Hello Darlings! I hope you’re hungry . . . and just in case you’re all worn out from working waaaay too hard, listen to this 🎵 MUSICA  ~ I promise it will put you right back into your happy place.holly


I got the nicest mail today. Two letters, one from Mallary and the other was from Maeve. You don’t know either one of them, but the first time I heard from Mallary, she was 12 and she wrote to tell me how much she loved my Summer Book. The second christmas pietime she wrote, she was 21, and it was all about Girlfriends Forever, now, she’s 30, and she just finished Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. Isn’t that amazing?  And I recognize her handwriting! I love hearing from these young ones who’ve grown up and still write me every once in a while. Maeve, who wrote me when she was 15 to tell me how much she liked A Fine Romance, is now 18! She still decorates the pages of her letters with her art, and wrote to tell me how excited she is to be going to England with her girlfriend next month. I think I’m almost as excited about her trip as she is! This is just one of the many reasons I love my job. I am so inspired by these letters. They are the perfect Christmas gifts for the heart, for my heart. 💖 And now I have a gift for you…holly


Here we are at the stove (big hint) … I’m always changing the decorations on the shelf, right now it’s decorated with old children’s blocks with JH on them on the left (for Joe), a Beatrix Potter person (The Tailor of Gloucester), my fiber-brush dog that seems never to leave the stove shelf, the good ship Queen Elizabeth wooden model given to us by our friend Carlton, a little toy stove in the back with YUM vintage scrabble letters on top (its kind of permanent too), and in front of it is a fiber-brush hedgehog I got in England; then my SB stamps, and my little house that comes out every Christmas, with lights and a cardinal in the upstairs window.get-attachment.aspximg_7748

Here’s a close-up of the little house. This is one of the most rickety things I own. The roof wants to come off, but I am TLC with it. I rescued it from antique show here on the Island. I wish I knew who constructed this little homemade thing.
small treatsimg_7725

So anyway, the reason we’re at the stove, is because we need to turn it on very low, because  the short ribs I ordered at our market finally came in and I made them for you! This recipe is such a keeper . . . Delicious enough for a dinner party, wonderful for an evening at home, total comfort food for a long dark winter, but also gluten free! And SO fast, maybe 15 min. to throw all the ingredients together, then, seven hours later, you make a salad and rice, and you have a masterpiece of homemade goodness on your hands.💗

But, while cooking, I wanted an old movie to keep me company ~ the 1944 version of Jane Eyre makes the most perfect background noise for what I had to do in the kitchen . . .magicwandimg_7667

img_7675This recipe for Spicy Short Ribs can be made in a crockpot or in the oven. Since I finally realized (after turning my cupboards inside out) I left my crockpot in California, I made the executive decision to use the oven. I’ve had it both ways, crockpot and oven, so whichever works best for you is fine.  If you use a crockpot, it should hold at least 6 quarts, and be set on low heat. In both cases, cooking time is 7-8 hours. I’ll put the recipe at the bottom … but in general . .  . You start with a half cup of beef broth in a medium bowl. I use this stuff in the jar (½ tsp. mixed with 1 ½ c. boiling water) because I think it tastes better, but you can use canned broth if you like.

To the beef broth, add ½ c. soy sauce . . . and then . . .


. . . ¼ c. firmly packed dark brown sugar, all broken up and sugary in the liquid. Doesn’t this sound delicious so far?



Then you peel 2 large garlic cloves . . .


. . . and put them through a garlic press into the liquid . . .

Now take an ordinary teaspoon and use the bowl end to scrape and peel a knob of fresh ginger . . .

Mmmmmm, mince and measure out one Tbsp.

comfortably eating all the birdseed

From corner of eye, notice quick movement outside kitchen window, look up, and see this! Grab camera and get picture!


Calm down and add the minced ginger to the liquid . . .
DecorationsI Dont Like Term


And then whisk in a teaspoon of dark sesame oil . . .


And add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes (this is optional, but no one I’ve ever made this for thought it was too spicy, it has a nice heat, but it’s up to you).


Whisk it all together . . .


Pour the mixture over five pounds of short ribs … with a wooden spoon, move them around to get a little sauce on all of them, cover tightly and cook 7-8 hours at 250 degrees in the oven, or on low on the crockpot.  When done, the meat will be falling off the bone, and almost melt in your mouth in a lovely little gravy. A half hour before it’s done,  mix well 2 Tbsp. cornstarch with ¼ c. water in a shaker jar and stir it into the sauce in the pan. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer for last half hour. Make white rice… squeeze juice of one lime over the rice. Serve the ribs sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.  littlemagic


My shadow sits on the counter and watches over all, he’s my quality control officer.Decking-the-hallsimg_2741

Hardly any dishes!


And so, while that cooks, I thought I’d show you a few of my decorations … I found this man-in-snow glass in an antique store and he always gets to be front and center.



. . . love the white and sparkly bits in the living room . . . although later we put lots of greens on the mantle to go with the shiny things.


Joe-elf has been busy making wreaths and cutting holly . . . he tied together backyard greens for the kitchen door. That door is on its 167th Christmas!quote about and old house


Loving our Christmas cards, some from YOU, now mixed in with family photos . . .childquoteHonestly, have we really changed that much since we were children? I still hear those elves whispering!😊 I know you do too.💖Make me a child againUs seeing Santa

That’s my brother Jim on the left, then me with the freckles, then Stephen in the leather jacket, and Chuckie in the jumpsuit. None of our children ever really liked Santa or the Easter Bunny. Once we got there, it was quite frightening to us really, but we knew we were children, and we knew it was our job to get our picture taken with this guy every year!

holly jolly ChristmasChristmasimg_7630

It’s starting to get dark, and so I lit the new candle in the votive given to us by our dear Mother Seraphima and the darling Sisters (a story I’m saving for very soon!) when we went to visit them last week . . . this was yesterday. TODAY our day is longer! Winter solstice is behind us and we have MORE LIGHT. (It’s almost spring! Kind of.)


Dinner’s almost ready, light the fire, honey . . .  make it hygge in there!



