Any Old House in the Storm . . .

An old house is a wonderful place to be during a big nor’easter; our old girl is standing strong against the storm this morning, her cornices and gables creaking a bit; wind gusts crash through the old Linden trees, shake the timbers of the maples, the shutters clunk against the house, and raindrops are coming at her sideways, pattering against the windows the way they’ve done here for 150 years of storms. 

I lit a candle, just in case we lose electricity.  In my studio, it’s cozy under lamplight, with my tea and kitty, my wooly “England” shawl around my shoulders, lambswool slippers, paintbrushes and paper; the furnace is humming, Joe’s still asleep, I have the house all to myself; we are safe and sound.

Old houses know how to handle these things.

Here’s the view from the upstairs window yesterday afternoon just as the storm was getting started — our ghost keeps watch over the street.  It was cold on our walk through the woods yesterday morning, cold enough for hats, big jackets, and gloves . . .  the wild geese flew, in a scattered V line, over the pond, their barking cries high in the sky, blown back at us by the wind, providing more food for deep thinking; more scientific examination: . . . me: “Where do you think they’re going?”  Joe:  “I don’t know.  South.”   me: “Thank you.”   Me: “How do they know where to stop?” Joe: “Their parents?”

We said goodbye to our dear friends who were out there closing their house for the winter; we picked bittersweet from the secret cache that grows around their house.  By the time we got home and out of the car, the storm was near, tattered leaves were blowing around us and over us like tickertape.

So we blew around with them, like in the Wizard of Oz, battening down the hatches, pulling the heavy barn doors closed,  filling the bird feeders, hanging dried corn on the kitchen door, putting storms on the kitchen windows; we brought in the mums and ornamental cabbage and put them on the pantry floor so they wouldn’t get beaten up by the storm.  We got it all done, cut the last rose from the garden, just as the rain started in earnest; we ran inside, hung up our coats, took off our boots; Joe made us a fire, and I made us grilled cheese sandwiches!

There is, of course, a right way and a wrong way to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  And I believe, with all due respect to other grilled cheese sandwich makers, that I have it down perfect.  There is no folderol involved; I don’t really want fou-fou on my grilled cheese. Mangos or cranberry sauce, sorry, do not belong on a grilled cheese sandwich. No olives or sardines, and no Boursin cheese.  If those things are on it, and maybe they would taste good, I’m not sure, but they should choose another name for sandwiches like that.  They shouldn’t call them “grilled cheese.”  A good grilled cheese sandwich should be made with plain, normal cheddar cheese, melted to a complete puddle on good toasty bread; not greasy, or white in some spots and dark in others. I like them exactly like my mother made them;  crunchy, bendy, buttery, melty; simple plain perfection.  Is that asking too much, restaurants of America?  I think it must be.  Not you of course, but perhaps you know someone who needs grilled cheese guidance?  Tell them about this.  Friends don’t let friends go through life unschooled in the fine art of grilled cheese making. 

So here’s how it’s done: first off, I don’t butter the inside of the bread at all; there’s enough oil in the cheese to take care of the inside of the sandwich.  Just lay out two pieces of healthy whole-grain bread (sourdough also makes a wonderful grilled cheese).  Cover one piece of bread with slices of good cheddar cheese.  (Cheddar cheese on Martha’s Vineyard is white, in California, it’s yellow.  We don’t know why.)

Then cover the cheese with the other slice of bread, and butter the top with soft real butter.

Then melt a pat of butter over medium high heat in a skillet.

Put the unbuttered side of the sandwich down, and cover the pan; reduce the heat to medium low.  In a few minutes, take off the lid, and press down hard on the sandwich with a spatula.  This spatula-pressing is the secret to a tight well-made sandwich. Cover again and keep cooking until . . .

. . . it’s evenly toasted; turn it over, press down on it hard with the spatula, and cover the pan again.

Cook until it’s perfect, when the melty goodness begins to leak out of the middle, the edges are crunchy and a buttery-brown toasted color.  Scoop it out of the pan and put it on a serving plate and cut it in half.  This is a deeeeelicious grilled cheese sandwich.

It breaks in your mouth like a cracker. Take it to the fireplace, or to the TV and turn on a good old movie, like The Bishop’s Wife, put your feet up.

You might need to pamper yourself today, and this would be a wonderful way to do it . . . grilled cheese and old movie, will make you forget any kind of possible disappointment —  everyone might need a little of this, everyone but the WINNER of our banana dish, and she can make herself a grilled cheese to celebrate!!

Yes, I’ve been leading us, the good, toasted-cheese way, up to announce that the winner of our drawing is SARA DeCOEUR, who’s in Florida right now, getting her kids ready for Halloween.   She wrote: “I LOVE that beautiful banana holder!!!!  It is quite glorious!  My housekeeping tips are 1) baking soda – it does wonders!  and 2) pump up the music and make it a game so the kids do most of the work!!!! LOL!”

When I wrote to tell her she won, this was her reaction: “OH HAPPY ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippeee!!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! And might I add, I really adore your blog! It warms my heart!”

So I think she was happy! ♥  And she takes excellent advantage of the exclamation point!  A girl after my own heart!!!!!! Her banana dish will go off to her on Monday, with a little thank you note, so she knows (just like I hope the rest of you do), how much she’s (and you’re) appreciated.  ♥  And don’t worry, there will be a lifetime of other chances!!!!!! 

 So here’s my day today:  we need to put the candy in the big wooden bowls, carve stars in our pumpkins, brew up a big pot of cider, cook a small feast, make basket arrangements with the ornamental cabbages and mums; set the dining table with plates and cups, and generally spruce up the house for our aprés-candy Halloween Open House tomorrow night, and for the rest of the season.

 When Joe went to get the candy, he found these colorful leaf garlands and brought them home, so I’m playing around with them; and also trying to figure out where his purple twinkle lights will look the best!  We’ll get the bittersweet out of the car and decorate the porch, and put the scary candles on the front stairs so they’ll all see them when we open the door to “trick or treat!”

The kitchen table is ready!  It’s going to be a fun couple of days in the house of creativity, and I’ll take lots of pictures.  Hope yours is wonderful too!  Thank you all so much for your part in our giveaway; I learned so many new household hints from you, that was fun!  Have a wonderful day, stay warm, stay cozy, and be happy.  xoxo

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196 Responses to Any Old House in the Storm . . .

  1. Karen Kinlaw says:

    Everything does look quite cozy there! Love the idea of grilled cheese and an old movie. My family enjoyed “Hocus Pocus” last night in the spirit of the season. Hope you have a super Sunday.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Karen!

      • Karen Kinlaw says:

        Here in southeastern North Carolina, the leaves are just beginning to turn colors. After our rainy, gray, cloudy storm passed yesterday afternoon, the sun came out to make the colored leaves just glow. Breathtaking!!!
        For today? Hot chocolate and warm, fresh popcorn at my daughter’s afternoon soccer game. For tomorrow? Candy is ready for a Spook-tacular evening. Happy Halloween to all!!

