Rainy Day on Martha’s Vineyard

8 am on a rainy day on Martha’s Vineyard. I slept in to 5 am this morning, which I think would be about 9 am in normal-people time. I LOVED it!  A red letter day! Joe just made us a fire and Dark Victory is on TV. I feel so happy because by this time next week I will be totally and completely done with all work I assigned myself. All I will have to do is plant the garden and write us a new Willard before I go. Here’s the song I woke up singing this morning: MUSICA (let it play for a moment and it will wrap magic around you).

heart of thehome

I almost haven’t missed Downton (almost) because I’ve been so busy with my newest and last project for 2016. I’m getting my first book, Heart of the Home, ready for it’s 30th Anniversary. It’s, as they say,  “revised and expanded” ~ what started as a 160 page book has grown to 176 pages, with lots of new recipes, quotes, and art.  Thirty years! Can you believe it? My first baby is 30. It’s been like stepping back in time because I’m doing the pages just like I did them originally . . .


Ruler, pencil and eraser, pen and ink and watercolors . . . while listening to old movies . . . just like in 1986 . . .

Pie tops for Heart of the Home. . . I’ve been painting (and cooking) tomatoes and pies . . .

Heart of the HomeAnd chickens . . . and bowls and jars and spoons and all sorts of fun things.



I’ve picked out a bright red grosgrain ribbon for the bookmark (my first book didn’t have a ribbon originally, but it will now). I’m designing new endpapers my paint box(they were just plain white before), and I’m adding a new border to the cover . . . While I’m doing it I feel myself back at that dining room table in my first little house on the Island 30 years ago (as you’ll see when you get Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams, because I write all about it there). Which means, perhaps, that it’s not just a trilogy of books I’ve done anymore, now it’s a, what is it, a quad? A quadroopalidge?  This new version of Heart of the Home dots the i and crosses the t of all of my last three books, plus snow treeyou’ll have a new cookbook for Christmas.  So while we are sailing over the Atlantic, you’ll have something new to look forward to. I’ve been thinking of you the whole time I’ve been doing it, asking myself “what would they like?” . . . and because of that, I think you are going to love it even better than the first one!my paintbrush, doing what comes naturally

cranberry coffee cake

Remember that Cranberry Tea Cake, (with butter and sugar and eggs and cranberries and oranges and sticky pecans that put together say,”I love you”)  I told you about months ago that I was “saving?” Well, I’m not saving it anymore!from me to you with loveIMG_6123

It’s finally going to be yours . . . it’s been horrible saving this recipe, it’s so delicious and not in my nature to be a hoarder, but now I’m glad I saved it! rose and hearts


I’ve been having a wonderful time being back in the cookbook business! It’s a very creative place to be.pinksugarfrostingYes, there will!

vanilla goes into the bowlJoe has been enjoying it too . . .

I have a question ~ I need you to tell me what to do . . . See this?



I was thinking about substituting one of the other recipes with this  . . . it’s already printed in A Fine Romance, and you may already have it, but maybe it My stovetopwould be easier to remember if it were in a cookbook? What do you think?  It’s SO delicious, I don’t want anyone to forget about it . . . I also don’t want to take away the essence of the 1986 cookbook, but I do want to make it extra special for you. I only get to add 16 recipes, which I’ve already done . . . so, if I put this in, I would have to take something out. Which isn’t hard to do, how many cakes are there that serve 24 people? Gluten free? And I think this cake is REALLY good! So, if you want it, I’ll be happy to include it, and I won’t feel bad if you don’t because it’s already in A Fine Romance! Tell me what you think!Cheesecake

What makes it especially fun is that there are already so many good recipes in this book, it’s a great foundation to add on to! And don’t worry, I wouldn’t take this  out!cooking-is-an-art

making gazpachoHeart of the Home will still have the best loved recipes in it . . . I’ve added what I hope will be future best loved and family favorites. I’m not going to show you anymore because I want it to be a surprise!springstripofflowers


I got the cutest new thing. A girlfriend sent me a homemade card that had this teeny little watering can glued to it as a decoration . . . you can see how little it is compared to my Beatrix Potter Person . . .snow drops. . . just the perfect size for the snow drops . . . so I pulled it off the card and now it takes center stage on my dish shelf to show off the snow drops . . .

snowdrops. . . that are taking over our yard . . . in the best possible way.  And today, they are being drenched with rain.

Did any of you see the series called TURN?  It’s a true story about a spy ring for the American side (best-friend twenty-somethings who’ve known each other since childhood) during the Revolutionary War.  I saw season one maybe three or four times now ~ it’s flagSO GOOD . . . but I could never find season two . . . by the time I found season one on Netflix, season two on AMC had already passed, and for some reason Netflix didn’t get season two, so I just figured (sadly) that the series wasn’t going to make it.  BUT, I just heard that season three is going to start on AMC on April 25! They are repeating season one on AMC now (hopefully we’ll get to see season two sometime before the new one starts). I think you would love it . . . look at a trailer HERE. It has a wonderful treacherously-threatening theme song, I sang it to Joe when he came down the stairs this morning . . . “There’s snakes in the garden . . .” Love to see him roll his eyes and this song (the way I sing it) does the trick. P.S. There is some violence in this series, NOTHING like what some of them have, but still . . . I found it very easy to get through because I just close my eyes and it doesn’t go on forever. There is this hideous horrible sick nutcase of an officer that causes all the trouble that makes you wish he was dead, and you hope, when they do kill him, which won’t be soon enough, they will do it out behind the barn and just tell us it happened.  He is SO BAD. We will love to hate him. See what you think!

So a couple more sneak-peeks and then I will us all get back to work .MarchTopArtSneak-peek number one . . . is a  page from the 2017 calendar which will be coming out in July . . . Like it?MVYankeeAdAnd my full-page ad to go in the May/June issue of Yankee Magazine . . .ThreeBooksSo that when I go out to sign my children at the end of April, someone will know about them!  I hope! I hear that lots of you are coming to the signings and I can’t wait to meet you . . . isn’t it interesting that even though you think a certain time will NEVER get here, sooner or later, it does!? I can’t believe that soon we will be driving out of our driveway . . . cooler stuffed with road food, tears still drying from saying goodbye to the kitties . . . heading for the boat and points west . . .

Girl Kitty kitten


Bye for now Girlfriends . . . answer all my questions, please!  Have a wonderful day! ♥ XOXO

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622 Responses to Rainy Day on Martha’s Vineyard

  1. Carol from CT says:

    Hi Sue. Go ahead and add gluten-free to ‘Heart of the Home’. I’m all for it. Will you have HoftheH pre-publication, signed copies available from your website?
    I contacted R.J. Julia’s Bookstore in Madison, CT about your Sunday, 5/1 appearance. They are selling tickets for $30 which includes a copy of the book and entrance to the signing. I emailed them about how (girlfriends) many of us already purchased a pre-pub.book on your website. The mgr. was told and I was later instructed to bring a copy of their email with me to the store for admission without a fee. Not sure if this will affect others. Will you be speaking there or just signing? Madison, CT is beautiful as is most of the CT shoreline in that area. My sis lives a few miles away in Old Saybrook where the CT River meets the ocean. After passing Old Lyme you’ll cross the CT River while on 95S. Look to the left and you’ll see where river meets ocean. Quite beautiful.
    Love, Carol … tra la

    • sbranch says:

      That’s interesting news Carol . . . every bookstore is so different . . . They said the wanted me to talk “depending on how many people” would be there . . . so I guess we’ll have to see. I’m glad they did that nice thing for you!

  2. Betty says:

    It’s great to know that your first book will be available again with some additional goodies. I gave “Heart of the Home” to my daughter many years ago.
    We have both used it over the years.
    Good luck with your travels. Maybe one day you will visit Australia:) That would be a long journey by ship!

