Hi Everyone!  Between WILLARD (which starts going out this morning and finishes Wednesday night) and this post, I think I’m going to wear you out!  But in the Willard I promised you a recipe, I promised “make-up gifts.” (Too long since last Willard, should call them welcome-back gifts).  But first, we need MUSICA . . . and I need to show you what my dad, better known as “Blog Daddy” and his darling wife Jeannie sent us for Easter.

a picture


Is that cute or what?  I get the bunny with the bow and I’m seven again.  It’s got green peeps, it’s filled with those dad and melittle chocolate eggs with the thin crispy crust and my favorite dark chocolate-covered coconut bars.  Thanks Dad, thanks Jeannie! There’s me and Blog Daddy  . . . Such a cute surprise! (We were so young!)   

I hope Easter weekend was as beautiful where you are as it was here!  We’ve been getting amazing doses (as in medicine) of spring, drinking it in, making it almost impossible to stay inside, stay home, stay down.  We want OUT! We pop this music into the player and off we go… 


The island

The island is coming alive and it’s fun to drive around and look at it.  You can see we are still waiting for leaves on the trees, but the air is filled with the sweet smell of thawing earth, the light is new, and the sailboats are coming back.  It’s perfect timing . . . Happy Earth Day!  It’s today!  Pretty smart of the powers-that-be to tuck Earth Day into this beautiful time of year!  For extra enjoyment, for frosting on the spring cake . . . Check out the Washington DC Cherry Trees in bloom!  They will put a song in your heart.

earth day

And now, here’s the recipe for the cake I wrote about in Willard, an old-fashioned lemon-filled sponge cake, soft as a baby’s hiney, perfect for spring birthdays, and gorgeous as a Mother’s Day Tea Cake.


Mother's Day Tea Cake

And since I made this cake for Easter, I thought I’d show you just how easy it is to put together.  Making this roll is much easier than you might think if you haven’t done it before.

set the temperature

So set your oven for 375° and here we go . . .

butter the pan

Butter a 10″ x 15″ cookie sheet that has a rim (jelly roll pan), then lay down a piece of waxed paper (allowing it to go over edge), smooth it into the corners and into the butter, and then butter the paper too.


separate the eggs

Put the yolks of three eggs in one bowl and the whites in another.
add sugar

Beat egg yolks a little bit then add a cup of sugar and . . .

thick and lemon colored

Beat them until they’re thick and lemon colored . . .


Sift a cup of flour together with salt and baking powder . . . (don’t worry I’ll give measurements at the end)…

add flour mixture

And stir it in to your batter along with six tablespoons of hot water . . .

beat the egg whites

Beat the egg whites until stiff and glossy.

Happy spring

While you’re doing that take a peek outside . . . oh, my, what a DAY!

look out the window

And LOOK!!!  I begin calling for Joe . . . we have robins by the herds, we have gaggles of cardinals, whole families ~ (not that I will ever take them for granted), but see that bird on the right?  We never see that bird.  ever.  Got out the bird book where we find out it usually likes woods and thickets.  This is our driveway . . . he is a “rose-breasted grosbeak.”


spring birdies in the driveway

We ooh and aaah over him for a few minutes . . . He must have spring fever, coming over for some dessert seeds.

fold in whitesOK, that was nice, but back to “work” ~ folding in the egg whites . . .

add zestAnd then the zest of one lemon . . . Now spread the batter evenly on your well-buttered cookie sheet and put into oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

sugar a dishtowel

While it’s baking, lay out a clean dishtowel and sift over a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

pull cake out of pan

When the cake is done, and wafting fresh cake fragrance to the neighborhood, bring it out of the oven and use the edges of the waxed paper to turn it out onto your powdered-sugar covered cloth . . .

remove waxed paper

Voila!  While still hot, carefully peel off the paper.  Then take a pair of sharp scissors and cut off the crispy edges of the cake all the way around . . .

cut off crisp edges

You can eat those crispy edges immediately, but from experience, if you eat them all now, you’ll have nothing to dip in the lemon filling you’re about to make. Just sayin’ . . .

rolling up the cakeNow, using the dishtowel begin to roll up the cake.  It’s fairly malleable while it’s hot so you can make a nice roll, just pull out the towel as you go . . .

roll it up

Once it’s all rolled, just leave it there and let it cool while you make the filling.  Essentially it’s in training now to be a roll.

make lemon filling

LEMON FILLING:  In the top part of a double boiler, put two whole eggs, a cup of sugar, the grated rind of two lemons . . .

juice of two lemons

The fresh juice of two lemons and two tablespoons of melted butter.

fresh lemon juice

Pour the juice into the double boiler through a fine sieve if your lemons are like mine and filled with seeds.  Stir over simmering water for fifteen minutes until the filling is thick. Cool slightly. (Más MUSICA Girlfriends?)


Then it’s time to unroll your cake; carefully peel it open until it’s flat ~ it goes very easily . . .

spread filling

Pour over the lemon filling and spread it almost to the edges, but leave it thick in the middle. (Don’t forget to save a little bit of filling to dip your cake clippings in if you have any left.)

too much of a good thing

roll it back up

Roll the cake back up, not TOO tightly, because you want the lemon filling to stay inside.  I roll and lift the cake a bit as I go so as to keep the lemon from squeezing out the sides. Move the cake to an oval serving plate.


