Welcome! How about some nice cool MUSICA? Oui! I imagine lots of you are just coming over from your 

It just started going out today (Wednesday), and it now takes about five days for it all to go … if you don’t already get it, sign up now and maybe you’ll be in time to find a letter in your box. It’s a fun one! It has announcements!  I thought today, in celebration of the coming change of season ~ I’d make us Zucchini Bread for tea! But before I do that, a reminder about the new Fall Giveaway I mentioned in Willard! When you get to the bottom of this post, look for the tiny word “comments” ~ click there, leave a few words so you’ll automatically be entered in our drawing . . . for this . . .

Not one, not two, but three books ~ all of them signed to the winner (or if you’ll be giving them as a gift, to whomever you like!), Autumn, Heart of the Home, and Gratitude ~ in addition, for complete celebration, I’m including one of our new Autumn cups along with a bag of Gingerbread Cake Black Tea.👏 Just leave a comment, and keep your fingers crossed! It could be YOU! It really could! Much better odds than the lottery. And we ship, so no matter where you are, if you win, you win!

Speaking of fall … this is one of my favorite things, a harbinger of the changing season, the way the light dances on my kitchen walls as the wind blows through the leaves outside ~ it’s mesmerizing!

It actually shimmers all over the house . . .  there is something very cozy about it . . .

I’ve been taking pictures of it for a long time. This was the porch of my first Island house, called Holly Oak, during my first fall on the Island (my first “real” fall, period). For those of you who don’t know ….I had moved to the Island from California and had only lived there for a few months, but I could feel the season changing, and I knew then I was falling in mad love with this place. It’s been the same every year since, watching the light and the way the colors change is magical. 🍂

Joe and I walk down this dirt road each morning, through the dappled woods, trees and thickets are still green, but we’re  starting to see tiny pops of color (you can see some at top, over the road).

I even take pictures of other people’s shadows!

The solar eclipse was only partial up here in New England, but it made the shadows even more fun … you could see the moon in them. Making me realize for the first time, that when you see a splotch of sunlight through the trees, you are seeing the entire sun in that one bit of light. Because here, the moon is blocking part of it … and so you get these little scalloped moons dappled under all the trees. Isn’t that wild?

So much moon and sun, they almost made tulips!

This little one … the moon in the sun … quite an amazing bit of sweetness.

They even made it into the house… sparkled down the kitchen counters and across the floor. I wonder how many times this has happened in this house, and what the other people we’ve shared these old rooms with must have thought about it.

There’s Joe, my hero, outside washing the specks of spaghetti sauce and bacon grease off the windows and filling the bird feeders for me . . .

We visit through the windows while I set the oven temperature for 325° and find my recipe for Zucchini Bread. Ah yes . . .

 I’ll show you how to make this delicious seasonal yumminess  . . . and don’t worry, I’ll put the recipe at the bottom so you can print it out. First we need a couple of  bowls and a loaf pan.

This recipe is as fast and easy as any packaged mix ~ I make it at least once a year. You get two big loaves from it, one for you and one to give away or freeze. In one of the bowls, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In the other bowl, whisk eggs, then add sugar and vegetable oil and whisk well.

whisking well.

The you grate zucchini . . .

and stir it into the egg mixture . . .

The birds keep me company while I work, always a good thing!

Stir well.

Add the dry ingredients,

along with the chopped walnuts,

and the vanilla . . .

And voila! Mix well and pour into buttered loaf pans. Bake 60 minutes until a knife in the center comes out clean.

While the cake was baking, I took Jack and we went into the wood room to put up our feet and watch a good old movie.

See? His feet are up.

Our movie starts out all nice and sweet … with Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine ~ Perfect! In this movie, she’s wealthy and shy and he’s a charming playboy without a penny to his name, but she doesn’t know that yet. She’s falling, hook, line, and sinker.

Boy meets Girl, it must be love . . . and I’m settled in, happy as a clam ….

“Have you ever been kissed in a car?” he asks her, and she says, “no” and he says, “would you like to be?”  . . . and then they go on an amazing honeymoon and waltz all over Europe to this MUSICA  … so delightful ~ they come home to their new house that I would like to own and he immediately puts on “their song” and they dance around their new living room from happiness!

