Saturday, October 4, 2014

Day 4 {provisions}

Day 4 is already here and I've officially written more on my blog in October than I did for the whole of 2014! 

So this 31 Days of Writing challenge thing really works!

We awakened this morning to rain mixed with s.n.o.w.  ... and I promptly rolled over and went back to sleep!

My Historian is an early morning guy these days and has been getting up to do his quiet time, study for his Sunday School class and write for the Ancient Baptist Journal - as well as going for a brisk walk most mornings. He didn't walk this morning! Brrrr! I don't blame him!

After our very busy week our fridge is empty and our home is messy. Bathrooms need to be cleaned, beds stripped and re-made with FLANNEL sheets (yeah!) and the floors vacuumed.

Our fridge is also very empty, so today we'll spend some time shopping and gathering {provisions} for a bonfire we'll attend later and for Sunday lunch.


[pruh-vizh-uh n-z] 


1.the providing or supplying of something, especially of food or other necessities.
2.arrangement or preparation beforehand, as for thedoing of something, the meeting of needs, thesupplying of means, etc.
3. something provided; a measure or other meansfor meeting a need.
4. provisions, supplies of food.

I am so thankful for our freezer and pantry which are well stocked with provisions for our family - more often than not it is the fresh fruit and veggies that we run out of first ... and of course, milk. I really do think we need to buy a cow! 
I learned so much about keeping a well stocked pantry from my Mum and my Nanny (grandma). My Mum is blessed with a large dark cold room that we call the Root Cellar that is filled with canned goods, extra veggies, beverages and other perishables. While it would be lovely to have a cold cellar here, we don't have a basement - so that would be hard. I do have a second fridge, a freezer and a nice sized pantry with roll-out shelves. I just re-organized my pantry and was so thankful that the shelves are full and we are able to feed our family with yummy, healthy foods. 

My friend Brenda has written several excellent posts on her blog Coffee,Tea, Books & Me and she's organized the series here: Deepening the Pantry I found it especially helpful be cause it changed my thinking about the provisions that I keep on hand at all times and also some lovely 'special' pantry items that may seem like non-necessities, but really are fun to have for exceptional circumstances. 

For many years our budget was such that it didn't seem like we could afford to have a well stocked pantry - but I've learned that I really can't afford NOT to. Buying things we use on sale and with coupons when available, and buying in bulk when possible really helps our food budget. Knowing the I have what it takes to throw together a quick healthy meal from the freezer and pantry saves many trips to the store or take-out meals. 

Eating healthy foods at home is not cheap, but it always saves us money! 

For the bonfire I made a new recipe - taking something I saw on Pinterest and making it my own with a little less sugar, a whole lot more pumpkin and some of my favorite spice and extract combinations. Two friends at the bonfire asked for the recipe so I thought I'd post it here while I remember what I did. I apologize for the terrible picture - I still don't know how to get the best out of my camera at night! Give me sunshine or give me BAD pictures! A photographer, I am not.

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Cake
For the Cake:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
2 large eggs (room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon orange extract
15 oz. can pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the Filling-
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 – 11 oz. package caramels, unwrapped
1/4 cup whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a jelly roll pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
Place caramels and cream into a heat-proof bowl. Microwave on high until caramel is smooth and completely melted, being sure to stir every 20 seconds. Set aside to cool.
Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. In large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla, orange extract and pumpkin puree until combined.  Slowly incorporate remaining dry ingredients into batter. Do not over beat. Scrape sides and mix briefly to produce a smooth batter. Spread about 2/3 batter thinly into prepared pan. Sprinkle nuts and milk chocolate chips over top.

Drizzle cooled melted caramel over the chocolate and pecans. Place spoonfuls of remaining batter over the caramel layer – it will not cover, but do the best you can. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden, pulling away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake (not the caramel). Remove from oven.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cool before serving. 


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