Everything is homemade this time of year, so let’s celebrate! 🎃 Because really, it’s one of the most amazing and wonderful things that make us human … our creativity! All hygge, all the time! MUSICA? 

So what’s been keeping me busy at home? I’ve been working on new embroidery kits. I want a large, old-fashioned HOME SWEET HOME cross-stitch, and thought the words should be stacked, and decided to wrap embroidered flowers around the first ‘H’ and the last ‘E’ … so first I drew them in pencil  . . .Here are the embroidered letters so far . . . I think its going to be cute. I’m going to make a pillow out of it to match my blue kitchen! I’ll let you know when it’s done.  In the meantime some of our 

. . . like this one, have arrived at the Studio! The Redwork Ornament Kit is here! The little house with the heart is already hanging in my kitchen! These ornaments take no time at all to make, so simple!

And “Tea Party,” a counted cross-stitch kit has also arrived!A nice way to spend the evening, light some candles, put on a good old movie or listen to some good old musica and sew something up for the holidays. Creativity is the best! There are no better words to say than “I made that!”
And what else? . . . Oh yes, Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams has gone in for a second printing . . . the printer just sent me all of this ~ to approve color, paper, and layouts ~ so that’s been keeping me busy too. The only difference in the new printing is that we fixed some spelling and punctuation mistakes 😜 (better late than never), and added a banner to the cover that says, “New York Times Best Seller” (my first and only on that august list, so I want everyone to know it)!

The new printing won’t be in until February (if all goes as planned), but we saved back a few signed copies for our Blog and Facebook Girlfriends, just in cases you need them for gifts. 💞

Joe and I are still in the throes of planning our trip to England and Ireland . . . we think and talk about it a LOT, every day ~ we’ve picked out some houses we like (to rent!). I keep thinking about the baby lambs we will see there in the spring and have begun to paint them . . . because I’m going to keep a diary while we are there, and paint a new book of this trip when we get home! That’s why we’re taking such care to plan interesting places we want to take YOU!  Before we know it, it will be time to GO!And don’t forget . . . May 11!

My shadow helps me paint … there’s always room on my art table for a kitty. My theory is that cat hairs in watercolor add to the homemade quality and make every page more valuable!

See this? This is an old painting of the village of Lower Slaughter in the Cotswolds where we will be staying for two wonderful weeks. This painting was done in 1903, but I’m pretty sure this town hasn’t changed a bit. The stone cottage we’ve rented is one house down the narrow little road on the left! You can almost see it! It’s across from the Old Mill, and walking distance to pretty much everywhere. When we get there, I’m going to stand right here, and take this exact same photo as it is today. Hopefully there will be descendants of these very ducks waiting for me.  I can’t wait!

And here’s what else I was doing one cold, late-fall, sunny morning when we got back from our walk ~ making crisp HEART-SHAPED WAFFLES.  

They’re so quick to make from scratch, and so delicious and festive and homey. I put a recipe for them in my LOVE Book (p.41) … but recently I found the most perfect waffle iron, not electric! and wanted to show you because there will be many times in the months to come where heart-shaped waffles will be the perfect thing. This time I used a girlfriend-approved gluten-free waffle recipe made with crunchy cornmeal . . . so here we go! First, into your mixing bowl goes 3/4 c. medium-grind cornmeal. (Don’t worry I’ll put the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

. . . then add the same amount of gluten-free all-purpose flour. I got mine from King Arthur Flour ~ measure for measure, and completely interchangeable for “real” flour.

Whisk in baking soda and baking powder   . . .

add cinnamon and nutmeg . . .

And a tiny bit of sugar . . . and whisk all dry ingredients together well.

Mix a cup of buttermilk with two beaten eggs . . .

Melt two TB of butter over low heat . . .

Add the buttermilk-egg mixture to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter, and whisk until well blended. It’s supposed to be thick.

And here’s what makes it fun. You know whenever I get something I love I try to carry it in our web store? Well, this pan makes these waffles so easy ~ all you do is pour the batter into one side of the pre-warmed pan. (It’s coated so nothing sticks, although I also spray it lightly with vegetable oil~ the top separates from the bottom for easy cleaning). And something I didn’t do, because this was my first time using this pan, I didn’t take a spatula and spread the batter evenly. But you can and should. The first time you use this pan, it seems like you might have to hurry . . . but you don’t, you have all the time in the world, because you can regulate the heat under it. And the handle doesn’t get hot!

You just fill one side of the pan with batter, put the lid down, and wait a few minutes while it cooks over medium-high heat. And yes, you can peek! And if it’s going too fast, pull it off the heat, or lower it . . . and yes, it works with an electric stove too.

And while I was waiting the few minutes for it to cook, just outside my kitchen window  . . .

… a squirrel was having his breakfast too!

He saw me see him! Here’s where he tried to decide if I was real, and if I was, how actually close was I? He finally figured it all out, and went right back to stuffing his face, confident of the double-glass that separated us, oblivious to me and my camera!

I turned the waffle maker over, cooked a bit longer to brown the other side, and there they were! You can lift the lid and put it back down until they are the crispness you desire. You can see that if I had spread the batter better, the hearts would have been perfect! But perfect?

Joe thought they were perfect, buttered and syruped. And that’s all that mattered.

Here’s the pan … it’s very thin and can even go into the dishwasher. Way better than the old electric waffle irons!

When we sell them in our store, we include the recipe card above, with the original recipe. Hope you get a chance to try them! (By the way, the recipes work in any shape waffle iron!) Next time I’m going to add a little bit more milk, and put in 1/4 c. cocoa powder and make chocolate waffles!
And I’m  sure you are all fully aware, next Thursday is

A L R E A D Y ? ? ?  Yes!

And for me, first thing I have to do is get the bread for My Grandma’s Turkey Stuffing. It has to be the cheap kind, forget about any fancy “healthy” bread, these soft old-fashioned loaves I used to get my baloney sandwiches on are what makes the perfect Grandma-approved stuffing texture. 🍁

This recipe is on page 106 of the original Heart of the Home, on page 112 of the 30th Anniversary Edition, on page 64 of my Autumn book, and I think it might even be in my Christmas book ~ BUT if you don’t have those books, here’s the How-To . . .

My mom made this dressing every Thanksgiving of my growing-up life, and I’ve made it every year from the time I was able . . . my grandma learned the recipe from her mom . . .  it’s the way I’ve kept my mom and Grandma close every Thanksgiving.  The butter and sage fill our kitchen with fragrant memories of home. It taught me that you can do that for people, with foods and smells of their childhood, you can take your loved ones back in time. If you have someone new coming for Thanksgiving this year, and they want to bring something, ask them to bring the food of their childhood. 🍲

So onto the ironing board goes the bread tomorrow because it must air-dry for three days! Can’t dry it in the oven because, like everything that matters, this luv-lee recipe won’t be hurried. ⏰
And I’ve already made the first half of the gravy. This little trick for added abundance is such a huge help, because you can never have too much gravy! I’ll make my cranberry sauce on Wednesday so it will be icy cold . . .

The thing I love about this recipe, besides that it’s the most delicious I’ve ever tasted . . .

. . . is the color! Isn’t it pretty? Very gorgeous on a mostly brown Thanksgiving plate. Here’s the recipe . . .

Could not be easier!Another colorful thing for your table, especially if you are feeding children or even the young-at-heart, is my layered Jell-O … festive on the table, and absolutely delicious too … it’s not too sweet ~ it’s tempered with sour cream, adds a wonderful lightness to an otherwise heavy meal, and you can find it on page 62 of my first book, Heart of the Home.

I’m trying to decide my Thanksgiving table settings . . . which plates do you like? I have these two vintage designs from Vernon Kilns … that one ⬆️ is called “Chintz” ~

This one is called “Delores” ~ I mix and match both designs when I use these two.

OR, should I use these?  This is the Johnson Brothers “Windsor Ware” I used for our waffles ~ I like the purple with other fall colors . . . time for decisions! It’s all coming together, slowly but surely, for my favorite holiday! I love tradition ~ And this one, all about counting our blessings, is even older than our country.Touch hands, touch hands with those who stay . . . 🍂 Be sure and take you and yours on a walk in nature for a breath of fresh air on the otherwise soul-eating Black Friday (still trying to figure out who’s idea this was, and I think I know 🤑) and make it a tradition in keeping with the word “Thanksgiving.” Maybe then it will become Green Friday. 💞

Here’s my darling Jack. Who watched the entire waffle-making experiment from the kitchen table and never changed this expression!  But I read everything I need to know in those green eyes. We rub our foreheads together, and there’s information transfer. 💓

Jon, from England, who works for the manufacturer of our bone china cups, came to the Island to visit us yesterday. Joe asked him, “Would you like a cup of coffee, or tea?” And Jon said, “Yes, please, coffee.”  I sat in front of the fire talking to Jon ~ Joe went to make coffee and when he came back he brought this tray for us! So pretty! I jumped up and said, “Don’t touch that, let me get my camera!” Joe. What a guy. I’m reminded every day. Blessing counting!

With all my L O V E …. XOXO 

H E A R T  –  S H A P E D ,   G L U T E N  –  F R E E ,   C O R N    W A F F L E S 

  • 3/4 c. gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. med. grind cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. milk or buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter

Lightly spray your waffle iron with vegetable oil, and preheat it. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter. Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk eggs well, whisk in buttermilk. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients along with melted butter and whisk until well mixed.  Use a measuring cup to pour batter into the waffle maker, filling each heart, spreading the batter to get into all the holes. Close waffle maker, cook for a few minutes, turn the pan over, cook for a bit longer. Check for color, and cook until browned and crisp. They pop right out of the pan when you are ready. Keep warm in the oven while you make more, or serve immediately, hot with butter and heated maple syrup, powdered sugar, or fresh fruit. If you’d like chocolate waffles, add 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder to dry ingredients, and 1 TB additional milk. ❣️

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502 Responses to HOMEMADE

  1. Michelle says:

    Susan and Joe,
    Do you have an itinerary for Ireland ? If you will be over in Dingle and back West you may want to see if you could meet with Felicity Hayes McCoy , a writer whom I feel has parallel sensibilities ..you are probably aware of her already. You can find her by doing an online search , plus she is just having an inaugural U.S. publication date, I believe. She does Facebook etc.
    MNH, St. Louis

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll look for her on the Internet, thank you Michelle!