And here we go … I made rice, drizzled it with lime juice, put the sesame seeds on the beef, and added chopped green onions over all … My husband loved it. He had a forkful of beef, all dripping with gravy which he ran through the tender white rice, picking up some crunchy green onions along the way, and now he likes me better than ever. This is the kind of Christmas I like.way to a man's heartchristmasquote

decorating the hutchDecking the Hallslove nostalgicDecking the Halls

giftartAll my very best to you and yours, God bless us one and all! Thank you for another wonderful year of Girlfriendhood ~ It’s been amazing!  Don’t forget to slow down time a little bit, take a little for yourself these next few days, a cozy nap, lunch in your favorite place, a walk to look at the sky, a drive to admire the lights.  While you’re passing out the nurturing for your friends and family, for your house and your petty pets, don’t forget to give a little to you. 💞 I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.💗 1 Corinthians 13:13 💖 Lucky, lucky us. XOXOXOXOgiftsS P I C Y    S H O R T    R I B S

  • cooking½ c. beef broth
  • ½ c. soy sauce
  • ¼ c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 lg. cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (opt.)
  • 5-lbs. short ribs (w/bones) cut into 2″ pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with ¼ c. water
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 2 c. white rice cooked in 4 c. salted water
  • 1 lime (juice for the rice)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees … or put your crockpot on low. You need a 6 qt. crockpot or dutch oven. Whisk together first seven ingredients. Put the ribs in the pot, pour liquid over and be sure to get sauce on every rib. Cover tightly and cook in slow oven or crockpot for 7-8 hours.  A half hour before it’s done, mix together the cornstarch and water in a shaker jar and pour into sauce, mixing as well as possible. Cover dutch oven and bring to boil on stove burner, then reduce to simmer, for ½ hour. Or cover crockpot and put on high for ½ hour.  Make fluffy white rice, and squeeze juice of one lime over the top. Serve beef with gravy and rice. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.♥️

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441 Responses to I HOPE YOU’RE HUNGRY . . .♥️

  1. Lorraine Sodaro says:

    I can’t wait to hear about Mother Seraphina. My newest great niece, coming January 2017, will be named Serafina. I love your blog. Merry Christmas!

    • sbranch says:

      A beautiful name… but interestingly, Mother Seraphima’s name has an ‘m’ instead of an ‘n’. Happy new baby to you and yours!!!

  2. Linda Smith says:

    Looks like a good recipe – I made short ribs today too – over noodles. Yum! Susan – Have a very joyful Christmas. We all deserve that. Pet Jack for me. Thank you for making 2016 a better year for many of us.

  3. sylvia in seattle says:

    Just Googled Bara Brith. Lots of pictures making me want to make some. BUT I’m still sewing potholders for my kids and not much time left. It’s always thus. Last minute cards making me want to write long letters in return, frantically finishing up hand made stuff, out of cookies to take to the family fondue get together on Christmas day. Oh well, letters can be written any time and that Bara Brith would be good in the new year in spite of those resolutions. Love your cozy cheery blog post Susan.

  4. JudyCinNC says:

    Wishing you a Christmas filled with happiness and love and a New Year with joyous anticipation. We are all surrounded in beauty if we just look. Think I will turn the tv off. Judy C in N C

  5. Jan Lane says:

    A Blessed Christmas to your household and to YOU! Thank you for your cheerful soul. That verse out of Corinthians is truly my favourite verse of the Bible, and it means everything.

    I think your recipe sounds fantastic. Now I know I shall have to try it. Perfect for New Year’s day.

    We are having gentle rain all day here in Pine Mountain Club. It will turn to snow in the night and tomorrow they promise snow for a White Christmas. I hope so. Christmas is supposed to be clear, and more snow on Monday. So we are settling in for a few days. Late Christmas celebration at the end of the month with my son and his family in San Diego. Our youngest grandson, Travis Elliott, turns 3 on Christmas Day. He is a magical child. His birthday party is on hold until Jan. 8th, so that makes 2 trips south to see them all in the next few weeks. For the three of us here on the mountain, we will share a few gifts, have some special treats, and share joy and love and peace.

    Again, the most joyful Christmas to you and Joe, and fur babies.

  6. Carol Ann Britt says:

    Have a fabulous Christmas full of joy!

  7. Pam Wilson says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan and Joe! You make it extra special with your messages and photos of your Christmas decorations and preparations. Your recipe will definitely go on top of my “must try in 2017” list! Just wanted you to know that as my two best home-town friends and I celebrated our 65th birthdays in the past few months, I bought them each a copy of “Girlfriends”. I was the one with the use of my Dad’s VW Bug and we were always cruising around in it. Even if all the pages inside were NOT interesting, I would have bought the books just for the cover! But the frosting on the cake is….every page of the book is wonderful and one of my favorites of your many terrific books. Thanks for making our world a big brighter, cozier, and tastier!! I hope you both enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.

    • sbranch says:

      What perfect 65th birthday presents for girlfriends, because no matter what age, some things never change! Nice to hear from you Pam! Thank you so much!

  8. Judy from KC says:

    Merry Christmas !🎄🎅🎁❄️⛄️
    Thankyou for sharing your recipe sounds yummy!
    Blessings in the New Year!

  9. Jana says:

    The photo of jack up on the cupboard is the best! Made my day seeing that handsome boy! Thanks for all the lovely love, Susan! Merry, merry Christmas!

  10. Sherrill says:

    Your recipe sounds delicious…think husband John is drooling at his desk as he is reading your latest blog as I write! I loved the little tour of some of your Christmas decorations…makes everything very hygge as you said. LOVE that word and concept. Since I have some Danish roots (among many others), we bought a sweet little book called “The Cozy Life” by Pia Edberg for all our family members for Christmas this year. Thank you for being part of our lives…wish we could meet sometime in person so we could give you both big hugs!
    Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy, Fun, Safe 2017!

    Sherrill and John Kerbaugh

  11. Gayle Hall says:

    Oh Susan, HOW DEVINE!!! As I read and looked at your lovelys I could not help but wonder if my greeting had made it to you? And then I sat wishing I could send off an e-mail with shots of decorations here. But will have to send mine via SNAILMAIL at another time. What was I thinking? Should have tucked some photos in with the picture of me in my JAMMIES that I sent your way. The short ribs SMELLED SO GOOD!! 😉😊 With greetings for an absolutely wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Thank you so much for such a wonderful year of treasures from you. Love Gayle Hall.

