Of Apples and Caramel…September Days

It is 9:53 AM on a Sunday morning. I should just be pulling into our church parking lot ready to sing and worship. But it has been that kind of week. A week full of a teething 15 month old with a fever who literally won’t sleep at night. A week of me catching 2-3 twenty-minute catnaps during the middle of the night for a week straight and trying to function the next day. A weekend of a 3 year old getting the flu and having to miss a birthday party because we can’t get the fever of 103.8 to come down. So, to church we didn’t go this morning in order to, instead, administer meds and snuggles and doze in a chair together.

So instead of praise music, I put on the one CD that calms me…that calms the kids…that restores our household.

And I sipped a cup of Cafe Verona with a touch of brown sugar because it is shopping day and I am out of white. I pulled out my Victoria magazine which has been sitting in my basket for over a month waiting for me. I read of Beatrix Potter and stories of travel with pictures of tucked away inns and shops full of beautiful collections bunched together waiting to be sought out by just the right person. And I felt equilibrium returning. I thanked the Lord that He could restore me this morning even if I had not the energy to meet with Him in the assembly of a church building. I felt the coolness of the first fall breezes brush my legs and I felt His touch and knew that He is still right here, amidst my family, in the fall air, still wanting to be with me.

I took another sip of coffee and ate some cinnamon bread spread with homemade peach butter. And I read this quote, perfect for the morning…

By all these lovely tokens, September days are here. With summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.  ~Author Unknown

…and I was transported back to childhood…of days dreaming of what my life might become…of reading other quotes and discovering names like Walt Whitman, John Keates, Jane Austen. Names that I became acquainted with only in this special medium for they were never introduced to me in a public school setting. Quotes set in beautiful cursive that I carefully cut out and saved, relishing the intricacy of the language even if I didn’t understand it.

I sipped my coffee and was inspired and enticed to shop for fall ingredients and delight in the eating pleasures of autumn.

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

12 whole cloves

1 orange

2 quarts apple cider

3 cinnamon sticke

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup caramel sauce

Press cloves into skin of orange. Bring apple cider to boil, add orange & cinnamon sticks. Reduce heat, simmer on low for 1 hour. Stir in cream and caramel sauce until heated through. Garnish with whipping cream and ground cinnamon.

Homemade Caramels

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 cups light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

Spray 11x8x2 pan. Bring 1 cup cream, corn syrup, sugars, and butter to boil over medium heat stirring often. Add 1 cup more cream and cook without stirring till 234 degrees is reached. Pull from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into pan and refrigerate 2-4 hours. Remove and let warm to room temp. Slice into 48 pieces and wrap in waxed paper. Store at room temp.

I sipped my coffee and delighted in the pictures that made me long for fall to fully get here. That,  again, reminded me of my passion of photography that the Lord instilled in me just so. And realized that this blog is the place I get to live out that passion. So here are my morning photos to share with others. To inspire on a Sunday morning. I will delight in the simplicity of this season and thank my Creator for His glorious imagination. Thank Him for the seasons of life that turn and bring just the right amount of change to restore and uplift!

The first pumpkin picked.

Bumblebees still visiting flowers.

The first successful pumpkin patch that is taking over the garden.

More pumpkins hidden to be found later.

Apples almost ready to pick.

An herb garden sorely in need of pruning back for fall and freezing for the winter.

Pumpkin Blossoms bringing color to an inside table.

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