  2. Lori says:

    I think I NEED a grilled cheese … right now! : ) Congratulations to Sara. We are all winners who enjoy your blog. Thanks Susan and enjoy your cozy fall Sunday!

    ps. Bittersweet is impossible to find around here (Indiana) – WOW!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s not all that easy to find here either, because, they say, it’s invasive and no one likes it. But I love it!

  3. Jacquelyn W. says:

    Your house looks so festive! Ready for guests and trick or treaters. Hoping you aren’t buried in snow as the pictures on the news show lots of it. Your grilled cheese looks so yummy … I’m heading downstairs (it’s 4:30 am here on the west coast) to get that sandwich started! Thanks Susan and Happy Halloween!

    • sbranch says:

      Good way to start the day! 🙂 No snow, just windy, leafy, and all that good nor’easter type stuff!

  4. Your way is the same way (just about) that I make my grilled cheese sandwiches. I love them, that buttery taste in the bread with the soft melted cheese in the middle, oh yummmm… yeah! … and sometimes I just hafta’ have a bowl of tomato soup on the side ….. yummy comfort lunch or supper meal.

    Keep warm and toasty!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, the tomato soup!

    • Karen P says:

      Grilled cheese sandwiches and a bowl of tomato soup were staples for lunches growing up in my big family as oldest of 6 children. I remember sitting at the kitchen table listening to Paul Harvey at noon on the radio….always signing off with “Paul Harvey….Good DAY!” Ahhhh…fond memories.

  5. Rita Baker says:

    I was thinking of you yesterday here in sunny Crest Hill, IL, as I baked homemade (from scratch) oatmeal fruit bars, then brought in my huge geranium pot from my front porch – there was a frost here this morning – but not a winter storm (yet!) Glad you are warm and cozy, and your house looks so warm and inviting – I love your photos! My step daughter just bought a 120 year old house in a small rural town about 30 miles from us – it’s beautiful but needs a lot of work – a diamond in the rough. I love old houses but ours is only 20 years old. Oh well. And there’s a nice poem about bittersweet by Brian F. King – it was in an old Ideals magazine. Wish it would grow around here. Happy Halloween to you and all your friends on your beautiful island!

  6. Oh you always are having such a good time with whatever comes your way and it is infectious!! Have fun tomorrow night!

  7. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    I loved the storm we had yesterday, we got a nice amount of snow here it was so pretty to watch. Love all the pictures. I didn’t know I was suppose to butter the outside of a grilled cheese. Thanks for showing us how to make one. I will be making them today for lunch now:) Your home looks so festive and warm and cozy. Have a great Sunday Susan

  8. Joyce says:

    Oh Susan, I always love your blog posts so much. I got up early this morning while the house is still quiet (hubby and puppy still snugly in bed), made myself a cup of tea, and immediately turned on my iPad to check your website for a post. You always delight me so much every time I get to share your day with you through pictures and your stories. I have all the old williards ordered from your store….hopefully they will arrive tomorrow and I will be in heaven once again. Will try your wonderful grilled cheese after our walk today and will also be putting a pot on the stove for the chicken stock. Thanks so much for all you do.

  9. Shanon says:

    Dear Susan, I love that you wake up early and write these blogs so that I can read them when I get up with my daughter! That grilled cheese looks wonderful, I’m going to be making that later today for sure 🙂 Also, if I could attach a picture to this, I would show the world my little daughter in her bumblebee costume! Happy Halloween!

  10. I enjoy reading your post so very much! I think you could make a barn sound cozy!! I have a question about your island. Do most of the people that live around you leave for the winter? Do your winters get really cold and snowed in? We moved from Oklahoma where we had a lot of ice storms and were unable to get out for a few days, not sure about here in Idaho yet. I have been enjoying the beautiful trees here though, I love when they turn colors and the leaves start dropping, makes for a perfect fall day!

    • sbranch says:

      Most of the people that live in our town stay here, but the houses out at the water, and up island and in Edgartown, a lot of them shut down for the winter. Our population is around 12,000 year round, but over 100,000 in the summer! Being an island, it’s often a bit warmer here than in Boston, but we would never call it warm . . . mostly around 35 degrees I would say, but it gets down to 20 sometimes. We get maybe 3 big snowstorms a season, and lots of flurries. I think Idaho is probably whiter than it is here!

  11. Cindy Garner says:

    I too love a good ol’ storm from inside a warm snuggley house…. I love a a good snow storm, where the wind is whipping and the snow is pounding against the street light out front….what makes them totally rock, is when my family is all safe inside the snuggley house with me.
    My youngest daughter absolutely loves, loves, loves grilled cheese. In fact when she was little she called them ‘two fifties’, because when we would go out to eat that was all she ate….and at that time they only cost $2.50 and that was with fries….

  12. joan says:

    I do so want a grilled cheese! maybe when I get home. I have been spoiled on a writer’s retreat this weekend with fancy food and not a grilled cheese to be found.

    Enjoy your cozy weekend and eat a grilled cheese for me will you? 😉

  13. Darlene says:

    Good morning Susan, your home looks so cozy, warm and ready for the season!! I love your idea of putting little pumpkins over the outside door ledge and I have been doing it since I’ve moved in my new home three years ago. My husband, Steve, climbs up on the ladder and carefully places them just perfect! He loved the idea and although I felt so cool that he thought I came up with it, I told him “Susan Branch does this, you know, the author of the books I’m always reading”… and he knew exactly who I meant! I love the carved out star shape pumpkins too and the cinnamon on top so we’ll give that a try today and he and my two kids will think I am wonderful! lol….made your pineapple upside down cake yesterday and the house smelled divine, brought some over for my mom and dad with the vanilla sauce which made them very happy! oh, did I say thank you for filling me with so much inspiration so that it flows out and brings smiles and makes the one’s I love happy?!! thank youxoxo

  14. Pam says:

    Another lovely blog. You have such a cosy home and make us all feel as though we are welcome visitors. Thanks Susan, reading your posts always makes me feel cheerful.

  15. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…bittersweet..a true and beautiful fall sight…i LOVE the “secret cache”…
    don’t find it wild around here, so i scout for it at the farmer’s market….and i am there early enough to grab some…it’s now scattered around the small vases and cups….draped over pumpkins and hay bales on the it!! btw..
    you are spot on concerning the grilled cheese situation…in this house, it’s the classic Velvetta..white bread..butter..AND Campbell’s Tomato soup…warms the tummy, the heart and the soul…just starting in on my pumpkin whoopie pies, this years’ Halloween specialty….neighbors will be happy…thank you for your wonderful pictures and blog….just LOVE it!!! happy halloween eve!!!!