      • Lynn says:

        So glad to hear a BOOK will come from the Ireland Trip. We just got back from ten days, and so loved the Irish and the countryside. Do go to Dingle and talk with the owner of the Dingle Crystal Company, Sean. He will even demonstrate how he cuts the glass! They also have a lovely little shop in Dingle, which smelled and looked so festive for Fall! Lots of countryside to explore, for sure.

      • Memarge says:

        Susan, if you get to meet her (Felicity Hayes McCoy), you won’t regret it. She is a wonderful writer and on my mom’s mother’s side, I am Irish, and FHM is from there and lives there. She’s cups of tea and has a friend who owns a shop in the wee town that has glorious hand-dyed woolens and homemade knits but they’re not in the least amateurish.
        Blessings on you and Joe forever, not just on Thanksgiving.

  2. Cheryl Miller says:

    My husband and I are in charge of Thanksgiving for 13 in Littleton Colorado. My mother-in-law turns 90 and simply cannot prepare large meals. We have been practicing and two of your recipes will be prepared – the cranberry sauce you mentioned above (THE best) and the corn pudding with maple syrup (ADORE THIS). I turned our leftover corn pudding into corn chowder with leftover coconut simmer sauced chicken. It was amazing. Thanks Susan!! Your recipes are simply the best!

    • sbranch says:

      Yummy yummy, you have just made me very hungry! I adore that corn pudding too. When I get old (er) and don’t want to make turkey anymore, I will just bake a pan of corn pudding with maple syrup, serve it with a side of cranberry sauce, and call it a very happy day! Happy Thanksgiving Cheryl!

  3. Linda B Freeman says:

    Chief Seattle’s words are so lovely that I plan to share them with friends. Thanks, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      I found a book of Native American sayings, and they are all like this, spiritual and wonderful. I put several of them in my Autumn Book, like this one: Yupik Joe Friday said, “We felt that all things were like us people, down to the small animals like the mouse and things like wood. The wood is glad to the person who is using it, and the person is glad to the wood for being there to be used.” 💞 Now that’s what I call gratitude!

  4. Bev L says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan and Joe.
    I vote for the Chintz setting for the table on Thanksgiving, it look so pretty. We have already had our Thanksgiving here in Canada but I wish everyone in the USA a wonderful day with their family, making memories that can last a life time!
    I’m going to make your cranberry sauce for Christmas this year as I’ve never see such an easy recipe. The color is gorgeous and looks like jeweled rubies in the bowl!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Bev! Yes, you’ll never choose another recipe after this one, it’s just too easy and good! Say hello to our wonderful Canadian neighbors for us!

  5. Kit says:

    This was a perfect post to read today when my little home has been such a haven. My feelings of home and family and tradition echo yours. This is quite a wonderful life isn’t it? 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving! Kit

  6. Starr miller says:

    Hello Susan
    Thank you for this beautiful post. Happy Thanksgiving!!
    I have a suggestion. Amazon has a fabulous show- Home Fires. It’s set in England during
    WWll. Small town – great characters and stories.
    Perhaps you know it?

    • sbranch says:

      I think I saw an episode or two, a while back. But I’m going to check it out, sounds wonderful!

      • Tatiana says:

        You NEED to check it out! It’s right up your alley. And the opening music is just haunting, I play it often while I paint <3 I must warn you though, season 2 ended on a cliff-hanger and they didn't renew it for a 3rd =0\ However, I did hear that the writers will be publishing it in book form. yay!

        • sbranch says:

          Thank you for the warning. I would have had to come find you otherwise! I love good painting background noises! Storytelling while painting is the best. I play Miss Potter over and over again, and when the music comes on, I see my watercolor and for a moment, I’m her!

  7. Do you have your gravy recipe? I’d love to try a new one, as mine doesn’t always come out tasty.

  8. Debbie Jones says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan & Joe! I just want to tell you your blogs are so helpful & full of so much wonderful information! I remember reading one about the liquid starch you use & I have curtains i would love to use the starch on but can not remember the name of it for the life of me. Hoping you do & will hear from you soon…thanks so much! Wishing you both a blessed & very Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Amy says:

    Hi Susan! I talked with you before about the MBTI tests, remember? That’s off-topic cause I just wanted to tell you I’m in MA now visiting my new grandbaby! My first one. My son lives above Boston but is currently working on the Maritime Hospital construction project so he’s in Martha’s Vineyard during the week. I wish I could pop into your town and see you but no time for that and you’re probably not home anyway! Someday I’ll get to meet you. Lots of love~Amy G.

  10. Kate says:

    Yes, let’s make the Friday after Thanksgiving “green” Friday and get outdoors and walk somewhere. I really don’t like the stores opening on Thanksgiving now. We really should have one day that is not commercialized at all and where we can give our thanks to God above for all our many blessings. That is what Thanksgiving is all about to me.

    • sbranch says:

      I totally agree Kate. Some companies are seeing the disapproving handwriting on the wall … and beginning to put people first. One of our Girlfriends was just talking about the company her husband works for, REI, who pays their employees to take the day off, and encourages them to get out in nature! How wonderful! If we stop showing up, I’m sure they’ll stop doing it. But they sure inundate us with TV ads! I always say we have to be our own chaperones and this is exactly the reason why!

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        yay finally another person for the take back our holidays movement. I totally agree, no stores should open on Thanksgiving, giving their employees a paid day off and time to enjoy and celebrate with their families. as for black Friday, I think that should stop and instead we should go outdoors and enjoys the beauty and wonder out there and give thanks for the all the lovely things in this world we have, like squirrels, deer, turkeys, owls, even raccoons, and little field mice. I may not like them but they are part of this world and they are cute to look at.

        • sbranch says:

          I looked up Black Friday on Google and was shocked to see it started a while back. I only began hearing about it maybe the last 10 years or so ~ so when they called it a “tradition” it made the hairs on my neck stand up! Hackles! 😬 What bothers me is that if a mom takes her kids, so it becomes “normal” ~ in a few years, it will probably BE a tradition. Kids will never have known life without it. Corporate manipulation at it’s very worst.

          • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

            what really annoys me is that those corporations are trying to turn Thanksgiving into a shopping day, not that just bristles up my fur. Thanksgiving is day for families and friends to get together and give thanks for all the blessings and the bounty they have enjoyed. it is a time of family gatherings, seeing relatives that you might have seen in awhile and old dear friends . not shopping. time to put a halt to this.

          • sbranch says:

            There’s a new one they’re trying to sneak by us… the new head of the FCC is asking for a vote, Dec. 14, that would put Internet access basically into a layered system ~ it will be pay to play, certain speeds and access for people who PAY MORE for it, and less for people who wouldn’t be able to. They’ll be able to slow down some sites, and speed up others, effectively controlling access. All for AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. More money for them, and once again, less for us. Read HERE, and then call the HECK out of your congressmen (whether they are Republican or Democrat), leave a message that you are FOR Net Neutrality and worried about what is going on at the FCC. It’s fast tracked for a vote and will change everything.

          • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

            I will get on that right away, how dare they try this!!!! you can bet I will let my representatives know where I stand and I will this on to as many friends and family as I can. the nerve of these greedy people!!!!

          • sbranch says:

            They cloak it in doing “what’s best for their stockholders” but they don’t notice the rest of us. Thank you Pat!

      • Laurie, Nico's mom says:

        I hate to admit this, but the State’s Black Friday has spread to Canada. Ads everywhere! I live in the country but you can bet I gave the city & even our nearest town a wide berth on that day. My husband had to go into town & the traffic & lines were insane! All so he could plumb my laundry tub! I’m all for Green Friday! 🌿 Not 🛍!

        • sbranch says:

          I heard it’s in England too. Yuck! Lots of things I’d like to export, but that’s not one of them!

          • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

            well you will be proud of me, we ignored Black Friday and went out to the mountains and did some cross country skiing, and since I shop for Christmas gifts only at smaller shops and craft fairs, well I was busy on Saturday supporting the small businesses and hitting the craft fairs. got some beautiful and unusual gifts for friends and family this year. I can now proudly cross off gift shopping and get busy writing and addressing cards. 😉

  11. Diane Cassano says:

    Hi there

    Which recent blog did you talk about your favorite pajamas ?

    Gobble gobble

    • sbranch says:

      Your guess is as good as mine 🙃 . . . but I know I got them at Garnet Hill. Coziest best thick yummy flannel!

  12. Stephanie C says:

    Hi Susan, Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe! I am making my crockpot dressing to take to my brothers Thursday. It’s traditional dressing but made in the crockpot. I have Ireland on my bucket list!! Will be looking forward to your new book. I love my Martha’s Vineyard coffee cup and use it every morning. Blessings,


  13. Kitty Muse says:

    Thank you for bringing my childhood memories back to me! I never appreciated the apple dinnerware we used on Thanksgivings as a child but I certainly do now. I never had a Grandmother but I will remember my mom this Turkey day with fond remembrance and thanks for always making Thanksgiving special.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe!
    P.S. I love how Joe’s tray of coffee and cookies were worth a picture.

  14. Senda says:

    Oh Susan, you are traveling to my very favorite place in the whole wide world! I had my dream trip to England several years ago. I thought I was dreaming when I stepped off the train in the Cotswolds. What a neat trip but much too short. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

    • sbranch says:

      We’ve stayed in Bibury, which is on the edge of the Cotswolds and a beautiful little village, and we’ve driving around and explored many of the villages, but we’ve never plunked ourselves down in the center, where walking town to town is a very easy thing to do. I don’t know why! But we are enjoying every moment of the thinking about it!