And she is now Mrs. John Aysgarth … sooo happy. But, I forgot to mention, this is an Alfred Hitchcock movie, so it comes with a twist. ⚡️

 . . . Which I’ll show you in a moment (not giving anything away, even though I’m pretty sure you’ve seen this movie ~ it came out in 1941, but just in cases) ~ this film has everything I love . . . it’s set in Sussex, England, so there’s already plenty of unspoken history and gravitas, there are darling cottages, and cute cars ~ they have tea, there are quirky characters, and a wonderful scene on a train…

. . . plus it’s mostly British actors, Dames and Sirs, and there are things like riding to the hounds . . . (… just about now, that cake in the oven was starting to smell so good, all cinnamon and sugar!)

. . . and little village churches. Alfred Hitchcock was English so he knew about these things.

The hair, the clothes, the architecture, are all perfection. Everything I love. Love the little bow ~ a bit of 1941 Diane Keaton.

Wonderful romantic curtains, and look, leafy shadows on her windows!

The buzzer just went off, my zucchini bread is done! YUM! Out it comes to cool . . . back I go to the movie . . .

SO, yes, Alfred Hitchcock, which means that besides the charm in every scene and especially the charm of the wonderful actors, there was another character in this “romantic psychological thriller” that got no billing at all . . . Bwaaaaaah! It’s the shadows! Look at them! They aren’t mentioned in the credits, but they are a definite presence in this movie and tell you everything you need to know. I don’t think the shadows in my house are sinister at all, but here, they definitely are! First thing I would do if I was her is get a dog. She actually has a dog but I would get another one with bigger teeth.

Because this movie is called Suspicion, and you don’t have to say it twice, it’s in every scene.  Look at those shadows . . . I feel suspicious right now.

For example, what fresh hell is HE up to, lurking around the bar .  . . we don’t know, but we know it’s something!

Oh, Alfred, you are so good! Slashed with a shadow! They don’t make ’em like they used to!

Even here, she goes into this office (in the adorable little English town that’s actually probably some place in Hollywood) and look what he’s done with the light ~ I have no doubt that he controlled every corner of this movie.

Cake’s cool, time for tea! No problem, I can watch TV while I make tea! My biggest problem? Which cup shall I use? I take turns.

My shadow’s right with me … lotta shadows in this blog! But this one is the best. Back to our chair we go . . .

Uh-oh — Cary and Joanie play Scrabble with Beaky (Nigel Bruce, naive friend), and we get another rather huge clue . . .

And as time goes by, it becomes more obvious that this lighthearted movie isn’t as lighthearted as we thought (or is it?). Here comes Cary with the poison milk! We know it’s poison milk because it’s all lit up! And we are very suspicious, because of the sinister shadows from the moonlight through the conservatory roof. We can see that milk coming up the stairs a mile away! Bang with the shadows! 💥

OMG, he’s in the bedroom, don’t drink it Joanie!!!  (Love the satin pillow on the left. And whatever is behind it. Love everything in this house.) I better stop. I’m going to give the whole thing away. You are just going to have to watch it yourself! Make a loaf of Zucchini Bread first, it’s moist and nutty, and all chewy on the edges ~ it adds  a lot to the ambience.XOXO

Joe’s feeders are emptying fast but the windows look so much better! The birds outside our kitchen windows are constant entertainment ~ they bring their babies, fight for footholds, and sing their hearts out. We keep a bird book nearby, to identify possible strangers.

In my next blog post, besides announcing the winner of the drawing, I’m going to write: “How to Travel: the Tricks of the Trade.”  We are getting to be experts. Only thing we haven’t figured out yet, how to take only one suitcase!  Getting us ready for our virtual and real trip to the other side of the pond. So excited … love all these months in front of us for planning and “looking forward!”One more shadow . . . we were downtown over the weekend, walking home after dinner, and looked up to see one of my favorite sights, a kitty in the window!Today I get to plan the menu for the winners of the Possible Dreams Auction that was held here on the Island a couple of weeks ago ~ they’re coming on Friday! You might remember, I mentioned the auction in one of my recent posts, and just in case anyone is interested, here’s the update: I’ll be making lunch and spending the afternoon with the highest bidder and three of her friends (I heard it went for $4,000, which all goes to our local Community Services so it was a wonderful thing for someone to do 💗). What shall I make, what SHALL I make . . . going to get out the books. I’m thinking we should eat outside under the arbor … I want this to be GOOD.

