Friday, March 30, 2018

Spring Puttering

The  spring weather has been a bit unpredictable around here lately.  One day it's sunny and 70 and the next day it's 45 degrees.   Those warm days make me yearn to open the windows, turn on my classical music and putter around the house- adding spring touches here and there.  Those cooler ones call for baking and trying some new spring recipes.  Spring weather makes you want to refresh things and try new recipes- it's invigorating!!!  Here are some of my recent  spring puttering inspirations-

 Dried peony flowers fill a large clam shell in the gathering room. Those peonies were beautiful fresh flowers about 4 weeks ago. But I must say that they are just as pretty in their dried state. I simply cut off the heads and dried them on baking racks at room temperature for a couple of weeks.

New pink spatulas from William Sonoma fill a champagne bucket and make me want to make a spring dessert.  Grocery store roses fill a pink iced tea glass and rose lemonade adds a beautiful spring color in the light filled window. 

Plants are watered and vases are filled- ready for a spot in the house. 

A camellia is brought in from the yard.

I love the color of this garden rose in the old French canning jar.

Bunches of Queen Anne's lace fill galvanized buckets. I ordered it online from a company called
Whole Blossoms and it was gorgeous and lasted 2 weeks.

And filled a large glass wine bucket on the dining room table. 

More garden roses for the gathering room coffee table.

Once withered, these roses were still too pretty to be discarded.   So I dried them for potpourri.

Still so beautiful.

It was a warm 75 degree day and it was time to replant the pots by the front door.

Spring flowers are eagerly waited for each new year.

 Back to a chilly day so its a good time to bake.
Two toasted coconut chess pies coming out of the oven- one for a friend and one for us!
Tested out a new recipe from

Making the pastry to fill with the cream filling 

Strawberry whipped cream filled crème puffs with fresh blackberries- another cooler day project-

                          A yummy spring treat- can't wait for the fresh strawberries in a couple of weeks to try this one again! The filling was simple.  Beat 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with 4 T. of strawberry jello and 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar until it forms soft peaks.     It was so good and held it's shape well.     Here's where I found the recipe-

Happy Spring puttering!  

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island

One of the most nostalgic and romantic times of a lifetime- a trip to the Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island, Georgia.  Cumberland Island is now owned by the National Park Service with the exception of the private land that a few remaining homes still sit on.   It is a pristine, romantic island, full of wildlife.

Your experience begins by boarding the private ferry,
the Lucy Ferguson, in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

A forty five minute ride across the bay to the Greyfield's private docks. 

Salt marshes surround the island and then you walk into a center of live oaks and Spanish moss.

A five minute walk up the inn is through an enchanted forest.

 The Greyfield Inn sits waiting to greet her new guests.

"Greyfield Inn is located on Cumberland Island, the 19th century retreat of Thomas and Lucy Carnegie who built Greyfield in 1900 for their daughter, Margaret Ricketson. The home was converted to an inn in 1962 by Margaret’s daughter, Lucy R. Ferguson, and her family. The Carnegie family still oversees the Inn, which exudes the romance and luxury of a grand hotel with the hospitality and charm of a family home.
Greyfield Inn’s private setting boasts 200-acres of unspoiled land spanning marshland on the west and ocean to the east. On Cumberland Island, guests set off for adventure each day. Their hours of escape onto the island can be spent birding, swimming, biking, hiking, kayaking, fishing, observing the island’s wild horses, and strolling along the immaculate white sand beach." (  taken from the Greyfield Inn website. )

 Massive live oaks dot the expanse of green lawn.

Rocking chairs await you and your glass of wine.

View from the porch

 Each new guest is given a tour of the house.  This is the living room where 6 pm appetizers and cocktails are served to all the guests.
 The library is full of books that you are encouraged to take out and read. 

This area serves as the honor bar.
  Just mark down on your tab every time you get a glass of wine or cocktail.

 The house is full of the Carnegies memorabilia. 
This is the wedding portrait of Margaret Ricketson, the daughter for whom the house was built.

The house is furnished with family antiques. 

 Bowls of fresh camellias were throughout the house for guests to enjoy.

The camellia trees grow on the property and are full of Spanish moss!!!

 The inn has its own garden and while we visited, turnips, kale and greens were from the garden.

A large table for the fall oyster roasts held on Friday and Saturday nights.

Guests are served a continental breakfast at 7 am for those going on early nature hikes. High breakfast is served at 8:30 am .   Lunch is a picnic basket that you can pick up anytime and go anywhere on the island for lunch.   Cocktail hour is at 6 pm and dinner is served at 7:30 for all guests in the formal dining rooms. 

 Beautifully prepared meals by  Chef Whitney Otawka and her husband.

 The all inclusive packages includes tours to the Dungeness ruins on the island.  This was the Carnegie winter home. It was destroyed by an arsonist in 1959. 

 Nature tours are also given of the marshes and surrounding bird life.

 The beach is an easy 15 minute walk through the forest.
 As the National Park Service only allows 300 people on the island per day,
the beach is pristine and isolated.
 Shelling is fun and lots of empty ones wash up on the beach.  Sand dollars were plentiful too.
 And if shelling isn't fun enough- you turn around and see the wild horses running on the beach.

 The wild horses were a treat to see.   Here they are grazing on the Greyfield Inn property.

 Sunsets over the bay were beautiful.

There is no internet, no TV and no shopping!  Just a return to the nostalgic days of past eras. 
It's a trip that will restore your soul.