  3. Karen Holly says:

    Hi again Susan! I have not been familiar with Turn, but after looking into it courtesy of your link I am VERY interested in the show. I am a great fan of colonial and early American history, so this is wonderful news! Thank you so much!

    • sbranch says:

      Me too, I love history, historical novels have always been my favorite (along with biographies)~ you get to read and learn something interesting at the same time!

  4. Mary Brehm says:

    Hi Sue. This music is soooooo dreamy, I love it. I remember singing this song in my Eighth grade Spring Highlight Concert. I have always loved it. I think you should add the recipe. It will add a little something new to the book. I have the first one. I found it at the City Mission for one Dollar! I was so excited when I found it that I literally Shrieked with excitement! I felt like I found buried treasure! I got to my car, laid it on the seat and took a picture of it with my phone and then texted my daughter. So much fun! Hey I have that Same polish stoneware pie plate!
    I have been very busy working on a baby quilt for my nephew’s first baby. It’s so much fun. I am appliquéing tiny little lady bugs, hedgehogs, bunnies, owls and snails…my poor eyes are like little tiny slits. I can barely see anything when I look up from my work. I have a deadline of May 15th for the shower. I have a little problem with getting a tad carried away with things. My husband, Bill, calls it “scope creep”. Hahaha. I can hear his voice in my head saying you are getting to carried away, you will never finish, but I push on anyway. Giggling and falling in live with all my little creatures. If i finish by the end of march I can leave april for the quilting. Wish me luck.
    I can’t wait for my new book. And even though we have never met, I feel sad that you are going away. I like knowing that you are here safe and sound on the East Coast and I feel sad knowing that you will be leaving your kitties. But I am excited for you and your grand adventure. You and Joe are so much fun and braver than me So it’s nice to live vicariously through you. Enjoy this wonderful time and all of the payoff for your hard work. You truly deserve all of your success. You are simply…Wonderful <3

    • sbranch says:

      Babies give us our only legit opportunity to revel in bunnies, owls, hedgehogs and snails without reproach . . . enjoy! We’re not brave, we just want to go, but we go in fear! I do, he doesn’t.

  5. Barbara in Kingwood, TX says:

    I, too, missed season 2 of Turn. I just read that Netflix usually releases a season 2-3 weeks before the start of the next season. That would mean early April!! I have the book it came from called Washington’s Spies on my ‘to read’ pile.

    • Barbara in Kingwood, TX says:

      I just checked with Netflix and here is what they had to say:

      “Hey I have finished checking and found that just right now we don’t have an official confirmation on this second season arriving to our service, but the good news is that we do have a good relationship with the producer (AMC) and it is very likely to arrive shortly. Right now I have passed your interest as feedback to our team, so we can ensure you get notified as soon as the season arrives.”

      • sbranch says:

        Okay, that means you are in charge of all notification! 🙂 I’m so happy to hear that . . . it’s really be a little form of torture to not be able to find it anywhere! I thought about looking for it on Amazon, but I wasn’t sure they were going to do a 3rd season ~ if it was all ending, what would be the point. Thank you Barbara!

    • sbranch says:

      Fascinating story.

  6. Jana says:

    Put in the polenta cake! It is a gem for many reasons and it will be fun for people to “discover” it in A Fine Romance which they will have to buy after they read about the recipe in the revised cookbook. That’s my 2 cents!

  7. Laura Smith says:

    Susan, after all these years I think I will finally be able to meet you at your signing in Madison at RJ Julia in May (such a great place!). Do you happen to know if they will have books there for sale that you will be signing? I can’t wait! Off to make some Irish Soda Breads! Cheers!

  8. Genie in NC says:

    Oh yes, please include the recipe for Orange-Lavender Polenta Cake in the new cookbook. It’s the cookbooks that are our “go to” resource — kind-of a road map for our highway to good eating. 🙂

  9. Toni says:

    Hello Susan
    Congratulations on finishing up all of your projects! I cannot wait to get the new book, and now I have to have the new cookbook, too. Safe travels to you as you once again start another book signing tour. It’s all very exciting. And thank you for adding beautiful Girl Kitty’s picture in today’s post.

  10. Carol from CT says:

    Best restaurants in the Madison, CT area: The BEST lobster rolls on the shoreline/casual & al fresco/Lobster Landing 152 Commerce Street Clinton, CT call to check if open: 860.669.2005. Inside or al fresco and right next to the ‘singing bridge’ … Bill’s Seafood 548 Boston Post Rd. Westbrook, CT 860.399.7224 . For the best fine dining inside and al fresco … ‘Fresh Salt’ at the Saybrook Point Inn (I hope you’re staying there overnight) 2 Bridge St, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 …saybrook.com/restaurant/. The Inn is right on the ‘river meets ocean’ site.
    Enjoy and Welcome to Connecticut … Love, Carol … tra la

  11. Peggy says:

    I would love to have the gluten-free cake recipe in a cookbook, where I can easily find it. Thank you, Susan.

  12. Peggy Borell says:

    I would love to have the gluten-free recipe in a cookbook, which would be sitting on my kitchen shelf. Thank you, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      There are more than one gluten free. . . we just didn’t know that’s what they were back in those days! 🙂

      • Judy Young says:

        Will the recipes that are gluten-free be labeled as such in the book? That would be helpful. I have been gluten-free since January 1 this year and I have lost 15 pounds. But the best thing to being gluten-free is that I am able to choose what I want to eat and stick to the good stuff. No cravings! I used to eat all day!
        By the way, please include the Polenta cake in the new version of Heart of the Home, since I don’t want to leave my book A Fine Romance open on the counter! Thanks Susan. So looking forward to seeing the Cranberry Tea Cake recipe too. I have pre-ordered Martha’s Vineyard, so that is the next good thing to look forward to. Happy Spring everyone.

  13. Cheryle says:

    Love the Diary art page! I will be giving a 5 minute talk to encourage the very thing this Saturday. May I print the page and share with those attending? I will just print one so they can see. I think it will be so nice and then I’ll read from it. Love your blog….always ;-)! Blessings

    • sbranch says:

      You can do that . . .! I think diary keeping is a great thing, love to spread the idea around! Thank you Cheryl! Tell everyone I said hello!

  14. Carol from CT says:

    If you have time drive down Main Street in Old Saybrook. It’s so charming. This is Katherine Hepburn territory. You will pass “The Kate” (The Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center) on the left…300 Main St, Old Saybrook, CT 06475. http://katharinehepburntheater.org/. Across from The Kate is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that Katherine loved. She did most of her shopping at Walt’s Market also on Main Street. She had her beautiful ocean-front house on Fenwick Point. It has since been sold and remodeled. Lots of interesting history in Old Saybrook.
    Tra la !

    • sbranch says:

      Joe is from CT too! He’s driven me through there, but even he didn’t know about The Kate! Thank you Carol!

  15. Nancy B. says:

    I loved reading about how to write a diary! Not that it needs instructions but yours are great. I have had a couple of books in my head for a few years that I am hoping to someday write down on paper. I always feel inspired reading and seeing all you share! Your Orange Lavender Polenta Cake sounds yummy and I will give it a try! I’m hoping for a new recipe in the “new” book and I can’t wait for it to be available. Thank you Susan 🙂 All the best, Nancy

    • sbranch says:

      Thank YOU Nancy . . . You will LOVE that cake, it is a favorite here. Let me know what you think!

  16. Lori C. says:

    I vote for you putting IN the Orange Lavender Polenta Cake AND the Sticky Pudding Cake! I love the recipes in your AFR and FTG books – but it would be wonderful to have them in a cook book – book.

