August 31, 2010

Chocolate Bliss....Let Them Eat Cake!

Your Inspiration.....Company's Coming......Ya'll Come In!

There is nothing that can warm your heart more than the anticipation of preparing for family to visit. I think that your guests will truly appreciate a bounty of a home cooked meal that feeds the soul and makes them feel welcome! This is a menu I had prepared back in Texas when my family came to visit.

Seasoned Country- Fried Chicken
Marinated Vegetable Salad
Pimento Cheese Stuffed Sandwiches
Deviled Eggs
Chocolate Cake
Fresh Lemonade

It included the most delicious chocolate cake which they talked about often. This is comfort food, darling's.....this is southern and fattening....and totally delicious. Everyone should have a chocolate cake recipe they go to time and time again......this one is a keeper....Ya'll enjoy!

My Best Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Buttercream Frosting
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

1.Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.

2.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.

3.Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.

4.In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

5.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 1 minute, scraping down the side of the bowl. At low speed, slowly beat in the confectioners' sugar, about 1 minute. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in 2 teaspoons of hot water. Slowly beat the coffee and the cooled chocolate into the butter mixture until just combined.

6.Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Give Me The Splendid Silent Sun with all His Beams Full-Dazzling;
 Give Me Seasonal Autumal Fruit,  
Red and Ripe From the Orchard...........Walt Whitman

August 30, 2010

Dinner At The Beach...Saying Goodbye to Summer!

We still have a few more days of August...New England has decided to "revisit" 90 degree days and tuck those cool fall-like days away this week. So we shall use these last days of summer to review some tasteful family favorite recipes which evoke memories of our beach trips.

 Our beloved Pensacola Beach and the love of Sea Glass....

The seagulls, that soft white sand between our evenings on the deck, sipping wine and anxiously awaiting that Joe Patti's shrimp to be ready for the dinner table! Smiles all around...creating memories...little babies running on the beach in those adorable bathing suits...all brand new for that particular trip.

 There is nothing better in life according to my darling husband who is "one with the ocean" while there.

To say my family LOVES Shrimp and Grits is an understatement.....this one is scrumptious....a fabulous summer recipe....especially if you are relaxing at Pensacola Beach..........

Shrimp and Grits

For the grits:
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the shrimp:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium Yellow onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound  spicy Italian spicy sausage, cut in chunks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 to 3 bay leaves
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
Pinch cayenne pepper, adjust to personal preference
1/2 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 green onions, sliced

For the grits:
Place a 3-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the milk and cream. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. When the grits begin to bubble, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and thick. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, thin it out with a little extra cream. Season with salt and pepper.

For the shrimp:
Place a deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic; saute for 2 minutes to soften. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until there is a fair amount of fat in the pan and the sausage is brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to create a roux. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and continue to stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the bay leaves. When the liquid comes to a simmer, add the shrimp. Poach the shrimp in the stock for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are firm and pink and the gravy is smooth and thick. Add the cayenne pepper, Tabasco and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the parsley and green onion. Spoon the grits into a serving bowl. Add the shrimp mixture and mix well. Serve immediately.

August 29, 2010

Gazing in the Garden

Your Inspiration...
Sometimes our souls need healing. Sometimes our bodies need healing. Sometimes both mind and body could use a shot of sunshine........

As we were strolling casually through the streets of Kennbunkport, shopping, or more window-shopping I would say...a quaint shop grabbed our attention and we decided to actually go in and browse. The most wonderful glass spheres were hanging in the window..shades of blue, green and lavender.

A witch ball is a hollow sphere of plain or stained glass hung in cottage windows in 18th century England to ward off evil spirits, witch's spells or ill fortune, though the Witch's Ball actually originated among cultures where witches were considered a blessing and these witches would usually "enchant" the balls to enhance their potency against evils. Later, they were often posted on top of a vase or suspended by a cord (as from the mantelpiece or rafters) for a decorative effect. Witch balls appeared in America in the 19th century and are often found in gardens under the name "gazing ball". However, "gazing balls" contain no strands within their interior.