Sift over a little more powdered sugar ~ the cake is beautiful, but I decide it needs a little Easter decoration . . . so I run outside to pick some of my pretty yellow (non-toxic) forsythia flowers . . . any excuse to go outside is a good thing.

pink flowers

grab some flowersAnd voila!  Like little butterflies.  Your cake would be just as pretty with wild violets, pansies, johnny jump-ups, or roses . . 


peek outsideNow, soak the dishes, while you’re at it, notice the guy in the garden . . . that really good guy in the garden?  Doing the aphrodisiac-thing women love?

isn't it romantic

garden in the springMulching and getting everything ready . . .

daffodilsGo ask him if he would like a piece of Lemon Cake . . . Tell him you will bring it and he can eat it in the garden.


for JoeHe deserves this . . . tender soft sugary cake with the most lemony of lemon fillings . . .

hang up birdhouseAnd while you’re out there, find reasons to stay . . . Hang up your bird houses . . . because you LOVE the serenade of birds in love . . .


bunny crossingGo take a picture of your old bunny crossing sign … take note of good mulchy dirt . . .

on the walk

Give up looking for more to do and go on a walk!  Such an amazingly gorgeous weekend.



Remember these Jingle Shells I found on the beach . . .?

yellow shells

. . . and then arranged on my window sill?



Well, one of our Girlfriends mentioned how much she would like to have some of these genuine Martha’s Vineyard jingle shells . . . so yesterday, out on our walk, I collected these . . .

boxed up

And I put them in this Emma Bridgewater tin as a surprise . . . because I thought they might be a fun giveaway for spring, to celebrate the change of season, a box from the sea.


Jack agreed.  I tied the box up in a little bag.  Then I thought maybe not everyone wants shells, but I bet everyone would love an original 1900 copy of the wonderful “Elizabeth and Her German Garden,” the first book written by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth von Arnim (she also wrote “Enchanted April” which you would love if you haven’t already read it).  So I added that . . . Look at the beautiful raggedy edges on the pages of this old book . . . (Of course, If I’m doing anything different at all, Jack is immediately involved.  He has an inquiring mind that wants to KNOW.)

shells and Elizabeth

So I put them together and thought, that looks nice, but something is missing . . .

a gift

A Fine Romance!  Yes, must have that in the package. I hope you like it! I’ll sign my book and the Elizabeth book to whomever wins the drawing . . . All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment; right here at the bottom of this post you’ll see the tiny letters “comment” ~ click there and say anything sweet and you’ll be entered.

another giftBut is that enough when it’s been almost a year since your last Willard?  Don’t you owe the Girlfriends something else?  Maybe not “owe” but “wish to give?”  Oui!  I think so!  So Vanna will choose TWO names this time, and the second name drawn will get these two Keepsake books (guided “life story” journals with lined paper, places for photos, sewn-in ribbon bookmarks ~ and lots of fun questions to be answered in their own handwriting by mom’s, grandma’s, aunts, sisters), more Mother’s Day festivities! xoxo  We are starting early because we know that the best way to remember Mother’s Day is to forget it once, but we never want that to happen!

Mother's Day Cake

Here’s the recipe Girlfriends!


  • 3 eggs, separated in two lg. bowls
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. hot water
  • 1 c. sifted unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • grated rind of one lemon (zest)
  • sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375°.  Butter a 10″ x 15″ cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, one with a rim.  Line it with waxed paper leaving some to hang over edges (an inch is fine). Set pan aside.  Separate eggs into two large bowls.  Beat egg yolks, add sugar and beat until thick and lemon-colored.  Stir in hot water and dry ingredients.  Beat egg whites with electric beater until stiff; gently fold into egg batter.  Fold in grated rind.  Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly.  Bake 12-15 min.

Immediately turn finished cake onto clean dishtowel lightly covered with sifted powdered get-attachment.aspxsugar. Carefully peel off waxed paper.  With sharp scissors, cut off the crisp edges of the cake.  Using the cloth, roll up cake pulling out cloth as you go.  Leave it covered and rolled, set it aside to cool while you make the filling.


  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons (strained if necessary, no seeds please)

Put all ingredients into top part of double boiler.  Beat well and stir til thick, approx. 15-20 min.  Cool slightly.


Unroll the cake, spread on the filling, and roll back up.  Cool completely.  Transfer to serving dish.  Sift over a tiny bit more powdered sugar.  Add flowers if you like, edible and unsprayed, violets, pansies, roses, johnny jump ups. Here’s a list of edible flowers.

Now something everyone needs the week after Easter, a delicious recipe for:

stuffed eggs

These make the most delicious just-home-from-work treat, on the porch while you watch the green things growing. Which is what I hope you’re all doing these days, just as crazy with spring fever as we are. ♥  Deep breaths of the gorgeous outdoors, that’s the only “cure.”


Happy Spring, Girlfriends . . . I’m off to work on my book, my new addiction, a few hours every morning, trying to figure out what our heroine is going to do next (she seems to have a mind blessingsof her own) . . . housekeeping, gardening, normal life in the afternoon.  Don’t forget to leave a comment for the seashells and books.  Also, if you have any trouble with WILLARD, be sure to let me know.  He goes to lots of addresses now, it takes a couple of days for them all to go out, but if you haven’t received him by Thursday morning, check your spam box (because I’ve heard he can take a detour) and then let me know . . . you can write either here, or on Twitter, or on FOSB (Facebook), and we will be paying attention!