We went to the nursery yesterday, where everything is on sale, it’s end of season! We wanted to freshen the garden, get some fall color . . . and look how pretty, that’s our cart!

It’s a good time of year to get plants. They’re less expensive, you can see how big they are and know for sure what color the flowers will be. And then next year? Oooh, la wee!

Love you Girls, I’m still singing Dancing Queen from the Willard, 🎶 You can dance, you can jive, havin’ the time of your life … 🎵 See that girl, watch that scene, digging’ the Dancing’ Queen . . .🎶 … Have a wonderful day! Don’t forget to leave a comment to win our Giveaway! XOXO

Z U C C H I N I    B R E A D

Preheat oven to 325° Makes two 8″ x 4″ loaves

  • 2 c. flour (unsifted, lighten by stirring with fork, then measure)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. grated, raw, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°. In a lg. bowl, whisk together first five ingredients and set aside.  In another lg. bowl, beat eggs, add sugar and oil and beat well. Stir in zucchini; then add the dry ingredients along with the walnuts and the vanilla and mix well. Pour into two buttered loaf pans. Bake one hour until knife in center comes out clean. Cool completely before turning onto serving dish. 💖

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3,432 Responses to THE LIGHT IS CHANGING

  1. Ellen Murphy says:

    Love all your changing lights and shadows! Autumn is the best. Suspicion is my all time favorite…and what a treat to be able to watch it on DVD while drinking your special tea in your special cup…then being able to curl up with your delightful books!

  2. Antonia lutz says:

    I love the dappled autumn light it even feels like fall weather here in lititz Pennsylvania 😚

  3. Kathleen Hansen says:

    I have been fortunate to have had this recipe for many years. It is the best! My friends and family love it so much that I always have some waiting in the freezer. In case it is too hot to put the oven on. This week San Fransico had an historiacal high of 102! We are looking for some fog and a little cool down. Our prayers to those in the path of Hurricane Irma.
    Hugs, Kathleen. In California

  4. Aline says:

    Just wanted to drop a note and let you know that while I was recovering from a serious accident I came across your Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams book and FELL IN LOVE with you, your husband (because I know his restaurant), your cats, your cottage, Ellie (your neighbor) I just named my stray cat after her and of course Martha;s Vineyard. It was such a godsend to read that book, after all, I have been there a few times and could relate to everything. I then had to buy your other books and am LOVING them. You are great. I believe your books helped me heal faster. Everytime I wear my t-shirt from the Black Dog, I smile and think of you both, after all, even though we never met, I just adore you.

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhh Aline .. this is getting to be a teary day . . . so many sweet words of love from my Girlfriends. Thank you dear, I’m so glad you’re getting better. And naming your cat for Ellie, isn’t that wonderful, she would love it. 😘

  5. Mary Ann McCann says:

    Hi Susan! I haven’t seen that movie so now I can’t wait to get all cozy with a cup of tea and watch it! Thank you for the zucchini bread recipe too! Your garden is going to look even more lovely when you add your new plants and…I love that you are so graciously giving back to Community Services. Your the best!!!! Enjoy this next changing season to the fullest as all of our beautiful seasons are Mother Nature’s ultimate gifts. Thanks for an awesome blog! You always make our lives happier! PS. Yes! The eclipse with it’s shadows was amazing! Thanks for sharing your cool photos!

  6. Jenn Rizzo says:

    Susan – love your posts and Wilbur! Your potato salad is famous in my house and I spend summer making it over and over and over again – thank you!!!!

  7. Linda Lander says:

    As always, I have loved my visit with you today…I substituted Dr. Pepper for tea, since it is HOT here in Texas… Loved every word as well as WILLARD..What a delicious, peaceful break from all the happenings in our world… Thank you for your words and the joy of your art.

  8. Carol C says:

    Love, love, love all your stories! Please come to Bethany Beach DE bookstore sometime! You would love it there.

    Hope I win sometime before I croke!

  9. Lori Kindness says:

    I love looking at all the pictures you include in your Willard and blog.I made the zucchini bread the other day and it disappeared so yummy.

