The Kitchen Window

The Kitchen Window
Antique Milk Bottles with Herbs and Flowers


Welcome to the Frog Hollow Farm blog! I've been blogging since January 2010 and have switched from Blogger to Word Press, but I'm back to Blogger because, for me, it's easier to use. My husband and I live on a little farm in Northwest New Jersey. We have some chickens and a very large vegetable garden with asparagus and raspberries, and rows and rows of sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias. Traveling, entertaining, gardening, spending time with family, studying Italian, blogging and reading keep us busy and happy. With all of this going on, moving towards a simpler life seems almost impossible but it's definitely a daily goal.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Finding My Roots and Weekly Menu

This summer has certainly been a busy traveling season for us, with our last trip being a visit with family and friends to Ireland.  My mother Lilly was born in a small farmhouse in the tiny village of Knockmore, Ireland.   The first part of our vacation was dedicated to visiting with first cousins and exploring the farm and school where my mom grew up. 

Knockmore is a tiny portion of the Kilmactranny village in County Sligo, right on the border of County Roscommon and about 7 miles from the city of Boyle. 

FHFB and I met my cousin Gerald in the townsquare of Boyle - I didn't see him at first but he recognized me (probably because we stuck out like major tourists while we took pictures of the town!). 

After that, we drove a few miles to his home that he shares with his wife Tish and their two daughters, Sinead and Rebecca. They made us feel so very welcome, with a delicious Irish lunch
(which FHFB ate, even though we had just had lunch!)
  They live in a lovely home with horses and brand new black
and white kittens.

As an added wonderful surprise my cousin Angela and her daugher Sarah were also visiting for the weekend  - she reminds me so very much of my Aunt Nancy. 

When I told her this she laughed and said that I reminded her of our Aunt Nancy! 

Here's the Irish side of the family - without the Sicilian prince :)  FHFB - he took the photo. 

Our trip out to my mother's farmhouse was full of very mixed feelings.  Actually, I think I learned more about her throughout my travels through Ireland than I did from the visiting her home.  That may sound funny but what I realized throughout our trip is that I was hearing my mother's voice and expressions while listening to the Irish people speak, and I came to understand a little more of where she came from and why she approached the world in the way that she did.  Mom didn't talk about growing up in Ireland too much, I think it was a pretty hard life. 

This is the driveway that leads up to the farmhouse.  During the years that my mom was growing up, this cottage was covered with a thatched roof and did not have running water or electricity.
A small kitchen has been added to the back of the house.

This is the wonderful stone barn that stands to the left of the house.

Next to the barn is a lower attached building that was used to house the pigs and the piglets. 

The back building was used as a stall area for horses and cows. 

Can you see that beautiful view in the top left corner of the photo from the back of the larger barn?

This is just a small snapshot of our trip to Ireland, I will be sure to post more photos and let you all learn about and see the wonderful sights in this small island across the Atlantic. 

Something new that I discovered when I returned home is the new Blogger format.  I'm not sure if I like it better and I'm pretty confused about how to use it.  I needed to revert back to the original dashboard in order to edit this post and publish it - it seems that many people have received an error message like mine: bX-g04pxr and the recommendations in the Blogger chat room is to log in with the old dashboard.  Yikes, I'm not even sure what that means but I logged out and logged back in and there I was! 

I'm happy to be at home for the next month and will be busy cutting flowers from our gardens and entertaining on our back porch. 

Here's our menu for the next few days, using lots of vegetables from our garden of course.  If you want any of the recipes let me know and I'll send you the link.  It's a little hard to read due to the small size of the print but I'm not sure how to fix that - I just scanned this document so that I could include it in the post - is there a way to increase the size of the menu so that it's easier to read??

I'm linking in to Seasonal Sundays, On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable
and Menu Plan Monday! at I'm An Organizing Junkie!


  1. Oh, what a darling visit! This must have been a trip that tugged at your heartstrings! I bet it was hard to leave. Thank you for sharing your heritage and menu with us!
    xo Yvonne

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  2. Welcome back! What a wonderful trip that must have been. I'll bet you'll be reminiscing for a very long time.

  3. I must show this to my daughter. She is dying and planning to go to Ireland lord willing to within the next year. What a wonderful vacation you've been blessed with.

  4. I so enjoyed this beautiful post. Of all the places in our wonderful world that I could go, it would be to Ireland. It is one of the most beautiful countries.
    It brought tears to even MY eyes, reading this. I can understand your feelings of *walking where your mom once did.* I did the same thing a few years back..went to see the houses and countryside where MY little mom wandered. It wasn't to another country...only to another part of Texas...but it was so enjoyable..and sad..bittersweet is the word. I sure miss my mother..and even after 23 years, I am crying as I type.
    xo bj

  5. i love travel posts, how fun for you to trace your family... and bump into that darling kitty! my mother was born in england i really enjoyed visiting her town too, travel is so enlightening~

  6. Anne Marie, what a wonderful trip for you! I can just picture your mom, as a young woman, in this beautiful place. I remember my mom telling me, as a little girl, how Aunt Lily came to live in this country all the way from Ireland. My mom admired her so much for having the courage to do that at such a young age. These pictures and your writing make the story come alive. Welcome home:)

  7. How wonderful for you to travel and enjoy time away but to discover your roots. There must have been touches of nostalgia coupled with excitement at your discoveries.

  8. welcome home, my friend...happy to see you back....what lovely photos of your beautiful trip....i sure enjoyed seeing it all...

    happy to see you at farmhouse kitchen today !


    kary and teddy

  9. Hi,
    I am just stopping by from OTMM at StoneGable. I really enjoyed your post and your menu looks great. Thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful week!
    Miz Helen

  10. Hi lovely lady.
    Your photos are so beautiful sweet lady. I always love coming over to see all the new photos on your post...
    Thanks so much for your sweet comments .
    XXOO Diane

  11. I really enjoyed this post. I can so appreciate your reflection on your Mom's life as you met people she knew and visited where she grew up.

    Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper


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