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2,815 Responses to WELCOMING WILLARD ♥

  1. Susan says:

    I love the forsythia accent–beautiful splash of yellow.

  2. Sheila Bayley says:

    I have read Willard for years and look forward to each one. Always feel so peaceful afterwards. Wanted to share a beautiful experience this weekend. We saw the baby hummingbirds in the nest outside my son’s house sitting on the edge of the nest. Before the day was over they were flying with mom. Such tiny creatures sitting on the branches of the trees over the fountain in the back yard. Magical!

  3. Robbyn Holmes says:

    You are such a breath of fresh air in this sometimes tired world; your delightful contributions in your blog often make me giggle out loud, especially when you’re eyeing and making plans for that wonderful man working in your garden!! Enjoy every second of your life together, and thanks for giving all of us such a delightful treat reading your blog.

  4. Debbie says:

    Can I just say how much I love, love, love the little slice of Heaven that exists in your stories, your recipes, and your artwork!? And it all started with a calendar I bought over 10 years ago…thank you for making life a little sweeter!

  5. julie lewis says:

    Thank you for bringing joy into all of our lives. Your books blog Willards music and photos are truly a blessing.

  6. Linda Varos says:

    Susan! Every time I need a lift I turn to your wonderful blog and instantly I am transported to your happy place, enjoying life to the fullest with you. Thank you for the luscious recipes, the enchanting watercolors and for sharing your zest for life. You have no idea how a few moments with Susan Branch can perk up someones whole day! I hope you continue to enjoy sharing your gifts for many years to come. ~ Sweet Blessings. Linda

  7. Wendy says:

    Oh, that cake, that cake!!!! I want to make it, and I’m thinking Mother’s Day is the perfect time. I hope I’m not too late to enter the drawing. Your posts are always wonderful, but this was my first Willard.
    I have seen a rose-breasted grosbeak once. It was at my mother’s feeder, and was quite an arresting sight. Like, wait, what is ThAt birD?

  8. Anne M. Van Cleave says:

    I am excited about getting the keepsake book that will help me record “My Story”. Moments happen that are worth noting and I think to myself, “Oh I’ll remember that” but life goes on and gets in the way of my remembering! So I look forward to having this charming tool, if you will, that will help me capture those moments for my daughter. Can’t wait to start!

  9. Tara Dollins says:

    Love, love, love your work…it such a rarity to have such a “kindered spirit” with you and all your reader’s comments. We are all so blessed to have such “bossom friends”…lol thanks, tara

  10. Kim says:

    Happy Spring! Would love to win the contest. Kim

  11. Renee says:

    Thank you for a delightful Willard ! I have many of the old mailed copies – but love love love the email ones as well! Happy spring❗️

  12. Stephanie says:

    Oh what a lovely give-away! You are so generous, Susan! Your posts make me so hopeful for spring! I already have flowers bought from the Amish greenhouse and I’m ready to plant whenever Mother Nature cooperates here in Wisconsin. For now I’ll just have to drag the boxes in and out of the garage (probably for a few more weeks…) Million bells, Bacopa, Verbena, Black-eyed Susans, African daisies and of course veggies for the garden, Yay!! That howling wind hardly phases me!! Thank you, dear for sharing the happy gene and brightening our days!

  13. Gail Graham says:

    I just discovered your blog and I LOVE it! I have many of your books which I’ve enjoyed for years. I love all of the artwork and quotes,etc. Your cookbooks are more than that-I like to read them for all of your comments, and pictures. You just have a talent for making the world a prettier place. Thank you!

  14. beth martire says:

    I find your website so cozily inspiring.I have been a friend for a few years, but am a little too shy to comment often . Thank you for your little slice of life blog, it is a little slice of heaven!

  15. April says:

    Thank you for welcoming so many to pleasant happier places with such assurance that they can live there too. You truly are a blessing.

  16. Barbara Wallace says:

    A Fine Romance has become one of my favorite books! It has inspired me to committing to sketch every day and that just brightens each day . Thank you for your lovely example!!!

  17. Jackie Ransome says:

    Must just say thanks for wakening the soul …….. Thought I’d share the first poem my Mum taught me…..

    Spring is coming , spring is coming , birdies build your nest
    Weave together , straw and feather doing each his best
    Spring is coming, spring is coming flowers are coming too
    Pansys, lilys, daffodilys now are coming through .

    My Mum passed on 5 years ago and every spring this ditty trills through my head and there I am being tucked up in bed with warm blankets and a kiss on the forehead and now a smile on the lips and a lump in the throat.

  18. Heidi says:

    What an inspiration you are Susan!! I absolutely adore your blogs and have just received my first Willard. What a treat!! Thank you for sharing your passions and zest for life! I will continue to enjoy everything you do!

  19. Lisa Kosmerl says:

    A slice of the lemon cake and a cup of tea would be heavenly on a sunny spring afternoon. It was a beautiful weekend in northern Ohio. The hyacinths are blooming and the lilacs and are budding. All these delicious spring scents seem even lovelier this year after the very long winter.

