“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Even though that quote came from P&P's Miss Bingley, a snobbish woman who was likely quite unfamiliar with what constitutes an "excellent library", there's no reason the rest of us can't take the sentiment to heart. While I've got to wait for a few kids to move out before I can set up a full blown library, I can still build my collection of rare and antique books, along with many modern favorites, and create comfortable reading spots around my home.
After writing my thoughts on homemaking as an act of worship early Friday morning, I got up and started working on decluttering my upstairs reading area and setting up this little square coffee table I recently found at Salvation Army. Jamie's recliner sits opposite to this pink chair and there is a fireplace to the left of this photo. I've been wanting to make it a more comfortable reading spot since we moved in early last summer.
I made a very simple cranberry tea bread for the kids' breakfast yesterday morning and saved out a little piece for me. I'll post the recipe below. It's a basic muffin recipe to which one can add any number of spices or mix-ins. I use it often at breakfast time; but rather than filling muffin cups, I just pour the mixture into a 13x9 pan. It's one of those big family shortcuts I use to save time in the mornings.
I also enjoyed a cup of Gillards' Empress of Peking tea. This is a special blend created in Bath, England and only available at Gillards of Bath, a tea shop founded in 1886. I first enjoyed it at the Jane Austen Centre Tea Room on my first visit there in 2013. The following Christmas, Jamie ordered a bag of it for me and it's been a favorite ever since.
I set out these adorable felt coasters that a friend sent me a couple years ago. One thing I've learned about living in the hot and humid South---coasters are a necessity!
I'm hoping to enjoy some quiet reading time this evening after I've put the younger kids to bed. No sense in having a pretty spot to hang out if one doesn't actually spend time there, right?
Hope you're having a relaxing and blessed weekend!
Cranberry Tea Bread
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. water or milk
1/2 c. oil
3 1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. dried cranberries
Whisk the eggs, water, and oil together. Add the dry ingredients, except for the cranberries, and stir until almost smooth. Add the cranberries and finish stirring until everything is incorporated. Spread mixture into a greased 13x9 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400º.
This article was featured in Issue #130 of The Christian Home Magazine.
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