  17. Sally says:

    Whoo ray
    TURN is returning. Love it. Havent missed an episode.

  18. Ann Y. says:

    I agree with the others…love to have them in a cook book ! We watched TURN and loved it…I know what you mean about the violence. Watched Man in the High Castle on Amazon and am still having nightmares…..don’t think I can watch Season Two of that !!! Your book signing and tea was already sold out near me before I could get my day off from work approved 🙁 BUT…I put in my retirement papers ( I still cannot believe it) so I should be able to attend the next time you come around. I am not liking the word retirement…I will not longer be in a Middle School….but I will be starting the next chapter of my life ! Exciting…with time to read, and cook, and BE !!! Enjoy your cozy, rainy days !!!

    • sbranch says:

      Outlander did that to me, pure nightmares. And I loved the book! Everyone I know who has retired Loves it with a capitol L. I hope you will be one of them, Ann! xoxo

  19. Ann says:

    I don’t suppose there is any way that those of us who have been enjoying your first cookbook for so many years could just buy an addendum with the new pages? I vote for putting the lavender cake in the new book. I keep your cookbooks in the kitchen and other books in the living room.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m afraid that sort of printing really wouldn’t work . . . it’s either all or nothing in this case. The new one will be quite a bit different though, and new, and clean! I think we are getting a good consensus on putting the recipe in! I’m so glad I asked!

  20. Mindy Gauthier says:

    I am going with adding the Polenta Cake – I have the original Heart of the Home cook book and can’t wait to have the ‘new’ one to dive into! We are looking forward to seeing you at Titcomb’s Bookshop in Sandwich MA in July. My mom, sister, daughter and I were there in the Fall for your signing of Fine Romance ~ it was wonderful, all four of us enjoyed meeting you, and chatting with all the other ladies waiting in line that day.

    • sbranch says:

      The line is always the best part! Thank you Mindy!

    • Grace From Barnstable says:

      Hi Mindy. I was on that line too with my sister! We were able to speak with Joe while we waited. I think he’s just as nice in person as he is in the books. How great is it when two terrific people meet and the result is a whole network of Girlfriends who actually enjoy waiting on a line. Love my signed Fine Romance!

  21. Margaret says:

    Dearest Susan!
    I am just silly for the cranberry tea cake! My teddy bear and dolls can’t wait to have a special party with it and watch old movies (oh, yea, hadn’t seen Dark Victory in years…wasn’t George Brent a cutie? My favorite Betty Davis movie is “Now Voyager”…I’ll take its DVD upstairs with me to watercolor my Easter cards tomorrow. Mocha Bear will be assisting me and that is his favorite movie too!). My thoughts on the lavender polenta cake are…it’s a “win/win” no matter what you choose, however this cake requires a different sized pan that many don’t have and I’m not so sure I can find almond flour, polenta flour, and lavender flowers; if I did, I would need them only for this cake, so…I would be adventurous and make it, but what if a Susan-Branch-rookie opened the book and landed on this recipe…it might turn them off the whole book, and that would be so very sad!
    I miss DA, but this weekend, my PBS affiliate aired “Anne of Green Gables”! A real treat for me every time. Love, love the books too. I may have to rent a cottage on PEI next summer and just write and paint every day, imagining that I am Anne.
    I can’t believe you’re so close to your wonderful travels. I would miss those sweet kitties too much.
    I can’t wait to meet you in June when you’re in Atlanta area!!!!
    Bless you and your loved ones and may God shine his blessings upon you…luck of the Irish to you too this week!
    I’m loving my 2016 calendar, thank you for all of your creativity and hard work on making that project possible!
    I’ll see you in Willard,
    Love and peace,

    • sbranch says:

      Interesting thought, I see what you mean. I guess I better try harder to make them drool at how heavenly this cake is! Love your dream of PEI summer! Thank you Momo!

  22. Janet Hellmann says:

    SOOOO disappointed to see the New Hope, PA book signing is sold out. Glad for you but sad for me that I won’t get to see you in person. Maybe next time.

  23. Linda says:

    I think you should add it to your 30 year cook book as in 30 years a person would have a few more favorite recipes. I have made it three times and just love it.

    • sbranch says:

      Me too, it’s a good one, I could eat it pretty much every day for the rest of my life! 🙂

  24. Nicki says:

    Hey, Turn Season 2 DVD is being released this month. I pre ordered it and it’s suppose to arrive next week. Amazon has it and so does Walmart. I love that series! Almost as much as I love reading your blogs!

  25. SusanA says:

    I, too, would like the Polenta Cake recipe in the cookbook. I have the 10th anniversary edition of your Autumn book and love it, and I know I will love the 30th anniversary edition of Heart of the Home too!

    I was so looking forward to your signing in Cincinnati, but I just found out today that I would have had to order your book through that particular bookstore in order to get a ticket. I had no idea that’s how signings work and had purchased all three books through your store. Oh well…in a way, I feel we’ve already met within the pages of your books, so that’s okay. I wish you safe travels and a wonderful tour!

    • sbranch says:

      They don’t usually work that way, but some do … if you really want to come, call there, tell them, and see if they will let you come anyway, sometimes they do.

      • SusanA says:

        Thanks, Susan. I did call the bookstore and the woman said I could try lurking at the end of the line. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          They can’t say no to your face if you think about it . . . it’s not a good thing to do to a potential customer. Just hop right up there, I’d love to sign them!

  26. Barb R. says:

    I remember discovering your very first book at Border’s Books and falling in love with it instantly and purchasing it. I can’t believe it’s been 30 years but it and all of your other books are my favorites. It is so exciting to think a new edition is in the works!!
    we all love you♥️🕞

  27. Kathy Cronberg says:

    PLEASE add gluten-free anything to your book. I haven’t tried the polenta cake yet, but I thought it looked very intriguing in A Fine Romance. It would be a good idea to have it in the cookbook! Love you!

  28. Ann Woleben says:

    Susan, I vote “yes” to adding the polenta cake to the new book. Then when I am out of school for the summer, I can experiment with your wonderful recipes. This cake will be perfect for my bridge club. We love to play bridge, but we all love to eat even more. I teach a Visual Journaling class and with your permission I will share your “How to Write a Diary” page. My students are such wonderful writers, young and free from being overly self-conscious about sharing their thoughts. The first day of class I always congratulate them on being willing to take a risk with their writing and art. Thank you for being the ultimate role model for sharing!

    • sbranch says:

      I think my favorite part of keeping a diary, or journaling, is that I always felt it was just for me. That meant I could say anything. These days I fear that people are making “things” out of diaries, but it should be something for the person, not something planned for the world to see, otherwise they won’t get the personal benefit from it. Good luck with your kids . . . I think you are helping them with a true gift.

  29. Barbzie Bussell says:

    Susan, I posted this about five hours ago, but it’s still awaiting moderation, so I withdrew my website from my posting information and am posting it again. Maybe that’s the reason that it wasn’t acceptable…not sure. But when I posted just before four o’clock today, there weren’t any other comments, so I was hoping that I could be in on the girlfriend chat today. So, here it goes again!

    Susan, I just love hearing from you!
    Just the title of this post “Rainy Day on Martha’s Vineyard” allows me to close my eyes and remember that beautiful breezy October day when Tom and I ferried to the Island to spend the day. One of my very best memories, and one that I can revisit anytime I close my eyes. Lunch in Edgartown, learning about the painted cottages at Oak Bluffs, stopping by “Jaws Beach”, exploring Carly Simon’s shop by the ferry landing…just like a dream, it was so beautiful and satisfying to my senses.
    Northern Indiana is waking up to spring buds and greenery. A dense fog caused a two-hour delay this morning, so we had the sweetness of watching our eight-year-old granddaughter Tegan here with us for two hours before I dropped her off at school. Speaking of Carly Simon…”these ARE the good old days!”
    Have a lovely day, Susan. I’ll be sure to catch “Turn,” and if you ever do catch “A Place to Call Home”, let us know what you think. I think you’ll be enchanted.