  16. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Morning Sweet Sue on Halloween~Eve….Boo! so No Snow? Jenny (baby sister) In Pennsylvania got SNOW!…The Triplets are making Pumpkin~Angels 🙂 can Ya Believe? so Looks like You are all Ready for Your Trick~or~Treaters! Your Home is Truly Enchanted…I Love all That Bittersweet…I’d fill Up My House with it! Love Joe’s “Silk~Autumn Leaves…that kind of Garland is everywhere here in My Enchanted Cottage (Florida Autumn Leaves) 🙂 I’m sitting here in My Full Tinkerbell (Costume…even though this is Me Everyday) Even My Wings! I fell fast Asleep after we got Home from The Halloween Party…what an amazing Party!!!! there were so Many Elaborate Costumes…Folks go all Out these Last Few Halloweens…There were Many different kinds of Vampires….a Few Scary Ghosts…lots of Princesses…Many Wonderful Witches….a Few Scary Clowns…a few Dark Fairies I was The Only Tinkerbell 🙂 …a Few Smurfs…it was Beyond Magical…I loved it! Herbster took his Captain Hook stuff Off fast when We got Home.. But He Stayed In Captain Hook Mode at The Party & He did have a Fun Time…Lots of Yummy Food & Good Halloween Cocktails♫ …& The Decorations Were Spooktacular!!!! 🙂 Boo! I think I’ll stay in my Tink all day…& Eat Your Grilled Cheese Sandwiches…Yummy…We got Our Cold Front & it is in the 50’s…so I am sipping Peppermint Tea…Breathing in All of Fall….(Windows Opened) ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….Later On Taylor is Coming Over too Carve all Our Pumpkins…We Shall Be Creating of Few of Your Star~Pumpkins…Yay! Twirling into Pumpkinland! Congratz to Sara she Is another Lucky Girl! Tell Joe to String His Purple Twinkling Lights EVERYWHERE!… Very Halloweeny! The Morning Show is about to start…Yay!….Stay Warm & Cozy Sweetest Sue & Joe & Kitty(Meow)…oops…one of My Wings is Slipping …. 🙂 There is Fairy~Dust all over My Chair 🙂 ….I Just heard them say “Pumpkin~Paradise…in England”?…gonna be a Great Morning Show… Enjoy! I L♥ve Your Ghosty Boy’s View form His Window….Perfection! Happy Sunday On The Eve of Halloween!…Knock~Knock…Ding~Dong…Trick~or~Treat! xoxo Poof! ♥

  17. Deborah says:

    Happy stormy Sunday, Susan! Hey, I have that same spreading (oval shaped knife) that you do, and I love it! Nothing (thank you Julia) like REAL butter! I enjoy grilled cheese too, but must admit, I like a little of plain old french’s mustard in mine. oh, and tomato soup!
    Bittersweet is such a pretty and versatile decoration, lucky you for finding it! I have always loved it in the fall and winter.

    Your home is such a haven of solace from the nor’easters, and a fall getaway in itself! You and Joe are fortunate to have such a great historical home! Love your leaf garland too~

    Yesterday, I took my 4 yr old grandson to the local university where I work, and they had in the dorms, participating college students handing out candy all dressed up and just ‘spooky’ enough! It was fun, and they actually set up a party in a near by building with all kinds of kid oriented games, and treats, by the end of the day he had a huge bucket of booty! We did lots of walking and he looked so cute in his goatee, moustashe, and batface and cape! The sword brought some laughs as it was a big as he is!
    Anyway, thank you for the bestest blog and starting my day off with a great theme…you and Joe enjoy!

  18. blondie blu says:

    Hello Susan,

    I just love how you take us, step by step, thru so many various things in your life… your walks, traveling, cooking, decorating, your creativity… it is such a treat! I always feel like I am visiting a dear friend when I come to your blog. You are such a lovely inspiration! XO Helena

  19. Rosinda says:

    Oh, Susan, I just love reading your blog. It takes me away and always brings me to a happy, cozy, little place (your place). Loved seeing video clip of bittersweet, photo of fire roaring, and your directions/photos for the perfect grilled cheese sandwich! You are a constant source of inspiration. Have a wonderful Sunday, getting ready for Halloween. I will be thinking of you… Rosinda xoxo

  20. Paulie says:

    Hi Susan!
    Oh My Gosh, I am a tad late this morning but that is because I am just finishing eating my ‘GRILLED cheese” sandwich. Just good x-sharp cheese and nothing else. Breakfast was at 5 am so kinda hungry. No snows here and it is sunny. No rain either. About four hours away from you………hope it stays this way. Not ready for winter but I recall a few Halloweens where my children had to wear their snowsuits when they were young. There was snow on the ground … hopefully this snowfall your way doesn’t put a damper on it all and the children are staying safe. Happy Halloween. Great read again today!

  21. mari1017 says:

    Good late morning, Susan! Don’t you just LOVE those autumn storms? We actually had the same kind of day yesterday here in coastal Virginia ~ RAIN, WIND, dark skies~ cozy inside, though, and happy for a day with an excuse to curl up, light lots of candles, read and watch the old movies I borrowed from my mom ~ their player broke, so we’re trying to find them another VHS/DVD player. Borrowed Rebecca, Leave Her to Heaven, The Bishop’s Wife, a few others ~ so much fun ♥♥♥ Enjoy the rest of your weekend ~ love your walk, the bittersweet, the grilled cheese (not even 10AM here, and I want one lol) ~ sun is shining here today, still chilly, and I’m out of here!

  22. I live near forests and farms in the Midwest and when I know all the family is safe and we have plenty of food and kitty kibble in the house, winter storms are welcome.

    They make me feel all warm and cozy and give me permission to curl up on the sofa and read or watch favorite DVDs as I really can’t go anywhere. 🙂

    My daughter lives in New England, the storm arrived sooner than they anticipated and they found themselves on the Mass Pike with a foot of snow already as they drove home from a family conference. Thankfully, they and all arrived home safely (my son-in-law knows how to drive in that weather being from Mass.).

    They lost power but she made white chicken chili on their propane grill and they stayed warm in front of the fireplace. Good memories being made for the grandchildren. 🙂

  23. Sandra says:

    And, *that*, dear Susan, is perxactly how Mom, and now I, make our grilled cheese sandwiches! It is perfection, along with a big glass of milk, a sofa for my bottom, an ottoman for my feet, a pillow for my back and staring out the sun room windows at God’s creation splayed down the valley.
    BTW, linden tree blossoms make the ***sweetest, palest, most delicious*** honey!

  24. Karen says:

    Well, I guess I should’ve started with the newest post first.
    Congrats to Sara for the win! Now I’m on the look-out for those banana compotes!
    Did you happen to check out vintage snack plates, Susan? They are fun for a luncheon with girlfriends. Have a wonderful day…

  25. Martha Ellen says:

    Dear Susan, I love the way you discribed the way your storm came through—you are quite the writer! So glad you guys made it back home just in time. I was so happy to see another blog from you this morning—you are such an inspiration to me–Thank you–I made your wonderful Touchdown Chili yesterday and it was great! My chili is the usual chili made with ground beef and tomatoes and beans. Your grilled cheese sandwich is the same way my mother made them as well as do I–Yummy! We had a rainy windy day here in VA. Morning has bought a frost to us so I’ll have to say goodbye to all the annuals—I have 10 or 15 vases of the zinnias and roses I picked before the upcoming frost. All the geraniums are now down in the basement to overwinter away from the cold. We are getting ready for the ghosts and goblins as well. Love seeing their little faces filled with anticipation! Enjoy your Halloween. xoxo♥

  26. Carie says:

    I was happy to come to your place today and see a new blog to read!!! Got up extra early today, couldn’t sleep, so it is my Sunday Morning Me time!!! Love it!!!
    I think it is a Grilled Cheese sort of day, and I have to say it just isn’t right if a grilled cheese isn’t cut in half diagonally!!! Enjoy your day!!!

