♫ It’s a Yum-Yummy World in the Winter ♪

What makes it a yummy world? Glady’s Taber for one thing.  You’re probably familiar with this quote — it’s my very favorite thing she ever wrote; I try to slip it in whenever I can. ♥ It’s perfect for the season, perfect for the new year and perfect for us, girlfriends.  Because this is how we roll.

 And now, for a quick happy dance around the tea cup.


Oh yes, I’ve been very busy . . . I also had a delicious breakfast . . . 

Do you like hot cereal?  I love it.  Especially McCann’s Steel-Cut Oats, my favorite kind of oatmeal — I top it with walnuts, blueberries and cinnamon (my dad will probably leap out of his seat to comment on this, he thinks he is the only person in the world who knows the correct way to make oatmeal :-)).  But I have a “new” favorite right now . . . . I’ve fallen back in love with Cream of Rice.  Have you tasted it?  It’s been around forever.  It’s faster to make than oatmeal, creamy and tummy warming on a cold morning like today, and it also works if you’re on a gluten free diet! I get it at our supermarket next to all the other hot cereals — sprinkle it with a little granola, and start off the day HAP-HAP-HAPPY. ♥  Seriously, it really works like that! 

Sing out Louise!  


We’re having a party tonight, and guess what else?  It’s supposed to snow here!  I mean, do we have timing or what?  Everyone will be so festive!  Nothing like clunking into a party through the snow.  So the kitchen is all warmed up, I’m making corn chowder this morning . . . if maybe you haven’t had a chance to try this soup yet, here’s the recipe, so easy and so good to feed a crowd, they love it!  And by extension, YOU, darling girl that you are, nurturing thing. 


That’s all for today, just wanted to say hello!  Off I go, I have desserts to make!  Cozy Saturday holiday weekend wishes to you all!  XOXO

♥    ♥    ♥

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

307 Responses to ♫ It’s a Yum-Yummy World in the Winter ♪

  1. Giovanna says:

    Happy Sunday Morning,

    I’ve been up playing since 5:27am….because we have a new puppy. Santa had her flown into Logan, so we had an adventure trying to find the ‘cargo’ terminal! She’s an 8 week old Shiba Inu, gorgeous red and spunky! Her name is Sadie…for now. I keep thinking she will let me know her name, some how. My 20 month old Shiba, Yashi, is over the moon in love! He plays a little rough, so I have to keep an eye on things. She has put him in his place a few times, with her most intimidating growl. LOL

    The link will bring you to the breeders website, so you can see how beautiful she is! She’s asleep in my arms as I write this and I haven’t stopped smiling since she arrived! This is going to be a very special Christmas 🙂

    Our best to you,
    Giovanna, Yashi & Sadie Rose

  2. Kelly J. says:

    I was on the road yesterday picking up my son from college in West VA…I thought of you as we passed a farm house at dusk. I could see the lit Christmas tree indoors, people milling about inside, Christmas lights adorning the windows & smoke wafting from the chimney….a Susan Branch scene if I ever saw one 🙂 Hope you are enjoying this “weekend before the Weekend!”

  3. Vicki says:

    We are definitely kindred spirits as proven by your ‘Sing out Louise’ quote! Nobody I have ever said that to knows where that comes from or what it means. You have made my day! Happy Christmas to you!

  4. Carol H says:

    I love the little camera dance! Thanks for sharing! By the way, our new kitty, Oliver, is getting along pretty well with our other cat! They even slept by each other briefly and between a playful romp! Is girl kitty doing even better w/Jack?

    • sbranch says:

      I saw her chase him playfully yesterday! She will still hiss if he comes near when she doesn’t want him to . . . but I think it’s getting better!

  5. Patty says:

    Had a truly memorable moment on Saturday morning. My husband and I went for a walk in our local park which is the 2nd largest city park in the US next to Central Park. There are acres and acres trails through the woods, around a huge lake, which we like better than walking on the paved roads. As we were going around the foggy lake, I saw them, tiny little snow flakes. I didn’t say anything at first because I thought it was my imagination conjuring up the perfect scene. Then he said, it’s snowing, isn’t it? And soon the flakes got larger and fell all around us, just like a Christmas card commerical! If we don’t have any snow for Christmas,(and it doesn’t look like we will) I will at least have had my special snow walk with my special guy.