  12. Kathiellen says:

    Merry Christmas Dear Susan, Joe & Jack!
    I was so happy to find your new blog post on my i-pad this afternoon! Thank you for sharing that delicious looking short ribs recipe!! I am going to make it on the day that we take down and pack away our Christmas decorations. Smelling the short ribs baking will be such a treat at the end of the day! I am really looking forward to tasting them! I am anxious to hear your story about Mother Seraphima and the Sisters! I saw a picture of you taken with them (on twitter I believe ). Nuns hold a special place in my heart ❤ And…..Sir Jack waaaay up on that cabinet!! He is just too cute!! I had a kitty named Emmy Alice during the 1980s…she was my only “way up high, climbing cat” and use to sit on the top of my refrigerator to watch me. I have been owned by a kitty since I was one year old, and cannot imagine life without them!
    Have a Blessed Christmas and a New Year that brings you happiness and good health! xoxo

  13. diana from ancaster says:

    Thank you sooooooooo much for the recipe and most important, this latest note from you.
    Just in the midst of the final prep for our Christmas Dinner….. cappelletti and homemade chicken broth, cannelloni (veal AND ricotta/spinach), beet gravlax, calamari, mini tourtieres, pork dressing with chestnuts,cranberries, apricots and peaches, green bean/mushroom casserole, sweet potato casserole, the turkey and for dessert……mascarpone tart with frutti di bosco!
    Celebrating my family’s Italian and French Canadian , Finnish and Irish heritage in style…

    Merry Christmas and heartfelt wishes for a Happy New Year!!

  14. Pat Johnson says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Joe……Do you have snow? We have just a little rain in Paso Robles. Need tons more but won’t get it! Finished wrapping presents for the kids (old) and Grandkids (a bit younger) and the Great – Grandkids (much younger). Another Christmas and I wish I was in the cabin in Newport WA with SNOW. Love every minute of YOU during the past year and look forward to next year……Hugs to all!

    • sbranch says:

      No snow now, we had some but it all went away. There’s good and bad in everything! Hugs to you and yours, Pat. xoxo

  15. The short ribs look wonderful and appreciate the recipe. I’ve never made them but always wanted too and the slow cooker sells me…thanks! The photo with Santa is AAAdorable…although the boys look totally stunned…so funny!
    My favorite Christmas music- youtube.com/watch?v=xRobryliBLQ~
    Merry Christmas@

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I was old and mature, but the boys were still in shock! That was so beautiful Sandra. I’m familiar with that lovely hymn, but THIS WAY … lovely to hear the chorus singing . . .🎁

  16. Tina says:

    I just had to tell you about a very special gift I received for an early Christmas present! A little background first– for years I have been going every December to the library uptown (I used to work there and that was how I discovered this) to check out your Christmas From the Heart of the Home. I sooo love that book and especially the recipe for candied bacon(a favorite of my family for Christmas breakfast. They almost disinherited me the year I substituted ham for bacon!) Well I have been on the lookout for a copy of it. I’ve searched thrift stores for a few years and even checked online. I could have gotten it from Amazon, but I wanted to actually see it was in good condition before I chose one for my very own. 🙂 Well, my daughter ordered it for me this year, and it is in pristine condition!!! I have it on display with some of my other Christmas decorations. Now I can look through that lovely book any time the mood hits me. Bless you for writing that book (and some others…. your biographies are more of my favorite books). Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

  17. Shar Carnes says:

    Another wonderful post to put me in the Christmas spirit. As I write this it is raining finally in San Luis Obispo, your hometown. Of course we never have snow, but a dark rainy day does make it seem like a winter day and makes spending the day in the kitchen preparing for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day more special. Your books and posts are always a part of Christmas for me. Thank you for your cheer especially at this time of year.
    Merry Christmas to you and Joe.

  18. Rosanne Murphy says:

    Merry Christmas! You have been a gift to my life since the day many years ago when I opened The Summer Book and fell inside. Everything you have put out into the world has been so life affirming and inspirational. Love thinking of you snuggled up with Joe and Jack in front of your cozy fire, remembering Christmases past, and loving the present. Blessings to you and yours!

  19. Nancy says:

    Lovely posting. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Merry Christmas to you, Joe, and all who you hold dear.

  20. Mary/Indiana says:

    YUM! Can’t wait to try this dish!
    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year🎄❤️🎄

  21. Margaret Longlet says:

    Merry Christmas Susan Branch… your blogs add pure joy to my day like a surprise gift just for me. Thank you for sharing yourself through your words and art.

  22. Judith says:

    Ribs and wreaths and kitty, oh my! Thanks to Joe for the tutorial…can’t wait to try it next year. I always have a pair of snippers on me whenever I walk in the winter 🙂 Those ribs are definitely on the menu…I will be dusting off the crock pot soon! I use that Better Than Bouillon too and I have a question for you. Once you open it how long do you keep it in the fridge? I get the jumbo sized jars at Costco, split into 2 containers, with one going in the freezer. But I never know how long I should use the one in the fridge. Thanks for all your holiday cheer! Merry Christmas to you, Joe, and Jack! ♥

    • sbranch says:

      I just bought a brand new jar… and it has a use-by date of Sept 23, 2018… so it looks like it’s about 2 years shelf-life. Merry Christmas Judith!

  23. Mary Anne S says:

    This looks like a wonderful recipe but I have to tell you that, as it is written, it is NOT gluten free. Soy sauce is made with wheat. Tamari is not. I know because my husband is gluten free and in the last few years I have learned alot about
    gf cooking. Just thought you would want to know. Have a very Merry Christmas and a lovely New Year.

  24. Marilyn says:

    The short ribs sound delicious. I know a couple guys in my house that would love it. Thanks for the recipe. Right now reviewing your Christmas book for holiday recipes.

  25. debra sewell says:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. A wonderful, homey post. I know we all love photos of your kitchen, little bits of spirit on shelves and tucked for us to enjoy too. Its those little things that so give our hearts a squeeze. I love that photobof you and Joe so long ago and so in love. Merry Christmas and be safe, warm and snuggle up to that wonderful fireplace.


  26. Diane M. Ely says:

    Thank you for the yummy recipe, I look forward to making this for dinner when it’s cold, and we are cozy. Merry Christmas! Happy New year!

  27. Stephanie C says:

    Susan, the recipe looks yummy, will have to give it a try. I have a strong feeling I am getting your 30th anniversary book, Heart of the Home for Christmas! Can’t wait!!! I am settling in tomorrow, Christmas Eve, to relax and enjoy the day before Christmas. Plan on watching my favorite Christmas movie “It’s a wonderful life”, then to Christmas Eve services at 11pm. Hope you and Joe and Jack have a beautiful and blessed Christmas.