  15. Georgie Bonsanto says:

    Susan… a new blog, … new inspiration, … a new recipe, but most of all… time together with YOU! It’s just like dropping by for a Thanksgiving chat. Tea by the fire, waffles from the griddle iron, sharing happy thoughts free from the cares of the world.

    Love YOU Girlfriend. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Georgie from NJ

  16. toni baumgard says:

    Now I am more than ready for Thanksgiving after reading your cheerful post. This year I get to see my two Great Grands who are coming from Arizona . My heart overflows. Best Wishes for a Joyful Thanksgiving and thank you for being a friend, toni b

  17. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Happy Thanksgiving all! I have my cranberries ready to make your recipe…my favorite, and then the Christmas jam with another bag! Yum! We always have an abundance of things to be ever grateful for but this year is especially blessed. One year ago next week, i had a cornea transplant. It has taken a year to slowly gain sight and i still have a few sutures left to be removed but thanks to a stranger’s selfless act of cornea donation, i can drive again, read again, see the beautiful world again. I will try to pay it forward in ways that I can. I am blessed. May all of you be blessed also.

    • sbranch says:

      I remember when you had that . . . what a difference a year can make, and a gratitude cup filled to overflowing! I’m so happy for you Sarah! xoxo

  18. Angie says:

    AND a Happy Thanksgiving to you, Joe and Jack.
    I so look forward to your travels. If you need a Jack-sitter, call me.
    My vote=Purple plates. Take pictures, please.
    Back to my sewing. 4 weeks to finish Xmas gifts in-process.

  19. Jane Alexander says:

    To our dear Susan,
    I’ve been reading Your book, Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams the last 2 days. I’ve had it awhile, waiting for the right time to read, knowing it would be so special. Well, my daughter just moved 5 hours away, after living only 30 minutes away, and I had been crying tears, just accepting the change. Not knowing what to do next, I thought of your book, knowing now was the time to turn to something I loved. So, your story has been the sweetest, story to ponder and love, and think about, that my heart has begun to feel more joy and peace. Thank you so much for being so truthful, writing from your heart, allowing us to walk with you on your journey of life. Thanks for being such a dear friend to all of us.

  20. Jenny Auslund says:

    My vote is the Windsor ware- what a hard decision though, they are all perfectly lovely! Speaking of Green Friday, my husband as an employee of REI outdoor co-op gets paid in full to “Opt outside”. They actually do not open on Black Friday and have an entire program encouraging employee families to go hiking or adventuring outdoors the day after Thanksgiving instead of making their employees face the Black Friday nightmare. It has changed our holidays forever to have daddy with us. This year we will all hike to Paris Mountain lake here in the Blue ridge foothills of South Carolina. Thank you for all you do for us and all you mean to us Joe and Susan- you are visionary shapers of HOME! Bless you-

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE that Jenny. REI! Wow, how smart and people-oriented they are. Have a beautiful hike … no place easier to find thankfulness than wandering out in God’s beautiful gift of this gorgeous garden of earth. Blessings to you all. xoxo

  21. Patricia Edde says:

    Happy, Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to Susan, Joe and Jack from Patricia and Sam! If it was moi setting the table, I would go with the Johnson Bros. as I love their china. The purple against the rusts, oranges and greens of Fall would be absolutely gorgeous. This probably sounds very traitorous (and promise you won’t tell a soul) but I don’t like any of the Thanksgiving meal foods except for the mashed potatoes (minus the gravy), not even the pumpkin or peeecan pies (do you remember the scene in “When Harry Met Sally” where he’s trying to teach her how to say “pecan pie” the Southern way?). Such a great movie. Anyway, back to the food……..I would be happier with Mickey D’s or a pastrami on rye (don’t get me started on the deli scene). By the way, the Brian Andreas quote you used is one of my favorites and did you know that he started out here in Decorah, Iowa? He just painted a great bit on the side of a wall in town. There may be a few “not completely right” facts in what I’m about to say (and I blame that on my 67 year old brain) but the gist is right. One of the businesses in town, who works with special needs kids, had painted a wall facing the alley white – I think because it had some grafetti on it. Brian has a business in town (and I think he lives above it when he’s here) and he saw the wall and asked her if he could paint a picture and words on it and of course she said “yes”. It ended up speaking so eloquently of her clients. We are so lucky to have him still consider Decorah one of his homes. Keep an eye out for our eagles too. They’re starting to work on their nest for this year and occasionally the cam will show a close up of one of them – they’re so heart stoppingly elegant. The deer have been raiding the bird feeder nightly as it gets colder and one came up so close to me as I talked to it. That was a day maker. You can’t beat nature and her inhabitants for beauty (as you well know) and that is what I am thankful for (besides my precious Sam) this year. I wish you and yours a day filled with joy and peace and full tummies.

    • sbranch says:

      Funny because I have a sister that ADORES tacos so much that she serves them on Thanksgiving! She’s all grown up and gets to have it any way she wants! Thanksgiving is in the heart of the beholder, all of it is good! Love the Decorah eagles. I’ll check in soon. I like looking beyond the nest to see how your weather is too! Happy Thanksgiving Patricia!

  22. Christine says:

    Love the traditions of Thanksgiving! We start the day at church then on to a wonderful dinner and family, now 4 generations. I just love them all and I love your wonderful posts! Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. FayE in CA! says:

    Heart pancakes 💛💛💛 …my five grandchildren and I have been making them since the first was born 20 years ago! I bought the electric heart waffle maker after the oldest was born to have around when they visited and it has served us well all these years. I serve them on floral heart plates.

    Jack’s face is questioning and a bit disappointed in this post. I think he was waiting for you to garnish the waffles with a sprinkle of catnip. 🌿🌿🌿

    Your ironing board is happy to be on Thanksgiving prep duty once again. It loves the attention and break from steamy, lavender scented linens.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Joe, and Jack. We enjoy the welcoming cyber visits into your home and days’ activities. You deserve the love and thanks that goes right back to you from every one of us out here in SB Country!

    Hugs and pets,
    FayE! ❤️❤️❤️

    PS: Once in a while your mom pops into my head and I think of the two of you. I hope that she is well enough to enjoy family around her this holiday season.

    • sbranch says:

      She is FayE, thank you for asking. Her memory gets worse all the time, but physically she’s wonderful, still folding clothes and watching tennis on TV … and still with the happy lilt in her voice. I think a grandma who makes heart waffles for her grandchildren is guaranteed never to be forgotten! My mom put red hearts on our oatmeal at Valentine’s Day, and I’m still not quite over it!

  24. Lee Gordon says:

    Thank you for your Thanksgiving greetings! So many people have forgotten this blessed time of the year and ignore the importance of giving thanks. My mother and I would wake up early and watch the Macy’s parade. We would then gather with family and have a wonderful day and meal. These days, three of our parents have passed on, but we have a wonderful tradition to remember them. My husband’s father would tease our three boys by fighting over the black olives, saying they were all for him. Of course, everyone ended up with olives on their plate. Now, when we sit down for holiday meals, we all place an olive on our pinky finger and raise them all together, saying “Here’s to grandma and to both grandpa’s and to those no longer at our table!” We then pop the olive in our mouth and proceed to the feast! I am so thankful to God for all His good gifts of provisions, home, health and most of all, family! Thank you for encouraging us to remember and may you have a wonderful holiday!

  25. Chris Hanna says:

    The Slaughters are beautiful. The last visit there a few years ago gave us a serendipitous experience that could probably only happen if you can get off the main roads and take the small lanes. We came across a farmer who had got his tractor and the enclosed truck/trailer he was pulling, into a place where he couldn’t manoeuvre into the field he was trying to get into. Tim was able to direct him so he could safely pull back into the lane without damaging the ancient stone walls on either side. Then he asked us to stand in the gap of the open farm gate while he unloaded his cargo……baby lambs !!!! which he carried out three or four at a time and dropped into the field. They were bleating and carrying on quite a treat and so were the mamas still in the trailer. I had to stop several escapees from ducking back through the gate to their panic-stricken mothers. Once he had all the lambs in the field he opened the back of the truck fully and the mama sheep leapt out, raced through the gate and straight to their own babies. We ambled on our way again marvelling at our little adventure on the back roads near the gorgeous villages of the Slaughters. Enjoy your stay there….as always I’m a little envious of you being able to go back to beautiful England

    • sbranch says:

      Perfection! That’s just how we found it to be . . . magic in the serendipity of little found things. Museums are good, we always go, but give me this any day!

  26. Linda Hill says:

    Either plate is wonderful but I prefer white ironstone or my robins egg blue china. They don’t fight with the food!!!
    You have never talked about the people who won the raffle to come to your home for the day for tea. What did you end up doing and was it fun?
    Unfortunately I am alone again this year for the holidays as all my family is gone deceased) except my sister and she is very ill. So I will have turkey precooked from the store!! But your goodies sure sound tasty!!!
    Hope your Thanksgiving is as wonderful as you are!! Linda from Idaho where the days are high forties and supposed to be 62 on Thursday–amazing for this time of year!!

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t talk about that lunch? We had a lovely time. It was two couples from California ~ I made a healthy lobster salad, we ate in the garden and learned all about each other. I showed them my studio and what I was working on. It was a really nice afternoon. They were wonderful to give so much to Community Services here on the Island. I hope your holiday is peaceful and that you do just what you want to do! Supermarket turkey smells very good warming in the oven, and maybe an old movie to make you cry! Sending love and blessings Linda xoxo

  27. Paula Johnson says:

    Oh, Susan, you did it again! You write the most charming blog posts! Your creative talent is on glorious display in this post: your cross stitch, your photos, your words, your art, your tips (thanks for the gravy tip). Bless you!

    This quote is tops: “Dates on calendar are closer than they appear.” This is sooo true!

    And Joe’s coffee tray; I am impressed, Joe. You two are soul mates/kindred spirits, for sure. 🙂

    We are privileged to have seven of our eight children and their spouses coming and 38 of our 47 grandchildren here with us for Thanksgiving this year. I believe our first great-grandchild will be here, also. I have made 5 batches of our favorite cornmeal rolls so far. The children will bring “their” particular dish or dishes and we will have a veritable feast. We will gather and share our thanks and update each other on our lives, share music and other talents , laugh, cry, and pray together and enjoy each other~~from the oldest to the youngest.