  20. Rachel in PA says:

    Thanks for giving us girlfriends so many little treats for us to enjoy! I love reading your blog…when there is a new post, I always scroll down fast to see all of the pictures, then I go back to the top and read it nice and slowly! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      That’s fun to know, I always wondered how people read it!

      • Rachel in PA says:

        My husband calls it “cheating”, but I like to think of it as “strategy”. No matter what, a cup of tea will be required, but if it is a long post with a recipe, I will also have some sort of “sweet treat” as well! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I call it strategy too. I often read magazines starting from the back — don’t know why, it’s sort of a habit now.

  21. I was in Paris having tea near Notre Dame and my husband had coffee….
    guess what his coffee was served in????? Emma Bridgewater mug!!

  22. Lynn S says:

    Happy Spring Susan! I would love to read the book–I will have to add it to my library list as you have such good suggested books to read!

  23. Genie in NC says:

    Excuse me while I fetch a cup of coffee to enjoy as I feast on the photos of your lemon-filled sponge cake! Spring has sprung in the Carolinas. In Raleigh, the forsythia and daffodils have finished their show, and now the tulips, cherry trees and iris beds are covered with blossoms. Even the tiny humming birds have returned! Love to see your photos of birds and of your feeders. Will you be hanging out feeders for hummers?

  24. Pat says:

    Your writing and drawings always give me a feeling of snugly, warm happiness.

  25. Ann Waddell says:

    Dear Susan,

    Spring is a treasure, and so are you!

    Love and Tulips,

  26. Joan says:

    These books and shells would make anyone very happy. You are so generous with your time and talent.

  27. Cindy C. says:

    Thanks for being that friend out there that inspires me to keep up with my own journal and doodle a little here and there. Most of all, it is important to be creative in life and you are! Your seashells remind me of my own box that I started collecting in high school. I look in that box of shells and they are from Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Va., FL.,etc… How beautiful they are! Thanks for being a great faraway girlfriend, Susan Off to continue reading your book. It is wonderful:)

  28. Mary Jane says:

    Oh, Susan, your post brought back such lovely memories for me. I loved helping my sweet Mom bake when I was a little girl. I would watch her every move in the kitchen and was so thrilled when I was eight and she said I could pick out a recipe to make myself. Well, it was a Strawberries and Cream Cake Roll and she said to me, “You can do it, Honey!” She guided me as I did each task, but never stepped in to do even the more difficult things involved in making it. She was so patient and I am sure it made here a little nervous as I placed it in the hot oven to bake. It came out beautiful and I remember how deliciously satisfying it was to take the first bite. My first triumph as a baker with the help of my wonderful Mom. In her honor on Mother’s Day, I will bake your Luscious Lemon Roll and toast her with a fine cup of tea. I have since gone on to become a pastry chef and entertained many guests in my tea room for several years using the skills learned from my first teacher. Thanks, Mom, and thank you Susan for the walk down Memory Lane.

    Love your blog and how it always uplifts me each time you share with us. Have a Happy Day, dear Susan!

    Mary Jane

  29. Jan in Iowa says:

    Welcome back, Willard, and Happy Spring! You are such a pleasant surprise, like an unexpected visit from a treasured old friend. You’re always welcome to pop by in my inbox even for just half a cuppa, Susan!

  30. Adrienne Klos says:

    I’m enjoying a surprisingly quiet morning today. Your blog, a cuppa Lady Gray tea, puppies snuggled at my feet, and my 1 yro son (Jak!) quietly figuring out the joys of “reading” Dr. Seuss. Wishing I could attach a picture of my own kitchen window to bless you (as you do for the rest of us). It is smiling today with copper molds, a schnauzer cookie cutter, and various mini bottles and vases filled with daffodils. Happiness and Merry Spring to you!

  31. Gill says:

    What a lovely cake recipe! My hens are laying well and I am simply going to have to make some lemon curd soon. Thank you for Willard,Susan.

  32. Mary D. says:

    Thank you for all of yours posts. They are such a breath of fresh air!
    I look forward to meeting you at the Friends of Gladys Taber Reunion in June.

  33. Sharon Will says:

    What fun! This is my first post. Last year, I saw an ad for your new book in Victoria Magazine, which led me to buying your book (LOVE IT!), which led me to this wonderful website and your delightful blog. Your blog has given me a cozy, bright spot to enjoy quiet (or laugh-out-loud) moments, and for this I thank you! I would love to have a few of your pretty yellow Martha’s Vineyard jingle shells to keep my mostly white Cape May jingle shells company. If I don’t win this drawing, I’ll just have to get to Martha’s Vineyard and collect some of my own from your beaches. And it looks like your beautiful spring is the time to come! Thank you for the joy you share with all of us!


  34. Joan Georghiou says:

    Hi Susan, A very sweet way to finish out your birthday month! Always enjoy Willard and your blog posts. Makes the day a little happier. Thank you!

  35. Christine Polkovitch says:

    I love reading your cheery blogs, especially in the Spring!!! The flowers and trees are blooming and smelling wonderful here in South Jersey!!! On may way to work this morning, I noted how the beautiful colors brighten up even the most drab of streets. The view from the car was incredible and even made the traffic backup enjoyable!!