  27. Gail says:

    Good Morning,
    Enjoyed today’s blog and seeing your cozy kitchen. Love to have my grilled cheese with a cup of tomato bisque in the cooler weather. Just want to say thanks for all you do and how much fun it is to look forward to a new post each day!

  28. Debbie P. says:

    Good morning, Susan~
    It’s a glorious fall morning here in central NY…the sun is shining, bright blue skies…we missed the storm by a few miles…whew…but it wa 29 degrees in the backyard when I got up! Time to bring in the garden angel statue and the ceramic birdbath, I guess, before they crack. I just planted some bittersweet along my back fence 2 weeks ago…I was warned about its invasive tendencies…but when I weighed the pros and cons of it all…I had to do it!
    I so enjoy your blog…I get such inspiration and affirmation from your words and your photos….THANK YOU!
    Congratulations to Sara! Although I don’t have a banana bowl, I’ve retrieved some of my grandmother’s glass from the attic, polished it up and as we speak, the sun is sparkling up my kitchen windowsill….
    Have a wonderful day, Susan….and Happy Halloween!
    Debbie P.

  29. Pamela Jo says:

    Such a lovely home! Just beautiful! I agree about the grilled cheese…nothing fancy for me. I like them the way my mom always made them, too! Yummy!

    We had 8″ of snow here in PA! Lost power several times, but it came back on quickly every time! Decided to warm up the kitchen yesterday, so roasted a chicken, made some homemade stuffing and gravy, along with green beans and cranberry sauce…It felt like Christmas, smelled like it, and tasted like it, too! Even put Dean Martin’s “Winter Romance” on the stereo and danced around the kitchen. I lost a few tree branches to the storm, but nothing too serious. You are right about old houses…mine is 110 years old with big maple trees in front of the porch which I always worry about during storms (trees are about 100 years old), and this Old Victorian Lady (I mean the house, but it could be me, too!) made it through just fine! So glad you also weathered the storm well! Watched “Hocus Pocus” with my kitty, Molly, last night. She loves TV. Especially if she sees cats. When the cat started speaking, she ran to the TV and stared at it, as if in disbelief that a cat could talk! She looked at me like she was thinking “Did you hear that? A talking kitty cat!” So funny!

    Have a great day and much fun preparing for Trick-or-Treat visitors! The little ones around here will have to wear their snow boots! ~xoxo~

  30. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Congratulations Sara, we’re all very happy for you!

    Bittersweet, stormy weather & grilled cheese, mMmmMMM, you & Joe & Girl Kitty are in my kinda “hog heaven” (as my Dad used to say)! Great pictures & love the bouquets & everything else! Happy Day!!!!

  31. Giovanna says:

    Good morning Susan,

    As always, you have inspired me 🙂 I’m headed to amp up the decorating. I’ve already had to shovel the slush off the back porch. A good 2 ” of it!! My 18 month old pup seems to be the only one in the house who is excited about it! I wanted to enjoy Fall a little more, before Winter came knocking. But, I don’t think it will stop the trick-or-treaters …I’m looking forward to seeing all the little ones 🙂 Have a ghoulish Halloween!!! 😀

  32. Anne says:

    Your blog is wonderful – so cozy and comforting. Similarly cozy here in the cold and damp of Pittsburgh, PA. Thanks for the grilled cheese lesson. The classic recipes always do seem to get too fancied up. I feel the same way about mashed potatoes. Just milk, butter, s&p please.
    Have a Happy Halloween and a fun party!

  33. Kelly J. says:

    I made a very similar(American cheese) grilled cheese yesterday during our Wintober storm, as my very creative daughter calls it. I love this sandwich for so many reasons, but mostly because it was something my Nana used to make for me just about every time I visited her 🙂 Thanks once again for your warm & cozy message…it’s made my morning! Enjoy your trick or treaters,,,,they are certainly in for a treat at your house!

  34. Patricia says:

    In upstate New York yesterday we cleaned out the garage and put the snow blower up front..then brought the pumpkin inside the garage so we could carve it today. Alice and I decorated the house for Halloween and then waited for the storm…and it came! We got 4″ of snow and one large branch down in the back. I told my husband “well, at least there are less leaves to rake up!” By the way, we all refer to my husband as “the king of cheese” because he makes the best grilled cheese (or as we call them- cheese toasties.) And he makes them exactly like you do so you can now refer to yourself as the queen of cheese. 🙂

  35. Jennifer says:

    Grilled cheese sounds perfect for my day of costume making (homemade is always better). I bought a pannini maker a few years ago and it makes a fabulous grilled cheese!!

  36. Mama Bear says:

    I make my grilled cheese a little different but still no outlandish embellishments…I use American Cheese and add a bit of mayonaise to the bread to hold it together. I use a larger skillet and can cook up to 3 at a time which is just the right amount for Jim and me. Add some Tomato Soup and we have a nice meal for a winter’s day or Autumn Day as it is here.
    I’m loving reading your blog….years ago, I loved a section of Country Living Magazine called Simple Country Pleasures….alas the author passed away and the column was never the same….Your blog brings me pleasure in the same way.

  37. Gloria Groza says:

    You made me hungry, so I made The Perfect Grilled Sandwich for breakfast! LOL! It was delicious by the way! Love the the Halloween preparations – you inspire me! Love, Gloria in Nevada, Texas:D

  38. Doreen Strain says:

    Morning Sue,
    You and I make grilled cheese the exact same way! Exactly! I must admit…I’m a little jealous of the weather the northeast is having. Although I will also admit that it’s probably because I’m no longer living there and I’m down here in the heat. If I was still up there and going through it…well, let’s put it this way…I’d be using potty mouth words!! ( Oh Doreen….not you…really?) Yes, I must tell you I really didn’t enjoy it when I lived there but now miss it something awful. I’d say that until I had to drive to work in it once or twice and then I’d be right back to hating it. I’d love to work from home and be able to enjoy the experience from not having to go out in it…just watching it all happening through a window from a cozy home…kinda like Mr. Ghost who resides in your upstairs window. LOL! I’m so happy for Sara and her winning the banana bowl. For our other “girlfriends” and Jake….if you go to ebay…there are a few of them for sale.(None as pretty as the one Susan gave away!) But if any of the “girlfriends” or Jake…HAVE to have one….their there! I think I’ll make a Shepard’s Pie for dinner tonight. Just found a good recipe that had some great reviews. I could use a good comfort meal with all this grilled cheese talk going on. ( I made myself a grilled cheese yesterday for lunch.) Having lived in New England, I’ve experienced the arrival of many a storm, and you did an excellent job Sue of making me see it in my minds eye. Well, I’m glad you are all tucked in. Climb under a quilt on the couch this afternoon with a good book in front of the fireplace and rest up for tomorrow. Try not to eat too much of the candy or you’ll have a belly ache! Enjoy your guests during your open house and make lots of fun memories for yourselves. Wish I lived close enough to put on my rain slicker, darn my boots, grab a few logs from the wood shed and head on over to your house with one of my freshly baked loaves of pumpkin bread to share with you all. Enjoy ! FOSB 4~Ever! Happy Halloween ! ~ Doreen ~

  39. Betsy says:

    I wish I was a wizard!!! Not because Halloween is upon us but because I would LOVE to put my hand through the computer screen and grab that sandwich! It looks delish! In fact it looks so good I’m heading to the kitchen NOW!

