Living in northern Illinois, we are not far from DeKalb, home of the famous DeKalb corn seed. Needless to say, we are surrounded by cornfields. In fact, there is one that adjoins our backyard. I love looking out the back window over the cornfield. I will be sad when it becomes time to mow it down! Here is the view on a foggy fall morning.


Wee Bothy

One of my favorite souvenirs from our trip was this "wee bothy." It's a little ceramic bothy made by Diana McFarlane of Glenshee Pottery. A bothy is a stone shelter in the Highlands of Scotland that's left open for people to take shelter in. I bought this little version on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

By the way, now that I'm home and not working I'm planning to include more original photos on my blog instead of swiping them from other places!


Clotted Cream Fudge

This may be the last post about food from the UK (but maybe not...). We were very intrigued by something that we saw that was called clotted cream fudge. It turned out to taste just like homemade caramels. Clotted cream, I believe, is what we ate with our delicious meringue pillows, but it also makes a great fudge!


Thursday Text: D&C 88:119

Since we've been in the throes of re-organization at our new home, I've been thinking a lot about simplicity and organization, etc. I started to wonder if spending so much time on these kinds of things was important. And guess what? The Doctrine and Covenants says it is! These are the goals that I want to have for our home:

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God


West Cornwall Pasty Company

Another delicious thing that we discovered in the UK was the pasty (pronounced pass-tee). Many of the Tube stations include locations of the West Cornwall Pasty Company. I think that a pasty is the same thing as what was once called a "hand pie." It's a pastry folded up with meat, vegetables, etc., on the inside. My favorite was the apple and pork version. Delicious.


Samphire Hoe

One of our favorite places in England was Dover, which was a total surprise. Tony just wanted to go see the famous white cliffs. Before we knew it, we had driven through the city and were about to re-enter the carriageway when we saw a sign for Samphire Hoe. It's a protected natural area where you can walk or fish. We walked along the seawall and enjoyed amazing vistas and fresh sea air. It was very enthralling. (And, yes, I took these pictures!)



I have a couple more posts to do about food from our trip to the UK. Tony's favorite food - and one of his favorite parts of our trip - was a big blob of meringue that was served with clotted cream and berries (including currants) at Blenheim Palace. Martha has a recipe for what looks like basically the same thing here. Yum!


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Zephyr Woods

A couple of weeks ago we were up in Madison, Wisconsin. We visited the famous farmers market around the capitol, and I discovered Zephyr Woods. They were just clearing up, so I was glad to snatch a card and look up the shop on Etsy. These wood pendants are really beautiful, and a portion of the proceeds goes to kiva.org.


Thursday Text: Tennyson Transformed

When we were at the Tate, I saw a book in the gift shop called Tennyson Transformed. It explores the connection between Tennyson's poetry and the visual culture of the Victorian Age, notably the Pre-Raphaelites. The work on the cover is one of the many dramatic depictions of the Lady of Shalott. Fascinating.


BMW 1 Series

There were so many fascinating small cars in the UK. Our rental car was a Peugeot 308, and it was very fun. I was interested to see that BMW makes a 1 series. I didn't know that they made cars that small. (This was confirmed when we were at the BMW golf championship in Chicago on Saturday, but the US versions are all coupes.)


Belvoir Presse

When we were at Kelmscott Manor, we stopped in the cafe for a snack. I got a lime and lemongrass soda that was divine. It was a presse made by Belvoir, and it was all natural - and very refreshing. I'll have to find someplace to order it online!


Pacifica Perfume

When we went to the UK, we tried to be really smart about our packing. Air travel can be a hassle even when you're flying somewhat locally. One of the things that I did to save space and to comply with the airline liquid limits was to pack solid perfume. I had some Pacifica gardenia perfume from the natural foods store that I threw into my bag, and I'm really glad that I did. It was handy, and since I don't wear the scent on an everyday basis, when I do it will always remind me of our trip!


Friday Featured Art: Ophelia

We visited the Tate Britain while we were in London, and two of my favorite pieces were out on loan. But, we were able to see Millais' famous depiction of Ophelia. It is very beautiful and was regarded as the most accurate nature study of its day. The model is Lizzie Siddal, wife of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.


Thursday Tunes: Katherine Jenkins

When we were driving around the UK, it was sometimes difficult to find good music to listen to. Most of their stations are controlled by the BBC, which is fine, but they had the same news over and over all day long. The other stations played really weird music - mostly club and electronica stuff. We ended up listening to a lot of classical music, which was nice. One of our discoveries was Katherine Jenkins. She is Welsh and has a beautiful voice. We were really captivated by her rendition of Lisa Lan. Go here to listen to it. (We ended up buying this album because of it!)


Ye Olde Watling

Ye Olde Watling is a pub where we ate fish and chips while we were in London. A lot of the pubs look much like this - black signs with gold writing and flowers everywhere. This one lies on an old Roman road in the financial district near St. Paul's Cathedral. The food was rather bland (including mashed peas), but the atmosphere was great (including fragrant lilies on the bar).


Apple Market

One of the days that we were in London, we wandered through the Covent Garden area. It was such an interesting place - full of shops and cute markets. The Apple Market featured local artisans selling jewelry, accessories, art, etc. It was a very fun place to be on a busy afternoon.


Friday Featured Art: Albrecht Durer

One of the interesting things about Kelmscott Manor was that William Morris owned a number of etchings by Albrecht Durer. A lot of his etchings are rather mystical, religious, or scientific. So instead I'm including a watercolor of his that I like - Young Hare.


Tea Towels

It was no surprise that tea towels were to be found everywhere in England (and Wales and Scotland). I think I ended up with four - or was it five? Here's one that I got at Canterbury Cathedral. And one from Kelmscott Manor. I'm excited to use them in our new home (even though I don't drink tea!).


Gilchrist & Soames

Our hotel in London was the Sofitel Heathrow. We've stayed at Sofitels in Chicago and Philadelphia and really like them. They usually provide wonderful Roger & Gallet toiletries. This time, because we were in London, the toiletries were by Gilchrist & Soames. They used the Spa Therapy line, and it was really nice. Tony thought that the entire hotel - and the hallway to the terminal - smelled good. Our first Gilchrist & Soames sampling was the chamomile line when we stayed at the Grand America in Salt Lake after our wedding. I may have to get some full-size versions!


The Old Vic

As a last-minute decision, we bought tickets to see the Shakespearean play The Winter's Tale at the Old Vic while we were in London. Tony's dissertation chair recommended that we should see a show or concert, so we jumped online and ordered tickets. It was very much worth it. The Winter's Tale was part of the Bridge Project - a group of actors from the US and the UK who team up to do two shows in New York and then in London directed by Sam Mendes (Kate Winslet's husband). One of the actors is Ethan Hawke (who's been one of my favorites since Dead Poets Society). He was kind of a rogue/pickpocket kind of character in The Winter's Tale. He was hilarious, and the whole thing was delightful.