    Happy Springtime!
    …Barb from Warsaw, IN (home of “Perfect Ben,” this year’s “Bachelor”, and a son of good friends of ours here in town!)

    • sbranch says:

      It’s not that it’s not acceptable, it’s just that I went to bed about 8 hours ago! And I like to read the comments and then I “moderate” which means push the button so they go up . . . It’s probably still on here, waiting . . . there are 89 comments waiting for moderation right now . . . Sometimes I’m just slow, so never think that you are doing something wrong. I watched my first episode of a Place Called Home, and loved it! It’s my little gift to myself when I’m working. I’ll turn it on after I say hello to everyone here! Thank you Barb!

      • Barbzie Bussell says:

        Thank you, Susan. Please know that I totally get how many notes you are so gracious to respond to, and I don’t expect a personal response…really. I mean, that would take your entire day, and you have tons to get accomplished for your Heart of the Home Anniversary book and the upcoming tour.
        I won’t worry about it next time. I thought that maybe it was something I did that wasn’t conducive to the comment being acceptable, and that wasn’t it at all. I, like so many, so enjoy being part of this community, and thank you so much for bringing us all together…birds of a feather that we are.
        Thank you, Susan.

        • sbranch says:

          I love talking to everyone! I suppose someday I might not be able to, but after reading all of these sweet, smart, wonderful, interesting and kind comments, it’s very hard for me to just go on without at least saying thank you. xoxo

    • Judy Young says:

      On what channel was the show “A Place to Call Home”??

  30. Stephanie C. says:

    Hi Susan! Happy Spring! It’s just a few days away and my bulbs are up. Yes, I vote to put the cake in. I got my “Heart of the Home” book in 1992! It is so loved and used. I have a special place in my kitchen for my Susan Branch library

    I love the show TURN!! No one else I know watches it. Will be glad to see it back again. I don’t like the theme song though. Excited for Willard!!!

  31. Denise in SC says:

    I think leave the polenta cake out and keep the originals plus whatever new you are adding. The polenta cake is in one of your newest books-even though it isn’t specifically about cooking-so it isn’t as though we have trouble getting it. Plus, it keeps your changes fresher for this revision. Perhaps someday you can do a “best of” book that is a combination of your recipes and art, and include the polenta cake there.

    • sbranch says:

      So far, the votes from our Girlfriends are saying they want it in there. But this book will have more recipes than any of my other ones, I don’t think anyone will feel that something is amiss . . . in fact, I am loving the way the updated version is coming out ~ it’s quite adorable if I do say so myself!

  32. Marcia says:

    Can’t wait for the “new” Heart of the Home cookbook to come out. I have all of your cookbooks and many more of your book collection. Also, anxiously awaiting the arrival of MV Isle of Dreams. I think that the miniature watering can is the cutest thing around and just goes perfect with the bunny figurines. I totally enjoy reading your blog. I feel like a real girlfriend.

  33. AngieTink says:

    😊💖🌟💛🍀💜🌻💙✨💚🎶 Good~Evening Sweet Sue 🙂 Put The Cake In The “New” Book…It’s Truly~Scrumptious! 🙂 & Oh My Goodness Perfect~Musica ✨💚🎶 & The Photo of Girl~Kitty…I Hear Her Purrrrrrrring…I Love Her Pink~Nose….(Eskimo~Kisses) 😉 I Love Rainy~Dayzzz & I Watched Dark~Victory This Morning Too…Those Betty~Davis~Eyes….. *sigh* 🙂 You Have Been Such a Busy~Bee Sweet Sue…..Thanks for Keeping Us Up~Dated With Everything….This Thursday is Saint~Patrick’s~Day & Of Course I’m Making Corn~Beef & Cabbage & Potatos & Irish~Soda~Bread…Herbster is Very Irish 😊🍀 & Clearly has a Bit of Leprechaun In Him 😉 (Jiggity~Jig…🍀🎶) 🙂 So The Irish~Tunes Will Be Cranked Up We’ll Be Wearing Our Green~Attire…..The Guiness~Stout Will Be Flowing….Let The Jiggity~Jigs Begin….Nite~Nite Sweet~Sue….(& Good~Morning Too) xoxo Poof! 😊💖🌟💛🍀💜🌻💙✨💚🎶 P.S. Hey How’s Our~Blog~Daddy These Dayzzz? P.P.S Hugzzz & Love & “Irish~Kisses” To All! 😊🍀💜🎶

    • sbranch says:

      Blog Daddy is good Angie! Keeps on keepin’ on . . . Thank you for asking! Happy St. Patty’s Day!

  34. Fancy says:

    Could you please consider making a new coffee mug or two, or three?
    Maybe a Heart of the Home mug, 30 Year Anniversary mug?

    • sbranch says:

      I would love to! It’s difficult making something like that . . . because the manufacturers that do the work want you to commit to buying 12,000 or so . . . 🙂 we would be using mugs like paper cups if we had that many of them lying around!

      • Patricia from Haddonfield says:

        Hmmm… maybe you could get your friends at Emma Bridgewater to make them! I loved the ones you and Joe made when you visited their studio!

        • sbranch says:

          I’ve thought of that! I might check with them when I get some time! I adore their quality and it’s just what I would want for my mugs. If I had mugs. 🙂

          • Judy Young says:

            That is a fantastic idea! And it would be a great quality mug! Love her mugs! Considering how much publicity you would give her brand, I am sure she would be delighted to work with you on a special “Susan Branch” mug.

          • sbranch says:

            Will have to try for that one of these days!

  35. Him Susan, every one of your posts is a treasure! xxoo

  36. Evie Tong says:

    Susan Dear … it is always a grand thing to have everything i.e. recipes in one
    cookbook … I am looking forward to the newly revised edition of your first book and what a wonderful gift for girlfriends this Christmas!! Can you believe shopping for Christmas already … I love it!
    Wishing you always many hugs and kisses … you continue to inspire and fill our
    hearts with gladness … with much love and aloha, Evie
    P.S. Someday … I hope to meet you … ever think of visiting San Diego?

    • sbranch says:

      Well, in the book world you have to think ahead to when you can get it back from the printers! For some reason I don’t seem to get that far down in California, but I will be in Pasadena in case you feel like a little road trip. xoxo

  37. Laurie Walt says:

    Hi! Can’t wait for the new Heart of Home and vote for the polenta recipe to be there too! Can’t wait for the cranberry too. I used your stencils today, from way back when, to paint a cottage sign for a small yellow cottage my hubby built a few years ago for a flower and garden show. We named the cottage Lily Lane Cottage. We have a long lane for a driveway and we grow lilies all around the property. It was als a nickname from a long time ago (Lily that is) Hope to meet you in Iowa this spring! Love.

  38. Rebecca Butler says:

    I can’t wait for you to see Season 2 of TURN, I swear it is 10 times better than Season 1, every week left me wanting more. And I’m sorry to break this to you but since it is a true story I looked up the characters, Mr Nasty survives the war. I just hope the writers take some creative license.

    • sbranch says:

      Yeah me too. He’s so horrible. The way he talks! Like snakes in the garden! Love hearing that the 2nd season is good!!!!

  39. Susanb says:

    Oh yes add the recipe to the anniversary book. So many exciting things coming in the next few months and then a trip across the pond! Well a virtual trip. You make life so much fun for all of us! I just can’t wait until May and the book talk in Illinois, and also the day my copy of the book Martha’s Vinyard, Isle of Dreams is in my mailbox! Oh and, I am it be process of trying to find an Abyssinians kitten, so many exciting things to look forward to.