  36. Dearest Susan Branch.
    Dark clouds are hovering over the garden, with heavy rain falling here. No end to the weather until the weeks end.
    In search for some escape and inspiration I hoped over here…and well, spirits are lifted.
    Beautiful Spring images (as always!)
    And hoping off to the store to pick up lemons to make the cake. My daughter will be visiting tomorrow for the day with her sweet new baby boy, and this cake will be just perfect.

    Have a most wonderful day,

  37. Margaret says:

    Love your blog. It inspires me to do little things in my own little home. Thanks!

  38. Maxine Boyce Buckman says:

    Can’t seem to get comments listed. Message always say they are awaiting moderation. Please, please let me know what I can do to solve this!

    Maxine in Stow

  39. Becky L. says:

    Oooh! Pick me! 🙂

  40. Shellie L. says:

    Gahhh! I would love this, you’re so sweet Susan and I will definitely have to try making that cake!

  41. Dear Susan…Happy Spring !!! Thank you for your beautiful Spring photos…I love the little birds…we don’t get cardinals in Montana, and seeing them is such a treat! The other little bird is so sweet, too. Thank you for the granola recipe too…I am glad to have one that calls for maple syrup. I look forward to still getting your book …we are going on our very first cruise to Alaska in June…reading about your trip to England will be fun! Thank you for all you share with us and God Bless you and yours…Donna from Montana 🙂

  42. Angela says:

    I love walking on the beach collecting shells and pieces of drift wood. Not many shells on the beaches near me in California but growing up down the shore in New Jersey there were many shells and if you were lucky you would find some sea glass. Love reading your blog.

  43. Ramona Owens says:

    Hello Susan….Today you lifted my spirit!!! Thank you for going the extra mile
    to express yourself and entertaining us with your work.
    Thank you, Mona

  44. Dee Baumgarten says:

    Thank you, Susan, for your blog, your books, your booklist, recipes, artwork, ideas, music, love of England,etc.
    Dee B.

  45. Joanne S says:

    Love Willard — Thank you for your time and beautiful effort!

    Great Mother’s Day ideas — I need to decided today so I can get it in time!

    Love the Blue Ribbon Granola recipe — it’s a “keeper!”

    A while back you were selling a copy of the Kitchen Gardens on your website (gone before I got there) — I was able to find a used paperback copy on Amazon. I love this book — thank you for another fantastic recommendation!

    Looking forward to your next post, Thanks Susan!

  46. Debby W. says:

    Along with all of our “normal” birds (like cardinals, bluejays, chickadees, bluebirds, tufted titmice, nuthatches, juncos, American goldfinches, etc.), we have been blessed to have some Grosbeaks visit our feeders throughout the years, too. So far this spring, we have had a Blue Grosbeak AND a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. It’s so much fun to watch the birds! Right now, we have 2 birdhouses with Chickadee eggs/babies, 2 birdhouses with Bluebird eggs (no babies hatched yet), and 4 other birdhouses in various stages of having nests built in them. 🙂 I am so glad I found your Facebook page. I have always loved your artwork, whether it’s on a bookmark, in a book, on calendar pages, etc.! Thank you for sharing with all of us!! 🙂

  47. Linda says:

    It sure seems like Spring is taking it’s sweet time to bloom this year. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and recipes.

  48. Sally says:

    Thanks so much for the recipes. My Mom loves everything lemon!! I am looking forward to making that cake for her for mother’s day. Thank you for creating such a fun and beautiful blog.

  49. Gloria Olson says:

    I absolutely love everything on your website, blog, emails, etc. I have been a fan
    for years…..have all your cookbooks, and buy your calendar every year. You make life so wonderful just reading everything you post. I had never looked you up on the internet, because I was never into our MacBook Pro. until recently, and there you were. Thank you for making my day! Oh yes, I read your book, and loved it. I told all my friends too. I was in England summer of 1995 on a walking tour. I defiantly want to go again and follow your trail to all the wonderful places you and Joe saw.

    P.S. Took a trip to Martha’s Vineyard 1985 – loved it. xoxo

  50. RANDI BAULT says:

    Sooo nice of you to have such a sweet prize drawing!!!! I <3 everything Susan!
    Your friend,
    Randi —-<—@

  51. Bev from Colorado says:

    I grew up in Rhode Island, lived in England for three years (loved loved loved it), so you fill up my yearlings for the ocean and all things British. Thank you sooooooo!

  52. Carol Conrad says:

    You are a treat for the heart and you bring smiles and joy to all you touch.
    Thank you for sharing your many talents. Sending you hugs and smiles from a fan who’s been buying your “gifts” many…many years!

  53. virginia killinger says:

    Hi Susan!
    I am one of the people you talked about that doesn’t blog and was wondering why I hadn’t heard from you 🙁 But, now, I have and enjoyed every moment 🙂
    I loved your book, A Fine Romance, more than you will ever know!!
    You bring me JOY, I love the Emma Bridgewater tin, because I live at the beach on spotted sandpiper. I will go check your webstore for it, even if I don’t win the drawing…Love you!