    I hope you and all of the girlfriends have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know that your dinner will be delicious.

    I am thankful for you and Joe! Lovingly, Paula

  28. Jo'L says:

    Thanks giving for you and yours and all of your ^ friends! The blog and comments make for gratefulness.

  29. Judy Blevins says:

    I made your cranberry/orange marmalade recipe last year and looking forward to making it again. I bottled it up, as you suggested, and gifted it to friends and family. So easy and yummy. Thank you for the uplifting inspiration. After preparing Thanksgiving for almost 35 years now, new ideas are needed to keep the inspiration alive. Thank you for sharing yours with us! Happy Thanksgiving from my home to your home.

  30. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    It’s so nice to recreate the recipes that our Mothers and Grandmothers used when we were young. Though it never quite tastes as good as when they made it. Maybe it was the love they added. Thank goodness for our memories when they are no longer with us.
    Wishing you and Joe and sweet Jack a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving Day!!

  31. Valerie B says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan. Hope the holiday is crisis free both personally and beyond. Keep the cozy coming. It really helps. PS Mom always included a sausage and potato stuffing at our feast.

  32. Deb in Wales says:

    Good Morning Susan!

    I bet that cottage will be fully recognisable from the picture. Things like that just don’t change at all, except maybe the road outside and the greenery growing.

    Ah! Yum Yum Happy Tum! Some things should only ever be eaten fresh from the griddle, and waffles is one of them! Some others are crepes and Welsh cakes. I’m sure there’s a lot more to be added to the list, like buttermilk biscuits and scones fresh from the oven too!

    That’s going to make enough stuffing to feed an army! I’ve used my ironing tables for a whole heap of weird things, but never drying bread! I think I’d be happy to just eat that with a big spoon, on it’s own! Have you ever had a stuffing sandwich? Carb overload, but we don’t speak of that. My favourite is made with stuffing of choice and Branston pickle, with crisps and pickled onions on the side!

    We won’t mention those two words, colour + day of the week, , not only has it crossed The Pond, but somehow, with some companies, it’s been turned into a two week long sell~fest of reductions here! It’s a disgusting, greed oriented ‘thing’ ~ I don’t know what else to call it! I’m shocked to see some small independent retailers picking up on it too! I wish I could say I won’t shop with these companies during the year either, but there’d be none left to trade with! Okay, rant over!

    Sending Warmest Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
    ~~~Waving~~~From Across The Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I get the whole idea of great sales, who doesn’t like that! But some folks get into FIGHTS over the stuff in the stores! Fights that make the news! When it should be all about gratitude and love and family and connection. I think Christmas is like a dream … like a big empty dream, and into the space everyone should put their most meaningful things. Time out to notice the little things, something fun, some giving and singing and sitting in front of the fire and some baking. xoxo

      • Cathy from Golden, CO says:

        Don’t you just love the street scenes at Christmas-time in the old movies, It’s a Wonderful Life and The Bishop’ s Wife? No big malls or Black Friday there! So quaint and lovely. Watching those movies gives me such happiness.

  33. Barbara from Wolverine Lake MI says:

    I’ve been making things too! I’ve been trying to knit scarves for Christmas gifts. one done, one halfway done. and I too have bread all laid out on the table drying – only I cube mine first; it’s all on an oversized cookie sheet which I occasionally stir a bit. I love all your dishes – they all are matchy. I, myself, use Thanksgiving as the one day when it’s the china, the crystal and the Sterling (which I spent an entire hour polishing yesterday) My Mom’s and I just realized yesterday it’s the Big 7-0 for the Sterling this year – looks as perfect as the day mom bought it. only the story she told was during The War you couldn’t buy silver. you did a sort of Lay-A-Way for it, piece by piece. then after The War (WWII) you could go collect it. It was a way to keep businesses afloat since all efforts went to the War and all the men were gone. anyway the Silver is gorgeous. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We finally gave up and use it for every day too. Life was too short for once a year. But ours isn’t very shiny! You just reminded me, must go fix that!

  34. Peggy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan and Joe!

  35. Penelope says:

    Hello Susan, you’ve quite put me into the spirit of the season with this delightful post! I’m about to go and make bread for our own Thanksgiving feast. Best wishes to you and yours, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  36. Michelle says:

    Lower Slaughter is as delectable as your waffles look!

    I am really loving the movement for Small Business Saturday (the day after that awful Black day) with small family owned independent stores being celebrated. These shops add so much to our communities – both the character of our towns and the money that is kept in our own neighborhoods. Shopping Small is a tradition that I hope grows!

    • sbranch says:

      It saves our small towns …they have some very heavy competition these days. Sweet little shops with personality! Love them!

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        that is one shopping day I love, I refuse to shop in the larger retail stores, but the smaller businesses, the mom and pop shops, that I where you can find the best gifts for Christmas giving. that is one day I totally support.

        • sbranch says:

          Me too, plus the money goes right back into your own community! I don’t know a single town that doesn’t need that!

  37. Nancy says:

    “Begin Each Day With A Grateful Heart” was the framed saying which hung in my bathroom as a reminder to me how I should live my life. Because of life’s circumstances beyond my control, to avoid foreclosure, my home was sold in a short sale. My dear friends have taken my adorable, kitty Wheezer and I in until we can find a home we can afford. The Lord has been so gracious and loving to us ~ way beyond measure! When I consider the families and people who lost everything including their lives, in the hurricanes and fires, I weep. In comparison my tale of woe is minute. “No one knows what this next year will bring, but one thing is sure. He will be with us and He is enough for every difficulty that may arise.” Amy Carmichael .He will never leave us nor forsake us. With a very grateful ❤ this Thanksgiving ~ Nancy from Annapolis

    • sbranch says:

      Banks, bah, humbug. I have a problem with them in general and the laws they write themselves that allow them to get away with what they get away with. Beautifully written dear Nancy, expression of the pure gratitude so many of us feel in our hearts. Wishing miracle blessings galore to shine on you and yours. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  38. charlotte m. says:

    We will be a small group this year, with lots of home made goodness. Funny though, the forecast here in southern California is mid eighties. That will not feel like Thanksgiving to me. I am used to a bit of chill for this day. We will go out and walk for the homeless with Father Joe’s Villages early in the am. We never participate in that black Friday mess. I won’t even shop on line in protest. But we do try to support small businesses on Saturday. Next best gifts to home made I think. Have a lovelee Thanksgiving week Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      I heard it would be 91 degrees in LA today, the day before Thanksgiving. Yikes. As I sit here under a blankie wearing two sweaters.🤣 Love the way you are spending the day after Thanksgiving. Sometimes I think the goal of all citizens should be, rise above the media and their corporate sponsors, and do what is right to keep your neighborhoods vibrant. Happy Thanksgiving Charlotte, thank you for being here. xoxo

  39. Mary Kathryn says:

    Susan, regarding your waffle iron (which is just adorable!!), if you did not know — I have a very old, cast-iron one (no hearts though, sadly) that also works on a stove top. I has a base for the iron to rest in also. But opposite of the handle, there is a cool “ball and socket” pivot on the iron, right where the top and bottom come together. This allows you to cook one side of the waffle, and then easily flip it over and cook the other side. Does yours do this? Just a thought.
    Oh – have you heard of Christmas Jam? It is a combo of strawberry and cranberry. Just made some on Saturday. Quite good (plus you can add a dab of jalepeno for a kick!), and it’s so fun to be able to make a fresh-fruit jam in the wintertime.
    I love all your Thanksgiving china. If FORCED to choose, I would opt for the first one. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, the one I have hooks together, but comes apart for easy washing. You fill one side with batter, put the top down, cook it, then flip it and cook on the other side. It’s so easy! Sounds a lot like yours! A few years back I combined my Cranberry Sauce recipe (equal amounts) with Orange Marmalade, and called this delicious thing “Christmas Jam” because it’s so easy to make and giveaway at Christmas … so in a way, yes, I’ve heard of it! 😁 I guess there is more than one! Anything with cranberries in it just always seems to be good! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Mary Kathryn! xoxo

  40. Betsy Brunette, Indianapolis says:

    There is nothing I could write to say it any better than what has been said in the earlier notes. You are the best, Susan, to take time to connect with all of the girlfriends in the world. We love your ideas and inspiration and ever-constant reminders that it’s the simple things in life that matter.

    I am writing letters to our adult children this year (two of them are already sent) to express my gratitude to them for being my children. They have each brought their own colors to my world but the ways that they have blessed my life are immeasurable. But do they know that? Thus the letters in my own handwriting for them to read and possibly save for as long as they can. My husband knows that I am doing this and I hope that he will want to do the same thing someday soon. Our kids need to know that both parents love them dearly.

    We feel your love each and every time and we thank you for your blog.

    Love, The Blonde Brunette : )

    • sbranch says:

      What a wonderful gift to pass down to your family generations. Never to be forgotten. Thank you so much Betsy! xoxo

  41. Karen Williams says:

    Just another purrfect blog, Susan, with the aid of a ve ve cute kitty and Joe’s tray!!

    A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and everyone across the miles of ocean.
    Loathe the ‘Bl*$k-Fryday-thing’ but lurve the Small-Shop-Saturday-thing!!
    It’s a shame it has arrived here too, but we must resist and desist and leave it to others!

    Your colourful writings and pictures are a total blessing as well as the wise words of he American Indians…what a gift.

    Crockery: go for a mixture of both…so beautiful, a shame to leave any in the cupboard!!

    Waffles? Thought that was what the politicians did! 😂. Will be looking to find a waffle maker like yours ASAP!! Looked fab and delish!

