"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Baking

When it bakes, you smell autumn

One of the good things about fall.

It’s a simple dessert. The time of year when the apples are perfect, so fresh

A sign of fall.  Apple Crisp.

If you want to be inspired with Apples Galore, stop by Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide blog.

I peeled a lot of apples(10), sliced and chopped and put them into a buttered 9×13 glass dish.

Cut a stick of butter into 2 cups of oats (we skip the flour) some salt and about 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Just hint of cinnamon, not to overpower the apples.

Crumble the buttery oatmeal crumbs over the apples.  Bake about 50 minutes.

Marlene adds a cup of cranberries to her apples and that makes it nice and tart with the contrast of sweet.

(and a little salty caramel or vanilla ice cream on the side- or even mint, eh Maura?)

Golden Delicious Apples

apples on the cutting board

Oh no, I didn’t photograph the fragrant apple crisp as it cooled or when it was dished up on plates with the ice cream.

We just ate it!


The cake’s in the mail – almost- well, after school Monday

Last year or the year before, I forget which year, I didn’t get a birthday card mailed.

But this year………

since it’s my sister’s birthday Monday,

and she’s going to visit our brother and his wife in Okanogon WA on Tuesday,

I thought I’d bake a cake with our mother’s old recipe. The Happy Day Cake.  I decided to cook the old fashioned penuche icing, you have to put your hand on the bottom of the pan after it sits in cool water, then add the 10x sugar and beat it, just like our mom did and frost the layers.  Tomorrow after school,  I’ll ship it off for them to share.

I put it in a tin, packed it up and it’s in the front hall, taped in a box, ready to mail.

 It’s a Happy Day Cake  recipe from Swan’s Down Cake Flour box from way back.  You can see it written in my sister’s hand on a quilt square from the fiftieth anniversary quilt we made for my parents in 1989. 

And I put in a pound of Zeke’s coffee beans to go with it.   Happy Birthday Mary.  

love,

Ruth


A Full Pound in Zeke’s Bag of Beans

You know how I love coffee.  That one wonderful cup in the morning.

This morning I receive a text from a colleague who’s teaching art in a different school this year. 

He texted where to come for coffee in East Liberty.        Zeke’s.       Huh?              I couldn’t picture it in my mind.

 Zeke’s Coffee on Penn Ave at Highland Ave.  Only 1.5 miles from my home.  I found it easily once I made the left turn onto Penn it was right there all the time.

And I’ve driven 50 feet from it several times a day and not turned down that particular block on my route.  

Today was the first time I was introduced to the locally roasted delicious coffee. And they’ve been there since 2011!

I bought two bags for friends and family to try and my car smelled like a roastery when I got home. Mmmmmm.

Owned by Chris and Tom (who were out at Farmers Market selling the full one pound bags of their beans that they roasted themselves) In fact that’s how they started at Farmers Market and now they go to NINE of them. ( I looked it up and there was no apostrophe in Farmers Market) 

 I met Brye the baker (wife of Chris) and Alex was the barista and operated the register.  I asked if I could photograph them for the blog and they agreed. Steve and I plan to return in the morning when they open at 8.  

 

 

 

 


The Color is What Caught My Eye

Whether it be flowers in a garden, a rainbow in traffic, or colorful cake mixes on the store shelf.

The color is what caught my eye!

Unsure about actual consumption, though.      Here’s how I came to see these boxes of cake mix……

After school, I drove down to the Waterfront to get gas, stock up on provisions. Lunch items to take to school.

Target was right there and I needed more wonderful 8GB Flash Drives that are still at a low, low price.  The ones they keep by the checkout line so you can load up as you head out the door.  Must be an old shipment as the ones up front are two dollars cheaper than the ones in the electronic section in the back.  (Hope I didn’t clue them in and they change the price!)

Now you might already know if you follow the blog,  I really don’t like to eat anything blue

(with the exception of fresh blueberries)

but those fakey blue raspberry popsicles?

Just looking at blue food/icing gives me a shudder down my spine.

But if you need to bake a Smurf cake, the Blue Suede mix might be your answer.

I can definitely see some of these colorful cake mixes as the basis for art/photography projects.

And from what I read on Charm City website,    “Our inspiration comes from everywhere: art, fashion, fabric, furniture, architecture, landscapes, science, music, and history.”   

IMG_5267

iPhone shots of the cake mix shelves

 

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Inspiration for the colorful cake mixes, created by Duff Goldman

 Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis

Found at least 3 Pink Cadillac songs

Bruce Springsteen,

Natalie Cole, Jerry Lee Lewis

And Prince won an Oscar in 1985 for Purple Rain

 

 

 

 

 


Patron Saint of Bakers and Pastry Chefs – Saint Honoré

Honoratus of Amiens  (who died in 600) .  The Feast Day is May 16th but no matter.

The nice woman at Jean-Marc Chatellier Bakery in Millvale said “Saint Honoré” when I asked.

Here he is, carved from wood,  with his bread peel with some sheafs of wheat, watching over the baker

August 2 is the last day before the bakery goes on vacation.  We just made it on our way to the Children’s Museum.

