Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

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Happy New Year!

With everything else going on in our lives (trips, illness, the husband’s crazy work schedule), we decided that a quiet New Years Eve celebration was just what the doctor ordered.  The five of us at home.  Groceries’ chosen meal.  Simple.  Quiet.

Ok, maybe not quiet.  When is anything quiet around here?

Right now I have the inevitable post-holiday clean up to do.  Dishes.  Counters.  Random bits of things that made it down to my cutting table in the office.  Laundry for the week ahead and the return to school for 2/3 of my children.  Hmmm…procrastinate with me, will you?


I made bread to go with our feast.  The recipe is from Peter Reinhart’s “Artisan Breads Every Day.”  It’s a lean dough (flour, yeast, salt, and water) and I followed the alternate instructions for the blistered crust.  Reader?  It was the best bread I have ever made.  Irregular shaped crumb.  Crispy crust.  Chewy.  Oh my, oh my, oh my.  This is bread you could live on.

I added about a cup and half (or so) of King Arthur Flour’s Sir Lancelot Unbleached Hi-Gluten Flour to the mix.  I have no idea if this was the deciding factor because I have made a decent loaf or two in the past few years.  I’m just wishing they sold it in larger quantities.

IMG_0919Brownies.  I don’t know how much longer I should have cooked this sorry pan of brownies.  We were more than 30 minutes past what the directions said and the were still gooey like they were half-baked.  Tasty, but half-baked.  These were much better the last time we had them.

We finished off the night with the kids’ usual bedtime, a movie for the parents, and my usual bedtime as well.  No ringing in the New Year, toasting, or grand partying, but it was perfect.


Quotables – Anne Lamott

A reblog from last year and a good thing to think about today.

Under the Maple Canopy

…I used to think that paired opposites were a given, that love was the opposite of hate, right the opposite of wrong.  But now I think we sometimes buy into these concepts because it is so much easier to embrace absolutes than to suffer reality.  I don’t think anything is the opposite of love.  Reality is unforgivingly complex.

– Anne Lamott, “Bird by Bird

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Merry Solstice

IMG_0611This year has been…different.  Our usual Solstice celebrations have been cancelled in favor of preserving our energy for an upcoming trip with kids and dog and all of the usual away from home stuff.  Add to that the stress of an epic bout of gastroenteritis in my youngest and I’m not exactly in the holiday mood.  I had plans, dear reader, they just aren’t happening.

The good news is that  plans don’t expire and as long as Pinterest doesn’t go belly up before next year all of my ideas are safe and sound until then.  Oh, and next year there won’t be an traveling anywhere near the holiday which will simplify things quite a bit.  No guarantees on the illness part, though, but two out of three isn’t bad.

Since things are less than exciting over here as of late, I thought I’d share some of the many wonderful posts out there on my favorite blogs for extra Solstice goodness.

Metal Gaia shares a Yule Blessing Poem.

Works of Literata shares her Yule Blessing.

The Druid in the Swamp shares a super secret Druid tip.  Ok, it’s really not all the super secret, but it’s a wonderfully simple way to celebrate the Solstice and honor the reason for the season.

Winterviews begins over at Humanistic Paganism which also shared a Winter (Summer) Solstice specific post.

Naturalistic Pantheist Musings shares a post on Celebrating Yule in follow up to yesterday’s post.

Not to be out done, The Wild Hunt gives a great synopsis of the many traditions regarding this time of year including several quotes about the significance of our wintertime observances.

Still looking for a special libation to celebrate the return of the sun?  Frugal Feeding has a wonderful recipe for Traditional Glühwein.


The husband had to work late again last night so I watched the traditional White Christmas (trailer) with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye on my own before hanging up the glittered pine cones we made last month and putting out the kids’ Yule gifts.  We went with simple this year since we wanted to save up enough money to buy them an outside playset.  Each of my children got a book and a movie.  It’s probably not all the surprising that there were complaints because they didn’t get any toys.  *sigh*  It was intentional, dear reader.  All I have to do is point to their bedrooms as proof for why they did not need more toys today.

I’m sure you’re even less surprised to learn that they gave up on that pretty quickly once the first disc hit the Blu-Ray player.  We also had donuts from the apple orchard that I had put in the freezer and reheated, a tasty lunch at Noodles and Company (at the request of the youngest), and lots of fun out in the snow.

Tonight we’re going to venture into new Yuletide territory and have breakfast for dinner.  I’m starting with the waffle recipe from our Strawberry Shortcake Waffles minus the strawberries and whipped cream.  We’ll cap off our evening with the last of the three movies and some popcorn with King Arthur Flour’s Vermont Cheese Powder. I will miss the bonfire this year (and sun bread and yule log, etc, etc), but sometimes quiet works just as well.

solsticeAnd now, to echo last year’s Yule Blessing:

As the Wheel of the Year spins again, may you and your family be filled with the wonder and magic of Yule.  Most of all, may your new year be filled with light and love. Blessed be!