many would term "a little girl." She was barely in her teens. Why did God choose such a young girl as the mother of His Son? Possibly because girls married so much younger back then and the Savior's mother HAD to be physically pure; but could it have also been that a young Jewish girl ~ raised with oral Jewish tradition always on someone's lips ~ would take God at His word? That while listening to the stories, that she had treasured up the things of God in her heart? That she would believe and not doubt

I think that Mary had to not only be physically pure, but she still had to have that purity of heart ~ the trust and faith of what was left of the child within her. When a child trusts, they hold what is said in their heart. So, when she heard, Mary held the words of the angel in her heart ~ the safest, purest part of herself ~ and God knew that she would. 
Christmas is such a time of wonder and child-likeness and it touches the heart of all Christians. Maybe the reason why we often say that "we have Jesus in our heart" is because, at Christmas-time, we let ourselves become like children again and God reminds us to treasure all the things of Jesus' miraculous birth inside the safest, purest part of ourselves: our heart.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Simple Women's Daybook ~#173~ 12/10/12

For today . . . 

Outside my window . . . grey skies, cold winds, rain. Possible snow flurries tonight. I'm ready for real snow.

I am thinking . . . that I can't believe we are so close to CHRISTmas. Where has this year gone?

I am thankful . . . for a warm, cozy home on this cold, cold day.

From the kitchen . . . reuben sandwiches.

I am wearing . . . jeans, navy blue turtle-neck shirt, grey cardigan sweater.

I am creating . . . a peaceful, CHRIST-centered home.

I am going . . . to run some errands.

I am wondering . . . when & how?

I am hoping . . . soon.

I am reading . . . the Celtic Folklore Cooking cookbook.

I am looking forward to . . .Wednesday.

I am learning . . . that "necessity is the mother of invention."

Around the house . . . general pick-up & cleaning, putting out a few more CHRISTmas decorations that are not yet out.

One of my favorite things . . . our CHRISTmas tree.
A few plans for the rest of the week . . . family time, work, worship practice, gift shopping . . .

A favorite quote for the day . . . "Well, isn't this just a geographical oddity? Two weeks away from everywhere!" - Everett from O Brother Where Art Thou. I crack up every time I watch this.

Scripture thought . . . "I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, 'You are My servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand . . . I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand." ~Isaiah 41:9,10; 42:6(a) God is active & attentive in our lives.


A picture thought for you . . . 
Lunch with my DEAR long-time friend, Ellen. 
Love you, girl !

Read 100's of other Daybooks at Peggy's Simple Women's Daybook!

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><        

Friday, December 7, 2012

Season of Friends

I am blessed with dear friends. I had a Christmas lunch with my dear friend, Ellen, from school days. Wish we could see each other more often . . . but life happens.
Love you, El.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><
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