WELCOME

WELCOME to the Take Joy Society. We are a group of ladies who first met because of our love of Tasha Tudor's art and lifestyle. We are broadening our focus to include other artists/writers/people of interest who embody Tasha's philosophy to Take Joy in all the good that life has to offer. Here you will find a record of our get-togethers and resources to help you see that the gloom of the world is but a shadow so that you, too, can Take Joy!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Beatrix Potter Tea Party Get-Together

The Take Joy Society members got together today to celebrate Spring with a Beatrix Potter Tea Party!

When everyone arrived they browsed my collection of books by and about Beatrix Potter. . . .


After which lunch was served. . . .

The Menu was mostly from Susan Wittig Albert's "Cottage Tales" website*:

Pea Soup
Cucumber Sandwiches*
Tomato Dill Sandwiches*
Ham Salad Pinwheels
Nutty Cheeseball w/apple slices*
Lemon Lavender Mint Iced Tea

The recipes marked with an asterisk can be found HERE.

The Pea Soup recipes comes from "An English Cottage Year" by Sally Holmes & Tracey Williamson. . . .

At each place setting I put a violet plant in a teacup that was to go home with each member. . . .

We watched a short video about Beatrix Potter that can be found in the extras on the DVD "Miss Potter".  Here is another short biography on Beatrix. . . .

               


Then we made English cottages using cardboard, glue, moss, and plaster, sticks, and pebbles. . . .



We took a break for tea and carrot cupcakes*. . . .

Then resumed working on our cottages.  Here are the ones that were finished before everyone had to leave. . . .




I chose Beatrix Potter as our theme because she was an example of someone who took what gifts she had and shared them with others and in doing so found great joy in the process.  She'd always loved to draw and think up stories and shared them in picture letters to children she knew.  Eventually she thought other children might enjoy them, too, so she endeavored to have them made into a book.   When she couldn't find a publisher she self-published and the rest is history.  This year is the 150th anniversary of her birth (July 28).   She wrote and illustrated 28 books for children, but then went on to become a sheep farmer, raising prize Herdford Sheep.  She is also known for her philanthropy for having donated 4,000 acres of land in the Lake District to the National Trust which millions of people enjoy each year for it's bucolic scenery.

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Take Joy!





Friday, April 1, 2016

April Celebrations



I've chosen this month's recipe from Martha Mason Campbell's "The New England Butt'ry Cookbook"  This is a companion book to the Almanac which Tasha Tudor also illustrated.   Mrs. Campbell writes, "Many years ago, the Easter cake was a graduated four-layer one made just for us by the German baker in town....There were tiny frosting chickens and ducks and lambs, birds and butterflies, an angel or two, and many delicately wrought frosting flowers and vines.  On the very top was a little cottage of cake and frosting with a fence and roses climbing over the door.  The top three layers were carefully removed at the dinner table and put back into the paper cake box.  On the morrow, in turns each year, the children took it to school to share with their classmates.  The family ate the festooned bottom layer.  The baker has long gone and our cake today is not the glorious creation he would have made of it, but we still yellow-frost our lemon sponge Easter Cake and do our best with the decorations.





Tasha Tudor's memories for Easter include hot cross buns and decorated eggs they'd hang from a tree branch and set on their dining table (click on photos to enlarge). . . .
"A Time to Keep"

April was also the time of year that the new crop of baby animals were out romping about the farm yard. . . .
"A Time to Keep"
April was when the birds would return and the showers would give hope to the May flowers that would soon appear. . . .
"Around the Year"

"Around the Year"

Two years ago Easter our first grandchild was just 11 days old.  Both sets of grandparents and our son's siblings all gathered at our youngest son's apartment to celebrate Easter and the newest member to our family.  I baked this cake using Susan Branch's recipe. . . .

Here is Susan's recipe. . . .


Then last year both families got together to celebrate her first birthday four days early on Easter with an egg hunt. . . .

This year Olivia didn't need any help looking for eggs. . . .

                   
When I was little I loved hunting for eggs on Mamaw and Papaw's farm.  I was 2½ in this photo with my daddy . . .

When our two oldest boys were 2 and 5 there was one Easter morning I remember vividly.  We were all at the breakfast table in front of the window that overlooked the porch.  Our eyes were closed to say grace.  When the boys opened their eyes they saw two candy-filled baskets on the porch that hadn't been there before.  I'd opened my eyes early, just in time to catch a surprised glimpse of my neighbor slinking away.  I do believe they believed in the Easter Bunny THAT year.

Do you have special memories of Easter?  Did you prepare a special cake this past Easter?


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Take Joy!