According to folk tales, witch balls would entice evil spirits with their bright colors; the strands inside the ball would then capture the spirit and prevent it from escaping.

Witch balls sometimes measure as large as 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter. The witch ball is traditionally, but not always, green or blue in color and made from glass (others, however, are made of wood, grass, or twigs instead of glass). Some are decorated in enameled swirls and brilliant stripes of various colors. The gazing balls found in many of today's gardens are derived from the silvered witch balls that acted as convex mirrors, warding off evil by reflecting it away.

Interesting facts...we were totally unfamiliar with what a "witch ball" was. All we knew was that they were extremely fascinating and beautiful in their colors and simplicity.

I actually have a small blue gazing ball in my Maine garden. It was formerly in our Texas garden but it safely made the move with us. I have used a silver gazing ball as a centerpiece at New Year's only because it reflected the lights so beautifully. I grew up seeing gazing balls in most all southern gardens..funny..I never knew they originated as Witch Balls....glad to know they were keeping evil spirits away...

Which brings us into the garden and the gazing balls....
In front of the porch is a wild garden filled with snapdragons, lavender and pink roses, Lacey-top hydrangea, foxglove, and — “taa-daa” — the flower whose face seems to be the face of God — the sunflower — also graces us!

Although I am not a very good gardener, I am learning. I believe it is something good to do with your time....your make the world a more beautiful place to be. While sitting quietly, and carefully the birds fluttering to their feeding stations, feeling the sunshine on your shoulders.....troubles seem to soften...........

Quiet Sunday Blessings!

August 28, 2010

Autumn..How Do I Love Thee?

Your Inspiration.....Set Against a Symphony of Fall

Harvest Beef Stew...A Hearty Bread...Caramel Apples

The Tables Will Be Filled...
A long harvest table filled with mini-pots of seasonal blooms!

Harvest Beef Stew

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (this cut is also called chuck shoulder pot roast and chuck roast boneless)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bottle good quality dry red wine (recommended: Burgundy)
8 fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups beef stock
9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups frozen pearl onions, a large handful
1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish

Horseradish Sour Cream, recipe follows, for garnish

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.

While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.

Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strip, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.

After 2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.

To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl, garnish with parsley, drizzle with olive oil and add a dollop of Horseradish Sour Cream. Right before serving add a slice of Toasted Hearty Bread, half way submerged in the stew.

Horseradish Sour Cream:
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chives, finely chopped, as garnish

Combine sour cream, prepared horseradish and a drizzle of olive oil in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of the mixture on top of the stew and garnish with chopped chives.

It's Square Dance Meets Texas Country Fair with Boot Scootin' Music and Seasonal Food!

August 27, 2010

The Reading Corner...Cicely Mary Barker

Cicely Mary Barker....Author and Illustrator 
Born: June 28, 1895
West Croydon, Surrey
Death: February 16, 1973..78 years old

Cicely Mary Barker was an English illustrator best known for a series of fantasy illustrations depicting fairies and flowers. Barker's art education began in girlhood with correspondence courses and instruction at the Croydon School of Art. Her earliest professional work included greeting card and juvenile magazine illustrations, and her first book, Flower Fairies of the Spring, was published in 1923. Similar books were published in the following decades.

Barker was born the second daughter and last child of Walter Barker, a partner in a seed supply company and an amateur artist, and his wife Mary Eleanor (Oswald) Barker on 28 June 1895 at home at 66 Waddon Road in Croydon, Surrey, England. Barker was an epileptic as a child, and cared for at home by her parents. Later, her sister and elder by two years, Dorothy Oswald Barker, continued the care.

Following her father’s death in June 1912, the seventeen year old Barker submitted art and poetry to My Magazine, Child’s Own, Leading Strings, and Raphael Tuck annuals in an effort to support both her mother and sister. Her sister Dorothy taught kindergarten in two private schools before opening a kindergarten at home. She brought in some money for the family's support while supervising the household. The first publication of Flower Fairies of the Summer in 1925 was when Barker first  received royalties for her work.