    Oh and btw…just had two nights and three wonderful, relaxing days in the Cotswolds…try and go to Minster Lovell…just perfect: roaring log fires, delicious food, wonderful peeps, fabulous walks and you feel like you’re a million miles away….x
    Love and blessings to you all from
    Karen x x x
    UK 🇬🇧

    • sbranch says:

      Should change name of Small-Shop Saturday to “Be an Elf Day” ~ less commercial and more of a celebration of the giving thing (on both sides, stores and customers)! And get rid of “the ‘Bl*$k-Fryday-thing” altogether. 🤗 Daily I ask myself why we aren’t in charge! Will check out Minster Lovell … I think we will be in a “can’t lose” situation in the Cotswolds! Thank you Karen!

  42. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! HAPPY Thanksgiving to you and Joe and Jack!!!!! Thank you for the yummy Gluten-free waffle recipe, as my daughter Marie was just put on a trial, food guideline recently for a GI issue. Her tummy feels better avoiding gluten, so she has begun to cook and bake in this manner. (I hope your tummy is behaving.) I know she would love these!!!!!! Oh, and the heart waffle iron looks so very easy to pull out of the cupboard and use!!!! Good luck with all of Your Turkey Day preparations!!!!! It’s crunch time for me, too, and as the turkey is thawing in the fridge, I am trying to get the house in order with cleaning and checking off everything on my to-do list. Your pretty china dishes look so delicate……maybe you could mix and match them all on your table…..decisions, decisions!!!! Can’t wait to see what you decide!!! Take care. God Bless. Bye bye from sunny, but very chilly (day after snow flurries) Dearborn, Michigan!

  43. Melanie Drake says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Susan Branch!!
    I just wanted to let you know you are a part of our festivities every year because I have been making your rainbow jello for Thanksgiving (and once Christmas too) for the last hmmm…I think ten years! That’s a lot of layers 🙂 I just love it so.
    Up here in Alaska it is all snowy and cold so I set it outside ( being that my fridge is too full of other thanksgiving food) for each layer to set and they do quite quickly thank goodness!
    So thank you to you and your wonderful recipes and share-fullness. You and Joe are too precious!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, we use our winter outdoors as an extra fridge too! One of the perks of snow-country! Jell-O is for anyone who needs a bit of unexpected and delicious charm on their table! Have a wonderful day!

  44. Kathy says:

    Susan, Wishing you and Joe a wonderful Thanksgiving and an abundance of
    blessings. Thanks so much for your beautiful blogs!

  45. Nancy Hussey says:

    Susan…loved this blog, as always. I think I vote for the Chintz dinnerware. Also…I was wondering if you’ve ever read the wonderful books by author, Miss Read, that take place in The Cotswolds ? They are my favorites !

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve read a few … love them. Have you read any Barbara Pym … if you like Miss Read, you might like Barbara Pym books too.

  46. Karen Lotito says:

    Hi Susan, A very Happy Thanksgiving to you, Joe and Jack. One year I was making turkey and I cooked the giblets. Our gray tabby Samantha, who has been many years over the Rainbow Bridge, grabbed a piece and was running around the house with it. That was hers and the other cats couldn’t have it! I love your dishes; it would be difficult to choose which pattern, although I’m leaning towards the ones you served the waffles on. 🙂 I have Johnson Brothers plates with turkeys on them. We are going to dine with friends this year. I’m making butternut squash soup. 🙂 We still bought a turkey as there’s nothing like roast turkey and we will have it another time. My dear MIL always saved the carcass for me to make turkey noodle soup which on a cold, windy day is just wonderful! Have a wonderful holiday! xo

  47. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    Lovely, just a beautiful, lovely post reminding me of my grandmother, traditions, and my childhood Thanksgiving in Cumberland, IA. Someone once asked me – if I could relive one day of my entire life what would it be. I said, “One 1950’s Iowa family Thanksgiving with all the people I love so much, gone long years ago.” God Bless girlfriend’s!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yeah. I think even people who’ve never been to Iowa would love one of those! But put it together with loved ones lost, and that’s when the tears start to flow! xoxo

  48. jeanie says:

    Joe did really, really well with that plate of goodies! And isn’t this time of year just magical? I love it all. We’ll do our TG stuffing that mom made. It’s just what you do. And yum cranberries. All cozy, all wonderful, and all hygge.

    Wishing you and Joe and Jack a splendid Thanksgiving — and all the days before and after, too!

  49. Cris says:

    This Thanksgiving I am grateful for you and for being a girlfriend.

  50. Hi Susan…my vote is for the Delores dishes…you can pile the food on and still see the pretty plate ! Enjoyed reading about your Thanksgiving preparations – for several years after it became too much for my mother I hosted the dinner for the extended family. Sometimes 28 at the tables! Then my nephew got married, built a big house and his wife said Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday ( so I know he chose a good one!) and could she host it? That went on for a few years and then everyone started moving and going their own way. We usually went out for dinner…and this year my best friend since we met in homeroom (because they put us in a merged school in alphabetical order…thank goodness for the alphabet) has invited us to share the day with her mother, sisters, children and grandchildren! So excited! I am making my famous M&M brownies ( to get the grandchildren all sugared up) and also your FABULOUS cranberry sauce. Heading out today to look for a pretty dish to take it in as a gift. Also taking one of my favorite books to read to the children…The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher, by Robert Kraus. The Snitcher is a grinch-like stealer of all the sprinkles… and “Christmas cookies without sprinkles are like raisins without wrinkles and like sleighbells without tinkles are Christmas cookies without sprinkles”! Don’t worry….all is well in the end – and I am SO excited to share this story with all the kids. My friend’s daughter, now a mother of three, used love when I would visit and pull her chair right next to mine, show me her dolls, etc. – and now she has told her daughter of 3 years old that she will be my friend too! Can’t wait! And…very thankful for my husband, who makes life so good for us…and for all who came before who did the same…making my life possible. Will travel home and watch “Miracle on 34th Street” on Thanksgiving night – then after the movie take the cane that belonged to my Uncle Joe ( our family Santa in so many ways…God rest his soul) and put it by our new fireplace as we always have…and smile, and remember. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe and all your kin….so thankful for you, your posts, your way of helping us to make life cozy and wonderful !!!

    • sbranch says:

      That storytelling event you have coming sounds like the cat’s meow, Ann! How fun. Love the story too! You are an inspired person, and an inspiring one too. Is there anything better than reading to a child? xoxoxoxo Happy Thanksgiving!

  51. sharon taylor says:

    Hi Susan, Happy Thanksgiving to you, Joe and Jack. I didn’t think anyone else but me served Jello with their Turkey Dinner. So I loved it when I read you do!!.
    My recipe was handed down to me from my mother-in-law. Lime Jello with canned Fruit Salad folded in and served with a mayo, sour cream sauce. Have a wonderful day.

  52. Jana says:

    Autumnal bliss with eyes gently closed, comes through the ears, comes through the nose. Crispy leaves shiver and sing on the trees and wood smoke goes where it goes.

    Happy, happy Thanksgiving! Each post in this blog and each comment from the girlfriends are bright blessings for which I am immensely grateful! (Snoopy happy dance kind of grateful). Love to all, love to all!

  53. Bridget Bandy says:

    Dear Susan, what a wonderful post. I read it late last night and it made me so hungry! I plan to make the cranberry recipe. Thanks for sharing your dish patterns with us!!! I fell in love with your Johnson Bros. pattern years ago when you were featured in Country Living magazine.

    My daughter is engaged and planning her wedding for next Fall. It is her favorite season. For her birthday this month I found a copy of your original Autumn book for her. I thought it would be inspirational for her. We will be continuing our Thanksgiving traditions with my dear friend and her family and then another meal with my brother and sister. On Saturday my new son-in-law to be invited me to join them at his aunt’s home for a Thanksgiving meal. So we are beginning new traditions with her new family! We had such a good time. Before we left his uncle presented me with a rolling pin that he had made!!!

    Thank-you Susan for all that you give us. I hope that you, Joe, Jack and all your friends and family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    With Love, Bridget

    • sbranch says:

      Such lovely family connections and so much to look forward to Bridget! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! xoxo

  54. Patty Farrin says:

    My suggestion concerning the china pattern for your dinner table would be to use all of them!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I am so grateful for this blog and all the happiness and inspiration it brings!

  55. Caroline says:

    Happiest Thanksgiving to you and Joe and to all the girlfriends! How I love to read your blog with a cup of tea (blue bird mug…awaiting winter mug:) and then to read all the comments… you all give more and more inspiration.
    Snowflake girl is home from college!!!! (She is an INFJ too! Rarest being we were told:) This morning she went to the Christmas book basket (huge) to get out your Christmas book:) I am ever so thankful to have daughters around who are elves! Blessings to all on Thursday. Love, Caroline

    • Caroline says:

      Oh PS! I’m making your sweet pot mousse and stuffing it into a medium pumpkin, if I can find one! to bring to my sister’s for Thanksgiving:) Think of how many Thanksgiving tables will hold your recipes!!! Kind of a miracle!

      • sbranch says:

        When I remember myself painting and writing at Holly Oak, I can’t help but agree, what a miracle! More reason for gratitude!

    • sbranch says:

      Kisses to the elves and to you Caroline. Have a wonderful day! xoxo

  56. Rose Ann Bacher-Giallombardo says:

    Hello dear Susan,
    Your grace & talents have rubbed off on your Joe 🙂 What kind of cookies/biscuits were those that he put on the serving plate? They not only look pretty, but I bet they were yummy too!
    This year I’m going to try your easy oven cranberry sauce. Thank you for the recipe Susan. My Joe & family will love it.
    May God hold you both in the palm of his hand & continue to bless you this Thanksgiving & always,
    Rose Ann & Joe

    • sbranch says:

      The cookies come in a long narrow mostly-black box that says “Cinnamon Sugar Spice” and they’re perfect with tea or coffee! You are so sweet, I feel the palm of His hand with all my heart and say thank you every day. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Rose Ann!

      • Rose Ann Bacher-Giallombardo says:

        I found the cookies! They are called: “LU European Biscuits”.
        Thanks for the tip 🙂 I also want to tell you that your recipe for the oven cranberry sauce turned out great. I added a small amount of orange marmalade to put my own twist to it.
        Tomorrow there will be 17 of us around the table & I too thank God every day for the Blessing of Family.
        Susan, I wish you & yours JOY. As Maya Angelou said:
        “When you wish someone JOY, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness . . . all good things.”