  40. Heidi says:

    I’ve been hooked on “TURN” too, and also missed the second season! I need to catch up before I watch the new one, even though I know how the story turns out…we win! I love this era in our nation’s history, and this show seems very gritty and real…like it probably really was! I hear they filmed the 3rd season in Colonial Williamsburg, which I love too. Btw, thank you for the Downtown summaries. I got so hopelessly behind on that show, so it was great to get the “Cliff Notes” version from you! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I hear (from our Girlfriends) that the 2nd season starts on Netflix April 11! About time! Happy! Love the detail, you don’t get that in history books. Thank you Heidi!

  41. julia walker in Cincy says:

    Dear Susan, I would like to send my Beatrix Potter journal to you if you don’t already have it. I think it’s an amazing “scrapbook” and would love for you to have mine! Let me know. Julia in Cincy

    • sbranch says:

      I do have it Julia! It’s a wonderful book, just love the hidden door in the back, someone knocked themselves out in the design of that book. Thank you for your sweet offer. xoxoxo

  42. Linda G. says:

    Hello Susan…..yes, I am missing Downton as well but was very happy with the finale. I don’t know if you are aware, but over the last two months PBS has been interviewing the leads of the series and broadcasting them each week. Here is a link to the very last podcast where they interview Laura Carmichael, who played Edith. I highly recommend that you follow the links and listen to all of them–preferably in order they were originally broadcast. Each one is about 30 minutes long. Enjoy!


  43. Meg says:

    Thank you so much for the pictures of the snowdrops to evoke memories of my grandfather. As a little girl, he would allow me to pick a handful from the garden. He would immediately wrap the stems in a wet paper towel and stick them in a sandwich bag so they would stay fresh on the ride home. My grandparents home would be filled with snowdrops in small vases (or should I say the glasses that jelly came in). As a young mother, I lived a half a block from my grandparents. My grandfather (in his late 80s by then) would bring me fresh snowdrops every few days with the stems wrapped in a paper towel and stuck in a sandwich bag.
    I now live on the coast of SC and miss the snowdrops (but definitely not the snow).
    Thank you again,

  44. Kathy Hinson says:

    Yes, yes to the gf cake!! After being diagnosed with rhuematoid athritis in 2007, I discovered that gluten was the culprit. As long as I remain gluten-free, I am pain free! And I truly appreciate any recipes that taste wonderful. Definitely going to check out “Turn”. I have always been drawn to Boston, Martha’s Vineyard and that whole area. While researching our family history, I am finding so many ancestors who fought during the Revolutionary War! Besides, I am still grieving the loss of Downton. Looking forward to meeting you at the Austin book signing! Have you ever been to Texas? It’s a whole ‘nother country, as the saying goes…

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve been to Texas on short jaunts, always for business, but never to Austin, and I’ve always wanted to go there. Everyone loves it!

  45. MarCelia Fahnestock says:

    Yes add the Polemta Cake. I have made it several times and will make it again next week. Perfect for a large crowd and people’s need for gluten free. Love your passion for living life, Susan.

  46. Mary Ann says:

    I just have to ask; if sleeping until 5:00 a.m. is sleeping in, what time do you normally get up? And what time do you normally go to bed?

    I think you should leave the cake recipe out of the cookbook, because I just know whichever recipe you’d have to take out to make room for it will be my favorite. 🙂 and I already have the cake recipe. Just sayin’.

    • sbranch says:

      I get up between 3 and 4 … and try to go to bed by 8 . . . night is not my time, morning is my favorite, I like to get as much of it as possible. I get so much done that way. I promise not to take out your favorite recipe! 🙂

  47. Laural Wood says:

    Just wanted to tell you I have a lot of your art, books etc. but my most favorite thing ever is the big blotter calendar I have on one end of my craft table. Please please never stop making it. I love you Susan Branch. 💕

  48. Christine from CA says:

    Yes we watched Turn, very exciting! glad to hear of the continuation! I still have my original Heart of the Home! will need the new one though to keep my set complete!! Have you ever watched Monarch of the Glen? it is on netflix a fun show with many parts that takes place in Scotland, a family saving is its Grand House! Takes place fairly currently. Julian Fellows is one of the actors, a neighbor with a similar estate!
    Looking forward to the new Books!!! and a visit at Vromans in Pasadena!

    • sbranch says:

      I only saw a couple of episodes but so many people have asked, I think I should give it another go! See you at Vroman’s Christine!

  49. Merci says:

    Hi Susan!
    Ok, you’re putting the recipe in; I have it but if the consensus is yes, go for it. Regina has a great idea – a cookbook featuring your recipes from “A Fine Romance” and perhaps you could gather more on your upcoming trip. That would be an awesome cookbook! Ah, life is never boring!
    Love & Hugs!

  50. Linda S. says:

    Speaking of books, I have always wondered what happened to “Spring” and “Winter”? Love your books, and have most if them…..❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Other books got in the way! That’s all that happens every time, something else comes up. The pity of only having 2 hands but a brain that wants six.

  51. Janet B from PA and MA says:

    Oh, the wonder of your blog and The Girlfriends! Reading through the comments on your “Rainy Day” post, I came to “Carol from CT” (who wrote at 7:18 pm on 3/15) and she happened to provide a link to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (which I never heard of before) in Old Saybrook, CT. I was just watching “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” last night (in my opinion, THE best performance of Katharine’s), so I followed the link and – since I will be driving on 95N right past Old Saybrook this weekend – I ended up ordering tickets to what looks like a fabulous film about Impressionism that is showing there this Saturday! Amazing! See you in New Hope, PA, Susan. I first met you at the wonderful Titcomb’s on the Cape!

    • sbranch says:

      Connections! Gotta love it! See you in New Hope, Janet!

    • Carol from CT says:

      You will love Main Street in Old Saybrook and you will love “The Kate”. If I remember correctly her Oscar statue is displayed inside. If you like antiques, go across the street to Maximus Antiques.

  52. Denise says:

    Dearest Susan, my second baby is thirty and you and Heart of the Home have
    been inspiring me the whole time. Can’t wait for the new edition, and yes, please include the wonderful Polenta Cake. Your wish is my desire. The answer to all your questions is a resounding Yes! Yes! Yes! With love, Denise

    • sbranch says:

      Our babies are the same age. 🙂 You are saying my absolute favorite word of all time. I just love the word Yes!

  53. sylvia in seattle says:

    DREAM – love it. I remember singing this with grade school chums when it was so popular. I belonged to a “dream group” a couple of decades ago and still meet up with a couple of the girls a couple times a year to share dreams and analyze them. I’ve had a couple doozies lately, one I’m sure all about dieting 🙁 I would love to make that cranberry tea cake . . . But my pants are getting pretty tight again RATS! The never ending battle. We’ve had big winds and RAIN that never ends here and boy would that cake be good about now. The end of this post has me yearning for a kitty. Do I dare take on a kitty at my age? Sure would perk up my life. I’d probably do a lot more bending too to help with the spreading of various parts of my body. Hmmmm. . .

    • sbranch says:

      Get skinny now, have cake later, when the book comes in! 🙂 You just ask someone you love to take it in case anything happens to you, and YES, you go get a little bit of love to live in your house with you. It is something you do for your health. You could even get an older cat who needs love!

  54. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan, I vote yes to a new recipe! Also, the cranberry tea cake looks scrumptious. Sounds like even on a rainy day you are enjoying life.. That is so important! I must check out the series onAMC. Have fun on your travels !!! Blessings!

  55. Cindy says:

    Loved the music! I will have to get a revised version of the book. My old one is well, old and well used!!thank you for sharing!!!