  6. Jack says:

    Darn, it’s too bad we were out last night! I could have suggested you get your party group outside in a ring with arms around shoulders, with a pile of ice cubes in the center, then you do the ritual (and guaranteed) “snow dance,” chanting “snoooow, snooow,” as you circle dance around the frozen icon. You would be up to your shoelaces in snow by now! The wise old folks know how ……….:-).
    PS: our night out was fantastic…………

    • sbranch says:

      (My father calls the retirement community he lives in “the asylum.” I think you are beginning to see why.) Glad you had fun dad! xoxo

  7. Donna says:

    Your tiny little letters, Sing Out Louise, made me smile. I love that movie! LOL

    • sbranch says:

      Thought someone would know what I was talking about! 🙂

      • Donna says:

        And a few weeks ago I showed my daughter how to make McCain’s steel-oats oatmeal, Martha Stewart style. I love to add dried cranberries, walnut, and cinnamon. Yum!!!

  8. Tricia Neron says:

    I have never tried Cream of Rice but I LOVE Cream of Wheat and my other favorite is Maypo, it’s kind of like a cross between Cream of Wheat and Oatmeal it’s delicious. I eat them both with a little brown sugar, my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. I know what I am having for breakfast tomorrow.

    I am so jealous you are getting snow. We live on the 495 belt that usually gets clobbered every snow storm so I thought maybe we would get a dusting, but we got nothing, bummer.

    My girlfriends and I had our cookie swap on Friday night, it was a blast. We were all saying that we were surprised how fast Christmas came this year and how is just doesn’t feel like Christmas yet. I think it’s because it has been so warm outside and we have had no snow. In New England it just doesn’t seem like Christmas without snow.

  9. Betsy says:

    Now I’m really feeling festive! WOW….I love your kitchen. You can never have tooooo many teacups and mugs. I made my apple french toast for my sweetie and I this morning. Try it on a cold winter morning. The night before melt one stick of butter, 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 tbs. corn syrup in a sauce pan. When it’s all blended together pour into a 9×13 pan. Peel, core and slice 2 Granny Smith apples and layer over top of brown sugar mix. Cut up some French Bread slices and layer over top of apples. Slices should be about 3/4″ thick. In a small bowl whisk 5 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of milk and a tbs. good vanilla. Pour over top. Cover the whole pan with plastic wrap. Place in refrig. overnight. The next morning bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. No need for syrup, it makes it’s own. Just be sure to use a big serving spoon to get the juices. It’s delish! Enjoy your festive evening!

  10. Kathy Lorenzini says:

    O yummy Cream of Rice cereal!! I have a hard time finding it, but it’s well worth it when I do!! I eat mine with dark brown sugar and a splash of milk. Yummy!!

  11. Julie Cavrich says:

    Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers “I’ll Be Home With Bells On” is a great song to dance to. I grab one of the kitties and dance. They don’t much like it, but they don’t have any choice when I want to dance! That was my Moms favorite Christmas song. Glad to see Jack is enjoying his first Christmas! Have a Holly Jolly Christmas everyone!

  12. Mary Peterson says:

    I’m the sis of Karen P. We certainly are enjoying you this weekend!

  13. Cynthia Krynock says:


    Hope your party was wonderful…I want to say that reading your blog just makes me happy!

    Merry Christmas!


  14. Jack says:

    And we mustn’t forget the “R” factor, as in “we R what we eat.” I checked with my old friend “George Google,” comparing Cream of Rice to Oatmeal, and it’s no contest – in fact, as far as decent daily requirements are concerned, forget Cream of Rice ……other than for, perhaps, repairing old wallpaper seams .

