Contentment comes from within us. Of all of these years that I have lived so far, the people that I have met that I feel had contentment have been the people that lived a simple modest life. They mostly have been from the generation that we often say were the best generation, those that lived through world war 1, the great depression and world war 2. It must have been the trials that they learned to be contented with whatever it was they had.
I have seen it on their faces and mannerism. Sitting in a rocking chair just happy with a breeze. A little soft chuckle over a simple thing that they have seen off in a distance. A peace that I rarely see anymore.
Many people are piling on debt trying to buy what makes them feel better. We cannot buy contentment, it does not come in material possessions.
It comes from within us and often in correlation with nature. It is not being excited about something, it is not being happy, it is about feeling peace within us.
I can remember when I was a child, I would climb up in my mother's lap when she would be talking to someone else. I would lay my head on her chest and listen to her voice with my ear pressed to her chest. It was a different sound of her voice coming through her body. I felt relaxed and often would fall asleep. I cannot tell you the age I was when I stopped doing this but I was old enough that I can remember this. It was peaceful and safe and relaxing and I had contentment.
Charles was moving a bee yesterday morning before he went to work. The bee was still asleep hanging on to a hummingbird feeder where he had napped for the night and we had to change the sugar water in the feeder. He carried it to a flower and encouraged it to hop on which it did.
It is wonderful when we can become part of nature.
Charles and I have been trying different methods of helping our soil by giving it more natural food. We do chop and drop by pruning and dropping on the soil. We compose our food scraps and lawn clippings and add it back to our soil. This year we have been planting vegetables in with flowers or flowers in with vegetables.
Satsumas that will not harvest until mid to late fall.
We are feeling more contented by watching and waiting instead of trying to make things happen at our pace. Contentment is also when we figure out patience.
I am feeling more contentment inside our home and I am accepting of things more. I have a different perspective now.
This week I decided I need to make new masks. Our other masks are now almost a year and half old. So I decided that this would be the week that I would make one mask per day for two weeks. And so I have.
It was nice to pull the treadle machine up from inside the cabinet and hook the belt back on the wheel. It felt right....
I made some butter pecan queens cakes, pecans sounded like a real treat to put in this new batch.
They are such a simple treat. Just the basic one bowl making. Butter, sugar, cream, dash of vanilla, flour and this time instead of currents or dates it was buttered, roasted pecans.
I use my just washed hands to mix in the chopped pecans.
I pinch off an amount I have gotten used to pinching and place it on parchment paper.
I then pat them out until I have eight cakes...
I have learned to pat in the sides because last time I had the sides too thin and it was more like a cookie.
It needs to be more like this.
They are larger than a cookie....
We each had one for breakfast. This is a little luncheon plate or a bread plate. We ate this instead of breakfast so we did not over eat.
It was yummy. Charles said he likes the currents and the date queen cakes but the butter pecan is the best. I think I will not try to improve anymore and be contented with these three choices. :)
I have discovered that we need less choices and just have favorites.
We have been sharing our Queens cakes when I make them and not eating them all ourselves. We have a family member that enjoys our history cooking experiments. Charles takes groceries to her once a week and this morning I wrapped up three cakes each separately in wax paper and tied them up with twine and put them in a small brown paper bag also tied with twine. She does not get out much at all and enjoys the treats and why we need to take care with the things we send to make it a little more special.
Do you know anyone that is alone and cannot get out? It does not have to be a queens cake or dessert, it could be fruit or share a meal if you are already cooking.
We would take meals to this family member but she lives almost an hour from our home. We make sure to go in person once a week and phone her daily.
We also had some blemished and bruised peaches from our tree that I needed to use.
So I decided to use these sixteen small peaches to make peach butter using the ball canning book recipe because it is such a simple recipe.
I did not have enough peaches to use the measurements in the ball book so I calculated what I needed.
So I weighed what I had and then blanched them, peeled them and cut them open and removed the pits, I cut out the bad spots and fibrous parts where the pit was.
I put them in a pot and cooked them until they were very tender...
I put it through a food mill, I have an older hand crank food mill. Then I put it back in the pot and put sugar in it and cooked it some more.
I kept cooking it until it thickened up and started coating the spoon.
I have this small, tall pot that I can use to sterilize and water bath one pint jar and just what I need because I knew I would not have more than one pint of peach butter. I think this is actually called an asparagus pot. It is important if we use a small pot to water bath the water needs to cover the top of the jar lid by at least an inch or whatever the canning book says and why I use this tall pot.
I removed the jar after the boiling water bath. This may be only one pint of peach butter but it was a good way to not waste the peaches. It is a good way to put up one pint at a time. :)
So this is the peach butter that our sixteen battered peaches made and this is a good thing.
I have found contentment by letting go of the worries because worry does not fix anything and I put myself back on track doing the things that need to be done before the things I wanted to do just like I talked about in my last post. I am doing what needs to be done and I am getting more done and that feels right. I really do feel contented and settled. I do not want more of anything and am trying to use up as our generations before us did.
I just came to a point that I had to let go of everything. To stop reading news, to stop worrying about those I love and trust in our prayers. I had to stop pressuring myself with trying to fit in my wants with need to do. Just to give up the wants for now and do the need to do things and it all started changing. Almost like a pressure valve releasing. It is so strange how I had more time to do some of the want to do. Everything was feeling jumbled and felt scattered and now as I walk through our home it feels softer and better. I just cannot explain the feeling, I think it is taking away the worry.
Baby Zucchini above
Sometimes after I do a post I will get questions where I purchased things they see. I will link below and also post the recipe for queens cake again.
I purchased the asparagus pot I use to water bath a pint jar on Amazon about three years ago, I checked and they still have them. I do not have a link but I copied the name you can copy and paste into the search. I scrolled down just a little and saw it there. It is a picture of a pot, basket and lid.
Copy and paste this below in the amazon search box.
RSVP International Stainless Steel Asparagus/Vegetables Steamer
Also, the Peach Butter can be found in the Ball canning book. I do not give out canning recipes because people need to follow the directions in good trusted canning books.
The recipe for Queens Cake
I make this in one bowl, I do not use a mixer because they did not have them in 1803.
I use a rubber spatula to cream the softened butter and sugar then I use a spoon and my hands to mix the rest.
1 stick of room softened butter
1 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons Heavy cream
a dash of vanilla, I would say 1/4 teaspoon, no more than that.
2 cups of all purpose flour, do not use self rising
1/2 cup of dried currants, "or" I have used chopped dates "or" one cup of buttered roasted pecans that have been chopped after roasting in the oven.
Cream the softened butter and sugar by smashing and rubbing then add one egg and mix with a spoon or spatula, then add three tablespoons of cream and mix with spoon and then add 2 cups of flour and mix until all flour is mixed in, I have used my hands at this point, mixture will be sticky. Then add the currents or whatever you are using and mix with your hand.
Pinch off to separate into 8 Dobbles (I just made up that word instead of saying globs.
Place Dobbles onto parchment paper over cookie sheet.
Pat down and shape making sure to pat the sides back up. see picture above.
Bake in 350 degrees preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Do not let them get brown, just light golden. Remove and place on cooling rack. Enjoy