The simple pleasures of home shine brighter
when the spirit of God intertwines our hearts
with His gentle Joy.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Fall Cloche Party! 2

Dear Ones,
It was Marty @ A Stroll Thur Life that invited me to join her Fall Cloche Party last year!
My very first "party"!
I don't know if I was more excited then. . .or more excited now!
Either way...I do love a party!
Thank you Marty, for extending the invitation, once again,
for a Fall Cloche Party!

My love of Autumn weather with its cooler temperatures and our first frost on the Prairie led me to put this First Frost pumpkin cloche together On Crooked Creek!

 I have an on~going adoration of pears for home decor! When "Mr. Ed" and I moved On Crooked Creek ~ I chose wallpaper for the kitchen with a pear motif! This Autumn I filled my shorter cloche with faux pears!
"Mr. Ed" named it," Pears under Glass"!

My newest petite cloche, purchased this Spring @ Memories of Home, also bears the fruit of a single miniature pear atop an amber orange berry ring. To elevated the cloche, I placed it atop my petite wrought iron pedestal.

Here's a glimpse of my first Fall Cloche Party entry from September 2010! The story and the cloche were dedicated to my beloved in~laws and their reverence portrayed through the figurine titled "Giving Thanks".


Once again, On Crooked Creek would like to thank our dear hostess, Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for the invitation to join in the Fall Cloche Party! I do hope that you will visit Marty and be inspired by all the lovely cloche displays of the participants that have joined her Fall Cloche Party!

Until next time. . .

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Frost. . .

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"

Just last week we had our First Frost of the Fall Season! Record low of 32 degrees on the Prairie. 

These pumpkins remind me of heavy frost I vividly remember from my Youth! We lived in a two~story Victorian home with no heat in the upstairs! How well I remember sticking my head out from under the quilt and blowing . . . watching my breath as a ethereal existence float across the room meant I had better scurry down the stairs to the warmth of the furnace in the kitchen!

As the softer side of Autumn continues On Crooked Creek, I set up this beverage bar at the built~in buffet and china cabinet. Cooler evenings on the Prairie often find "Mr. Ed" and I enjoying a cup of tea or hot cocoa.

My preference, most any Season of the year, is hot tea in the evenings. I have, truly, enjoyed Apricot Tea this Autumn. Blended in my Tea Drop Tea Pot ~ with just a touch of sugar to bring out the sweetness of the fruit ~ is so fulfilling at the days end.

"Mr. Ed" is a true chocoholic! His favorite of choice is Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate! Either hot tea or hot chocolate served in these scalloped mugs makes one feel appreciated.

These "grubby" candles are softly scented with aromas of Autumn. I was thrilled when I realized they fit perfectly in my vintage bobbins.  Just a simple berry candle ring in cranberry hues competes an Autumnal  decor look.

I adore unique pumpkins! Although these two are of the same soft creamy ivory, almost ecru, hue; the differences in their shape gives them such a pleasing visual appeal.

Whether you choose hot cocoa. . .

                                                        or hot tea . . .

I hope you're enjoying the First Frost in your corner of Blog Land
as we On Crooked Creek are this evening. "Mr. Ed" and I want to leave you with this poem from our youth.

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"

by James Whitcomb Riley

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,

And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,

And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,

And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;

O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,

With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,

As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere

When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—

Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,

And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;

But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze

Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days

Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,

And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;

The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still

A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;

The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;

The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—

O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps

Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;

And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through

With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...

I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be

As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—

I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Until next time. . .

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Divine Dessert !

On Crooked Creek is pleased to be joining our sweet hostess Yvonne @ StoneGable for On The Menu Monday! Be sure to visit soon and see all the great menus, recipes and tips for some of the best cooks and creative ladies in the Land of Blog!!!

Over the past three years,  our ladies group has hosted a brunch to raise funds for missions. Gorgeous tables are decorated by the most creative ladies on the Prairie. Then, after you've eaten delicious food, enjoyed great conversation by those seated near you. . . it's time to visit the dessert bar. Divine desserts!

This year, I wanted so desperately to take my Caramel Apple Cake. . .but one of the requirements of the dessert was that it must have elegance ! So~o~o. . . I took a Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake topped with whipped cream, rasperries and white chocolate!
Simply divine!

First, I stated with my crystal cake stand purchased in Germany.
Simply elegant with frosted rose bud handles!

A purchased Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake as the basis of this divine dessert!

A container of Extra Creamy Cool Whip!

A small container of fresh raspberries!

One square of Baker's Premium White Chocolate!

. . .and about 10 ~ 15 minutes of preparation time!

After placing the cheesecake atop the crystal cake stand, I swirled on the whipped topping and added the raspberries!

Next, came the grated, curled white chocolate!
That's all there was to making this divine dessert!

One Divine Dessert to go. . .

Divine dessert, indeed!
For ladies, this is all I brought home!

Until next time. . .

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Welcoming Softer Autumnal Hues. . .

Dear Ones,

On Crooked Creek seems to take on these  H U G E  remodeling projects after our Annual Trout Fishing Trip each year. So~o~o in preparation of newly installed carpeting on the entire upper level. . .
I snapped these photos of the entry hall before we departed.