  15. Kelly J. says:

    Okay, this is cute….type in “let it snow” & then search, on Google 🙂

  16. Back from Church and it is cold and sunny out..NO SNOW HERE…and it’s warming back up to 50’s and RAIN!!! UGH…I’m sure once we start getting snow and ice which usually comes with the snow I will not be wishing for snow?? I now feel included and part of the “Sisterhood” of charming, treasured, Classic Movies…I adore and it will now be one of my favorite Christmas Movies…”The Bishop’s Wife”…we got a prelude about how it was made and the actors being changed due to contract obligations/pregnancy…and I can’t imagine the ones that were the cast not being in that movie. I LOVED that the little girl was named “Debbie”…I know self centered me…and I just want to thank you Susan and all the “girlfriends” for bringing this movie to my attention. I will say one of my favorite quotes was from the Professor “A good time of year for looking backwards.” How very true that is and with your lovely story of your childhood Christmas which made me think back to mine that quote just stood out for me! I think if that movie were to be made today…they would ruin it by focusing on the “emotional affair” the Bishop’s wife and the Angel were having and forget to include it was only to get the Bishop to appreciate what he had before him?? I love the old movies because of the innocence that existed and the language is pure and can be watched without a 5 second delay? That is refreshing. Now, would it be naughty of me to hope that my “Guardian Angel” looks like Cary Grant???

    • sbranch says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! But I will take my grandma as guardian angel any day over Cary Grant! He’s cute, but . . . I bet she gave better hugs! Made more magic even when she was here on earth.

      • You are so right…my luck he would look more like “Jack Black” so, Grandmother it is. I was so fortunate to have a Grandmother from the South (AL) with a heart as big as the State!! She would come every summer to IN on a bus and spend 3 mos. with us. She would make homemade biscuits, chicken potpies, fried peach pies, etc. She introduced us to fried okra and blackeyed peas, and she loved her Grandchildren. She would tease my brother by telling him she would get the “ugly stick” (switch) if he didn’t behave and she never did. I can still see her wearing her house dress with her house key safety pinned to her dress (in case she locked herself out of the house). I truly believe we all have a “Guardian Angel”, recently a dear friend of mine from TX who almost had an electrical fire from an outlet and she is on oxygen…shared that her daughter found it before it became a tragedy and when she went down her stairs there was a white feather there. She said she has had such bad luck lately that her Guardian Angel was losing her feathers!!! protecting her from harm.

        • sbranch says:

          Fried peach pies!!

          • Oh yes; one of those items that I can just taste at will (in my mind of course). She would roll out her biscuit dough and cut circles the size of a numaid butter bowl. She would “stew” dried peaches on top of the stove and cool. She filled half of each circle of dough and then would crimp the edges shut with a fork. Then in a cast iron skillet with melted crisco she would fry each pie til golden brown. Now, I realize that they weren’t healthy; but, the tasty treat was just that. Delicious and a good memory!! I tried making them once and baked them (my healthier version)…just wasn’t the same.

          • sbranch says:

            No, I think fried is the right thing to do with those!!! I would think a little roll through powdered sugar at the end could be good too!

  17. Jenny L. says:

    I love cream of rice too. I have a wheat sensitivity so rice products are all I eat. I have mine with bacon and butter. Erewhon makes an organic brown rice cream that is really good. I prefer it to the white cream of rice and as I am sure you know, it is more nutritious. It is very creamy and yummy. Your local health food store could probably order it for you but you can also get it online at Vitacost or Amazon. When I first started reading your books, I went to the library and checked out some Gladys Taber books – I really enjoyed them. In fact, I think I will go check them out again since it has been so long. Love the picture of Jack. I am trying to get one of my Teddy (the tuxedo feral kitten I fostered and decided to keep) so I can send it to you. He has two square patches of white below his nose that look like chiclets and make him look like he has rabbit teeth. He also has whiskers of varying lengths. I asked the rescue group leader and she said when they are kittens they bite each others whiskers off. The whiskers above his eyes are all missing except one long white one on the left side. He looks like a junkyard cat but he is so cute! Now I have a junkyard cat to match my junkyard dog. He also does not meow. He opens his mouth and nothing comes out. The only noise he makes is the chime-like noise cats make when they greet you or are about to attack a toy. He is somewhat of a one-person cat and I happen to be the recipient of his affection and I am loving it. Rescued pets are the best. I am enjoying your blog and love it when you have a new post. Happy Holidays!

  18. Brenda says:

    Here I am enjoying your post today after having our family gathering here at our house yesterday. While you were having a party so were we…Eight children, six of them our grands and a younger niece and nephew and many happy smiling adults. A late morning brunch that slipped into the early evening. Watched our three grown daughters all lined up on the couch together. Blessed us so. I think it has been five or so years since I had a picture of the three so relaxed together. Loved it. Loved seeing you homey kitchen, yearn to make mine just like. It will be just hubs and myself next weekend, kicking back and celebrating the birth of our Savoir together.