  57. Kay Kay says:

    Cranberries in the oven….who knew??
    Just pulled the casserole out of the oven.
    My house smells loverly….and they’re so gorgeous, too.
    Thank you for sharing your recipe.
    Can hardly wait to taste on Thanksgiving. Wishing You and Joe and Jack a warm, wonderful day.

    • sbranch says:

      Good! I know, I got the recipe from my BFF Lowely’s mom, it’s brilliant, never again with all the work! Be sure to try mixing some, half and half, with orange marmalade. FABULOUS on biscuits or toast!

  58. Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

    What a lovely treat to find your new blog and all about Thanksgiving. Delightful! Looks so delish! I am sure to read this post over and over again. Those heart waffles are so pretty (can waffles be pretty?). I may have to break down and get a waffle maker. Sure wish Santa was listening….perhaps…Happy Thanksgiving Susan, Joe and precious Jack. I am grateful for you! xo

    • sbranch says:

      Perfect Santa gift, right? Do you wrap up a little something for yourself from Santa? It’s a good way to get at least one thing you really want! ☺️ Act all surprised. xoxoxo

  59. Lynn Marie says:

    Thank you so much for the Gluten Free Corn Meal Waffles. I have had to be Gluten free for almost 4 years now and even though I am totally use to it and re-doing recipes and such, it is nice to see one that I can drool over and know I can make and it will be just like the picture! These will be on our Thanksgiving breakfast menu before we head out for our feast at my son’s home. I vote for the purple design china and make sure you put that cute little sugar bowl on the table that is on the tea tray–adorable! My favorite saying on the blog today was this one: Warning! Dates on the calendar are close than they appear! I LOVE it–I always think I have all the time in the world and go in to dawdle mode then spend the last several days before the dates arrive in frantic mode ☺.

    • sbranch says:

      Nothing like a holiday or people coming to overcome procrastination! I also have a pumpkin cheesecake, to die for, in my Autumn book, and if you just use gluten-free ginger snaps for the crust, it’s magically and wonderfully, gluten free! xoxo

  60. DeLores E Johnson (from Minnesota) says:

    Dear Susan,
    When I saw you had made waffles, it brought back my memory of the first time I made waffles for my new husband 61 years ago. We were gifted a waffle iron for our wedding and I had tempered it according to the instructions. I greased it & put the waffle dough on it, shut the top & waited.
    When I tried to open it, it was was stuck & pretty soon our small apartment was filling up with smoke. My husband was trying to open the windows & I told him, “No, don’t. The fire department will come!”(I’m making Grape Salad to bring to our Thanksgiving at my Sister’s. Love, your blog!DeLores from MN

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha. I think we’ve all had those moments with those old irons. I remember watching the batter flow thickly down the side. What a mess! They took some getting used to! Have a wonderful turkey day DeLores!

  61. LINDA LORENZ says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Spending our holiday at my sister in Maryland, she lives on Deep Creek Lake, beauty, trees, and lake, and three cats! Zeke, Nash, and Klaus, say hello to Jack! MEOW!! Hope Jack gets some turkey too! xoxo Linda

    • sbranch says:

      He’s lying next to me on the sofa, on his side, with one arm/paw over his eyes. SO cute! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Linda!

  62. pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

    Good afternoon Susan and Girlfriends. its a cold, gray and wet day here, lots of lovely rain and snow for the higher elevations. looks like it will be this way all week long, even for Turkey Day. got our bread out and drying already, and I have the cranberry relish made. just have to get the pies done, and the side dishes planned out. our turkey will be cooked on the grill, its the only way we can do it as my stove will not hold a huge turkey and all the side dishes to be done. I can’t wait its one of my favorite holidays. I love Thanksgiving, the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen and the good cheer with relatives and friends in the house. if the ski slopes open on Thanksgiving, we are going skiing this Friday. to heck with shopping, I’d rather be skiing. Susan how do you keep Jack out of the bread when its drying???? I have a couple of little gremlins who love to bite the bread and scatter it all over the floor. this year I guess the fly swatter will be well used in defending the bread. last year I could not believe how many pieces had bite marks on them or were missing chunks all together. I just looked out the back window and the turkeys have arrived, time for their afternoon snack of cracked corn. they come now every day to eat all the acorns and whatever else is on the ground. we love having them here, and we do protect them… no one is allowed to shoot them while they are on our property, that is a big no-no!!! the quackers are out swimming in their pool in the rain, they love this weather, the hens are hiding in the henhouse and life goes on in the barnyard. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. hugs…… 😀

    • sbranch says:

      Even tho’ the ironing board is one of Jack’s favorite perches, I think when he looks up, he sees the ends of the pans sticking over and chooses not to jump! I do keep the door to the pantry closed, just in cases! He also has no interest in people food, thank goodness! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a happy ski-day! xoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        the same to you Susan, Happy Thanksgiving. I found a solution to my problem with the gremlins, I simply put the bread to dry in a spare room and keep the door closed. they gather round that door and want to be let in, but no go… they are told to stay out and the fly swatter rules!!!!

  63. Happy Thanksgiving Sue & Joe!
    I love your mix of the Chintz and Delores for Thanksgiving and fall…delightful.
    I am thankful for you two sharing your lives with us.

  64. Patty Pierpoint says:

    Dear Susan, I don’t know why it took me so long to find your wonderful books and delightful blog! I love all of the pictures and recipes. Needless to say, I’m a devoted reader now. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!


  65. Pat Johnson says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to two fabulous people who make my life so much brighter!! Susan and Joe you are the best!! I am thankful for so many things, which is really WONDERFUL because I have been dwelling on a bit of the negative!! Stick out that chin!! Put a little spring in your step!! Make that smile shine!! Life is GRAND!!! Filled with blessings!! Life is GOOD!!
    HAPPY TURKEY DAY TO ALL!!! I am soooooo thankful for ALL of the girlfriends!!!!

  66. Dorothy Stapleton says:

    Your “musica” just played White Christmas and I cried
    happy tears because that was my parents’ “song”, I am so glad that I was bumped into looking up to heaven and thanking the two of them for giving me such a happy 1950’s growing up time–so much like the one you experienced! Thank you for sharing “you” with all of us!

    • sbranch says:

      What wonderful timing. Don’t you love it that your parents had a song, and that it was that one? That makes ME cry!

  67. Pam Butterick says:

    Dear Susan….
    Chintz…or Windsor Ware, because of the names! Otherwise, I love all 3! If we were home this year, I would use our Johnson Brothers Friendly Village….while growing up, our boys thought that the yellow snow outside the church was from kiddies like them taking “emergency pees” and now our grands LOVE that story (even though clearly the yellow is from light coming through the church window!) 😂
    LOVE the song Young at Heart, and also You Make Me Feel So Young…I sing them for the residents of Windemere and they love them.
    All that you talked about and described and painted in the blog was so wonderful and heartwarming and beautiful! Thank you! I will take your Autumn and Gratitude books with me, to share with family on that wonderfully special day. ❤️🍁🥧🍷🍽🍗🦃🎎❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Thanksgiving sweetie … yellow light from the church window is so much better! Have a wonderful time!

  68. Happy Thanksgiving! Last year to “celebrate” Black Friday, I bought candy canes and handed them out to all the store employees along with “thank you for working today”. I was surprised to find out, most volunteered to work because they received a bonus.
    Ahhh Ireland…I dearly love the birthplace (one of ’em anyway) of my ancestors and try to go every other year. Dingle is a favorite as is the west coast but I always always go to the Titanic Museum in N. Ireland and stay with “Mags and her Men”, a blog friend. Tea at the Titanic is NOT to be missed! God speed!

    • sbranch says:

      You are a sweetheart to do that! I just wish the culture wasn’t so all about money these days. But that takes me off into politics and I don’t even want to go there! Suffice it to say, people should be paid a living wage. Would be wonderful if family and tradition could come first. Thank you for the God speed . . . we are SO excited! Happy Thanksgiving Sandra!

  69. Julie Fellows says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for a wonderful post and for bringing the smells of Thanksgiving into my head-sage and butter for stuffing is one powerful memory for me. YUM!!!

    I don’t know when or if you will see this comment buried in so many others (and they are delightful) but I would really love to know more about your Ireland itinerary as it develops. My husband and I were lucky enough to visit Ireland in 1994 and 1997. That seems so far way and long ago now but after all this time the memories of our trip are something we mention nearly everyday! I would heartily encourage you to take things slow while you are there. There is such a deep and powerful sense of time and history and myth and magic in this small, very green island. Too many tourists want to “see it all” and race from one end of the island to the other. Not implying that you will , but the people and the land are so connected that time is needed to really know both-take time to stroll every “strand” (beach), go into the pubs, shop in the local grocery stores and travel a little bit out of your way to marvel at the “tree tube” as you try to navigate the narrow roads and drive on the left !!! I cannot wait to travel with you through your blog posts. Color me 40 Shades of Green with jealousy:) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your lovely family!

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Julie! You are almost Julian Fellowes!😃 We have three glorious weeks in Ireland ~ staying in one house and fanning out from there. That’s a long time and good for going slow ~ good for immersement! It’s true for us too ~ we still talk about our first trip to England in 2001. These memories don’t go away! Come with us virtually, and relive some of yours! xoxo

      • Julie Fellows says:

        Merry Christmas Susan and Joe and Jack-I especially loved seeing the pink and black toe pads on Jack. Sweet!! Our black and white cat (Doodle, named by son who is artist) has similar toe pads and they crack me up!!
        Yes, the Julian Fellowes similarity is even better when I tell you that my middle name is Ann (say it all together and what do you get?!) and father- in-law has traced family roots back to 1300’s Ipswich, England. Sure hope we are related somehow !!
        I am looking forward to traveling with you virtually and already I know that you will plan a repeat trip to the land of my ancestors. Other relatives have traced us( on my paternal side) to County Down and have great grandfather’s immigration documents from the 1880’s. You are in for a real treat.