  40. Ahhhhhh. (I am succinct when I am content)

  41. Jeanette says:

    Hi Susan!
    What a beautiful, cozy post – thank you. Sitting here at JFK hoping to get home to IL today…flight already delayed from the storm yesterday, although it’s gorgeous today. So bittersweet having to leave my Dad here, know you understand that. Reading your post here amongst strangers felt like a hug from a special friend. I can’t wait to get home to my sweetie and pups. I love a good grilled cheese and often crave it. I agree, the beat one is made at home :). Thank you for your warm embrace, you truly are “OUR” girlfriend and I’m grateful!! Carrying home in my heart until I get there…fingers crossed. Hope your Halloween is bewitchingly spooktacular. xoxo, Jeanette

  42. Tiina says:

    Loved the pics this morning, it got me in the mood to make grill cheese sandwhiches for lunch. Still so sunny and 78 in Cali no sign of fall yet. MV sounds heavenly. Have a great Sunday.
    xo Tiina

  43. Jacqui G says:

    Loving your blog (as always) warming my heart and so grateful you take the time to write to us! Oh what a lunch I’m going to have….GRILLED CHEESE what else? We’ve got some nice sour dough bread and a hunk of cheddar, so we are all set. Stay warm! xoxo Jacqui

  44. kidsrn says:

    hi susan,

    what a wonderful fall morning you are enjoying! thank you so much for sharing it with us! here in ca we do not have that kind of fall 🙁 so its so nice to read yours and imagine. its a lil bit cooler, cold at night, but warm and sunny this weekend in day, there is the smell of dry pine but it just doesnt match the real fall like you have. i am so admiring the pics of fall leaves, rain, and alll the coziness of your house. its inspiring me, maybe we will make the house a bit more fallish 🙂
    we used to joke that in alaska our falls lasted about a week. it was a time of picking cranberries as the frost made them ready. leaves turned and fell in about a week. then it snowed and the long winter started. i make grilled cheese that exact way! with the tomatoe soup. soooo yummy. can hardly wait for a rainy day now 🙂
    thanks for sharing with us all the yummy recipes, i have them all marked to try sometime verrrryyy soon! i have the very first christmas book you wrote and pull it out every december to make our christmas plans, its a tradition in our home now 🙂

    enjoy the rest of your beautiful fall weekend.

  45. Terri says:

    Loved the picture of the ghost guarding your house from the street below! wow, is that side of your house close to the road? That is the side where the trick or treaters will come, yes? That is a neat picture! LOL!!
    Is the ghost in your Peter Rabbit room? I couldn’t tell! I guess you will have to give us a house tour sometime!
    We had our time change this morning and it is almost 5:30 CET and it is pitch black out there! Wow!! cold and dreary and thank goodness no snow!
    I made chicken and dumplings today along with a berry crumple (blueberry and raspberry) with peaches. It was so good. Comfort food at its best!
    That is what I got from your blog today, warm and cozy and COMFORT! Smiles!

  46. Brenda says:

    Happy Sunday Susan! We love grilled sandwiches here but hubs makes them. He says I grill to quickly and the trick is low and slow so everything gets hot and melty on the inside and the outside is toasted just right. I am happy to say that I am glad I do not make a good grilled sandwich because I love it when he cooks for us. Here in Michigan the white cheddar is called Farmers cheese. I had a friend whose grandmother would only use that type of cheese, she was from the east coast. And when we lived in the city and I did not pack a lunch I could bring her some groceries, because she did not drive, and I would get one of her marvelous grilled cheese and the simple but best with grilled cheese Campbells tomato soup. It made my afternoon so much better. I received my 2012 calendar and the Autumn book yesterday. I have been reading it off and on since. Not sure which recipe I will try first but I am enjoying it so much. Thank you.

  47. Wendy says:

    Mmmm, grilled cheese. Can’t beat it. Here in Chicago, we sometimes dip it in ketchup. My mouth is watering. The bummer of it is, my tummy hates gluten so I have to use my lame-o, dry, crumbly gluten-free bread while I use awesome whole wheat bread for my hubby and daughter.
    Your blog, with all its photos and detailed descriptions, makes me feel so cozy and inspires me to make yummy meals and take pride in my little home. Thank you! <3

  48. Rosemary says:

    AMEN! to the grilled cheese sandwich. You have it down perfectly ‘cuz that is just the way I make them and my Mom before me. We had white cheddar in NY but here in Texas, it is yellow! Now, we did have these for lunch yesterday but we had to have Campbell’s tomato soup, too. Yes?
    Love the bittersweet! Just did a whirlwind trip to NC and then NY and looked along the fencelines as we zipped along. That didn’t work but 4000 miles later we are home safe and out of the danger of snow!
    Love all the fall things you are doing! It is so much fun to see these gorgeous colors at this time of year and you have just the right touch!
    Happy Day!

  49. Rosanne says:

    Your post today is an autumn/Halloween extravaganza! Thank you for sharing your festive spirit, and your grilled cheese expertise, which is exactly right (though I do spread butter on the outside of both slices of bread, just to make sure I get enough calories in there!). Question: How far ahead can you make your curried pumpkin pots and keep them in the fridge? Your Autumn book is my inspiration for the season!

  50. Sara says:

    Oh I miss a good old nor’ easter, originally being from Connecticut. Thank you so much for sharing this one with us 🙂 I would love a good chill in the air and fire going right about now.

    I happily await my banana holder! YIPPPEEEE!!!

  51. karen saunders says:

    i only have one thing to say…..will you adopt me? you are cozy! karen saunders

  52. Victoria Miller says:

    Always a joy to ‘visit’ your house on your blog and see what beautiful, fanciful and amazing things you wonderful folks are up to! The grilled cheese sandwich sounds wonderful, and I think I’ll have one and watch The Uninvited, with Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey. The Bishop’s Wife I traditionally watch close to Christmas, with a cup of Constant Comment tea and a pretty little plate of Christmas cookies. And, your photo with the wooden bowls and baskets is similar to the scene I made yesterday in my dollhouse kitchen, where the four doll housemates have just returned from their local Farmer’s Market with baskets of apples, eggs and corn on the cob, which is being put in bowls. And I just love your upstairs ghost! May you and Joe continue to be snug and warm and full of joy and content as you weather the storm! And a very Happy Halloween to all!

    • Susan Roubal says:

      Constant Comment tea is my all time favorite go-to tea for fall and winter! Both my Mother and hers, Grandma Stanhope, always loved it best and considered it “an extravagance”. Guess what I always got them for presents? MmmHmmm. 🙂 Haha, I used to think it was called Constant Comet… celestially special!