  19. Connie K says:

    I just finished reading your Christmas story, with a cup of Christmas Tea and carols playing. It’s started raining lightly, and I am waiting for family & friends to arrive at our house for our annual party. Reading your blog makes all the preparations seem fun and exciting! I get overwhelmed by our party, and it’s pretty simple. Overthinking gets me every time.

    Thanks so much for your blog. It cheers me up to read what you’re up to & see the kitties. I love that you share your life & your house! My husband & I are hoping to plan a train trip from San Diego to Seattle next year – inspired by you!

    Merry Christmas!

    • sbranch says:

      That is my absolutely favorite trip in the US . . . so pretty up by Shasta Lake, and while you’re going along the Ocean near Santa Barbara…I hope you get to go!

  20. Regina says:

    You’re kitchen is so cute and your tea cups wonderful. Here we are beginnning this magical week. We just returned from my family’s Christmas, 3 1/2 hours away and enjoyed all the laughter, small children running around and oodles of cookies! On Christmas we’ll have a quiet gathering as only one of our 3 children will be with us. Here where I live in the midwest we are due for our first snowfall of the season around Tues. It’s predicted we could get 3 to 6 inches of snow. I’m ready! And the perfect week for it. Keeping the Christmas spirit alive, not wanting it to end. I will try to keep the spirit going year round even though the decorations will be put away before we know. I hope everyone has a festive, joyful week and wonderful Christmas!

  21. Patricia says:

    Merry Christmas Susan. This is the most special email to me. I make sure to open it last when I am able to relax, concentrate and enjoy everything you’ve sent. I read every word and then read it again. You can’t begin to know what it means to me. You are a wonderful person. I hope you get this and that you have a wonderful and joyous Christmas season. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  22. Heidi Rose says:

    I love love luuuuuv your kitchen! ♥ ! ♥ ! ♥ Thank you for the tour! (And for showing me how to make hearts here!) 🙂

  23. Lisa R says:

    Oh, I love Marshmallow World, and I loved your jolly video. You’re too cute Susan! I hope you had a lovely weekend, and received piles of snow!! Can I ask where you found that cute white tea kettle on your stove?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a Le Creuset — but I’ve had it for a while. No piles of snow . . . little flurries instead.

      • Lisa R says:

        Thank you…..The snow is probably being a little shy right now, but will hopefully come out brilliantly on Christmas eve and give you a beautiful white Christmas!

  24. Tina in Ky says:

    Hi Susan,
    I watched “The Bishop’s Wife” the other night.. and loved it!!! I also downloaded the Marshmallow World… 🙂 It’s beginning to look and sound alot like CHRISTmas around here!!:-) No snow.. but that is ok.. we have family coming in mid week so I hope the roads stay clear:-) Hope is well with everyone! Tina

  25. Carol says:

    Thank you Susan! I love the quote…it has made me rethink some things I am doing in my life. I love your playfulness! It has definitely spurred me on! I hope you had a wonder-filled weekend!

  26. Laura says:

    That cute kitty face! How do you resist just giving him whatever he wants?! Adorable!!

    • sbranch says:

      Some limits, like the birds on my bird tree, but other than that, he owns the place! Wait til I show you what he taught me to do!

  27. EsSuzy says:

    Good morning Susan, I’m an oatmeal girl myself. My dr. says it helps lower cholesterol, I eat it with cranberries, pecans, cinnamon & ginger almost every morning. I must say I’ve had Cream of Wheat, but never Cream of Rice, but you’ve inspired me to try it. Growing up we always had grits. My dad thought you could NOT leave for school without grits, eggs, sausage or bacon, AND toast or biscuits. I was married before I realized…HEY, my dad’s not making me eat all that anymore! haha In his later years he actually ate Raisin Bran mostly. I do love breakfast for supper…I call it “brupper”.
    Marshmellow World has been playing in my brain all weekend. 🙂 Susan L

