Sunday Egg Bake

Egg Bake 1This egg bake is simple enough for pint-size cooks to prepare, but makes an elegant Sunday breakfast. It’s also a great way to use up leftover bread cubes after making fondue!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

3 cups day old bread, cubed

4 eggs, lightly beaten Continue reading

Vintage Post: Dandelion Honey

dandelionThis is a vintage post, but seasonally appropriate and lots of fun. Don’t spray toxins on your lawn… let those dandelions grow au naturel! The beautiful golden color and early summer fragrance of dandelions attracts bees, providing life sustaining nectar this time of year. Bees are HUNGRY in May and June, and if we want them around to pollinate our fruit orchards and vegetable gardens later in the season, we had better provide them with something to eat right now.

You can benefit from dandelions even more directly by making dandelion honey. Give this recipe a try – it’s delicious, and a great conversation starter!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sisters

I Am From

I am from strong women

A heritage quilt stitched with love and determination

I am more durable than decorative

More educated than wise

Slowly becoming embroidered.

I am from Alvilda

A gritty Norwegian pioneer, 1900s single mother

Who settled the harsh Dakota prairie

Hungered through the Depression

And lived to be one hundred and three.

I am from Frieda

A small boned and big hearted, poised German woman

Whose fragrant kitchen and ample table

Veiled stories of a young girl’s fight for bread

On an immigrant ship.

I am from Helen

A kind, commonsense woman, adopted Dutch orphan

Whose hands crocheted comfort and

Whose colorful pantsuits

Were emancipatory images.

I am from Gladys

Who raised seven children

With loving hands and little voice

She buried a son, then a daughter

And never wavered in her faith in the Lord.

I am from Joanne

Outwardly practical, inwardly whimsical

Painting, photographing, collecting, telling celebratory stories

Of Life, love, family

Making me want to learn how to cook.

But mostly

I am from Susan.

In my mother’s face I see my reflection,

In her eyes I see years of selflessness and pride in our future.

She insisted – insists – upon strong daughters, my sister and I.

In following her lead

And finding our identity,

We continue the patchwork, my sister and I,

Crafting new patterns out of familiar fabric

Carrying our heritage forward.

Mother’s Spice Cake

WIN_20150330_202258 [Note: This was shared as post on The Ranting Chef earlier today!] This recipe should really be called “Mother’s Mother’s Mother’s Spice Cake,” because I believe it originally belonged to my Great-Grandmother. Take a look at the recipe card below, typed on an old school typewriter… clearly, this is a very old and much loved favorite! WIN_20150407_222818 I love how this recipe, like so many old recipes, is really just a list of ingredients. In some cases, it can be very difficult to recreate a dish from ingredients alone! In this case, however, coming up with instructions and baking times was pretty straightforward. The updated set of instructions below are user-friendly and simple enough to follow with confidence. If you’re reading this post from the U.S., remember that Mothers Day is May 10th. Wouldn’t this make a fun Mothers Day cake? WIN_20150330_174809Ingredients (Makes a 9″ x 13″ cake) 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup room temperature butter 1 cup milk WIN_20150330_175239 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg WIN_20150330_2000571/2 teaspoon cloves 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 egg yolks For the frosting: 2 egg whites WIN_20150330_2002321 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar Directions Step 1) Cream together butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar until thoroughly blended and fluffy. Add milk and egg yolks. Blend well. WIN_20150330_201244Step 2) Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt. Blend slowly until batter is smooth. Step 3) Pour batter into a greased and floured 9″ x 13″ cake pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool WIN_20150330_201700thoroughly. Step 4) After cake has cooled, add 1 inch of water to the bottom of a double boiler.  Combine egg whites, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar in the top of the double boiler. NOTE: you can make your own double boiler simply by setting a metal or glass mixing bowl over the top of a medium saucepan so that the water in the saucepan is “sealed” inside (the mixing bowl you select should be perfectly round and have smooth sides in order for this to work). Make sure the water in the bottom saucepan doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Step 5) With the double boiler over medium heat, beat the egg whites and sugars at high speed using an electric mixer for seven minutes. Yes, seven minutes. This isn’t complicated, but you need to be patient! Making this frosting is a bit like making candy… we’re creating a chemical change (protein denaturation via heat and mechanical agitation, if you are interested in that sort of thing) which will turn your egg whites and sugars into an absolutely fantastic browned marshmallow frosting! If you’ve never had this frosting before, you’re in for a treat.  🙂 Step 6) The frosting will cool as soon as you remove the top of the double boiler from the heat (don’t get any water in your frosting!). Frost your cake and enjoy!

WIN_20150330_203145

A few cousins enjoying their Great, Great Grandma’s spice cake recipe. For me, remembering loved ones through their recipes is the very best part of cooking!