Merry Christmas, In God We Trust, Peace On Earth…..

Christmas As Seen Through The Eyes Of Dickens~

The Christmas Story…according to the Christmas Bible story, Christ came down to earth from heaven to be born at Christmas, because of his love for all humanity.

Christmas Through the Eyes of Dickens~(1812-1870)
( a cry for social justice )

Christmas in Scrooge’s day…in 1843 Christmas was much less commercial. Many people went to church, and many followed the ancient tradition of making merry. however, nothing was allowed for or geared to the working class or poor classes of people
We all know the heart-tugging story of  “A Christmas Carol” by- Charles Dickens…what many may not know are some of the historical facts that inspired this classic.

The English Christmas was at a low ebb when Dickens was a youngster.
his desire was to make it understood and to change how the working poor lived from day to day. Dickens loved his city and spent his life wandering the streets, by the time he was 15 he know it well…yet never stopped exploring and writing about its restless energy.

Much of today’s London was built in the 19th Century,
it was full of dark alleys and lanes, the streets were crowded, noisy, and very dirty.
Almost anything was bought and sold, the atmosphere was more akin to a modern third-world city than modern London. Many of the vendors were children-there were no child labor laws such as we have today. Many worked as young as 5-sweeping the streets.

The growth of the city exploded in the 1800’s and became know as “the Fever-Patch.” It was the first big industrial city in the world, and it was dirty, extremely polluted and unhealthy. disease spread quickly…there were four cholera epidemics in Dickens’s lifetime. plus regular outbreaks of typhoid, scarlet fever,, and other ills. Two hundred open sewers ran into the Thames River…and more than half of the London population took their water from it for cooking, laundry, bathing and drinking.

“A Christmas Carol” was written in 1843, as was the first printed Christmas cards. However in 1843 many very old traditions were still being celebrated. Some dated from ancient pagan midwinter festivals-which were celebrated long before the first Christmas. The latter part of the 1840’s began to see signs of new customs and ways that brought London out of the disgusting conditions it had become famous for.

The year after ” A Christmas Carol” was published , nine London theaters staged versions of this book…it has been a favorite of stage and screen ever since. The classic being the 1951 version.

After the success of ” A Christmas Carol” Dickens wrote a Christmas story each year for the next several years, including The Chimes,(1844) and The cricket On The Hearth (1845)-none were as popular as A Christmas Carol. It added a new word to the English language (“a Scrooge” is a miser…very few stories have done that.

Today’s Christmas is commercial in a way Dickens could not have dreamed of…but in part and thanks to him, we still feel that Christmas should be a time for family warmth, wholesome fun, kindness to others and especially children…his vision lives on~ RIP Charles Dickens.

Merry Christmas~

The Sage Hill Farms Family~

Season of the Pumpkin

 

Season of the Pumpkin

Around our house October and November mean lots of pumpkins, big fat orange ones, and dainty, and not so dainty, white ones, fat, skinny, perfect and totally warped ones. I never ever have enough pumpkins to satisfy my never-ending use for them. Of course the pumpkin isn’t the only autumn fruit/vegetable that is worthy of attention in the colorful scheme of this most loved part of the year.
Gourds, corn stalks, and the different array of apples, from green to yellow to red and a combination of all the previous mentioned colors, it really is the most colorful season.

We enjoy using the colorful selection as an inviting grouping on the front porch, a lovely selection of pumpkins on the farm table in the dining room is very fitting.
A few scattered around the gardens provide a little touch of color to a somewhat fading look by this time of year.

And…of course we must not forget the Jack-O-Lantern.

What would October be without that special face sitting by the door greeting everyone who passes by or comes to call.

One of my very favorite uses for the pumpkin is in the kitchen of course.

For the family meal at Thanksgiving I use a medium size “Sugar Pumpkin”…(best for cooking)as a serving bowl for our favorite stew.

Sugar Pumpkins

The options are many, just use your imagination for the stew.

Cut the top from a medium size Sugar Pumpkin, scoop out at least half of the pulp/without leaving the shell too thin. Set aside to use in the stew.

In a large deep pan place the pumpkin in boiling water, about 1/3 of the way up on the pumpkin.
Place in a very hot oven and cook until all the water is gone or until the pumpkin is just starting to get soft.(don’t overcook)

Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly.

Sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper or your favorite spices.

Saute’ the firm parts of the pumpkin pulp, season according to your other ingredients. Stir all together and add to the pumpkin shell. Put it back in the oven and cook about 20 minutes, just enough to blend the flavors.

Makes a lovely centerpiece for the table and delicious too!

Enjoy this season, however you celebrate …it is ever so special.

 

My Patriotic Kitchen at Sage Hill~

Patriotic Kitchen

Sage Hill’s Patriotic Kitchen is more than a place to cook and eat…although that is a priority…most days…..It’s also a place where honest, hard working people, dedicated to love of God, family, and country, come together to feast…not only with food, but with love and respect for all those whom have gone before us…paved the way…paid the price….left a legacy worthy of carrying on.
My patriotic kitchen has birthed good music, blues, country, and gospel…
Football is sometimes king and the southeastern conference is the kingdom….
In my Patriotic kitchen age matters…yes ma’am…no ma’am…please and thank you.
You can wear shoes or not, no one cares…but you will say grace and salute the flag…for you see…my Patriotic kitchen is a state of “Amazing” grace.
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A Note from….Sage Hills Patriotic Kitchen~

Patriotic

There was a time when the dinner table served a dual purpose, one… to feed hungry folks and two, to discuss any and all important issues of the day.
In the south, football and all things pertaining to, certainly qualifies for that spot!
Nothing speaks football in the south better than Tailgating…I’ve heard it said in fact…it is akin to a military exercise!!

I do know these two truths are high on the event calendar.

Alabama has its RV Army, whose troops converge by the thousands on Crimson Tide games. They come with coolers, grills, TV’s enough food forwell, an army! ( I have seen the kitchen table a few times)


Tennessee  has its Volunteer Navy, a fleet of various vessels that collects in equally impressive  numbers around Neyland Stadium…one of only two college football venues accessible by water.

So, there you go folks…gather round the dinner table, give thanks to Almighty God for your freedom to yell…Roll Tide!

Sage Hill’s Patriotic Kitchen~

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When I was a young girl in the 1940’s, the whole country was ablaze with God, family, country, red, white and blue…and a gracious appreciation for life and food…remnants of left-over feelings from the depression years still held many prisoner to fear of  hunger …even during the war years of WWII, food was rationed, if one was lucky enough to live on a farm, your status might be some better than city dwellers. ( most males of age went to war, which left young folks, elders and women to work a farm) Not an easy task…but it worked…

The kitchen was the hub of most any household….of all the memories I have with my mother…very few are outside the kitchen…there I learned how to cook, how to clean, how to listen, how to talk, and above all else…how to fear…fear the consequences of breaking the laws of the land and the rules of the house…

I look around and watch our country being ripped apart by Thugs, too weak to think for themselves, and too ignorant to fear the consequences of their actions.

Not sure where this blog will lead, I am sure of this…it is time we all get back to the kitchen table…..

We all know and love old fashioned Lemonade…it was a very popular beverage during the war years because…tea and coffee were among the food items rationed, not always available or in such small amounts it lasted a short period of time and then you waited….Many called it a Patriots Punch….draw your own conclusion as to why!


God Bless you if you read and enjoy this blog…You are always welcome to visit my kitchen…where you’ll find green on the table and Red, White, and Blue in our hearts.
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