  56. Sandra says:

    “Heart of the Home” is coming along so beautifully. It sounds like a birthday present to me! Coming in here is like dropping in on a friend for a cup of tea and a good girl to girl chat and giggle!

  57. Debbie Noyola says:

    I just wrote the longest comment, hit publish & it went poof, gone. In a nutshell I was saying I tried the polenta cake & it didn’t bake right. I followed the recipe to the letter and only left out the lavender. Seemed like it called for an awful lot of butter? So to save what I could I stirred up the semi-baked cake, scooped it into mini cupcake tins & baked it a bit longer. My family and I ate them but they were very buttery still. The banana cream pie on the other hand was a delicious success. Any thoughts Susan?

    • sbranch says:

      I’m sorry! I’ve made it several times and it’s always come out perfectly, so it’s hard to say. It does have a lot of butter in it, but also 6 eggs and 7 cups of flour, etc — it’s a big cake. The only thing I can think of is that maybe the calibration on your oven didn’t match the 325* proscribed temp? I’m sure that’s not it, but I can’t imagine why else it didn’t work. I always feel bad when something doesn’t work because I’m such a tester, I feel like it should work!

      • EsSuzy says:

        I recently did some research when cookies I’ve made many times did not come out the way they were supposed to and found out the type of butter used makes a huge difference. I had used the cheaper store brand butter, which had a higher percentage of water. Now I always buy name brand, tried and true butter. I don’t know if that’s what happened, Debbie, but it’s worth looking into. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I know Susan’s recipes are usually some of the best I have.

        • sbranch says:

          Interesting! I didn’t realize that. Thank you!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            Another factor is gas versus electric oven–really makes a difference. We are switching to gas and, although I think there will be a time of adjustment, ultimately it will be good…

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, that’s different too, although the oven should heat to 350 no matter if it’s electric or gas. I think you’ll love gas . . . I’ve had both, and both work just fine, it’s that you really have faster control with gas. You must me so excited! Moving into a house you built! That’s so fantastic!

      • Debbie Noyola says:

        I looked at the recipe & didn’t see it calling for 7 cups of flour? 5 & 1/2 of almond flour & some cornmeal but not 7 cups of flour. Also, I use Trader Joes butter in everything I bake & it always comes out great.

        • sbranch says:

          Oh I was just rounding off.. 5 ¼ almond flour plus 1½ c polenta flour, so 6 ¾ c of flour, not really 7. Plus 2 c. of sugar. But anyway, you’re the first that’s mentioned this to me, and I’m at a lost. I wish I could have an answer for what went wrong! I don’t know, only thing I can think of is that you might check the calibration on your stove?

  58. Suzette Shoulders says:

    Dearest Susan, I have been very sick since the 5th, but still manage to check your blog each week! I would love to have someone whomp up the tea cake for me, and while at it, clean the house, too, ha ha! My dear husband has managed to shop, which is a pretty big deal for him, but I haven’t over-taxed him!
    I love Benjamin Bunny’s watering can full of snowdrops, how dear is that? it is just the perfect size! Makes me think of a tiny bottle with wee violets in it my friend Jenny and I found in our first B and B in Kent, in 2001. Good memories!

  59. Martha Rodik says:

    Yum! Can’t wait to make the Orange Lavender Polenta Cake. It looks delicious! I always enjoy reading your posts. I’ve made to do lists and never seem to complete everything on mine. Congratulations on finish all your tasks on your list! I’m getting the urge to spend the days outside and can’t wait to plant too! Looking forward to May, because I know a book will be in the mail from you!

    • sbranch says:

      Sooner . . . I think you’ll have it by the middle of April (if you got it in my web store) ~ and if everything stays on schedule, could even be sooner!

  60. Linda says:

    I looked on Netfix & it said season 2 of Turn will start on April 11.

  61. Andi M says:

    A quick question about the lavender cake, can I use lavender that I grow in my little garden? I would make certain that it is clean. I would dry it first.

  62. Carol from Indy says:

    Good morning, dear friend!
    We are also having a cold rainy spring day and I am loving it! Fire crackling in the fireplace, tea cup beside me and my knitting in my hands. I have my little heart beat at my feet (as Edith Wharton referred to her dog) and it is a cozy day indeed. All this rain will be like a shot of miracle gro to the bulbs coming up. I would love to have the Lavender Polenta recipe in the new cookbook. It is so delicious and I love everything Lavender. (Your lavender cookie recipe is a particular favorite). So exciting about both books. I can hardly wait!!

    Safe and happy travels and I hope to see you in Cincinnati.

  63. Oh my As always I love love your blog post or what I love to call them is my talks with Susan. I have followed you since I came across your Christmas Book many years ago. Now I have all your books. Thank you for always making my day and making me happy! Hugs and Love! Cathy

  64. winnie Nielsen says:

    I am looking forward to an updated 30th anniversary of your first book! And yes, please do include the polenta cake because so many more people are gluten free these days and having a party recipe is good to have on hand. Plus, that cranberry tea cake looks delicious and I can’t wait to get that one in the oven at my house! Cranberries are a favorite of mine.

    You know, re-watched the last episode of Downton Abby three times and cried harder each time I watched it! It was such a magnificent series and I am still missing the fact that there will be no more episodes. I do love the clothes as they moved into the mid 1920s. Such style! I wonder how I would look dressed in them? It would be fun to try these styles on.

    It is good to see that Spring has arrived outside at Martha’s Vineyard too. Your Snowdrops are so sweet and pretty! Enjoy your less hectic work schedule and the warming up of your days. Happy Spring this weekend too!!

  65. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Love the Musica, perfect! Can hardly wait for Heart’s Anniversary Issue! Alrighty, since you asked…….when I buy a new book, I want to see new pictures, new words, new recipes (& I can hardly wait to make the Cranberry recipe!) not because I’m tired of the old, but because I’m thrilled author’s/artists have a never ending supply of words/art & my dreamy side floats right in to soak it all up! Maybe I’m thinking something like “Ooh, Polenta Cake, I remember the picture, the recipe & where it came from, the wonderful feeling reading about it….I’m going right there to reread & whip one up”! Then again, Anniversary Issue will have some of both, so maybe you should add it….perfectly unclear for you my dear???!!! Love the blog, thank you! Bless you for all you do for us! xox

  66. Michele M. says:

    Hi Susan! Had to skip over some entries I haven’t read yet to help answer your questions asap 🙂 PLEASE put a gluten free recipe for the polenta cake in there yes! I discovered I have a wheat allergy about 4 years ago and it’s always helpful to find new GF baking recipes and especially from you!! I know you have a lot of GF (possibly naturally) recipes you have shared with us here and there…maybe you could do a GF recipe book even compiling recipes from other books you have written into one? That is, in a few years when you can celebrate the new book!
    I have heard of TURN but never watched…and because of you and the girlfriends, I am not on season 3 of Downton…slowly with Netflix DVD’s catching up…I will do the same with TURN!
    The calendar page for next year is very pretty! Thank you for the sneak peek!! and to be in Yankee magazine again!??! A blessing. Best New England magazine ever! My Nana used to get this when it was the smaller version, and I would read them all the time at her house. Will get another subscription!!
    Happy almost spring and the snowdrops are beautiful!! Take care!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, love the natural Gluten Free, because they’re always so delicious! And so many things are natural! Like my Pumpkin Cheesecake in the Autumn book — it’s a killer recipe, beyond delicious, and all you would have to do is use GF Mi-Del Gingersnaps for the crust and you would have an amazing GF recipe. Happy day Michele!

  67. Debbie MacKenzie on Cape Cod says:

    Polenta cake, yes please. Life is better with treats!

