Each of our three trees this Christmas has a distinct personality. From the biggest tree in the keeping room/dining room, filled with heirloom ornaments and special little mementos over the years from family and friends, to the smaller parlor tree adorned ever so lightly with sweet little glass, gold, and silver ornaments that for the most…

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A.K.A. French onion soup. I love how it sounds in its mother language. But more than that, I absolutely LOVE the way it tastes! For years, when visiting Paris, for the majority of my lunches and dinners, other than my usual fromage plat (cheese plate), I would order (and happily slurp) soupe à l’oignon…with each bowl hoping to…

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This week two years ago, I specifically baked a big batch of gingerbread cookies for the undecorated Christmas tree we had just set up (only the little white lights made it up). I liked the idea of making each cookie unique, so I cut them into various snowflake forms and sizes, and decorated them so…

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Major John Gile Holiday Rum Cake Cake Ingredients 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour 1-½ cups granulated white sugar 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix ½ cup crushed walnuts ½ cup unsalted butter ¼ cup cornstarch 4 teaspoons baking powder 4 large eggs 3 tablespoons + 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt ¾ cup whole…

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To kick-off December I’m starting with wreaths and keeping them green. Maybe I’ll dress them up as we get closer to Christmas, but for now I’m loving the entrances to Connecticut Country House simply adorned. Just because they’re simple, doesn’t mean they need to be skimpy. I personally prefer big fat wreaths! Last week was…

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I’d love to introduce you to my dear friend Dana Schwartz and her 1763 Major John Gile House, in Nottingham, New Hampshire. When Dana called to tell me all about the fabulous house she had found, it sounded too good to be true! And then she followed up with photos of the amazing details from…

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I love Thanksgiving. I love the “one for all, and all for one” spirit of the day. I’ve always felt very blessed each holiday season, but this Thanksgiving even more so. Earlier this week, driving home I was unfortunate enough to be in a car accident…but very fortunate to shakily walk away with only a…

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Some traditions are hard to improve upon, and our Thanksgiving Day turkey with dressing happens to be one of those things. Why mess with a really good thing? Connecticut Country House Roasted Turkey One turkey; brand and size of your liking (we here at Country House prefer a fresh, organic bird if at all possible;…

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Our Holiday 2014,  A Country House Christmas in New Hampshire e-magazine is due out right after Thanksgiving(!!). But until then, I must scoop this holiday issue by sharing with you just one of the beautiful little things that my dear friend Dana (the lady of the New Hampshire country house) created and shared with me. Dana…

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I came upon these photos that I took last year of some very gorgeous Amaryllis I was growing…and realized that if I want to repeat this for the new year, I’ve got to get going and pot them up now! Depending on the variety, it can take 6 to 10 weeks for an Amaryllis bulb…

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I’ve always loved a good ghost story. I’ve culled together quite a collection of paperbacks that tell stories about New England’s hauntings. Little did I know I could write a book on my own experiences….because little did I know twelve years ago, when we moved into our new old house (c.1767), that we would be co-habitating…

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I have to confess I can never resist a sunflower. Whether they’re from my garden or local market, just one look at them and they make me smile. I’ve found that I’m not the only one. There’s something about their yellow-orange silver dollar or dinner plate-sized faces that makes everyone take notice…and just plain happy.…

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So what do you get a little boy on a business trip to Paris? Why, a bug of course! Quite simply that’s how our bug collection was born. For me, trips to Paris wouldn’t have been complete without a stop at Deyrolle and buying one very cool bug. Since 1831, Deyrolle has been a house of curiosities located…

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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”         – Marcel Proust Happy Columbus Day! Love, Nora

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Even though the kitchen garden, and our local CSA (a.k.a. Community Supported Agriculture) share is winding down, they’re both still gifts that keep on giving. The basketful and big wooden bowlful of hodge-podge veggies that are taking over the kitchen island just cry out “Soup”! Good idea.  Besides, what’s more perfect for a chilly autumn…

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“Summer ends, and autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night.” – Hal Borland Well said Mr. Borland. Good-bye summer…loved you. Hello beautiful autumn…hope to love you more! It’s time to move onto the newest Nora Murphy Country House Style Autumn issue. www.noramurphycountryhouse.com Hope you enjoy…love,…

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“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F.Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby Happy fall…let’s make it a memorable one! Love, Nora

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Corn and tomatoes…two of the best things about summer! I’ve got so many ripe tomatoes on the vine that some just split and fall off. (Breaks my heart!) We’re trying to include them with every meal, as well as give them away to friends, but still too many! So last weekend, as we puttered in,…

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The entrance to the old house was lingering in an in-between state. All summer the rustic twig basket hanging by the door was the perfect scale and spot for a big dramatic hanging pot of bright pink and purple petunias. Sadly, it’s inevitable…the pretty petunias are now way they’re past their prime, and really need…

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It’s the simple stuff in life that gives me great joy. And the simple joy of crystal clear glasses is right up there with picking the season’s first ripe red tomato! For you folks who (like me) wash their drinking glasses by hand, start with a sink filled with hot soapy water and be sure…

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I was all set to post our Pesto Tastings today for Foodie Friday (to be posted at a later date), but had a change of mind and heart seeing that the Labor Day holiday weekend is upon us. Thinking of this picnicking cook-out weekend…I’m thinking of really good burgers on the grill. And when I…

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A beautiful summer afternoon…time to switch gears and go for a walk.  And a late summer afternoon “stretch” with friends (on a visit to upstate New York) is even better. “I guess my feet know where they want me to go walking on a country road.” –  James Taylor Enjoy. Love, Nora

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August is the month of total abundance in my kitchen garden. So much is ready for picking that it’s getting pretty challenging to keep up with it all! I absolutely love eating veggies and fruit right out of the garden, and hate the thought of any of this beautiful stuff (that’s at its peak of…

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Every morning on our mini-vaca in the 1000 Islands in Canada, I reached for a glass that was neatly stacked in the kitchen cabinet of my dear friend Holly’s lakeside country house. Whether it was to be filled with water from the tap (a filtered version of lake water) or chilled OJ, the glass was…

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“When you can’t change the direction of the wind – adjust your sails.”   H. Jackson Brown Jr. Wishing you an easy breezy day. Love, Nora

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