  28. Lorraine in Mexico says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Joe and Jack and all your loved ones! Thank you for all your posts this year, and for being so true to yourself.
    Hugs and Kisses,

  29. Susan N. says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe. Thank you for the recipe. Can’t wait to try it. I’m making your Christmas coffee cake tomorrow. Yummy!

  30. Linda June says:

    Happy Holidays to you and Joe–and thanks for all the gifts you give throughout the years. They are just what I need–without fail, every time!

  31. Dee Ann says:

    It is always thrilling when you post a new blog…thank you for all the joy you bring to all our lives…the recipe sounds great…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Arlington, Texas.

  32. Karen Burton says:

    A very Merry Christmas to you and Joe ! This has been such an exciting year for all of us. Much of the excitement was due to Mom and I meeting you. Because of your wonderful books and my enthusiasm, I now have a dear friend in England too! I could write a book on this wonderful adventure you opened the door to! (Sometime over tea) To say the least, thank you and here’s to another year of enjoying this blessed life!

  33. liz h says:

    What a nice early Christmas present, a post from you, watching a Christmas Carol with my hubby. Merry Christmas to and Joe and the kitty. Thanks for all you do.

  34. Charlene Scholey says:

    Merry Christmas Eve and thank you so much for the yummy short rib recipe. You are a wonderful full gift to all of us and wish you were going to be in Ca. For another book signing. Seeing you in Santa Barbara was such a highlight. Have a Happy New Year too and hug Joe lots!! Love, Charlene Scholey

    • sbranch says:

      I’m going to California in late Feb/March, but not planning any signings, want to spend time with friends of family, but if somehow I DO, I’ll be sure to tell everyone on the blog.

  35. Maureen Whitman says:

    That short rib dish is now at the top of my list of things to make. I love slow roasted deliciousness such as this. Perfect for this time of year.

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe!

  36. Ruth B. says:

    Susan and Joe,
    Merry Christmas from my corner in northeast Ohio up on Lake Erie. The scripture that you quoted is so special to me. My beloved, John, and I memorized the entire chapter during the time we were engaged to be married. He was living and teaching in the Sudan and I was studying in Spain. We will be married for 40 short years in August. My faith, hope, and love for him continues to grow. Thank you for helping me to reflect on this sweet memory!
    Looking forward to making these ribs soon!
    Have a happy, healthy, and blessed New Year,
    Ruth (The Inklings)

  37. I can’t wait to try the short ribs!! Your stove and it’s shelf are so iconic. I have loved its image ever since long ago when I had some little stickers with your rendering of it. I treasured the little stickers because they reminded me of my grandmother’s stove. The epitome of cozy! I think this is the second appearance of the Tailor of Gloucester on your shelf. I gifted you one of these little figurines in Austin and hope that this little guy might be the same one. He is enjoying Christmas with you in your kitchen! Your little shelf brings back memories of a wonderful year that you so graciously shared with your readers making our lives a little richer. Here’s to a bright New Year with many more memories (and recipes) to make and share!

  38. Candice says:

    Dear Susan, May try the ribs for New Years and Thank you for the gentle reminder to take time for ourselves during all the holiday frenzy! Love all of your cherished Christmas decorations and Joe’s handiwork too, he really is a dab-hand at the swag, wreath making and hanging of the greens business!
    Merry Christmas & Blessings for the New Year to you, Joe and Jack!
    Hugs, Candice xo

  39. Nan says:

    Thank you for giving me a moment of quiet, from the hustle and bustle, to read your post and gather my wits once again! Merry Christmas to you!

  40. Pat W. says:

    Merry, Merry Christmas Susan and Joe & Jack. Loved seeing all your decorations & thank you for taking time to send recipe….looks delish. Sending you a little house 🏠

  41. Dixie Johnson says:

    Merry Christmas to you & Joe! We’ve had some very cold days but today it’s been in the 60s here in Memphis & is now raining—no white Christmas again! Love reading your Christmas plans & seeing your old Christmas keepsakes! And a Happy New Year!

  42. Karen D says:

    Thank you for the recipe. It looks great and the crock pot is such a great idea for a busy day. You almost forget you made dinner , and voila ! It’s ready! Have a Merry and a Happy🎄❤️

  43. Carol On the farm in Iowa says:

    Merry Christmas!

  44. Linda says:

    Thank You for taking time out to spread some Christmas Cheer to all of us Girlfriends . . . Yum !
    Also, thank you for sharing 1 Corinthians 13:13
    Jesus always was and always will be the “Reason for the Season” : )
    Now from Our House to Yours . . .
    Merry Christmas Joe & Susan
    Linda of So Cal.

  45. Joan says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Happy New Year. One of my special 2016 memories is meeting you and Joe at Holly Hedge. What a beautiful dogwood day even tho it rained. Enjoy seeing your special decorations and smile when I see we share the same taste for houses and BPotter etc. in their little story scenes. Of course u got me hooked on collecting BP figurines. Thanks ❤️

  46. Seona says:

    Ah thank you, you’ve just solved my ‘what to cook for Christmas Eve’ dilemma (I’ve never been one to plan too far ahead!) Those ribs will go down a treat with a hoard of hungry teenagers.
    Wishing you, Joe and kitty-cat Jack a wonderful Christmas, with lots of hygge, love and snow!
    Seona x

  47. Melissa Andrew says:

    Your blog posting was the perfect tone-setting for my Christmas Eve day. Thank you for the thoughts and sights that warm the soul. Today my two “babies” will bring home their spouses for Christmas – a first, since both were married this year. My son Zach is 30 and he and my daughter Megan (25) have always had “Heart of the Home” as a part of their lives. One of their gifts this year is your 30th Edition “Heart of the Home.” I’ve been saving giving them the books for Christmas … it seems the perfect time.

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe and Jack and to all those you love – and to those who love you as well!

  48. June Emmert says:

    Your enthusiasm comes through the I Pad bringing happiness. I am sure your holidays
    Will be magical. Thank you for sharing your good will.

  49. Lu Ann Hungerford says:

    Merry Christmas Susan and Joe. Thank you for all that you do. I look forward to your blogs and love all your books.

  50. Martha Rodik says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! (This includes the kitties too!) Love the pictures as usual. I think I could spend all day in your adorable kitchen. Thanks for the recipes too!