In keeping with the softer side of Autumn, I chose the vintage print of "Mr. Ed's" as my inspirational piece! This print was given to him by his maternal Grandmother Kerby while still serving in the U.S. Army. To protect it's preservation until his retirement, he placed it in the hands of his Mother. The inscription, on the back, in her handwriting is priceless!

The print depicts a farm couple giving thanks over their harvest. "Mr. Ed's" parents were farmers; therefore this print was given the highest level of honor and resides in the entry On Crooked Creek.
(The discoloration you see on the print is not an imperfection, but rather a shadow caused by the overhead light in the entry.)

Notice the hues in this print. . . soft and subdued! Amber golds, burnished browns, creamy ivories, pine blues, and sage greens, make this a perfect accent to continue On Crooked Creek's softer side of Autumn.

I adore the simplicity of the characters in this print. . .and the reverence they give for their bountiful crop. Potatoes placed alongside of the farm implements reminds us of a simpler way of life. The stacked and mowed hay in the background adds to the realistic scene of farm life in days past. Notice the wooden shoes?

Hands folded in prayer and the aproned dress bring back memories of my paternal grandmother. The steeple makes the church undeniable in the background. Wheelbarrow loaded with potato sacks and a utilitarian basket make this such a serene scene.

These cracked finished, creamy, glass pumpkins with their green leaves and stems are newly purchased this year from Memories of Home! I adore their character and presence in the entry hall On Crooked Creek!

I added the black and white checked bows with trailing ribbons and poked a few softly hued leaves around their bases. They are exactly the same size. . .so I placed the pumpkin on the left atop a wooden base.

This creamy ivory hued vase is one of my favorites! Most of the time it is used simply for it's feminine appearance. . .but in keeping with the Autumnal theme, I added pheasant feathers. Same soft Autumnal hues are found in the print above. Doesn't it remind you of a ruffled skirt or apron?

To the other side, is the necessity of a place to put the outgoing mail On Crooked Creek! Along with the vintage counter checks, I've added a note pad with a utilitarian basket filled with bittersweet on the front.

Pleated, buttoned, and checked this table runner was the perfect accent to ground all the soft Autumnal hues. Merging all the Autumnal hues, magnolia swags were enhanced with berry, and miniature pumpkin picks; then wound throughout the table top vignette. 

Flanking either side of the vintage print are these burnished rust sconces. Switching out the herbal scented, sage green pillar candles for mulled cider, amber orange makes the most welcoming Autumnal aroma as you enter our home.

Placing the candles atop creamy ivory berry picks and finishing the bases off with a double black and white check bow completes the entire look.

On Crooked Creek, "Mr. Ed and I are welcoming softer Autumnal hues
. . . and you!

Until next time. . .


On Crooked Creek is joining our most gracious hostess, Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday! Be sure to visit for some of the most inspirational vignettes and adapt one for your own home decor!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Caramel Apple Cake. . . Yum!

With the crispness of the Autumn air, my appetite turns to harvest ripened Apples! I have been craving baked apples, fried apples, sliced fresh apples!!! So~o~o. . . I opened my Best of Cottey Cooking Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Cuisine of Cottey College by Michael Richardson and found the recipe for Caramel Apple Cake.

 I made this for our Annual Trout Fishing Trip! This Caramel Apple Cake is so very moist and sweet! Ladies, it makes 16 servings. Some, we ate; some, I froze for later. . .and some, I took to my Dad. He loved it, too!

Here's What's On The Menu? 11 

Caramel Apple Cake:


   3/4 cup vegetable oil
   3/4 cup applesauce
1 1/3 cups sugar
   1/2 cup packed brown sugar
   3 eggs
   3 cups all~purpose flour
   2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
   1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
   1 teaspoon baking soda
   1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups apples, peeled, diced
   3/4 cup walnuts (optional)**
   2 teaspoons vanilla

For Cake:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the oil, applesauce and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the dry ingredients and gradually add to the batter, while stirring. Fold in the apples, walnuts and vanilla.

Pour batter into a greased and floured bundt pan.
(If a bundt pan is not available, pour batter into a greased 9~by~13~inch pan. The directions state to bake for about 30 minutes or so. . . it took 50 minutes.)
Bake about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then flip over to release cake onto a wire rack or other cool surface. Let cool completely before icing.

Caramel Icing

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup half~and~half
1/4 cup butter
        pinch salt
1 cup powered sugar

For Icing:

In a small saucepan over medium~low heat, combine the brown sugar, half~and~half, butter and salt, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Beat in the powered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

"Mr. Ed" tells me this reminded him of  "bread pudding"; however . . . I've never eaten bread pudding, therefore I can't compare the two. I just know this Caramel Apple Cake satisfied my craving for apples!

Would I make this recipe again? Yes, indeed! It is one of the best made~from~scratch cakes I've made in ages!!!

The cake I froze was eaten after our return from vacation. Other than the wonderful aroma that penetrated the house On Crooked Creek, I couldn't tell any difference. Just as moist and tasteful as the first piece!

 * I have a food allergy to cinnamon. . .therefore, I omitted this ingredient!
**"Mr. Ed" prefers pecans! No walnuts in our Caramel Apple Cake!


Until next time. . .
On Crooked Creek is joining our sweet hostess,Yvonne @ StoneGable for On The Menu Monday! Be sure to visit and find wonderfully delicious menus, recipes and tips for your family cuisine!