  68. Patricia from Haddonfield says:

    Hello Susan!
    I purchased my copy of Heart of the Home way back in the 80s, at a lovely, though now no longer, bookstore called Cabbages and Kings in Haddonfield, NJ. It was everything a bookstore should be: warm, inviting, with fresh coffee made, large mooshy chairs to sit and read (all day if you wanted!), and friendly, knowledgeable owners. When I found HotH, I had to buy it. As an artist, I really appreciated the lovely watercolors, and that is what first drew me to the book. I took it to bed with me – the first cookbook I ever did so with! And, now that it is all good and dirty, with lots of stains from creating the recipes, I will buy the new one for my daughter, who now has a home of her own. It is really hard for me to say which recipe should be “given up” for the Polenta cake, but like you said, how many cake recipes produce a cake that feeds 24? I mean, really!
    I’ve been a fan for so long, have all the Willards saved in a special binder, stickers that you sent – what fun! – that I believe that anything you decide with the book will be wonderful!
    I look forward to meeting you in New Hope, PA.

    • sbranch says:

      I look forward to meeting you Patricia! I remember Cabbages and Kings, I went there once and loved it. I forgot all about it ~ sad that they couldn’t hold out and stay with us . . . xoxo

  69. Miss Julie Ann says:

    My grandsons’ rhyme: “Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man…bake me a cake as fast as you can! Pat it and roll it and mark it with G…and toss it in the oven for Grammie and me…but just make sure that it’s GLUTEN FREE!”

  70. Cindy Tuning says:

    Looking back through the original cookbook, I would have to pick The Valentine Cookie if something has to go. I’ve made The lavender polenta cake for almost every Tea I’ve hosted and it’s always a hit. That carrot cake is also delicious and a family favorite. Have fun planting that garden.

    • sbranch says:

      OKAY, big help! And I sure will, can’t wait, BIG reward at end of tunnel…flowers, oh boy.

  71. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Glad to hear you are taking care and sleeping in…….you deserve it!!!!! I vote for the Polenta Cake recipe to be in the revised Heart of The Home cookbook, because it will be easily found with the other recipes, instead of having to reach for the Fine Romance book and possibly spilling (while baking) on that treasure. Cookbooks are more forgiving with accidental spots here and there, Don’t you agree? At least when “cookbooks” acquire stains, it’s proof they are used and loved!!!! Oh, and Susan, your revised Heart of the Home, shall be my very first “cookbook” of yours that I will being purchasing for myself……..So excited!!!!!! (The calendar page, and magazine ad are so you………..”So Susan Branch”…….the newest saying!!!!!!) Have a wonderful Wednesday!

    • sbranch says:

      Okay Carilyn, with the sensible smart mother, I will do it!!! I love the stains in my cookbooks, so with you on that. Little chocolate and gravy here and there just adds to the DNA of the thing. Happy St Patrick’s Day!

  72. Janice says:

    Good early Morning Dear Susan, I’am up early didn’t sleep weel thinking about my coprochet needle that got lost. The bad part is I’m making a blanket and I’am almost finished and I need that needle. Anyways I think you should add the recipe. It sounds lovely I love all your illistrations they are just beautiful to me I can’t get enough of them. i could sit all day looking at them all. I’d love to use them but I know we aen’t suppose to. But I truly admire you and them. Oh darn I forgot what other questions there are.. It’s old age settling in.. So forgetful. Well the cake sounds like a good idea to add. I will have to go back and re read. So have a most wonderful weekend. With love Janice in San Francisco. Ps. Question for you, would you ever consider coming here for a book signing.???

    • sbranch says:

      Look under the cushion of your chair. That’s where I always find my knitting needles! I’ll be in Danville, I’m afraid that’s as close as I will get to San Francisco. Have a wonderful day Janice!

  73. Janice says:

    I just noticed my address is wrong. It is spoonwither.blogstop.com s there a way to fix it. Without having to change it everytime?

    • sbranch says:

      It would seem, since you put it up, you would have to be the one to change it . . . but I’m probably not the best person to ask . . . maybe one of our Girlfriends can tell you better. ???

  74. Janice says:

    Omg, a second mistake Lol I think I need to go back to bed and start over. Its spoonwither.blogspot.com..

  75. Debby Rickett says:

    Hi Susan!!! I would love to have the gluten-free cake recipe in a cookbook, where I can easily find it.
    By the way, I purchased tickets to the Morrow Bay, CA book signing! I’m half way through “Fairy Tale Girl” and I’m forcing myself to read it slowly and savor every page…. I cannot wait to meet you and purchase “Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams”. You truly inspire me 🙂
    Thank you!!!!

  76. Janice says:

    Ok I think it worked http:// spoonwither.blogspot.com

  77. Mary McCumber says:

    Oh Susan, you were indeed correct, the musica from this blog wrapped me in MAGIC! My dream would be to have that song & so many others like it, filling my home everyday, ALL day! Yes, magic~ Very excited to soon see the new Heart of the Home! All my Susan Branch books have a special place in my kitchen, within easy reach of a rocking chair, & the tea kettle! Thank you for another smile overload blog! We LOVE YOU SB~~~

  78. While I LOVE my first edition copy of Heart of the Home, I would gladly LOVE to buy the new one with the extra recipes! And please, by all means add the wonderful polenta cake recipe- I make it all the time 🙂 xoxo

  79. Christine Jessup says:

    Hi Susan,

    I am looking forward to your new book and do glad you told us about Turn. I missed season 2 as well. Thank you for sharing yourself through art and literature all these years. I have been a fan forever. Any chance you will be doing a book signing near San Francisco, CA?

  80. Deb W says:

    I love the idea of illustrated journals / travel diaries. I have never learned watercolor technique, so I’m looking forward to the new book to see how much you talk about teaching yourself to paint with watercolors. I’ve messed around a little bit with colored pencils, but of course they don’t give the degree of color saturation you can get with paint. How can you paint right in the journal without crinkling the paper? Or do you use watercolor sketchbooks for journals?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s all about how much water you use . . . the more water, the thicker the paper would need to be. But if you wet your brush, dip in the paint, and maybe blot a tiny bit on a napkin, when you apply it to dry paper, there’s not much water there. Try it, you never know. Just get a paint box and some paper . . .

  81. shanna says:

    Susan, have you ever baked the polenta cake in a 9×13 pan? Seems like it should work, since the depth and area of the rectangle is about the same as a 12-inch round pan… and everybody must have a 9×13 cake pan in the cupboard!

  82. Diana H. says:

    Hi Susan! Haven’t commented in a while, just soaking up all your words and beauty you give us lately. Downton was just THE BEST!!! No other words and I will just occupy myself with Grantchester on PBS now. Love that Sydney!!! I too LOVE the show TURN. I caught it when it first came on by some weird accident of fate, because I have always been intrigued with the Revolutionary period and also the Civil War, well, just history, let’s face it!! LOL.. Thank you for this post. I am so glad you are taking some time to recharge and I am looking forward to the re-issue! I think I would love you to include the cake recipe. My daughter-in-law is now G/F and would love to have more recipes to make when they visit!…. we just got back from Ft. Worth, TX visiting them and had a wonderful time. It is so heart-swelling to see my son so happy and they make a wonderful couple, all sorts of energy abounding and do-gooding and just lovely people. It is hard they are so far from us but just glad they are making a good life for themselves where they are planted. I am bringing my youngest sister to see you when you come to Chicoagoland in May! CAN’T WAIT!! Until then, get some rest, enjoy your days and happy trails when you hit the road!

    • sbranch says:

      Going to love to see you and your sister in Chicago . . . and LOVED the story of your son and his new wife, the way you spoke of them was wonderful! Good for your family, that’s so nice!