  51. Pat Mastandrea Saunders says:

    Merry Christmas Susan! First on my Christmas list was both the mini and large Susan Branch calendars and my husband got me both! They arrived yesterday! For me, the Christmas season arrives when I change my cookbooks on my stand on the counter. Always Susan Branch, all the time. “Heart of the Home” got replaced by “Christmas,” my very first Susan Branch cookbook. After that I was hooked! I’ll never forget meeting you, Susan, at QVC, and you signing all your books I had. I now have them all (except the Baby book, because I don’t have any children.) Plus, I have so much more; stickers, stationery, recipe books, ornaments and other wonderful items from your shop online. Friends know how much I admire you and have given me Susan Branch items as well. I love the 2 year pocket calendar I carry and often think of you when recording something. Happy New Year, Susan! Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

  52. Pat Mastandrea Saunders says:

    I don’t understand what website means. I don’t have a website.

  53. Debbie P., Weedsport, NY says:

    Good morning, Sue! Just had to say Merry Christmas to you and tell you how much your work…your books, your art, your blog, your LIFE….has meant to me through the years. You are such a treasure to so many! Blessings to you in the New Year!
    PS: I haven’t tried any recipe from you that George hasn’t just LOVED! He is sure to adore those short ribs!

  54. Cindy Maulin says:

    good morning Susan!! Just starting to stir around here. Talk about cozy…. it was my granddaughters sixth birthday yesterday so she had a sleepover party!!! 5 little girls all wrapped up in their favorite Jammie’s sleeping in their soft sleeping bags with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Since we are staying at our daughters home for the holidays, we were front and center for all of the action……the cutest of all being the in -depth discussion about Santa and his ability to fly around the world giving out gifts to all the little children. It was unanimously decided that magic was involved and that maybe he has some helpers cuz ” everybody needs help sometimes”… just precious children talk
    Wonderful blog…. great recipe …. beautiful swag on that door…. and what a story that door could tell! Sending hugs around and wishing you all the best in 2017.
    xoxoxo love. Cindy

    • sbranch says:

      Luv-lee… sounds wonderful Cindy. We don’t have the sugarplums or the sweet smelling sleepy ones, but the tree is lit, and the fire is going ~ Christmas Eve will always be one of the most exciting days of the year… Blessings on you and yours. xoxo

  55. mary spring says:

    ..happy Christmas Eve !! ( ..and it is also my dear Mom’s birthday as well !! )..certainly a time to celebrate, with faith, hope, and lots of love …

  56. Julia says:

    YUM is right! Sounds and looks delicious! I hope you, Joe, and Jack have a very Merry Christmas!

  57. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Yummy blog my dear, pictures, words, food, music – love it all! Thank you! Merry Christmas to you, Joe, Jack & all our GFs near and wide! God Bless! xoxo

  58. Kathryn says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever posted a comment, but I read and enjoy your blog regularly (including the broader comments about our world, “politics”, etc). I have and use a bunch of your cookbooks….recipes which have become family favorites. I remember my older daughter asking me to make Boston Cream Pie when her college roommate was coming to stay….”Mom, she’s never even HEARD of Boston Cream Pie!!”.

    But probably my favorite connection to your work is that the first, and most, of my SB books came from our friend/homecleaner/extravagant Christmas cookie baker, Jeanne, who passed away some years ago now. Jeanne’s “taste” (in home decor, etc) was completely different from mine, but somehow, she bought me lovely gifts that I have not only cherished, but that got me “started” on something…and your books are among those gifts.

    Thank you for the joy and peace you bring to me through your work. Merry Christmas ( I lost my dear father this year too, so I say that knowing that there may be some bittersweet moments for both of us) and happy, healthy, full-of-love new year to you and yours.

    • sbranch says:

      Lovely to hear from you Kathryn. We came home from dinner at friends last night and the message machine was blinking, two messages. I stopped, looked, then said to Joe, “Well, we know it’s not Dad.” 😥 Because until recently, it would have been. I just want to be the kind of person he wanted me to be, and that’s still and forever a huge inspiration which I intend to expand to the best of my ability. I loved your story about Jeanne, and feel honored to be involved in any way! She obviously knew you. What a gift. Merry Christmas to you, and here’s to our dads! xoxo

      • Kathryn says:

        But it’s kind of like it WAS your dad, right? b/c even the blinking made you think of him, even though it wasn’t followed by the joy of hearing his voice, and his joy at hearing your voice.

        I think of my dad whenever I choose a parking spot in a lot (!) b/c he taught me how he chose a spot to minimize risk of damage!!

        I also meant to say that the 1st Cor passage is what we had printed on bookmarks to give out at his memorial service. (He was an AVID reader and took my sister and I to the library every Saturday morning when we were kids).

        Thank you for responding; you don’t have to again. I don’t know how you keep up with all this!

      • mary spring says:

        … awww !!..this is really where our Faith, Hope, and Love remains….that our dear Dads (mine went to Heaven this past September) are still very much with us….in peace..

  59. Pam in Michigan says:

    Merry Christmas and blessings for the new year to you & Joe (& kitties 😻) Thank you for your beautiful post; I like that bible verse, the greatest gift is Love!

  60. Deborah in the fields of Michigan says:

    Oh, dear Susan, what joy and delight you have brought to all of us! Thanks to you and Joe, and may this be your most blessed Christmas ever! God bless you! ❤

  61. Sam says:

    Oh what a yummy dish. I think it would be perfect for our New Year’s Eve dinner party. Merry Christmas to you, Joe, and all your loved ones. Thank you for your gracious sharing.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s perfect for New Year’s Eve, and under those circumstances, I would scatter the finished dish with pomegranate seeds. Very perky!

  62. Suzanne says:

    Good morning Susan, the beef sounds very yummy. It reminds me of my mothers short ribs. May I say though to be gluten free, the soy sauce must be a wheat free variety or wheat free Tamari. I hate to mention this, but if a dear cook was fixing this for someone not realizing it, they could unintentialy contribute to someone getting sick. None of us want that!
    I think I’ll be making these very soon😊. Thank you!

  63. Kathy says:

    Thank you, Susan! Can’t wait to try the recipe! Have a blessed Christmas!