 In 1924, the family moved into a three-level, semi-detached Victorian house at 23 The Waldrons. Barker had a studio built in the garden and her sister conducted a kindergarten in a room at the back of the house. The family lived frugally and attended both St. Edmund's and St. Andrew's in Croydon – "low" churches for the less privileged. Barker was a devout Anglican, and donated her artworks to Christian fundraisers and missionary organizations. She produced a few Christian-themed books such as The Children’s Book of Hymns and, in collaboration with her sister Dorothy, He Leadeth Me. She designed a stained glass window for St. Edmund's Church, Pitlake, (in memory of her sister) and her painting of the Christ Child, The Darling of the World Has Come, was purchased by Queen Mary.

In 1940, the Barker's live-in maid retired, and Dorothy Barker closed her school at the back of the house in The Waldrons. She continued to supervise the household, and to give both her mother and sister the care they needed. Dorothy and her sister collaborated upon only two books: Our Darling's First Book and the Christian-themed, He Leadeth Me. In 1954, Dorothy Barker died of a heart attack. Barker was unable to pursue her art to any significant extent following her sister's death as all the care of her aged mother devolved upon her. She managed however to begin planning a stained glass window design in her sister's memory for St. Edmund's, Pitlake.

Barker's mother died in 1960, and, in 1961, Barker moved from 23 The Waldrons to 6 Duppas Avenue in Croydon. She restored a maisonette in Storrington, Sussex, England bequeathed her by friend Edith Major and named it St. Andrew's. After taking up residence, her health began to deteriorate. She was in and out of nursing and convalescent homes, and tended by relatives and friends.

Barker died at Worthing Hospital on 16 February 1973, aged 77 years. Two funeral services were held – one in Storrington Church and one in Barker's maisonette. Her ashes were scattered in Storrington churchyard.

August 26, 2010

The Reading Corner.. Gyo Fujikawa

Silly Jingles, fun rhymes, imaginative ideas for games, things for a day dreaming child to think about and gentle lessons of kindness and friendship..I'm up...I'm up..It's Going to be a Busy Day!
Author and illustrator, Gyo Fujikawa
Born: November 3, 1908
Place of Birth: Berkley, California
Parents: Hikozo and Yu Fujikawa
Died: November 26/1998... Ms. Fujikawa was 90 years old and lived in Manhattan at the time of her death.

Busy Day was one of my children's favorite books. Out of four children, we went through two "Busy Day's"...they were THAT read and THAT used....of course, my grandson, LVM, has this book now and loves it as much as his Mama did!

Miss Fujikawa's father borrowed her first name from a Chinese emperor and her name rhymes with Leo.The  daughter of a Japanese farmer and an aspiring Japanese social worker, Miss Fujikawa was among the first illustrators to command royalties rather than a flat fee.

 Miss Fujikawa studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles before and after spending 1932 in Japan, where she developed a love of Japanese art and a stronger appreciation of her heritage. Back home, she did promotional work on the movie ''Fantasia'' for Disney Studios, which later sent her to its advertising department in New York, where she designed many 25-cent Disney books. "In illustrating for children, what I relish most is trying to satisfy the constant question in the back of my mind--will this picture capture a child's imagination? What can I do to enhance it further? Does it help to tell a story? I am far from being successful (whatever that means), but I am ever so grateful to small readers who find 'something' in any book of mine."

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II, Mrs. Fujikawa's family was interned in Arkansas in a relocation camp. During the war Miss Fujikawa did movie and pharmaceutical advertising layouts and magazine illustrations.

''If you notice,'' Miss Fujikawa wrote a few years ago, ''in all my books (except for the fairy-tale books) there are very few grown-ups. I try to draw children in such a way that they convey the emotion or the action or whatever it is that I'm talking about.''

In 1951 Fujikawa became a full-time freelancer and about five years later was approached by juvenile editor Debra Dorfman at Grosset & Dunlap to illustrate Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses". This was her first published children's book in 1957. Babies, the first book both written and illustrated by Fujikawa in 1963, was also one of the earliest children's books to use multi-racial characters, a consistent feature across her body of work.