  53. Kim Forester says:

    Old movies + grilled cheese + snow in the forecast here in the Pacific NW = Sublime bliss and deliciousness!

    Happy Day to All!

  54. Debra Burgin says:

    Whew! I’m glad I follow the “true” way to make a grilled cheese sandwich (except for that extra butter in the pan, that is) — but my husband is only satisfied if it’s cut diagonally. I love him.

  55. Kimi says:

    You know something I wish you were my sister were pretty close in age! You love the very things I love and the wonder of it all. I too love that good old movie the Bishops Wife and yes grilled Cheese too oh yes and a good bowl of hot soup can’t forget this! Fall its a beautiful time, happy to share it with ya…

  56. Rachel Lucas says:

    Hi sweetie…the same weather here…so exciting and the clocks went back by an hour last night, which meant an extra hour in bed this morning (although for me it meant that I sprang awake at 5.30 instead of 6.30!!) and darkness at 4-ish pm now. Tonight I’m making your fabulous scallop, corn chowder & buttermilk potato dish…getting ourselves in the mood for deepest Autumn & all the delights it brings 😉 I’m happy with no snow. Snow is for Winter… it can snow all December with pleasure!! xxoo

  57. essuzy says:

    Yes, that is exactly how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Made one for my 2 1/2 yr old granddaughter last week & she ate every crumb! That girl knows what is good!! Love your cozy house, Susan. Wasn’t it great reading everyone’s household hints? I know I loved it & I love your blog!!

  58. JudyCinNC says:

    Oh Happy Sara – what a joy she must be to her family and congratulations to her – I still covet that bowl. I also love the exclamation points !!! and dashes — and dots … wonder what that says about us. The house is looking oh so cozy and just like you that grill cheese must have real butter to make the outside crispy and full of goodness – had one yesterday while we had rain only during our portion of the storm – yummy goodness. I love bittersweet branches – lucky you. Judy C

  59. Sarah says:

    We lost power yesterday morning when “Oct-SNOW-ber” hit Virginia. We ended up with 6″ of snow, and no power until 11pm last night. Our internet was out until just a bit ago, and THANK GOODNESS it came back in time for me to receive your blog! 🙂 Grilled cheese. Nectar of the gods. 🙂 The only thing I do differently is add a schmear of Hellman’s mayonnaise to the inside of each piece of bread. I was at a girlfriend’s house when I was young and her mom made them that way, and it changed my life. 🙂 I made one both ways for my daughter one time, and she prefers the mayo version, so that’s what we go with. Sometimes when we have tomato soup, I let the sandwich cool a little, then cut it up into little grilled cheese “croutons” to put in the soup. Now THAT’S a meal! 🙂


  60. Penny Kweder says:

    you didn’t put the bittersweet in your flower arrangement! I love berry like things (even rose hips) in flower arranging. that is MY tip for the day!
    Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. Ann says:

    Doesn’t surprise me that we are in total agreement about grilled cheese sandwiches. The absolute best one for me is made by my youngest son–he just knows how to do it so the cheese is gooey when you slice in half. And he adds a little love to it, too, I think. We hunkered down yesterday with my homemade soup and “Now Voyager” and a blazing fire. Life is good!

  62. Patty says:

    Have been thinking of you and my cousin there in the storm’s path.
    Your blog just makes me a happier person, as well as inspiring me each time I read what you and Joe are up to! Now, in addition to my regular big eyed, happy pumpkin… and Ronnie’s smiley face guy, I’m carving a star pumpkin in homage to you! …Bo0Oo! ..& Happy Halloween!!! Hope the power stays on!! Thank You for sharing that Happy Gene’s influence!

  63. Andrea says:

    Good afternoon, Ms. Branch (and all the other girlfriends!) I agree whole-heartedly with your grilled cheese etiquette. I also feel the same way about Mac-and-cheese. I don’t want lobster or tomatoes or olives or whatever in my mac and cheese. I want elbow mac (No shells. No penne. No radiatore.). And yellow (not white) cheese. Being the ‘Burg chick that I am (now living in the Finger Lakes region of NY), I need yellow cheese. Like some people need fresh air and sunshine… I need yellow cheese.
    Lighting a fire, eating a grilled cheese and watching The Bishops Wife sounds like paradise, Ms. Branch. Just perfect. I hope everyone enjoys the last October has to offer. Its like my Grandma Ruth used to say. “No leaves. No birds. No sunshine. November.” Brrrrr.
    Shine on, girlfriends. : )

  64. Judy Beatty says:

    How I love grill cheese sandwiches; I make them like you, but I never thought to cover the pan with a lid – gonna try this! Learn something every day.

    No bittersweet growing in my area; have only seen a real vine once in my life and that was while visiting Indiana – love the look but have to resort to faux.

    Have a merry and fun Halloween.

  65. Diane P in Sacramento says:

    Yummmmm! I’m going to go make grilled cheese sammies for our lunch right NOW, to eat while we watch “Dial M for Murder”! 🙂

    Old houses are the BEST for riding out storms! I used to live in an old Gold Country farmhouse (c. 1864) built on the tippy-top of a hill. When it was stormy, and the winds were strong, we could actually feel the house move a bit… it felt a little like sailing, I MISS that!

    Sue, I received the etched wine glasses (they are even MORE lovely in person – I enjoyed my glass of wine in one last night!) AND my FOSB membership card (so I can call you “Sue” now! ~ BTW, looking forward to that hug some day!)

    Wishing you a happy, happy, Hallowe’en!

  66. Nancy says:

    Dear Susan,

    Oh dear, where to start. I misssss big storms. We never have any here in socal (sigh). However I don’t miss snow. (born and raised in Nebraska). It’s lovely to hear you describe them.

    I have to try your way of making grilled cheese sandwiches. You cover the pan? I would be afraid of burning but then I do tend to get distracted. I’m going to try it today. Grilled cheese must be served with Campbells Tomato Soup. I’m just sayin…….

    I love that you find romance everywhere. I look forward to you blog every day.

  67. Ginny S. says:

    mmmmmmm grill cheese! I actually grew up with American cheese, but as an adult I love all the sharps and even the Mexican cheese blend. I’m with you…grilled cheese means “home”.

  68. laurie says:

    what wonderful Halloween setting, beautiful. my painting for todays Sunday Sketches is of children standing at the end of THAT house in town,, you know thehouse everyone is afraid of,,Happy halloween to you

  69. Kirsten Wichert says:

    I make my grilled cheese just like you do……except I sprinkle parmesan cheese on the outside of the buttered bread and then fry it. This is especially good on sourdough. This was my kids’ favorite growing up. We like them crispy-crunchy!
    Uh oh! Now I’m hungry again!!! Not good since I just ate pumpkin pie for breakfast! “Tis the season” and all.
    It is so nice to read your blog for a lift me up in the a.m. I am trying to be patient for the next book. Your blog certainly helps! Meanwhile, I’ll read all the other books while I wait……I’m going to shop for cute socks this afternoon to make neck warmers for Christmas gifts. This is my favorite thing from the Autumn book. My grandchildren take them to bed with them in the winter. Last year I made skull and bones warmers from Halloween socks. The boys loved them! Thanks to you, Sue!