  28. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Good Morning Sweet Elf~Sue That Pic of Jack Is Prize~Winning!…Oh My Stars! so did You get Snow for Your Magical Festive Fabulous Christmas Party?…We went to a Christmas Party Saturday Night…it was Pure Holiday Magic…These Friends have a Huge House On a Huge Lake & There were Twinkling Lights Everywhere…I wore a Vintage Black Velvet Dress…& Felt Very Enchanted! 🙂 there was Tons Of Finger~Foods & Lots of Holiday Cocktails & Herbster & I Stayed all Night Yay! 🙂 …it was Chilly Here & The Sky was Black Velvet (Like My Dress) & filled with the Most Sparkliest Stars Ever!…I L♥ve Christmas Parties! so I Know Yours & Joe’s Party had to Be Scrumptious!….I Love Your Kitchen Sweet Sue & Dean’s Song…I’ve Been doing The Happy Dance all Morning I’ve got a Crock~Pot Filled with Chili…Simmering…The House Smells “Yum~Yummy”…sending Love & Joy Your way…Merry Monday! xoxo Poof!♫♥♪

    • sbranch says:

      Just a few flakes, nothing on the ground. Was a lovely evening. Eating leftovers has been fun too!

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        ♫♥♪ Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow!!! ♫♥♪ Saw You In Twitterville Sweet Elf~Sue! Yay! (Leftovers are Yummy!) I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas…(For You!) xoxo Poof! ♫♥♪

  29. Tami says:

    Hi Sue!
    You are right, Jack is adorable! Your house looks lovely & your corn chowder would be very tasty about now. I hope your dinner party went off without a hitch & was as amazing as your Thanksgiving. I’m glad I made it back in time to see the Christmas story you wrote. So beautiful & touching! I’ve been hit hard with a nasty bug & couldn’t sleep, so here I am with my sleepy time tea, catching up. I’d been laying in bed praying for sleep among many other things, thinking too, that there has to be something I can do to get through this more comfortably…Then it hit me, doesn’t Susan Branch have some kind of sure-fire cold remedy? Which book is it in? So, rather than stay up til dawn leafing through every book I own to find it, I thought I’d come straight to the source. Surely I can’t be the only one who can’t sleep on account of coughing. Would you please be a dear & save me the search? I’d be ever so appreciative.
    Thanks for being our modern day Gladys Taber too. You really do put a LOT of happy in the world, just by being your wonderful self! <3

    • sbranch says:

      Poor baby! I’m sure you’ve tried it all! I do all the things my mom did for me, she put Vicks on my chest, tied a sock around my neck, put cotton in my ears (keeps them warm), gave me 7-up, saltines, and Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. But, here’s a recipe my mom didn’t give me — I put it in my Autumn book on page 112 … It’s good for sleeping and colds. Starts with a shot of Jack Daniels in a mug. Then a tsp. of honey, the juice of one lemon, and fill the cup with boiling water, drink, sleep. And feel better soon.

      • Tami says:

        Thank you sooooo much! <3 I can't wait to try it!! Spent a couple more hours last night reconfiguring my Christmas wish list from cute little muffin tin at the antique store & pink depression glass creamer to presents, wrapped, self baking cookies & #1…one good night's sleep! I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my personal Christmas Angel! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Hope you’re feeling better!

          • Tami says:

            It worked!!! Even though I only made a half recipe because I wanted to be able to hear 8yr old who seems to be following in my sicky footsteps… Drank it just before bedtime, found a comfy position & didn’t move again until 3:30a, came back to bed & went right back to sleep!! Hubby said it was the best night of sleep we’ve had in a week!(My cough has been keeping us both up.)Thanks a million Sue! I actually feel like me today! :o)

          • sbranch says:

            Fabulous. That is wonderful news!

  30. Kathryn says:

    I simply adore the movie list. Thank you!! Is there any possibility you could put it in list form so I can print it? I did print out the post and it turned out to be 20 pages long and the print is teeny tiny!! Then I started to type up the list and realized how long it was, so I thought it might be easier to ask you if you would make it printable. You blog is such a delicious read every day. I look forward to 2012 with you!

    • sbranch says:

      You can copy and paste it into an email and it will print out to size! I actually don’t know how to turn it into a list!!! 🙂

  31. Lisa Tucker (My Ordinary Country Life) says:

    It’s me again…..still reading….I just wanted to say Meeeeooowww I enjoyed that post….gotta go….more reading to do….:)

Comments are closed.