She illustrated five books, including ''Mother Goose'' and ''The Night Before Christmas,'' and wrote and illustrated 45 others. She also designed six United States postage stamps, including the 32-cent yellow rose self-adhesive stamp issued last year and the United States-Japan Treaty centenary stamp of 1960.

Although she was engaged for a few years beginning at the age of 19, Miss Fujikawa never married.

In her later years, she said, ''I am flattered when people ask me how I know so much about how children think and feel. Although I have never had children of my own, and cannot say I had a particularly marvelous childhood, perhaps I can say I am still like a child myself. Part of me, I guess, never grew up.'' 

August 25, 2010

The Reading Corner...Alan Alexander Milne

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh!" he whispered. "Yes, Piglet?"
 "Nothing." said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw.
 "I just wanted to be sure of you."

Alan Alexander Milne
Born: January 18, 1882 
Birthplace: London, England
Died:  January  31,1956  after lengthy illness following a stroke...74 years of age

In researching the life of Alan Alexander Milne, I learned that he seemed to enjoy entering a child's world of make-believe inspired by his only child...his son, Christopher Robin Milne. Who can deny the sweetness and the innocence of the stories of Christopher Robin's childhood and the relationships he created between this boy and his stuffed animals....the mere acceptance of each other and their love for one another.

A. A. Milne was born in Kilburn, London, to parents John Vine Milne and Sarah Maria Heginbotham. He shared a special kinship with his brother, Kenneth, and they remained close throughout their lives. At the age of nine, Milne and Kenneth, along with a childhood friend, dramatized a novel they had read. This exercise awakened his love of theater.

 A.A. grew up at Henley House School, Kilburn, London, a small public school run by his father. One of his teachers was H. G. Wells. Milne attended Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied on a mathematics scholarship. While there, he edited and wrote for Granta, a student magazine. He collaborated with his brother Kenneth and their articles appeared over the initials AKM. Milne's work came to the attention of the leading British humour magazine Punch, where Milne was to become a contributor and later an assistant editor.

Milne joined the British Army in World War I and served as an officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and later, after a debilitating illness, the Royal Corps of Signals.

Alexander married Dorothy "Daphne" de Sélincourt in 1913, and their only son, Christopher Robin Milne, was born in August of 1920. In 1924 Milne produced a collection of children's poems When We Were Very Young, which were illustrated by Punch staff cartoonist E. H. Shepard. A collection of short stories for children Gallery of Children, and other stories that became part of the Winnie-the-Pooh books, were first published in 1925. Milne's children's books were illustrated by Ernest H. Shephard.

Christopher Robin Milne's stuffed bear, originally named "Edward", was renamed "Winnie-the-Pooh" after a Canadian black bear named Winnie (after Winnipeg), which was used as a military mascot in World War I, and left to London Zoo during the war. "The pooh" comes from a swan called "Pooh". E. H. Shepard illustrated the original Pooh books, using his own son's teddy, Growler ("a magnificent bear"), as the model. Christopher Robin Milne's own toys are now under glass in New York.

In 1925, A. A. Milne bought a country home, Cotchford Farm, in Hartfield, East Sussex. During World War II, A. A. Milne was Captain of the Home Guard in Hartfield & amp; Forest Row, insisting on being plain 'Mr. Milne' to the members of his platoon.

Milne did not speak out much on the subject of religion, although he used religious terms to explain his decision, while remaining a pacifist, to join the army: "In fighting Hitler", he wrote, "we are truly fighting the Devil, the Anti-Christ ... Hitler was a crusader against God. His best known comment on the subject was recalled on his death:

"The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief—call it what you will—than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counter-attractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course."

 He retired to the farm after a stroke and brain surgery in 1952 left him an invalid and by August 1953 "he seemed very old and disenchanted". Cotchford Farm was where the Rolling Stones' lead guitarist Brian Jones would later live and be found drowned in 1969. Cotchford Farm has since been demolished, due to the excessive maintenance and repair costs, and a new house built on the site.

A.A. Milne's brilliance and sense of humour are evident, something that human beings can recognize, and perhaps, learn from.