  70. Judy Parkman says:

    The sun is shining here in WNY, and I just got back from a walk in the woods…of course, I had my camera with me and got some special pics. Having a cup of coffee and reading your blog just adds more ‘special-ness’ to my day! We had grilled cheese sandwiches last night, but I learned some new tips from you, so next time they will be even better!!! Your warm loving pictures & just right words always make my heart sing, Susan! Sending warm fuzzies 🙂

  71. Dale Worness says:

    I bet your grilled cheese sandwich smells as divine as it looks! So nice and fluffy! I usually cheat and use my trusty G. F. grill, which makes it more like a grilled cheese pancake! Thanks so much for showing us your way of doing it. It
    would be great with tomato soup. I like to use a can of soup, a can of milk, and pre-cooked salad shrimp. Just heat all that up for 2 minutes on the stove along with some basil and oregano. Would that be the perfect cold-weather meal or what? I love shrimp so much sometimes I even add it to my grilled-cheese sandwich! Enjoy your “Twick-or-Tweeters” tomorrow night! If I lived near you I would probably show up on your door step myself, just to say hi!

  72. Sheryle Towle says:

    Grilled cheese! One of our favorites…yours looks so good! Just takes us back to simpler times. We did find one little tiny eatery in Osterville that makes a wonderful grilled cheese with no frills! Happy Halloween, Susan & Joe!

  73. Ema says:

    Oh I do envy your perfectly seasonally appropriate weather! Thank you for sharing all of the coziness. Your pictures make me feel as though I were right there!
    I especially like how you said “And don’t worry, there will be a lifetime of other chances.”
    Lovely. Just lovely.

  74. Liz Thompson says:

    Susan, you have posted a shot from my favorite Christmas movie: The Bishop’s Wife. If any of you reading this have not seen this movie, it could very well become your favorite. Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Elsa Lanchester – okay, they had me at “Cary Grant.”

  75. Country Gal says:

    Awesome post and photos. Funny Papa and I just had grilled cheese with baccon for lunch today lol. Have a wonderful evening.

  76. Gumbo Lily says:

    I agree, a grilled cheese sandwich is made of bread, butter, and cheese. We always make ours with a white American cheese that we buy from our local grocery. It’s The Best Cheese for grilled cheese, in my opinion. I like seeing that your pan is well-used. The best sign of a good cook.

    Love your big wooden bowls for Trick-or-Treat.


  77. Lori H. says:

    Hello Susan! Here in NW Washington State we are having a drizzly Sunday but my four daughters and I love it….the stormier, the better. We, like you, create cozy….fireplace, candles, tea, slippers and right now, there’s a homemade apple (Northern Spy) pie baking in the oven. Our big meal is always after church on Sundays so then we eat something fun and yummy in the evening…like pie. Have you noticed how “owls” are all over the place? Found an owl soap-on-a rope for our daughters’ shower the other day….I don’t think everyone would appreciate that but I’m pretty sure you do 🙂 Hope you are staying warm and cozy.

  78. Jeanne Hedin says:

    It’s a misty, chilly, stay-inside-and-make-a-big-pot-of-homemade-soup day here in MN . . . and a good day to enjoy your warm, cozy pictures and blog. Congratulations to Sara! It sounds like the banana dish will be going to just the right home. 🙂

  79. Ginny Stanley says:

    Happy Sunday Dear Sue,
    I so, so, so love your old home. I would like to have one of my own with a fireplace in every room! When we got married, we tried to buy my husband’s parents’ old house, but through no fault of ours, we couldn’t. I wanted so badly to remodel and restore it!!!! They have such character don’t they? Do you know the history of your home? 150 yrs. – if walls could talk, huh? I’m hoping God finds me worthy and when I get to heaven, I have a huge victorian on a corner lot!!!!
    Totally agree with you on the grilled cheese sandwich. If it’s got anything besides cheese in the middle, it’s not a grilled cheese!!! However, I do make them the lazy way……on a griddle 😉 Just butter both outside slices of the bread.
    Hope you enjoy all the Halloween hoopla you’re getting ready for. Keep the cozy coming…..we Love you!

  80. Cyndi Harp says:

    First, congrats to Sara on being the winner of the banana holder. I just bought one for myself yesterday. Who knew that is what those pieces I’ve seen for years collecting glass were. Second, you are right about the grilled cheese, no other falderal, just cheese and bread with a little butter on the outside. The only other thing I would add is a cup of tomato soup. Classic lunch from my childhood. (Today for that matter!) Really tasty on a cold windy day. Have a great week y’ll!

  81. pat addison says:

    good afternoon Susan, its cloudy here, and the wind is blowing the leaves about the yard. the pumpkins are carved and ready for Halloween night, the graveyard is ready..well almost as my husband ed has yet to set up the speakers for the sound effects. its chilly here, perfect day for grilled cheese sandwiches and hot soup. as soon as ed gets home he will get the speakers ready for the graveyard, by then i will have the chickens in the henhouse and locked in for the night…..its the last day of deer hunting season and ed is out running the hills and will be home before dark. for now a hot cup of spice tea and pumpkin bread in the oven which has the house smelling so wonderful right now. i do hope storm leaves in time for Halloween so the kids and adults can trick or treat, looking forward to it here. have the candy already and i may have to get more if ed finds it and gets into it. LOL!!!! stay warm and cozy and Hasppy Halloween to you and Joe. Happy Halloween everyone…hugs….. 🙂

  82. Donna says:

    Thank you for another beautiful post! Your blog is at the top of my list. Don’t forget about the “Meet Me In St. Louis” movie… best Halloween fun ever and one of my all time favorite movies! The sweet kind of Halloween fun cause I can’t stand the scary horror stuff (though that bon fire scene scared me, safety wise)! The ghost in your window is perfect! Have fun!

  83. Mary S. says:

    WONDERFUL blog, as usual!!
    LOVE the bittersweet!! I have never seen that before!! And we are still waiting for our leaves to turn, out here in CA! I can hardly wait! I think I’m going to have to go buy some fake ones!
    “The Bishop’s Wife” is one of my very favorite movies!! Yay! And I LOVE grilled cheese sandwiches! You fix them just like my husband does. My mother always called them “toasted cheese sandwiches” and put them in the oven under the boiler. They taste the same, actually, and I make them exactly like you, otherwise! 🙂
    Your comment about exclamation points is so funny to me because my son always used to ask me, “Why do you put exclamation points at the end of all your sentences?” I said, “Because I want to write like I talk! and also because it looks so boring without them!” lol

  84. Laura Croyle says:

    We used to make grilled cheese sandwiches just like you showed us, when I was growing up! My Mom had a gas stove just like yours and it worked great! Now we have an electric stove, so I’ve been making them in the toaster oven. I’ll have to try it the old way and see if it works the same! BTW, I strung up Fall leaves in my kitchen window like you showed in an earlier blog. I love it!! What a fun way to bring Fall indoors! I remember ironing leaves between sheets of wax paper when my kids were young. Thought about trying that, but didn’t this time. Got our home-grown pumpkins sitting out on our front porch. Saved the biggest one for my husband to carve. Isn’t it fun to decorate for each season? Stay warm and cozy!