  64. Kelly Acker says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, Susan!
    Thought of you this morning as I pulled out my/your Christmas Memories book and began to record our 2016 Christmas. I so enjoy working on this over the holiday season, and this will be the 10th year I’ve been doing this. Luckily I found a third copy in pristine condition at a yardsale last summer (they have no idea what they were giving up!) so I’ll be set to put down our memories for another five Christmases!! 🙂 Enjoy this season of hope and light, and thanks for all you do!
    Kelly from eastern PA
    P.S. will try to post some completed pages to twitter when through 🙂

  65. Angela Delveaux says:

    Greetings from southcentral Wisconsin! I have only recently discovered your world and I LOVE it!!! Thank you for the reminder to slow down and be mindful of this beautiful time of year– I needed to hear that just about now. Happy Holidays to you and all of your Girlfriends!

    • sbranch says:

      I hate to say it 😟 but it’s almost over, so this is the time to stop, look and listen! Welcome to the neighborhood Angela!

  66. Becky in Maryland says:

    Merry Christmas to you, Joe and the kitties! Thank you for this blog, all blogs, and your Willards, etc! You seem to write to/for we Girlfriends about what seems to be in our hearts most of the time! You know us so well!
    Enjoy your holidays and rest up as we all need more Susan Branch in the coming new year!

  67. Rhonda says:

    Oh goodness! You delight the heart, Susan! I love the look of that recipe…a must try. I love the little frolic through parts of your happy home spaces. Merry Christmas Eve.

  68. Rhonda says:

    Oh goodness! You delight the heart, Susan. The recipe is a must try. I so enjoyed the frolic through the happy scenes in your home.

  69. Melissa Houston says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan, Joe, Jack and Girl Kitty! I always love your blog and I’ve been and continue to be a huge fan of your books! A belated thank you from the bottom of my heart for your blog after the election. I printed that one out and read it over and over because your sentiments were so on point for me. It helped me so much. I love all the views of your home inside and out – I’m originally from New England and although I love Virginia where I live now, New England will always be home! Thank you so much for sharing so much of yourself – can’t wait to try your Short Ribs recipe – maybe New Year’s Eve?

    • sbranch says:

      You are so lucky to have two such beautiful places to call home! I’m glad you liked the blog after the election, I can’t quite get it out of my mind, and have gone back to reread the comments. I learn something new almost every time I do. Blessing on you and yours and on all of us, Melissa xoxo

  70. Janet O'Connor says:

    Thank you, Susan, for this lovely recipe! I know my husband will love it (my daughter too). It’s always heat-warming to read your posts. They make me feel inspired and less unclear and puzzled. ( I get that way when I’m trying to figure out what to paint. 😉
    I hope you are warm and cozy.
    Janet xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      We are, Joe is making us eggs right now, and I’m checking in to the Blog while the music is playing, so all is well, and happy, in the heart of the home. xoxo

  71. Tina says:

    I don’t see my post from yesterday. Did it get deleted? Was it too long?

  72. Tina says:

    Oops, I didn’t go back far enough, there it is!

  73. Jo-Anne says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Joe.
    Thanks for your posts.
    They are a bright spot in a dreary day.

  74. Marie Fell says:

    Happy Christmas 🎄 to you and Joe, Susan! You have been a joy to read this year, as usual! It has been a treat to look forward to your writing throughout the year. Since our beloved Jack Russell passed away 2 weeks ago, I shall find solace in re-reading your treasured books this winter after the holidays. Happy New Year and have a lovely holiday with Joe, friends and family!
    Marie from Avon Lake, Ohio

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry Marie. 😢 Wishing all the best for the new year, and maybe even a new puppy to make you laugh. xoxo

  75. Pamela Jewett says:

    Merry Christmas Susan & Joe, that squirrel must have super glue on its feet to stay in that position without falling. Amazing. Your Spicy Ribs sound delish and will try it for New Years dinner. Thank you for all of the wonderful things you do. You add so much to our days. God Bless you and all of us in 2017.
    xoxo Pam

    • sbranch says:

      Our squirrels are flying trapeze artists! They have to be in order to get that seed! Thank you Pam, blessings on you and yours for the new year. xoxo

  76. Christina says:

    Merry Christmas Eve Susan! I’m thinking about you this Christmas since I am sure your dad is on your mind. It’s a bitter sweet time. I lost my dad 2 years ago right before Christmas. They say it gets easier, and I do think it does. <3

    I also wanted to tell you that I discovered you when I was 26, just out of gradschool and very much needing some direction. Your books and blog have helped me to better know a purpose (love, all the beautiful little things, wonderful homey things) even when other life areas haven't yet sorted themselves out. So I wanted to tell you again (I met you at a booksigning and gushed all over you how much I love your books) how grateful I am to you for sharing your passions, joys, and sorrows with us girlfriends. You inspire me. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Christina, that makes me feel wonderful. Thank you for coming to see me. Here’s to our Dads! xoxo

  77. Georgia Larson says:

    Melekalikemaka, From the Big Island.
    Your short ribs are made very Hawaiian like except they cut them different here. Instead of the way the butcher cuts them (I think it’s traditionally the mainland way) their cut about 3/4 inch thick the other direction. Then marinated w/the same concoction in a baggie for a few hours & then you can grill them & brush w/the juice from the baggie. Their very good. Yes, there tender cause of the direction of the cut. Also a good quality of beef. You’ll have to try it next summer when it’s grilling time on your island. So from our island to yours Merry Christmas my friend & Blessings for 2017
    Hugs & AloHa,

  78. Deanah Greene says:

    A Merry Very Bright Christmas and New Year to you and joe. I have a quick question on the short ribs. can I use chicken? If so what cut and how long should I cook it? My husband does not eat beef , pork and bless his heart he is allergic to shell fish, so I try to adjust recipes for him. I do this wit the hope of switching things up for him. He never gets the good stuff I tell him…lol

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know why not. I would use thighs, because they’re so moist and juicy. I would change the broth to chicken broth (I know you would too!) I don’t think it would have to cook so long, but maybe it would be just fine. That you would have to experiment with, but I’m sure, chicken in that sauce with rice or potatoes would be heavenly.

      • DGreene says:

        Thank you. I will try your suggestions and serve with rice. I have a rice man. I am the meat and potato eater in my house. I wish you and Joe Happy New Year and so many more!