  83. Susan Miller says:

    Oh I can not wait to meet you in Atlanta in June! I am so excited! My “baby” will be 30 this year and she is so disappointed that she will not be able to meet you! (a friend’s wedding). But I will make sure I get her a copy of your book (as I have made sure she has all of them!). Can;t wait, Can;t wait, Can;t wait! Now, if you can only figure out a way to bring Jack and Girl Kitty with you! 🙂
    Hugs and Can;t Wait!
    Susan 🙂

  84. Lexy says:

    Oh Boy. I HATE to write this Susan because I’m probably the first to let you know how unhappy I am regarding your new updated, revised cookbook. I for one spent approximately $22.00 for your first issue in 1986. I’m not sure what the new price will be for the updated book but it is certainly not within my budget to spend whatever to get, I’m not sure here, 16 new recipes or 16 new pages, I can’t remember. So my question is…..will I be able to buy the new addition separately so I can add it to my first issue as an insert?

    I have all your books and treasure everything you write about and share so generously with us. But, if this is a new idea for you and possibly other chef’s with cookbooks, I not a happy camper. But, in the end, I still love you.

    • sbranch says:

      Well, I’m glad to hear that! 🙂 I guess what I do can’t make everyone happy, but you must know I do try, and I think lots of people will love to have this new book, because it will be quite a bit different. Sixteen new pages, but more than 16 new recipes . . . plus, new art, new quotes, it’s really a different book. And so many of the 30-year-old books are pretty beat up. I was going to just reprint Heart of the Home as is, but then I thought, if I’m going to bother to reprint it, why not give the old girl some new dresses? You still have Heart and that’s good, and you might not even want this, but I think it deserves a bit of an upgrade. It’s very expensive to print these books, and not feasible to print just a part of it … besides, what would you do with the pages that say, “this yummy dish is perfect with the salad on p. 23” … and p. 23 isn’t there? I think lots of books have been updated after 30 years, I’m definitely not the first. But anyway, you have to do what you have to do, and it’s okay with me if you don’t buy it because I will still love you too. Girlfriends forever! xoxo

  85. Karen Saunders says:

    Can we pre-order the new Heart of the Home book????

  86. Carla says:

    Hi Susan!! I CANNOT wait for my Isle of Dreams to come in the mail. Perfect reading for a beautiful Spring Day. My vote is to include the Polenta Cake, much handier in one of your Cookbooks. So glad you get to finally rest, and just in time to enjoy the beautiful Summer days on MV. Have a beautiful week!

    • sbranch says:

      It could take forever before it gets into a regular cookbook, this just makes so much sense to do it now! You too Carla, have a wonderful week!

  87. Gail Morrissey says:

    Turn looks like an interesting series. I just looked for it on Netflix. Season 2 will be there on April 11th. 💚💚💚

  88. Cindy B. from Roanoke says:

    Thank you, Susan, for another wonderful post! You always brighten my day!

    Yes, I think you should include the Polenta Cake recipe in this new version of your first cookbook. I have all of your books, and I probably would not think to look in “Falling in Love…” to find a recipe. A special recipe like this should be in a cookbook!

  89. Cathy Wegner says:

    We loved TURN! Im so glad it’s coming back and we saw season 2 also. Hope you can find it somewhere. Love your blog as always!

    • sbranch says:

      Several of our girlfriends have written to say Turn, season 2, will be on Netflix starting on April 11. YAY! Thank you Cathy!

  90. Julie says:

    By all means, let’s have the polenta cake in the book! Of course – what will you be taking out? I don’t want to miss out on anything! To that end, I sit now with several things in my cart, including the pre-order of Isle of Dreams, but I want to add to it the pre-order of the new Heart of the Home… I’ve come to realize that I NEED it all!

    I’m not one who likes spicy things very much, and so was a tad worried when I followed your recipe for crab cakes, as there’s a smidge of spice in them… shouldn’t have worried! You didn’t steer me wrong! I made these for a dinner party – tiny ones for the appetizers – and everyone raved. I love them too! I make them all the time now. So OBVIOUSLY, I need all the others…

    anyway, I hope you will soon be putting the pre-order up for the new HotH, so I can put it all in my cart at once and check out in the blissful knowledge that there’s nothing missing!

    • sbranch says:

      Well, it will never come out of the old books! But in the new one, perhaps, new recipes! It definitely helps when they turn out good. I would never light anyone’s mouth on fire! I’m still waiting to hear from the printer and from Kellee, but I promise I’ll let you know. . . hopefully by WILLARD time!

  91. Cecelia says:

    Yes, put the recipe in! I think of you everytime we take the train.

  92. Pam says:

    Hi Susan!!
    love, love, love your post as always!!! I can not wait till Heart of the Home is available for purchase! I don’t own the first one, so super excited to get the new one. Happy Wednesday Susan! xoxoxo

  93. Natalie says:

    I love, love, love Heart of the Home and cannot believe it is 30 years old! Where did the time go. Thirty years ago I gave my best friend a copy of Heart of the Home for a bridal shower gift and bought a copy for myself. We are both still best friends and still adore all of your books and website. I guess you can call us two of your original fans 🙂 Of course we can’t wait for the anniversary edition and Christmas cookbook. Yes, add the Orange Lavender Polenta Cake. Wish we didn’t have to wait for the cranberry cake recipe. I was just looking at the cranberries in the freezer and wondering what to do with them.

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to hear from you Natalie! Love that story of you and your best friend! Tell her I said hello! xoxo

  94. I can’t wait to get the “new” cookbook later in the year! I’m 2 thumbs up on voting for the polenta cake – holy yum! Thanks for all the wonderful things you share. 😉

    Blessings to you on finishing up all of your final projects and then enjoying very safe travels to come.


  95. Wendy says:

    Congratulations on your new improved Heart of the Home book!! So fun. I cannot wait til Isle of Dreams makes its way to my mailbox. I will toss everything aside and dig in!
    Love the “just get a kitten” picture. EXCELLENT advice!
    Cannot wait to hug your neck on May 10!!!!!!!!!!!!

  96. Barbara (WA) says:

    I won a copy of your original, first book a couple of years ago – a blogger’s give-away! But I most likely will add your newest version to my collection.

  97. Sharon in So. Calif. says:

    I was all for saying “nay” to the recipe going into the new updated version, until reading through the comments and it seems that we won’t be losing a recipe (which was my reason for the nay), because it is in the 1st book already, so win ~ win, yeah!! So I now say YES put it in the new book! Might there be a new Monday blog about “TURN”?? LOL Was so glad to also hear that our beloved Blog Daddy is keeping on, I miss his comments. And Girl certainly is looking quite the lady these days, ♥ her.. Can’t wait for tomorrow, it’s lets make Susan Branch’s Irish Stew with Buttered Noodles, oh my, can’t wait. This is my dear Irish proverb to you: When I count my blessings, I count you TWICE.. Gra (love in Irish) Sharon

  98. Carol from Chapel Hill, NC says:

    I am really looking forward to the 30th Anniversary edition of Heart of the Home. The artwork looks so pretty and the food photos are making me so hungry! I love all of your cookbooks and have so many favorite recipes. Thank you for this new edition!

  99. Nanette Hill says:

    Hi Susan, I have enjoyed ALL your books thru the years. Have you ever thought about doing a book of all your recipes, like an overall index of the recipes?

    • sbranch says:

      I have thought of it, just haven’t quite had the time yet. Maybe when we get home from Europe, next winter or something! It would be such a good thing to have!

  100. Hannah Jane says:

    Wow, this makes me even more excited to read Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. Your art and storytelling is simply transporting. I like your pictures of the work that goes into it as well. I think you could do a whole book on that!

    • sbranch says:

      I really tried hard to write a lot about creativity (after I got done analyzing the heck out of it) for Isle of Dreams…I agree, it’s really an interesting subject.

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