Sunday, October 23, 2011

Back in Time

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I dream of traveling back in time to an era where life was simpler, material possessions were few, and faith and family were cherished by society. Can you imagine? No internet, no phones, no television... Just a few good books, a roaring fire, and the company of close friends and family.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy my laptop, iPhone, coffee maker, and microwave just as much as the next girl. But sometimes, I just wonder what life must have been like.

This weekend my kids and I, along with some close friends, got a small taste of that simple life at the amazing Parke County Covered Bridge Festival. As we walked through the beautiful covered bridges, we traveled back in time for a minute or two, taking in the same sights, sounds, and smells that travelers did in the 1800s.

West Union Bridge, built in 1876 over Sugar Creek

Along the way to West Union Bridge, we stumbled upon a pioneer cemetery. Some of the stones dated back to Civil War and even pre-Civil War times. The writing was not even readable on many, worn by time and weather. Most likely, some of the men buried here helped build the earliest of the sturdy bridges in this county, proud of their craftsmanship and labor of love. Did they know their bridges would stand the test of time 100 to 150 years later?

Reading the inscriptions on the stones, I imagined what life must have been like for these Indiana pioneers. Some of them were young mothers, some soldiers, others children. They walked or rode in wagons over the bridges in the county, laughing, dreaming, and living the simple life. A poignant reminder to savor each moment, to enjoy the immense blessings of life while it is still ours to live, and to remember that each day is given to us by the One who knows us by name and holds the past, present, and future in His hands.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Perfect Fall Breakfast Treat

We are usually a no-frills breakfast family -- cereal, toast, bagels, and the occasional slice of cold pizza are the norm around our house. Since I've become a Pinterest fan, however, visions of muffins, coffee cakes, and French toast have been dancing in my head. So I decided to break out of the boring breakfast mold and try something new.

Score! This recipe was a hit. My guinea pigs kids gobbled it up like they hadn't eaten in days! Next time I will make a double batch, for sure.

As my daughter pointed out, this would make a great Thanksgiving Day breakfast. But I don't think I'll be able to wait until Thanksgiving to try it again!

Here's the recipe from Kevin at Closet Cooking (the great photo above is his, too):

Pumpkin Pie French Toast
(Makes 4 servings)

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree/canned pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
8 slices of bread

1. Mix the eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and brown sugar in low flat bowl for easy dipping.
2. Dip the bread into the egg mixture on both sides and grill in a pan until lightly golden brown, about 2-3 minute per side.
3. Serve with maple syrup. Enjoy!