  54. I love your posts and your book giveaways. I loved Enchanted April and am an avid gardener. You appeal to my heart with every blog and I have enjoyed your blog immensely. I woul love to win your giveaway. Happy spring. I too will be mulching and plantin soon the the Northeast of Illinois.

  55. Wow! What a lovely looking cake. Would love to win either of these prizes! You have to be the best blog-lady around: cakes, musica, Jack, giveaways, and YOU! 🙂


  56. Angela Stone says:

    You’ve been my friend since I first married 20 years ago. Should you ever get to northern Cali, we will go to the Lindey Lane Tea Room and sit in the giant tea cup booth and catch up. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We do have some catching up to do! 🙂

      • Angela Stone says:

        Would love that–feel like I’ve always known you. Love, love, love that you were able to make lemonade with the lemons in your life and if I was ever to have an East Coast “life” I would want it to be like yours. Alas, I’m destined to be a west coaster, I think. 🙂

  57. Lynne says:

    Susan, you are delightful, and an inspiration to me. Thanks for bringing PURE JOY to so many! ♥, Lynne

  58. Gretchen Coffin says:

    Thank you Susan – you are another flower in my garden.

  59. Ann Crites says:

    So glad to read Willard again – sure had missed him. Love your cake recipe – it is just like my mothers hot water sponge cake that I make for special occasions. Always enjoy your products – I have one of the original Christmas books that I put out each year. Enjoy spring!

  60. Laura from California says:

    Everything about you and your writings are filled with such sincerity! Thank you so much for sharing so freely about the details of your life. I got your Willard and was so happy to see it in my e-mail! Your newest give away might just be your sweetest one yet! Vanna always does the best job at drawing just the right person for each gift. Can’t wait to see who will be blessed by you.

  61. Oh my goodness my mouth is watering! I’ll put the tea kettle on, you bring over that delicious cake. I’ll wait a bit. I love the way you show each and every step of your recipes and kitchen clean up. Thank you for such a lovely post.

  62. Diane in Northern Cali says:

    Well, late to the party but better late than never! Wow, almost 2600 comments as I type this, so the odds aren’t great, but better than the lottery!
    Sue, I love all your posts and photos, but I especially appreciate your photos of the roll-up cake in this post.
    My Mom used to make a similar lemon cake; also a pumpkin one in the fall and a chocolate one (Yule Log!) at Christmas. I’m regret that I didn’t pay closer attention as she cooked and baked – I would have learned so much and would have had that much more time with her! I’ve had to teach myself my way around the kitchen (your books have helped SOOOOO MUCH, a kazillion thank yous!!) but I’ve never tackled this type of cake, though I’ve wanted to…
    I will now, thank you so much!
    Hope things are warming up on the Vineyard – here in the Sacramento Valley they’re predicting 90+ degrees this week! TOO SOON! :-p

  63. SJA says:

    Love everything about you and your stunning work. I love the blog, it reminds me daily that everything is still right with the world.

  64. Karen Smith says:

    Susan – You transport us out of our daily lives. Thanks so much for your constant inspiration.

  65. I love everything you do. Miss your fabric.

  66. Corrinne says:

    Oh, how I love your blog, Susan! It’s one email that I look forward to and truly enjoy reading. I feel like one of your very best friends when I read your posts…having tea with fairy cakes, joining you on walks in your beautiful part of the world, loving the kitties, baking, admiring your drawings, wondering at your creativity (actually in awe of your creativity!). Thank you for blogging, Susan, I am so very grateful you share your amazing talents with me and the world. 😀

  67. Tammy in Colorado says:

    Love being a winner! Thank you for always adding happiness to our lives! I’m so thankful that you love doing this blog. You bless so many lives! Thank you Susan! And thank you Joe for being such a great guy! We are all blessed by the glimpses into your life and your continuing romance that you so graciously and beautifully share with us!

    PS – I still love your “Morning Science” excerpts the best! =) Absolutely delightful!

    • sbranch says:

      We still do them. There’s always something out there for the two scientists to discuss unknowledgeably.

  68. Ramona Horta-Riedeman says:

    Dearest Susan ~ thank you for the Spring Blog and the lemon cake, I can’t wait to try it….I will hope to make the bunny cake next year for our granddaughter, as she will be 2 by then! My mom used to make it for us when we were little too! I still have my table decorated for Easter, as vacation from school as just ended and we were “back to it” today! I am still enjoying the Easter though. I’ve got to go be with the granddaughter right now! So Happy Spring to you! 🙂 Ramona from sunny but breezy central valley California! 🙂

  69. Catherine Marshall says:

    Just finished reading “A Fine Romance “. I had sent my mother a gift card for her birthday in Jan., she purchased this book of yours. I got a call with her so excited saying I had to go get your book and read. What a lovely, lovely book. We too are Anglophiles. I am taking mom to England, we are going to visit the Lake District for three weeks. We are now thinking of adding the Yorkshire Dales. Actually having a hard time deciding now. Thank You for your story.

    Catherine Marshall

  70. Bev Wiedeman says:

    I love the first Willard I’ve received. It gets you in the mood for Spring, with the blossoms, recipes, birds and quotes. Thank you for your creativity that you share with all of us Susan. You are truly a gift! I love the Rose y Breasted Grosbeaks.
    We have the Evening Grosbeaks and the Black Headed Grosbeaks in Colorado. They mostly stay all winter.
    Bev Wiedeman

  71. Bev Laperie says:

    Oh, that cake looks great!!!! I’m thinking Mother’s Day would be the perfect time for it. I hope I’m not late to enter the drawing. Your posts are always wonderful, and this is also my first Willard and looking forward to many more.