And then Piglet did a Noble Thing...

"Yes, it's just the house for Owl," he said grandly. "And I hope he'll be very happy in it." And then he gulped twice, because he had been very happy in it himself.

August 24, 2010

The Reading Corner....Helen Beatrix Potter

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is best of all." Jacqueline Kennedy

I thought I would begin the first day of  The Reading Corner, with someone I have admired and loved my entire life. Who has not shared in the world of Beatrix Potter and all of her creations?

Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck, Miss Moppet, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Pig Wig, Simpkin, Squirrel Nutkin, Aunt Pettitoes, or Beswick Ribby!

In reading her biographies and learning of her accomplishments, I found it fascinating that this tiny child contributed so very much to society. Imagine the time in the late 1800's when women were not usually known for being any more than mothers, cooks and homemakers? I hope to share with you a small insight into her life and that you will be able to take with you, a love and respect for Helen Beatrix Potter!

Helen Beatrix Potter...Born July 28, 1866
Born to Rupert William Potter and Helen Leech Potter in Kensington, London, England

Beatrix had one  brother, Bertram, who was six years her junior and became an artist. The two sibilings remained close companions throughout their adulthood.  Beatrix and her brother, Bertram were born into a privileged household. Rupert Potter was a barrister-at-law, although he never practiced his profession. Both Rupert and Helen gained their financial freedom from inheriting cotton fortunes from past relatives. Neither Rupert nor Helen had much interest in their children and spent the majority of their time with London society events.

 Bertram was sent away to school at a very early age. Beatrix was educated by a governess, Miss McKenzie. She grew up isolated from other children. Miss McKenzie and Beatrix lived in the nursery on the third floor of Bolton Gardens. It was Miss McKenzie who introduced "B" to witches and fairies. Beatrix stated this is what started her inspiration of  an imaginary life of animals. 

She had numerous pets and spent holidays in Scotland and the Lake District, developing a love of landscape, flora and fauna, all of which she closely observed and painted. Her parents discouraged her intellectual development as a young woman, but her study and watercolors of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology.

From the age of 14 until she was 31 years old, her parents appointed her caretaker of their home. Beatrix wrote of her daily life in her beloved journals and interestingly, all of her journal writings were in code. She often confessed she had difficulty reading her own writings. The code writings remained undeciphered for 80 years, until 1958 by Leslie Linder.

Beatrix began drawing at the age of 8. Her survived drawings date back to 1875 when Beatrix would have been 9 years old. It was at the encouragement of her brother, Bertram, that "B" submitted her tiny animal drawings on note cards and place cards to a greeting card publisher and received a check for 6 pounds and a request for more drawings. Thus her career began at age 24.

During her 30's she had written her first story entitled "Peter Rabbit and Mr.McGregor's Garden". When submitted to a publishing company, the story was denied due to lack of color illustrations. Beatrix changed the title to "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and self-published 250 copies. In 1902, she obtained a publishing contract and 28,000 copies of  "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" were distributed.

Her second children's book was "Squirrel Nutkin".

Potter began writing and illustrating children's books full time. With proceeds from the books, she became financially independent of her parents and was eventually able to buy Hill Top Farm in the Lake District. She extended the property with other purchases over time.

 In 1913, at the age of 47, she married William Heelis, a local solicitor, became a sheep breeder and farmer while continuing to write and illustrate books for children. Beatrix and William had no children. 

Helen Beatrix Potter published twenty-three books. She ended her writings in 1920 due to failing eyesight. She was 56 years old.


Helen Beatrix Potter had an interest in history, literature, politics, geology and botany.

Beatrix died of Bronchitis  at the age of  77,  December 22. 1943.

In her will, Beatrix left nearly everything to William for his lifetime, but the royalties and rights in her books were to go to Norman Warne's nephew, Frederick Warne Stephens. (Norman Warne had been her publisher and personal friend at Warne and Company.) She gave her farm and property of four thousand acres to the National Trust, which still maintains her farmhouse, Hill Top, as it was when she lived in it.