  85. Katherine says:

    Oh—do stay cozy and warm:)
    Yesterday here in NY we got a few inches of snow—-UNHEARD OF IF YOU ASK ME—before Halloween!!!!!
    The strangest thing—just 3 weeks ago, on Columbus Day Weekend at our cottage we were sailing and I took a dip in the sea; but yesterday huge snow flakes fell from the sky outside of my window when I awoke!

    Mother Nature changes her temper very quickly if you ask me….

  86. Priscilla says:

    White cheddar in MV and yellow cheddar in CA…. sounds like the two of you will be contemplating this on your morning walk tomorrow.
    I make my grilled cheese almost exactly like you do. I have never covered the pan and will give that I try. I love my grilled cheese and would have it everyday if possible. Love that movie, I think I will take your advice and watch it with a grilled cheese sandwich, however not today. I have been glued to the TV watching the “Murder She Wrote” marathon all weekend long.

  87. Tricia B. says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just wanted to thank you for another cozy blog entry. I just love coming to your blog and reading about your daily adventures. Just wonderful!! I do want to thank your for the tip of putting cinnamon on the lid of my carved pumpkin. The smell is wonderful as it heats up from the candle. Delicious!!!! I am so glad you are all safe and cozy. I wish you a great evening and a very Happy Halloween!! You are the best dearest Susan (oh and of course, Joe too!!) Thanks for everything!! GOD Bless!! Love and Hugs, Tricia B.

  88. Susan F. says:

    I have to give a “shout out” to grilled cheese sandwiches made with American cheese. But not the individually wrapped slices, the cheese has to be deli-cut. That’s my idea of comfort food:)

  89. Sylvia Faye says:

    Today two of my grandchildren were confirmed as well as a great-granddaughter and with a Pontifical High Mass, Benediction, homecooked dinner by our parish chef doing the honours…with all the meal being organic…deserts were out of this world and more plentiful than I have even seen. I baked a raw apple bundt cake with carmel sauce and since it was wet and cloudy we felt as cozy as you but in our church hall.

    Mom made her grilled cheese sandwiches much like you do with the exception that salad dressing was added and the bread buttered outside instead of melting the butter in the pan…….she pressed them down and the cheese oozed out just right. Mom’s are the best, n’est-ce pas?

    I receive your post daily (well almost) in my inbox and I so look forward to it…it is like mail from family.

    Your kindest in being ‘just family’ in your post is what makes them special along with such visuals (your pictures and drawings) that are so appealing. We all appreciate that touch in an otherwise uncaring world. There are no negatives to drown out the beauty.

    With gratitude,
    Sylvia Faye

  90. Christine Anderson says:

    It is 90 degrees in So Cal today! Grilled cheese still sounds great for Sunday supper! My mother spread mayonnaise on the outside but my son said lets try butter! Everything is better with Butter!!!! Love your Blog, I look forward to it!!!

  91. {oc cottage} says:

    Well, no snow here today…ok, no snow here ever, but grilled cheese still sounds like a great dinner idea! If it involves butter and a frying pan…I’M ALL IN! ;} Yum-a-num! {and this is why I can never be an OC Housewife…goooooey cheese is a much higher priority than spray-on tan! ;}

    Keep warm & cozy!

    m ^..^

  92. Sylvia Faye says:

    P.S. Susan I forgot to say that our eldest son’s birthday is tomorrow and we call it “All Hallow’s Eve instead of Halloween as that was the original name.

    And yes, we have a daughter born on Christmas and it was always special that she shared Jesus birthday. It was her privilege to place Baby Jesus in His crib on Christmas morning.

    Love your homey posts.
    Sylvia Faye

  93. Rae Ann Roche says:

    It is grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner here in Minnesota tonight…it has been gray, cloudy and windy here all day…my husband Dave and I got the patio ready for the trick or treaters…put the patio table, chairs and hose in storage…turned off the water spigot and covered them up with styrofoam protectors~some kind of “storm” may be headed here this Saturday…I put a scary spider on the door, hung a ghost in one window and put candles in the other windows…saw pictures of our grandchildren…a scary 3 year old shark, a fantastic 5 year old flamingo, a feisty 3 year old flower and a happy 5 year old witch…thank goodness for the internet~they are all in Michigan…so glad you and yours survived the nor’easter…

  94. Rae Ann Roche says:

    OOPS!!!…I forgot to mention I have a few pieces of your grilled cheese plate…love it…always look for more at sales…

  95. Marilyn says:

    Honestly, reading your blog is like a daily hug from you to all of us!! Your home looks so warm and cheery. Even a bad storm can’t detract from that coziness.

    Ahhhhh….bittersweet! Gathering bittersweet was an autumn ritual around our house. I still remember my mother fashioning wreaths and swags from the branches we gathered. Bittersweet doesn’t grow around here, but thankfully….it comes in silk. 🙂 I have a silk bittersweet wreath on my door right now.

    I’m off to make a grilled cheese sandwich a la Susan Branch! It looks delicious!!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  96. I love your blog..and the feelings you express here, they are so much like mine. I love old houses, was raised in a big old farm house. We just bought a 1937 home and as soon as our current home sells..we are gone! ;D

  97. Amy Stingle says:

    Your house looks so cozy and inviting!! And you make a mean grilled cheese!! Here in Wisconsin the cheddar is yellow…and we are, after all, the dairy state!! 😉 I make mine the same except for the bread. Your bread looks de-lish and hearty!! I’ll give that a try next time. Thanks for letting us all participate in your giveaway and YAHOO to Sara! Congratulations, Girl!! Wow, your hubby brought back the leaf garlands!!! Mine would Never do that! However, he is going to put new tires on my car….I guess that will suffice! Have a great week!! Stay safe and toasty!

    Amy B

  98. Carol Maurer says:

    I agree with you 100% about the goodness of ‘plain’ grilled cheese sandwiches!!! If it weren’t so close to dinner, I’d go straight out into my kitchen and make me one, haha!
    I enjoy reading your blog each day. Puts me into a very cozy mood and ready to get to work on my cards.

  99. DonnaRay says:

    MMM, MMM good Campbells tomato soup and a grilled cheese dunker……the best lunch ever when you’ve come inside from the elements. Susan, you have a gift for triggering memories….thank you! Our childhoods were similar, I think. Were we lucky or what?! DonnaRay

  100. Treese says:

    Dear Susan:
    There have been a few snow flurries in early October, but a blizzard struck here in the Rockies on Friday and now it is a real winter wonderland. The snow came down off the Sangre De Cristo’s and really let the ranch have it. Your house is so beautiful; when I was living in Cambridge going to college I really enjoyed visiting Martha’s Vineyard, P-Town, and Cape Cod. I loved visiting all the old Sea Captain’s homes and the House of Seven Gables in Salem.

    I usually go to New Orleans to visit my friends every year for Halloween, but this year I am staying here on the ranch and even though I am very isolated I decorate my house to the max! I will be craving my pumpkins tonight which the cattle love, because they get to eat them on All Saints Day. I will saddle up and ride my horse out on Halloween night and look for a few ghosts. LOL.

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