  72. Donna of Dracut MA says:

    Susan’s blog makes me smile
    With tea in hand, I sit a while
    Recipes, ideas, and stories I find
    Have renewed inspiration to my busy mind!

  73. Patricia Ruehle says:

    “Anticipation” is often better than the event itself. We are presently anticipating another long distance driving trip. Who knows what exciting memories we will create along the way – what treasures we shall unearth at our antique stops and our beach searches for seashells. Best of all we will reunite with precious family in a few different states. How blessed we are!

  74. Belinda Bliss says:

    Susan, thanks for the latest Willard! Love your books and recipes! You always bring a smile to my face 🙂

  75. Carol Schlerf says:

    Susan, dear Susan,
    You continue to touch my heart, just by being YOU!
    Thank you so much.

  76. Nancy Giokaris says:

    Really loved the picture of you and your dad. So cute. It reminded me of pictures of my dad and mom. Just love the black and white photos. Can’t beat that nostalgia. Also enjoyed pictures of your yellow shells and flowers and truthfully everything in your blog. I met you at your Pasadena signing. I bought many books for my girlfriends. You were so kind to sign them all. :-)) Can’t imagine how your hand felt after all your signings of the book. Because dainty flowers remind me of all your beautiful flowers that you watercolor, I had brought you a tiny group of little flowers that day. Again I am a big fan of yours from way back. Hugs, Nancy

  77. Grace says:

    Hi, Susan! This may be too late to count for the drawing for the lovely gifts, but I thought I’d write any way and just say THANK YOU! My sweet husband (also of 25 years) gave me A Fine Romance for Christmas and I have been hooked since! Among my other blessings, I have a Secret Garden that gives me a lot of joy and is inhabited by five kitties—one of whom is a black and white Tuxedo cat named Valentine . . . (She says hi to your Jack and Girl Kitty, BTW.)

    Thank you for the delights you share; they have added to the list of my own! If I weren’t trying to keep this somewhat brief, I could give you a long list of things we both like!

    God bless, Susan—and happy return of gardening season!

  78. laurie says:

    wow, that is an amazing cake, I have never hear d of jingle shells before, I laughed when you showed the photos of your hubby in the garden, does he know you wrote that, lol, this was a great post, the photos are beautiful showing us how spring comes to you, thank you for sharing,

  79. Rhoda says:

    I love the cake recipe, the birdie pics, the musica, the shells, the cute little tin, the cool books, Joe, kitty cats, flowers, the ocean, and I love you too. Just sayin’ I’m blessed by your blog…always cheers me up!

  80. Tamara Leavins says:

    Anything SB makes me smile . . . Fingers crossed 🙂

  81. Theresa Evans says:

    Dear Susan,
    I enjoy the Willard’s so much, it’s like an escape to a wonderful place.
    I also enjoy your drawings and art so much. It’s a joy to see Susan Branch
    in my e-mail inbox, it’s like receiving a gift. You’re such a blessing. Look forward to hearing from you again.

  82. Dina Morrison says:

    I have been a fan of your amazing books for so many years! Your photos, illustrations, words and recipes always brighten my day. Your calendars are a “must have” in my kitchen every year too. Your talent and creativity never cease to amaze me. Thank you so much for all that you do! So very inspiring!

  83. Courtney Sito says:

    I love how every time I read your posts, they always brighten my day. I love all of your Nature photos, and my children especially love your kitty pictures:) Thank you for spreading your joy of life all the way to NC!

  84. Shauna Woodall says:

    What a lovely way to begin a season! We think you, Joe and the kitties would make a great neighbors … !

  85. Arlinda says:

    The cake looks delicious.

    My parents are coming over this weekend to spend time with the girls. It will be the centerpiece treat after lunch.

    Thank you for sharing the menu ideas on your blog HOME COOKING . Everytime my parents visit, I use your menu ideas and it’s always a hit; sure compliments. I’m looking forward to the meal and CAKE. 🙂

    Thank you.


  86. Kristen L says:

    I love your books. Also, when I am having a rough day I like to look at your website and it cheers me up.

  87. grace says:

    in a house full of boys (hubby & 3 boys), your website, especially your blog, is my guilty pleasure and it has been since inception… i just love living in your magical world, it’s no wonder that aside from 2 other cookbooks, the rest of my collection consists of ALL your books (not to mention the journals, ohh how i love them!) so much so that i have gifted them to my girlfriends, as well as family, even all the way to Italy (they cannot get enough of the stickers, we still decorate our letters with them like little children, lol) so anyway, before i end up writing a novel, i better wish you an advanced Happy FurMommy’s Day & i hope your boys behave themselves 😉 i know i am getting your newest book, Beatrix Potter’s Journal, and the Miss Potter movie from my family because a certain lil’ birdy told them… ha!

    • sbranch says:

      Oooooh Grace, you are in for a treat! Miss Potter is just wonderful. Happy Mother’s Day!

