Decorating, Baking, and Gardening

This weekend, I got my little potted tree out. Last weekend, I dug out the decorations I was willing to deal with this year, so things were ready for it.


I’ve had this for a number of years now. I almost didn’t buy it because I was sure it would die. Then I touched it and realized it was rubber or something…

I hung some garland on a couple windows and some decorative bulbs as well.


It’s nice to have a festive window.

It didn’t take long to decorate the little tree. I greatly enjoy it during Advent and Christmas.


Lots of old ornaments, lots of memories.

I also did some baking. Kerry had asked for the recipe for the banana berry walnut cake and I needed to make it more than once to have the proportions in my head. The one I mentioned in the last blog is still steeping in rum. I have no idea what it will taste like. The breads I made today are quite tasty, not as sweet as one might expect, as I tend to make them for breakfast.


Here it is, all mixed up.

So here is what you will need to make them, liquid ingredients first: two bananas, mashed; 1/2 cup oil (I used walnut); two beaten eggs; 1/2 cup buttermilk; 1/2 cup brown sugar (could also use cane syrup or molasses); 1/2 cup dried berries of your choice; 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (pecans would make this sweeter); vanilla to taste (I am a bit of a demon about vanilla, so I will leave to your discretion); stir together until well mixed. To the liquid add 1 1/4 cups cake flour and 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour with a tablespoon of baking powder mixed in. Beat until just mixed. Put in greased tins for baking.


I like to use the small tins as I can keep the breads fresher. If you are feeding a bigger group, just put it all on one tin.

Last week I made a large loaf; this week I made three small ones. The large loaf takes about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. The small loaves all in the oven at once take about 35 minutes.


The loaves, cooling on racks. If you want to add rum, it soaks in nicely. For a large loaf start with half a cup, drizzling it over the loaf. Wrap it to store in a cool place to absorb…

I also made it out to my neglected garden, where I found parsley flourishing in the cold frame, along with some lettuces that aren’t quite there yet.


So glad I hadn’t bought parsley this weekend!

I also brought back a considerable quantity of arugula, which looked wildly happy about the cold weather. If you ask me, this is the time of year for an arugula, goat cheese and walnut salad, perhaps with some pumpkin and white bean soup. I baked the pumpkin today too, and brought some sage leaves back from the garden. Soup to come…


I had a few leaves while standing in the garden…

And to make the season a bit more discombobulating, there were roses…



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46 Responses to Decorating, Baking, and Gardening

  1. It’s fun to decorate for the season. I always enjoy that. Your little tree looks festive, and who would have guessed it was made of rubber.

    I admire your baking skills, Lisa. Everything looks and sounds tasty. Do you attend a lot of gatherings this time of year? Are you in town or will you celebrate back home with family?


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Omigosh, you have roses! Wow. Definitely a different climate from mine. πŸ™‚
    I like your dressed up window and your faux tree looks so real, perfect for your little apartment. I love all your old ornaments. Every year when I decorate mine, it is a walk down Memory Lane, very nostalgic.
    Your bread looks delicious!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Roses! Great Scott, the world’s gone bananas!! (Do you say ‘Great Scott’? I have no idea why we do!) I had three magnificent red roses in my courtyard – the size of a small dinner plate each, they hung on there through rain and wind and the odd scorching day, but the last hail storm threw down golf balls and finished them off completely – the storm also upset Siddy no end and he was reduced to sitting up at the window and growling his best ‘Grrr-rrrrr-rrrrrr!!’ at it. It seems he has power, as the hail stopped and he was quite proud!!

    Your breads look magnificent – sometimes I regret not eating wheat and sugar!! And I love your little tree – it is just the size right for a tiny apartment. Maybe I’ll pick up a small one for next year…..

    Liked by 4 people

  4. cindy knoke says:

    Yep, my roses are blooming too and your festive decorations are lovely~

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Love the loaves, Lisa. I trust your photos are still going on quickly

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Bread looks fantastic – I felt hungry after looking at the photos. As for decorations, I belong to the less is more school of thought. Or, only put up what you can to pack away quickly! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sylvie G says:

    I just wish I could smell those breads.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. KerryCan says:

    Thanks for taking the time to provide that recipe! I will definitely give it a whirl and really like the idea that it isn’t tooooo sweet. I had to laugh about the talk of gardening–there’ll be none of that here for months and months. You and I are on the same wavelength about decorating, I can tell. Simple, understated, no stress . . .

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The baking looks delicious, the tree is so pretty, love your window and really…roses!!! xo Johanna

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Throw one of those loaves over here! I can almost smell them. I like your little tree. How often do you have to water it? OK, just kidding…..

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Beautiful! Your house looks so festive, and I can’t believe that tree isn’t real!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. arlingwoman says:

    Thanks! I hope your run up to the holidays is fun.


  13. Brenda says:

    Your cold frame looks about like mine–happy arugula and wee lettuces. Good choice of salad and soup! Yum.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. jennypellett says:

    I loved scrutinising your tree for its decorations! I will be decking my tree out this weekend. For the first time I’ve managed to keep my tree alive from last year – it’s been out in the garden, potted, and will come back inside to be covered with a hotch-potch of our decs, all of which have a memory attached.
    I love your chair, by the way- fab fabric!

    Liked by 3 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      Happy tree decorating! and congratulations on keeping one alive. I successfully transplanted a couple, but I think the others baked in my house during their decorated time. Thanks for liking my chairs. I picked that material out when I ordered the chairs–and I still like them.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Lavinia Ross says:

    The roses look beautiful, and so do the baked goods. We are encased in ice and a thin covering of snow right now, and it is down n the 20s this morning.

    I love the cold frames, and all the good things inside!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Boomdeeadda says:

    Hello Fantabulous Lisa! Long time no see. Well, I’ve come for some baking…I wish there was smell-o-vision here at Arlingwords……can you get the bigwigs in DC working on that please, πŸ˜€ I’m blown away by your ‘winter’ weather…OK, so it’s not really winter yet but it’s been winter here (off and on) for a few months now. We just went through a crazy Arctic crazy butt nasty flippin nightmare that blanketed most of Canada in -30C degree weather. Add a windchill and it became life threatening to those crazy enough to go out unprepared. Not in DC, they’re stopping to smell the roses…(smirk). At least somethings rosie in DC these days (zing)..xo K

    Liked by 2 people

    • arlingwoman says:

      Well, I don’t envy you the arctic chill (we got a bit of that recently). There’s a reason I live in the south!! But there are definitely compensations to being Canadian. No question about that. Winter gardening is probably not one of them, though I’d give it up for a bit of sanity…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Boomdeeadda says:

        Oh, there’s plenty of ‘insane’ Canadians too, they’re just not shouting it from mountaintops. We don’t tend to be as vocal as our good neighbours to the south. LOL. Some go around complaining within their little social circles of unhappy people. Hey! I say, “if you’re not part of the solution then you are part of the problem”!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. LB says:

    Lisa, this post is full of the simple pleasures that make life so wonderful. Truly, heartwarming.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Isabel Webster says:

    nice decoration

    Liked by 2 people

  19. haradthelion says:

    Lovely ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

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