  79. Vickie in Olympia says:

    Merry Christmas, Sue and Joe! Thank you for the lovely gift you’ve given me, “believe in belief”. Loved your Jack decorations. Nothing makes Christmas red and green pop like a black and white animal (two Springer Spaniels, here ). And the vintage magazine reminded me to go pull out the Christmas editions my mom and I saved. One of the best ones has an ad to be clipped and given as a wish list to your husband. It includes such personally desired items as a toaster, electric frying pan, electric can opener, percolator and deep fryer with the admonition “if he doesn’t go the store immediately, cry a little.” We have come a long way since December 1966. In another is an ad for sugar extolling how good it is for you. Win Some Lose Some, eh? So as I count my blessings this year, you and your shared talents are near the top. Cheers!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL! Great advice! I like the ads with the Doctors in them loving Kent cigarettes! Thank you sweetie! Merry Christmas to you too!

  80. Barb Urbank(from Ohio) says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Susan! Just sat down and was re-reading this post. Love the recipe for short ribs, I’ve never made them but really must try them, they look delicious. Your house looks so pretty with all the greenery and Christmas trimmings. Hope you still have snow, ours is melting fast because we’re getting rain and 40’s temperatures. Isn’t it wonderful at Christmas when you have special ornaments you’ve loved and had for years and you get them out and hang them up, remembering where and when you got them, who gave them to you. I have one that’s a Christmas card in the shape of a red boot, and it was sent to Mom by her cousin many years ago. It was so cute, Mom hung it on the tree every year. I loved Moms cousin too because she was funny and told big tales, and sometimes she would visit and stay with us. Her cousin died from cancer when I was about 12, and mom always kept the card for the tree. Now that Mom’s gone, I always hang it on mine. That card is over 50 years old now! You just never know what simple things you give someone may still be cherished many years from now. I wish you and Joe and Jack the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years.

  81. Kat Fry on Rose Creek Farm says:

    I can almost smell those delicious odors from here! sniff*sniff* ummmmm.
    Absolutely have to give that menu a whirl! Hubby made fresh cinnamon rolls yesterday & another raspberry cinnamon roll batch today! Dripping with thick gooey icing. Donchas’ just Love Winter food! Thawing ground venison for spaghetti with a thick sauce made with summery tomatos, lots of fresh herbs & homemade crusty rolls dripping with butter. Food is just better when its dripping with something. Hard to believe we’ll soon be bidding this year of 2016 farewell. This was a Year of a whole lotta’. Can you believe sooo much was packed into it! We are grateful (somehow that should be spelled greatfull) that we had you, Sweet Sue along with us for the Ride! Now forward into 2017! We’ll meet her head on! Love thinking of y’all at Home in y’all’s beloved place with Jack to watch over it all. Good Times, Good Friends, Good Books, Good Music, Good movies, Good Food, Good Love, Good Family, Good Writing. Making all those Good Memories that Last Forever.
    All pinks & soft gray today. Lots of stripes. Love those glittery stripes.

    • sbranch says:

      Mmmmm, those rolls sound just amazing! It’s all sparkly on this end of the country, the island is packed with family coming home for the holidays, we’re bundling up and walking across the street to have dinner with our friends tonight. It’s a beautiful time of year! I’ve been sort of decorating and listening to music all day. Love hearing from you Kat! Hope Santa is very good to you! More glittery stripes and pink things!

  82. Rhea says:

    Merry Christmas Susan, Joe and Jack! I loved reading about your long loved followers and as Im older, I’ve just started responding to your posts, this is my second one, finely got the courage to put myself out there as I am a very private person but felt this would be a safe place to start. I have been reading your blog since you started it and own all of your books, every single one. I’ve had some terrible losses in my 46 yrs. My 9 yr. old son 16 yrs. ago and my mother last year have gone up to the angels and you are always my go to for a pick me up. In fact, I just moved my family to New England for a new fresh start from Laguna Beach, California and we couldn’t be happier, you were a big inspiration for the move, its the simple things in life that bring true happiness. Already planning my veggie garden and have incredible perennial beds to clean out and make beautiful again. Our walk is through the woods down to our pond with a creek that runs through our acreage. Wild turkeys, deer, bears, ducks, foxes and so much more. Anyway, thanks for being you and all of the love you bring into the world 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy for you Rhea, sometimes a fresh start is just the thing. Surrounding yourself with the beauty of nature is so healing. I’m sorry for your losses, part of being human I guess, terrible though, but you’ll be closer to them in your new garden, I just know it. I hope you’re cozy and warm in your new place, and that you get to experience a lovely New England winter complete with snowstorm. xoxo Merry Christmas!

  83. Njean says:

    I love this post. Your inspiration is amazing to me. I am going to retire from my position as a middle school secretary in June of 2017. I have all of your books, and I have saved all of the Willards and certain blog posts. I reread them often and will do so again. I am preparing for my new phase in life and this is all a part of it. My husband and I intend to travel and I will take you with me. I look forward to discovering new things, antiquing, looking for old books and learning about the history of this great country more and more. Thank you for following your heart with your cookbooks, painting and blog posts.

    • sbranch says:

      Dreams . . . how I love to hear them, they are so uplifting and positive and everything wonderful. Wishing you all the best Njean, and enjoy your last few months before retirement. xoxo

  84. Deborah in Odessa says:

    Pickled Peaches! Yes! My grandmother and mother made them. Yummers. I can hardly wait to make the shortribs…..more yummers!!! Thanks for such a lovely post.I love your home. Makes me love mine more…I just get the nesting fever. Just a houseful of cozy. And you are so right…that short day has passed….Spring beckons. But…let us revel in the warm cozy of hearth and home as we prepare for the next season. Each one has a lot to offer. I love them. Enjoy your holiday.

  85. Penny says:

    Merry Christmas 🎄 Used this make short ribs in the ,1970’s!!! I will make them this winter for sure ! 🎉 HAPPY NEW YEAR 🎊

  86. Nancy Kelley says:

    What a delightful, warmhearted post! Thank you for the Christmas cheer! Hope yours is magical, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      Today is the 26th, and I can safely say our Christmas, spent one night after the other in the homes of our friends, was about as heart-warming and true to the spirit as I could hope for. It was wonderful. We have a very cold 35 degree day, but the sky is blue and the sun is shining, and lots of cars drive by because the Island is crowded with families home for the holidays. Thank you Nancy!