  10. Kathy from Holland, MI says:

    Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the batter bowls you use to mix up the zucchini batter! Beautiful color.

  11. Brenda Martin says:

    I love your pictures and your stories! Thank you for all your yummy recipes! Thank you for making the world a better place!

  12. Kate Burroughs says:

    Love your autumn photos and travel tips. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Terri W. says:

    Those bits of light make me happy! Always love reading your posts, and of course Willard!

  14. Julie Miller says:


  15. Julie M says:

    Hi Susan,
    I don’t know if my other post went through so here is another. I went to a dinner party a few years ago. Everybody had to bring something to share. People sang songs, told stories, read poems and I brought my very first Susan Branch book! It was the Summertime one. I loved it so much, the art, quotes, recipes and memories and had to share it with the group. I began, “This is Not just a cookbook!” Ha, they probably thought I was crazy but they liked it!

  16. Karen Fouts says:

    Oh, the bliss of Autumn! As a November girl, I always looked forward to my birthday, I suppose, but now, it’s just the changing seasons, with crisp air, football (watching grandson make 3 touchdowns!), pumpkin spice – cookies & candles. Just typing makes me smile & look forward to all the fun. Thank you Susan for all your inspiration. Love to you & yours!

  17. Jarlath Hendee says:

    Your letters bring such delight to my life. So cheerful, whitty and delicious to all my senses. I have been a bit down and working on being up, and this helped so much. Thank you for sharing your positive energy and love of all things nostalgic, fun and pretty.

  18. Gail Leider says:

    Reading your stories and loving your illustrations and photos takes me away from today’s chaos. Thank you!

  19. Pamela Cullen says:

    Savoring every word you write, along with a cup of tea and slice of zucchini bread! Love “visiting ” with you . Girlfriends are the best!

  20. Carolyn Will says:

    Our book club is headed to Nantucket Monday…hopefully Irma won’t follow! This is getting us in the mood!

  21. Claudia Burnett says:

    I was so busy looking up at the eclipse I didn’t think to look down at the shadows! What charming little fairy crescents.

  22. Di Word says:

    Just now got around to reading this entry and was delighted to know that you and I must have been watching TCM’s Suspicion at the same time. Love that movie. Alfred Hitchcock was “The Best”!

  23. Michelle Smith says:

    Thank you for all the time and love that you put into your Willards. I still have all my “snail mail” ones from years ago. My roommates and I started cooking from Heart of the Home in college and I’ve considered you a kindred spirit ever since. Blessings and kindness to you!

  24. Gail Goldstein says:

    Happy Autumn to you and yours,
    I am a “bloom where I am planted” kinda girl but I miss my New England autumns.
    Thank you for showing me your early autumn, cant wait til my life takes me back there.
    All the best
    Most admiringly,
    Gail Goldstein

  25. Ardis says:

    I took pix of the crescent shadows, too. Waiting now for Irma, I live in FL. I look forward to your newsletters, enjoy the fonts and colors and quotes very much. Thanks for everything you do!

  26. kay christenson says:

    I simply love EVERYTHING you do!!!

  27. Jean Carrington says:

    I too often notice how the sun shines thru the trees. I love 3 PM especially in the spring and in the woods. But fall is my favorite time of ear. We lived in Hawaii for several years and oh did I ever miss the changing of the seasons and the light.

  28. Jean Carrington says:

    I too often notice how the sun shines thru the trees. I love 3 PM especially in the spring and in the woods. But fall is my favorite time of year. We lived in Hawaii for several years and oh did I ever miss the changing of the seasons and the light.

  29. Jane G. says:

    Got my Willard late and, checking the Shop, I’m assuming all the recipe boxes are gone? Wonderful idea though-

  30. Jan Martin says:

    Always love getting a new blog, or Willard. Special moments. It’s my time to STOP, grab a cup of tea and just enjoy spending time with you. I also love taking pictures of the light & shadows in our home, especially in the early mornings when the sun shines through leaded glass windows & creates sparkles through the rooms. Simple pleasures.

  31. Alison Hamel says:

    Hello Susan,
    Living in southern California, it’s hard to notice the changing of the seasons. By reading your blogs, I am able to get into the fall mood. My favorite season is almost here. I am starting to see the sights and smells of fall thru your writing. Time to get out my decorations even though it still 90 degrees here. Thank you for making me smile.