  88. Sue,
    Thanks for the wonderful posts and encouragement to us to enjoy each moment of our days. Thanks, in advance, if my name is chosen!

  89. Peggy Crupper says:

    Hey Susan, thanks for being you & sharing with all your girlfriends!!

  90. Jmfn says:

    My first fan letter EVER. You make my day!

  91. jessica says:

    Always look forward to your post. And love the give aways, the shells are beautiful!

  92. TeriGrace says:

    Always eagerly await any and all of your posts! My life is better with you and yours in it! Thanks!!!

  93. Victoria says:

    Dear Susan and Girlfriends,
    I’m just barely beginning to catch up from a wonderland of winter. I think I am so far behind , I could be first! Just read your wonderful “Willard ” and latest post…. all those beautiful scenes of MV makes me feel so homesick, and yet the real problem is we still don’t have a home there just yet, but it’s so exciting to see calming scenes just the same.
    Loved your moon chasing adventures with your spectacular pictures….. Just the kind of thing we would do. In fact , we did something simular when I got the bright idea that we should go see the cherry blossoms at dawn. I didn’t think of looking up the exact time when the sun comes up, so we got there very early, about 5:15 AM. We knew we were sure to find a parking space then when it was still dark… Much to our surprise there were lots and lots of people there and parking spaces were at a premium. Who knew! ..so many people would have the same idea? ….all standing there under the lush blossoms which we could not even see in the dark, all waiting for the sun to come up.
    After stumbling around in the dark a bit, we found these we not just ordinary people like us armed with our IPhones….. These were serious photographers!… for most everyone had a backpack of equipment slung over their shoulder and a tripod set up with a huge long range lens. There they were, all lined up one after the other tucked under overhanging branches of heavy cherry blossoms facing the Jefferson Memorial…. All waiting for that perfect moment when the first sliver of the sun peeped up from the horizon, to catch those first golden sunbeams glimmers streaming through the cherry blossoms. No celebrity has ever received this much acclaim. Some just couldn’t wait! For awhile there was quite a light show of flickering flashes going off in the darkness resembling the Aura Boralis.
    The hour and fifteen minutes we waited was a heavenly sight watching the gentle rippling reflections of lights and shadows over looking the water at TheTidal Basin, smelling the slightest sweetness of the blossoms overhead and hearing the sounds of the city backdrop just waking up under the dawn’ a light. (Pretend we are playing the Star-Spangled Banner right now). These were moments to behold!
    We too, were trying to figure out just the exact spot where the sun would show us it’s first beam. We waited! ….And then, there it was! One bright orange beam of splendor!!!! (Turns out, neither of us were right) … then it finally happened.. As it does every day.. we just hardly ever get to see it… The blazing streaming sun
    shone with all it’s magnificence! …And, the only sound that could be heard was ….Clicking!.. An orchestra of Continual Clicking!….!!!
    As it usually is for us, the most prized shots we thought we would get, were not the ones we ended up keeping. We did end up with a few we liked out of the…so many we took. I only wish I could claim the pictures you featured, but those must have come from some of the other people with the tri -pods. It turns out that my creativity seems to be more in punctuation, rather than in photography.
    However, walking under the cherry trees in person…It’s an enchanting fairyland experience that no picture can ever really capture. .And it happens here every early April for each of us to enjoy,for free.

    Your cake looks so delicious! I will most definitely have to try it!
    I too always stop to see birds in the middle of cooking or anything I’m doing … but I’ve never seen a little guy like your Rose-breasted Grosbeck, he’s really special!
    Thank you for sharing so much love in so many ways!

  94. Carol Blanchet says:

    Could there be any sweeter gift of spring than one from the sea?
    How sweet of you to even think of sharing a little bit of the island with a Girlfriend.
    Your blog is a pure delight.

  95. Nora Krebs says:

    Your writing lifts my days and reminds me of the light and beautiful of the little things-so important! Also, to appreciate and to enjoy myself and all around me!
    Blessings upon your day!

  96. Rosinda says:

    Hello dear Susan,

    Your cake looks absolutely scrumptious and I so enjoyed catching up with you. I haven’t had much time to visit blogland these past few months and it was nice to see that not much has changed since I last visited your blog. I have missed you, sweetie! Hope all is well! xoxo


  97. Debs OBrien says:

    Oh! Susan ~~~ I just love the golden light of those shells ~~~ I love shells almost as much as I love pine cones and pumpkins {and sunflowers too} I just love pretty things

    I had to make a Swiss Roll once in Domestic Science ~~~ it was at Christmas, and it was smothered in chocolate buttercream, dusted with icing sugar snow, and gussied up as a chocolate log, complete with robin and fake holly sprig. Yours looks so yummy!

    Waving from ATP {Across The Pond} as my girlfriend Donna has abbreviated it to! Debs in Wonderful Springtimey Wales! xoxo

  98. Joyce Giles says:

    Hi Susan, I love your creativity and blog! Thanks for being a girlfriend!

  99. Cindy in CA. says:

    Please count me in if I’m not too late! And thank you for sharing all of the pretty pix~ especially the teeny tiny birds that visit you in gaggles! You always see to capture their colorful little souls. Such a treasure to share 😉

  100. suzie says:

    love your blog….like Christmas morning with every new entry you do Susan…

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