  87. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Merry Christmas Susan and Joe! As always, your welcome blog warms my heart and brings a feeling of peace and serenity to a very hectic season. Thank you for all that you do and for including us, your girlfriends. xoxo

  88. barbara lassiter says:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and Joe and to that great black and white kitty, who decorates the counter or the top of the cupboard…where ever he is needed. Of all your decorations, he is one of my favorites. You’ve inspired me to get out my crock pot, dust it off( LOL), and try your recipe for short ribs. Thank you for sharing with us. I will make mine slightly less spicy, but this recipe has to be delicious! HO! HO! HO! and to all a good night!

  89. Shell says:

    Wishing you and Joe, a very Merry Christmas. May everything that is beautiful and bright come your way.

  90. Jane Alexander says:

    Plain and simple, I love visiting with you via the blog. It is the joy of you really loving us, and I am happy to be one of us. At Christmas eve service tonight, I realized our pastor loves us, his flock. I told him so. He said, yes, I believe I do! Thank you, for inviting us to your home, your kitchen tonight. May God bless you, and Joe and Jack. I just realized a Jack, next door, age about 17, received a jeep for Christmas today. I believe he loved it.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I’m there with your pastor where the loving is concerned. I’m so happy to have you here Jane. And I would have LOVED to see the look on that boy’s face when he saw his Christmas gift!!! xoxo

  91. Merry Christmas Susan!!! Thank you for another year of beauty and joy!

  92. Tara Cook says:

    ☃Thank you Susan!☃
    🎄Merry Christmas!🎄

  93. Donna Watkinson says:

    Good morning Susan and Merry Christmas to you, Joe and your family! Just finished opening gifts with my husband and children and was so excited to receive your 30th Anniversary Edition of Heart of the Home. I can’t take my eyes off it. It is gorgeous and I can’t wait to try the recipes. Thank you for providing happiness in a book and wishing you a wonderful year ahead!

  94. Val says:

    I’m not on Twitter so wanted to say a quick “Merry Christmas” this way. I just saw the little ship-purse your studio-friends gave you: It’s perfect! How thoughtful and just perfect for you! 🙂

    I hope you and your friends and family–at home, far away, in your heart, friends you haven’t met yet, ponytailholder-chasing-four-legged family. . .all your loved ones–have a wonderful day.

    Best Wishes, ♥


  95. Rebecca says:

    Dear Susan,

    Taking a little break between Christmas moments to check e-mail, and there was your post. It was perfect. All of your stove decorations ( I-adore-and-try-not-to-covet-your-stove.) and Christmas trinkets are so much like I have and grew up with, and remind me of my dear, sweet Grandma Dorothy who “made” Christmas, and is always with us in spirit so much this time of year. Thank you for the recipe. I look forward to trying them, and will probably try the crock-pot since you say it works. I’ve been wanting some tried and true ideas…I’m not well versed in crock-pot cookery.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas to you and Joe. Your art and writings have been a blessing to me since my sons were little and the Country Living days. This morning at breakfast, my son was mentioning that he wants to see Scotland, and I told him I would have to share your video clip about the sheep herding. I am rambling, but just want to say thank you for sharing joy and love, and the charm of domesticity that is so close to my heart.

    Love and God’s blessings to you at Christmas and in the coming year,
    Rebecca in Arkansas

    • sbranch says:

      Most crockpots come with a little recipe book, which is a big help when you’re getting started. There’s something magical about throwing things into a pot, then walking away, almost forgetting, then suddenly it’s dinnertime, and your house is filled with good smells of cooking, you don’t have to do a thing, because there it is waiting for you! Totally charming domesticity at its best! xoxo Thank you Rebecca!

  96. Winnie says:

    Christmas Wishes and Blessings to you and Joe! I am looking forward to more fun here at your blog where something is always happening that is beautiful. Here is to a Peaceful and Healthy 2017 for all the Girlfriends!!

  97. Gwyn Whelband says:

    Greetings Susan and Joe,
    I love reading your blogs and I thank you so much for inviting us all to join you on the journey of your life. God bless you heaps in the coming year.
    PS somewhat struck by envy, our Christmas here in Canberra, Aus is hot and inhospitable, the way most of Aussie Christmas’s are, the air conditioners hum and the fans whirl, and I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

    • sbranch says:

      Come here for Christmas next year. We don’t have snow right now (but we will), it’s only 35 degrees, very cold, and crisp and cozy in front of the fire. xoxo Love to you Gwyn!

  98. Merry Christmas and thank you for always brightening the day! I will be trying this recipe, it looks so yummy.
    Enjoy the rest of this year and may 2017 bring more sunshine than dreary where our lives is concerned.

  99. Caroline says:

    Well wasn’t that one merry, and sparkling and filled with love and laughter! I wanted to tell you that one of my daughters’ favorite presents was your family recipe organizing cook book, Home Cooking. They were thrilled! I personalized each one with the enclosed stickers with their names and they loved it!! and loved all of your quotes:) They can’t wait to write all their favorite recipes down in the calligraphy pen set they also received:) Love of home cooking passing on to the next generation! It all makes my heart swell:) Thank you for the recipe! I plan on making it this week:) Yum! Enjoy your post Christmas walk to your beach! and every moment! Caroline

    • sbranch says:

      Makes my heart swell exactly the same way… love to think how all our generations are hooked together with family traditions, from the beginning of time, some we do we probably don’t even realize where they came from. Thank you Caroline, wishing you and yours a wonderful 2017!

  100. Happy Boxing Day, Susan! You were in my heart so often during the holidays. ♥ After weeks of festive, frigid, snowy days and a wonderful, white Christmas, we woke up this morning to discover that all of our snow melted overnight. Today it is in the mid 50s in Chicagoland! So, John and I took a very long, very windy walk this morning, admiring all of the decorations on everyone’s front porches. 🙂

    This afternoon I am busy making extra-special Thank You cards. Tomorrow, when the house is still and quiet, I will begin writing about our holiday season in our Christmas Memories book. ♥♥ I always wait until after Christmas, so that I can soak in all of the magic, before I begin to write our story. Our second volume of Christmas Memories is almost filled. I’m so grateful that we have two extra copies tucked away, so that I can continue this tradition for years to come. One Christmas, I gave copies of Christmas Memories to all of my friends! Heartfelt thanks, Susan, for being a part of our family Christmas traditions for so many years! ♥♥
    What special traditions do you have during the days after Christmas?
    Sending much love to you, Joe, and Jack!
    Warmest hugs!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

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