  32. DeLores E Johnson says:

    I sent a comment, but I have been having computer problems so I don’t know if you got it but this space was blank this morning so I guess it maybe didn’t work. I wanted to tell you I got my 3 cups and they are beautiful. I gave the one with the bird on to my daughter(my BFF) & she was thrilled. I also gave your Gratitude book to her and also to my sister for their birthdays. It is such a neat book. I also have it.When winter sets in I will be writing all my recipes in your big recipe book. I look forward to Willard & your Blog. My husband is on oxygen 24 hours a day so I am just as house bound as he is so I love hearing from you. You bring joy to my heart.
    DeLores Johnson(from Minnesota)

  33. Brenda says:

    I just discovered you and your books are a treasure. I can’t put them down. I am a product of the 50’s and love all the songs you refer to. My husband and I a greenhouse and sell flowers. We have a little cabin and a simple life. You make me see what a blessing that is. Brenda

    • sbranch says:

      It is ~ and recognizing it is 99% of the battle! The little things, that’s all it is and all it’s ever been. Loving that, you have it made.😘

  34. Love to read your Blog….. Write a book on your trip to England in May please. I read A Fine Romance three times and ready to do it again.

  35. Michelle says:

    So happy to have found your site! I just adore your calendars and am discovering all that you do! I have signed up for Willard and am anxiously awaiting my first issue! I am looking forward to reading past issues and browsing through your articles and recipes. Autumn is my favorite season…all the colors, the smells, the cool-down, crunchy leaves, and zucchini bread!

  36. sharon says:

    Hi Susan! I have just discovered your blog, and have fallen in love! Love, love , love everything about it and how you takes us to places with your gorgeous photos and words! Thank you, thank you! I just ordered your Heart of the Home cookbook, can’t wait to see it, I know it will be fab!
    Many moons ago, I purchased a cookbook of yours, and lent it to someone, and never got it back. I am sad because I do not see it here at all. I don’t remember the name, but all of the recipes were very unique and very health conscious, I remember a lot of veggies, eggs, etc. Would you still have that somewhere I could purchase? xoxo Sharon

    • sbranch says:

      I have done lots of cookbooks and have always tried to make unique, interesting, delicious, and easy recipes that work. When you get your Heart of the Home, you’ll see all my books on the back flap, see if you recognize something there. Let me know … many are out of print, but I’m starting to reprint them, one by one. We also recently reprinted my Autumn cookbook too. Welcome to the neighborhood, Sharon!

  37. Debie Waugaman says:

    I just love getting your emails. Makes me wish that I could come and live where you live. It is so beautiful and peaceful looking. I love all your ideas and your cook books. I only have a few , but love looking at the illustrations and the recipes…..Love looking at the flowers and the greenery. That is my passion, working in my garden! Also, love Jack!!! and all the photos that you take… are truly an inspiration…..Thank you again for all you do. Debie

  38. Karen Butterbaugh says:

    I love getting lost in Willard, your quotes, stories of your past, recipes, things you’re making, the lovely things you have in your store. I have no real creative talent so I especially enjoy getting lost, as I said. Thank you for making my days brighter, lighter, happier. You are a treasure!

    • sbranch says:

      You’re a sweetheart to say so Karen, but I know you have talent too, because we all do. Even an appreciator can be very good at it.😘

  39. Myky Barnard says:

    Love everything about your blog and Willard! You have such a talent in so many ways~~ I honestly don’t know how you do all you do! Do you go to bed at night??:-) Am looking forward to your next voyage to England! My husband and I had the good fortune to go to Hill Top which was a highlight of our Lake district visit! Beatrix Potter was such an amazing woman and did so much for the preservation of the Lake District!
    Thanks for all you do to inspire so many!

    • sbranch says:

      Going to bed is one of my best talents! Being asleep, I’m a wizard at it! Thank you for the sweet words Myky! xoxo

  40. Toni from Sylvania OH says:

    Hi Susan and Joe(and Jack) looks like you should batten down the hatches! I hope all you have are lovely winds to make your walk to the seashore out of the ordinary. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. love, Toni xoxoxo

  41. Lynn Braha says:

    Thank you for your beautiful and entertaining blog. Love you!

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