        Thanks so much for responding and for the devotion and love that you put into each of your posts and all of your books and other creations. What a gift you are to a weary world! Hugs to you!

        • sbranch says:

          Many parts of Jack are beloved, but none so much as his paws. Unless it’s his nose. Or his ears. Put your name together and YOU GET JULIE ANN FELLOWS!!! That’s quite a name in this day and age! You must be related. Just say you are and that’s that! “Yes,☺️ ahem. My great uncle on my mother’s side.” I’m also all related to the UK, all over the place too, and feel it every time I step foot there. I have to go find out where County Down is. AHA, Northern Ireland. We probably won’t get up that high, but I’ll be downwind and breathing your air! So looking forward to it. Hugs to you Julieannfellows!

  70. Ellen says:

    I love, love, love your posts! I’m trying to type, but some tears are slowing my efforts. Happy tears, because of the heart-shaped gluten-free corn waffle recipe that means so much to me. My youngest daughter was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease. This was very traumatizing to her, as she was a pastry chef and had to abandon her dream. I’m always looking for gluten-free recipes and sometimes they pop up in unexpected places…like here. I suppose if one must be gluten-free, this is a much better age to do so. There are many more “substitutes” available to make it more manageable. So, a humongous Thank-you for this recipe! Happy Thanksgiving to Jack, Joe and Yourself! P.S. I have to add that my Susan Branch Calendars are my annual gifts to myself!

    • sbranch says:

      Tell your daughter, one of my very best girlfriends has celiac disease …. and she has made a science out of baking wonderful things that are gluten free, she lives in England and she works for a flour mill and gives baking classes in her kitchen. There are so many wonderful flours out there, almond flour, coconut flour, rice flour, corn flour … on and on. Your daughter can keep her dream and help others (and herself) at the same time. She can make WONDERFUL things. Now you know what to give her for Christmas! A really good gluten free cookbook. Look HERE … Try the gluten free crackers they’re stocking at the supermarket …some of them are made with ground nuts and most are really delicious. I also tried Glutino bread, and it’s not bad, makes really good toast. All is not lost! Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Ellen says:

        Thank-you for this information and for the encouragement. The fear of possible cross contamination was really the deciding factor for my daughter to let go of baking. As you may know there are different levels of response to gluten for celiac’s sufferers, none of them good, but for some much worse than others. She feels that the risk is not worth continuing. There is also the cost factor, gluten-free substitutes do not come cheaply, which in turn raises prices to customers too. I have to respect her choice and know that it was not easily made. She is also a chocolatier and that is her focus at present. In time she may decide to return to a career as a pastry chef…or not.

        • sbranch says:

          Chocolate is good too! I’ve been tested, and i don’t have celiac disease, but I am glutton-sensitive, and stay away from white flour as best I can. I just feel better when I do. I immediately bought the cookbook Lynn Marie suggested … can’t wait to get it! So many of my friends feel the same way, that white flour is not making life better for them. More and more good bakeries are serving glutton-free deliciousnesses! Good luck with it … Happy turkey day!

    • Lynn Marie says:

      Ellen, I have had to be Gluten Free for 4 years now and also use to be a baker. The page of books Susan led you to on Amazon, I suggest The How Can It Be Gluten Free cookbooks to your daughter. They are my absolute favorite and they are done by Americas Test Kitchen. They give you the science behind all the gluten free flours and why some work and some don’t and how things will taste with substitutions. I have never made anything I don’t like from them. Her dream is not gone☺!

      • sbranch says:

        Thank you so much Lynn Marie! Love the advice! Haven’t you seen an amazing change in the last 10 years? Good gluten-free is just as delicious these days as not-gluten-free!

      • Ellen says:

        Thank-you so much Lynn Marie! I do appreciate your taking the time to post this positive comment. I will definitely purchase your recommended cookbooks for my daughter. They sound like they will be very helpful on her gluten-free journey. It is still very new to her. Nor is it an easy transition with a husband and toddler that do not need the diet restrictions.

  71. Paula Gulley says:

    Have a happy Thanksgiving, Susan, Joe and Jack! You are one of the things I am thankful for! 🐱

  72. Hi Susan, Joe, Jack and the squirrels in your birdfeeders,
    There are so many connections with this last post and the comments that I feel very happy to be part of your Girlfriend-Connection: we stayed in Lower Slaughter in ’84; my family (Great grandparents) come from Chipping Norton and Bourton-on-the-Water; my daughters, and their husbands graduated from Luther College in Decorah (love the music there!); Johnson Bros china;(I have several patterns, but nothing complete – a teaset here, a set of plates there); and the post on starching. Each is worth a special thank you.
    I have a question: do you use a steam iron when ironing starched items? I grew up using a pressing cloth for all pressing and have never had good luck with steam. Can you recommend a good steam iron, as I need a new one?
    Thank you for the heart waffles. We tried to order an waffle iron from your store, but they were all sold out in only half a day. We wonder is the recipe in one of your books? We want to get it to our kids, and would love to copy your handwritten recipe card.
    Sorry for all the words here, I could go on and on. Love all you do for your Girlfriends.
    Jeanne of Iowa

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t use steam when I’m ironing something that’s already damp. I don’t get steam anyway … does it really work? Even though I have a steam iron, I always have to use spray starch or spray water if I really want to get the wrinkles out ~ sometimes steam spits and dribbles. Pain in the neck. And the irons aren’t as heavy as they used to be. Which is probably good and bad, but I feel like the old dry irons were better. They say Rowenta is a good brand, that’s the one I have. Hope this helps! YOU are Kidding! We’re sold out of waffle irons? That was way too fast. I’m sure they’ll get more! I’ll check, maybe there’s just a glitch in the system.

  73. Dionne Street says:

    I can’t wait for your new book! I’ll be counting down the days! I think you should use all the dishes. You could use a different pattern for each person. I love mixing old patterns. I totally agree with you about Black Friday. I refuse to shop. It’s still “Thanksgiving” in my eyes which is my absolute favorite holiday. I can’t stand how commercialized Christmas has become. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  74. Anita says:

    Hello Susan,
    I vote for the Windsor Ware pattern, I absolutely love the deep purple colors for fall dishes.
    My mom always makes the rainbow jello every Fourth of July family picnic. She makes hers in a 9×13 pan and cuts little squares of the yummy goodness for all the kids, little and big alike. 🙂
    I tried to make her recipe in a truffle dish like you show in this post and had quite the time trying to cut it out. Do you serve it in scoops or do you have a secret for getting it out of the round, deep dish? Anita

    • sbranch says:

      I just serve it in deep scoops, the way you would with a trifle, trying to get the layers. I love the festive way it looks on the table in the glass bowl. But your mom’s way, with the little squares would be wonderful!

  75. Laura from Indiana says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I’m baking pies on Wednesday, hosting on Thursday, and putting up the Christmas tree on Friday! I can’t stand being out on Black Friday! For me, the day after Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas season! I will be listening to Christmas music and probably watching a Christmas movie too.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself. Thanksgiving. A day of gratitude. Let’s all remember to count our blessings that day and every day.

    Oh, and I love the Chintz plates! 🙂

  76. PJ says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I could not resist picking up one of the “Chintz” plates at a local thrift shop. I just love that pattern.

  77. ~Del Gato gordo y descarado~ says:

    Am I the only one who envisions for your trip to England/Ireland,
    strapping a GoPro to you, tag you like a Cornell California Condor chick
    and turning you loose?
    (Cornell Lab of Ornithology, see live bird cams @
    If this doesn’t make Joe snicker I would be surprised!
    PS) Thank you for your uplifting blogs!

  78. Melissa Myers says:

    Dear Susan,

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Joe and Jack. Thank you for always reminding me to slow down and be grateful for my wonderful life. Which I am, truly.

    Muffy Myers

  79. Linda Miller says:

    Happy Thankful Hearts, Susan and Joe,
    Traditions are the ties that bind generations….and link new ones to their ancestors. They harken yesteryears and bring our loved ones closer. Your kitchen is humming with happiness, and the aromas are so sweet! China patterns are lovely…..hard to decide on a favorite! Use them all! I must try your cranberry sauce recipe…looks like rubies! Do you add orange peel or anything else? ❤️ Your Creative Spirits!
    Blessings to you, dear hearts,

    • sbranch says:

      I have added orange zest, but found it really didn’t need it … clear clean roasted juicy cranberries was enough for us. I figure less is more sometimes. But try it and see what you think!

  80. AngieTink says:

    Good~Morning Sweet~Elf~Sue…..Wonderful~Blog….Sipping My Pumpkin~Spiced~Coffee….There Are #Two #Cardinals Outside My Window #Chirping… Eating The Birdseed I Just Put Out…..Well Herbster & Me #We Decided To #DeckOurHalls Just A Bit Early This Year 🙂 It Has Taken Me #Dayzzz But I Simply~Adore Turning #OurHome Into #AnEnchantedChristmasCottage & Oh~My~Goodness It Is Very #Twinkly & #Sparkly 🙂 WellDoneME! 😉 & On The Bar I Have #MyPilgrims & One #PaperTurkey & One #OrangeGlitteryTurkey & A Pumpkin In #Honor Of #ThanksGivingDay Yay! We Have Been Blessed With Real #ChillyWeather (For Us In Florida) More Yay! 🙂 I Got All The Stuff To Make Your #CornPudding It Is Now a Real #Tradition 🙂 Thank~You Sweet~Elf~Sue…Just Wanted To #Fly On Over & Wish You & Joe & Jack Lots Of #ThanksgivingDayBlessings…We Must #EatDrinkAndBeVeryMerry! & #GodBlessUs #Everyone!!! xoxo #Amen & A #Poof & A #HoHoHo #LetALLTheHolidayzzz #BEGIN! P.S. & Always Lots Of Warm~Hugzzz & #LOVE (Elf~Angie~Tink & #Elf~Herbster!) 🙂 😉 🙂 & Oh Yes #GobbleGobble 😉

    • sbranch says:

      You and Herbster have a wonderful Thanksgiving, yum on the corn pudding ~ and Merry Christmas Angie! xoxo

      • AngieTink says:

        Thank~You Sweetest~Elf~Sue #ThanksgivingYumminess & #MerriestChristmas!!! 🙂 Nite~Nite Sweet~Dreams For You Tonight….& Kitty~Kisses For Jack From Moi 😉 xoxo Purrrrrrrrrrrr! 🙂

  81. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, dear Susan, to you and yours, far and wide. As I make the (giblet) dressing with good old white bread, as I prepare the turkey, the cranberries, and all of the other foods part of this favorite feast, I feel my mother and grandmother guiding my hands.

    Blessings to all the girlfriends! We’re all part of the this big family here!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s lovely to think how long this holiday has gone on, it makes us part of something so much bigger than ourselves. xoxo

  82. Cyndi in NC says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe for the waffles!! I am always looking for yummy recipes that are proven for my new Celiac approved diet. These look amazing! Thanks for all you do for us girlfriends.

    You and Joe have a great Thanksgiving.

    • sbranch says:

      You too Cyndi … I wonder if you’ve found a good celiac-approved stuffing? Remember, my pumpkin cheesecake is totally glutton-free except for the ginger cookie crust … get glutton-free ginger cookies to fix it! Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Cyndi in NC says:

        So far my stuffing recipe is good. Did a trail last week. I have tried several breads and think I’ve found a good one. I was so worried about it as it’s my favorite! So far it’s the only one I don’t have to toast to make a sandwich. It’s a learning process. But I can eat meat, fish, veggies and fruit and a lot of other things. Life is good! Yes I have found some really good recipes and have been able to convert some of my favorites. No biscuits really but my sausage gravy is still a winner!!! Yes I want to try the cheesecake recipe and I have the cookies for the crust. Enjoy tomorrow.

        • sbranch says:

          I’d love to have your stuffing recipe if you’re in the mood (after all the excitement is done!) … I’m not sure my gluten free bread wouldn’t crumble into nothing if I tried to dip it in water. I should dry a piece and try it. I will! Have a wonderful day Cyndi!

  83. Mamey Brown says:

    I love both sets of dishes so I can’t decide…LOL. Another wonderful post. You always make me love and appreciate domesticity. Thanksgiving is the holiday that my husband and I host every year. While it can get overwhelming, reading this post makes me excited for the upcoming tasks. Thank you as always for inspiring me.

  84. Dixie says:

    Thank you for the recipes. Looks like tasty stuffing. Since our Thanksgiving has passed by, I hope to make it for Christmas.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    xo to sweetie cakes Jack.

  85. Mary S. says:

    Dear Susan, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve started on your Trilogy for the third time. And even though it’s my third time, I can barely put it down! I’m reading THE FAIRY TALE GIRL first. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and many blessings to you and Joe and your family! Love Mary S. In Fresno, California

  86. Sheryl Kirk says:

    Hi. I keep meeting Londoners…..here and there….in California I am. They are very friendly and unlike what I was thinking. Maybe this is a sign that I should explore England.

  87. Nancy in Penna says:

    Dear Sue,
    I am so glad you will be doing another travel book. I enjoy reading an adventure. I do photo books from Shutterfly of my trips so when I get too old to travel anymore I can look at them and travel all over again. I do journal when I travel so when I do the books I remember all the fun and places we eat ect… I have only watercolored two of my trips but after I was home and referred to the journal .
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe andJack too.
    From Nancy in Penna.

    • sbranch says:

      Those diaries just get better as time passes! We refer to ours all the time. I’m excited to do this next one!

  88. Daralyn says:

    Windsor Ware!

    Really, all the plates are nice for fall of course 🙂

    Thank you for showing your heard waffle iron… I have been looking at it and all of my questions were answered in your post… purchasing now 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I know, it’s fairly much a win-win whichever plates get used! Almost the day of reckoning! Happy waffle-making!

  89. Debbie P., Weedsport, NY says:

    Hi, Sue ~
    Today is the day I set aside for baking pies, breads and cookies. My kitchen is my happy place so I really love this day!
    To make tomorrow even more wonderful, our oldest granddaughter, Izzy, will be turning 6! It’s the first time her birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving! Last month, when we were talking about it, someone suggested we could put birthday candles in the pumpkin pie. With the saddest little face you’ve ever seen, Izzy said “You mean I won’t have a birthday cake?” Quickly we replied in unison “Oh…. OF COURSE you will!” Whew….crisis averted! 🙂 We have sooo much to be grateful for!
    Wishing you and Joe and all those you love a very Happy Thanksgiving Day! I always think of you, Sue, as a blessing in my life.

  90. Cecelia says:

    Hi Susan, Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe!
    I vote for Delores–that way you’ll be able to see all the flowers and still fill the plate. Happy cooking-I’ll get back to my pies now.

  91. Peggy says:

    Thank you for sharing all of your pictures. I vote for the Delores dinner ware. You can still see the design even after it has food on it.
    I kept a diary while on our trip to Europe this past summer. I was inspired by your books. There are so many little things we forget after our vacations.
    I look forward to your next adventure.

  92. Becky from Illinois says:

    I am making your grandma’s stuffing this year to take to my sister’s house. It is as close to my mom’s recipe as I can remember… mom never had it written down. Can’t wait to try your cranberry recipe… how simple! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving dear Susan! BTW I love my copy of Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams mistakes and all! Your book was perfect timing as it walked me through my divorce… so thankful for you and your book!

    • sbranch says:

      Makes me happy to hear that Becky! Happy Thanksgiving! Hope the stuffing tastes just like you remember your Mom’s! Wouldn’t that be wonderful!? xoxo

  93. Cara M. from West Chester PA says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan! Many blessings to you and Joe!
    I will be hosting 16 for a good old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner! I will be making your pumpkin cheesecake recipe and your apple crisp recipe from your Autumn book! I know my family will enjoy it!
    Thank you for all your inspiration and for sharing your creativity! I love reading your blog!

  94. Darlene Westmoreland says:

    Anne in Maine – Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe! I’m glad I don’t have to make the decision regarding the dinnerware. I love them all! Wishing you many, many blessings, Anne

    Happy Thanksgiving Darlene!!

    • sbranch says:

      Same to you Darlene! xo

      • mary spring says:

        ..please excuse me for interceding but I believe that Anne in Maine sent you and Joe that holiday wish.. I believe she keeps seeing Darlene’s name on the head of her ‘comment’ space..she probably needs to clear it and add her own..’love you all and happy Holidays !!..and, please, keep on keeping on !!

  95. diana from ancaster says:

    Having not grown up with Thanksgiving traditions, I was first introduced to it all when i was 20yrs old.

    I have been making your Cranberry sauce recipe since the Autumn book was first published and made it to my kitchen…..and yes, it is delicious!

    Wishing you and your Joe only Blessings!!!!!

  96. Carol D. in Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi Susan, I just wanted to wish you and Joe the most wonderful, memory-filled Thanksgiving tomorrow. We are actually at the beach this year because Sally is putting on the celebration, so we’ll be right here in Seal Beach for the holiday. I’m thrilled that both of my boys will be with us, which probably won’t be the case next year, so I’m drinking them in while I have them with me! It makes me happy to know that you spent Thanksgiving right here three years ago with your family!! I’m sure it was a good one for you because you had your mom with you!!😊 As far as your table settings are concerned, I’m partial to the Vernon Kilns patterns, but they’re both beautiful. I’ve made your “Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts” from your Christmas From the Heart of the Home book for tomorrow. It is so good! That and the mashed potatoes are my assignment this year. So, I wanted to send warm wishes, and say that whomever you spend tomorrow with, enjoy!! They’re some lucky friends! xoxo, Carol

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, such good memories, and so thankful for your generosity Carol. I can picture your perfect Thanksgiving . . . and then, a walk to the beach! Have a wonderful day, hugs to you and Sally … wonderful that your boys will be there. We’ll see you again one day! xoxo

  97. Gert~Iowa says:

    Dear Susan…call me late..for that very special date!! Thanksgiving! I was blessed to be with my family for the day. Who does not love a day with babies and loved ones?.. my thoughts were also with those who had gone before us…there were empty chairs at the table.. But…oh…the food was to die for.. the gravy was home made and sooo delicious!!! Two pitchers on the table..you must drown your mashed potatoes, turkey and dressing with it!!smile… I had planned on making the cranberries (so easy) then “after” looking at the recipe I realized I needed “two” bags of cranberries ….dahh and had only asked my friend to get one …I think I probably could have made a half a batch. sad… Love that waffle maker …my first thought was…if the electric went out, I could still make waffles on my gas stove!ha!

    Hope your day was filled with as much love and laughter as mine was!


    • sbranch says:

      Here it is, not even 6 am, and you are making me hungry for gravy and stuffing and turkey!!! So happy your Thanksgiving was filled with family and delicious food, just as it should be! XOXO

  98. Laura says:

    Thank you for the gluten free recipe!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  99. Nancy Fenemore says:

    The Cotswolds!!!!!!!!!!!! My very favourite place to be……………….Spent a wonderful morning having tea in the garden of the The Slaughter Country Inn there…………..strolled the village………visited the Mill, bought a watercolour at the Town Hall from my fave British artist “Lesley Holmes”…………lucky you…….ENJOY!!!

  100. The days before Thanksgiving and now the weekend after have gone by in a whirlwind so today was the first day the house was still and quiet (maybe a little too much) as the kids have gone home, the laundry is whirling in the washer and a new list has started because after all that delicious food, we are out of it! I headed straight for your blog, sure I had missed you checking in with all of us, and there you are! I like the sound of those waffles very much, but have to share a little not-so-secret of mine. Next time you order from King Arthur Flour, order the cinnamon! It’s a game changer. Suddenly the regular jar of cinnamon from the store is tasteless and the “good stuff” from King Arthur is all I’ll use now. My snickerdoodles practically sing from the joy of being rolled in it. Hope your Thanksgiving was WONDERFUL! Hope your mom is doing well, too. XXO

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