 

 

Saint Honoré

Saint Honoré at the French Bakery in Millvale

 

 

French Bakery Goods

 

 


Oram’s Donuts in Joe Namath’s Hometown – Beaver Falls, PA

More than a decade ago I saw a show narrated by Rick Sebak on PBS about Oram’s Bakery in Beaver Falls, PA. Beaver Falls is about 35 miles Northwest of the city and is on the Beaver River.  ( I just looked it up and the show was out in 1999)

Their cinnamon rolls are their most popular donut, and they appeared to be the size of dinner plates. Well, at least a luncheon plate. I am sure each one weighs a half a pound.

I’d always intended to go check them out.

Today I did.

Oram's Cinnamon Rolls

They barely fit in the bakery box.

I bought a seventh cinnamon roll for me to eat for lunch and Josh put it in a white paper bakery bag for me.

Orams 1 Josh

Here is Josh graciously posing for me with the box of the donuts. Thank you Josh.

I was going to take the box to Ohio but the car was so hot that when I was at the Beaver Falls Post Office I saw a woman waiting in a car,  so I asked her if she liked Oram’s donuts and she said yes so I went to the car and gave her the box.  She was most appreciative.

Orams 5 Nicole

Nicole is constructing boxes to hold donut orders.

Josh and his brother built this LEGO®  donut bakery.   They sent a design to a company online and they sent the design kit to build, software is involved.  It’s on display in the bakery and I found it fascinating.

Orams 3Another view of the LEGO® bakery

Orams 2

A lot of details. This is the front of the bakery.

 

Orams 6

Love the LEGO® donuts

 

 

Orams 4

 

 

Orams 7I bought a souvenir coffee mug for Steve  if you lived in Beaver Falls and brought this mug in after purchase they will give you FREE coffee (the small size coffee) in your Oram’s mug

 

 

Orams 8

 

 

 

Orams building 1912The building was built the year both my parents were born 1912

 

Oh yes, I mentioned that Beaver Falls is  Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath‘s hometown so I found the plaque to him by the library(the library is closed on Friday’s :-( )    I drove by the Beaver Falls Senior High School but it is a modern one now and so I  figured the old one must be the Middle School next door.

 

 

Here is the plaqueJoe Namath Plaque

My friend Gail and her parents took me to see the JETS play in the late sixties and you know who the quarterback was in that game!

 


Lahma bi Ajeen at Joan’s Thursday Night

Steve and I drove across the Highland Park Bridge to Joan’s for dinner. You’ve seen Joan’s spools of thread  and checking out where she used to teach.

Since I went out of town on my  birthday, we made a plan for when I would be back in town and when we could get together

Joan made James Beard’s recipe for  Lahma bi Ajeen. The fresh tomatoes, cucumber and peppers,Baba Ganoush, Hummus, Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Dill from her garden, and wonderful olives.

Lahma bi Ajeen

The Lahma bi Ajeen recipe from Beard on Bread cookbook (A well used page)

James Beard Recipe

 

 

buttermilk pound cake with rhubarb

Buttermilk Pound Cake from World of Baking by Delores Casella topped with fresh rhubarb sauce.  Rhubarb from Joan’s garden- we ate outside.

 

Joan's Garden

 

Thanks for a nice dinner and good conversation, Joan.  Everything was delicious

 

 

 

joan

 

Joan inside her doorway keeping the dogs inside.

 

 

 

buttermilk pound cake

 


Delores’ Sweet Shoppe – Apalachicola, Florida – Key Lime Pie

“Where the locals meet” the sign says. The shop is closed on the weekends- open 7-3 Monday through Friday

After we got some provisions at the Piggly Wiggly grocery, my friend’s sister made a stop so I could get a couple of pies for supper. Her son Jack accompanied me as I didn’t know how to find the door on the side of the wrap around porch.   I needed help carrying the boxes.

Here is Delores, who has been here for twenty years, holding the box with one of the Key Lime pies.

She sells Pecan Pies, too. And Breakfast and Lunch/ Daily Specials, too.

Delores Pie

 

Delores sign

This is a great sign.

 

 

 

Delores Buns

 

 

 

 

Delores Sweet Shoppe

You can sit down and eat or order take out.

 

wrapping up the cinnamon  bunsOkay, we’ll take six cinnamon buns, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Vicci and Ben Pose with a Wedding Cookie

A beautiful and exciting day.

You’ve seen the posts this week leading up to the Wedding Cookie Tables. The baking. The cousins and aunts.  The kitchens and ingredients.

And the cookie table was overflowing with homemade cookies.  You should have seen the flock to take samples home in containers.

I asked Vicci and Ben if they would hold one of the cookies with their names and they were gracious and agreed.

 

Ben and Vicci

 

Congratulations Ben and Vicci    It was a fun wedding and everyone had a great time.

And the cookies were delicious.

 

 

 

 

 


Cookie Trays Await Saturday’s Wedding

Nice job Marlene!  (Mark’s MIL-and Erika’s mom) has been sending me the photos of the cookie baking and today all the sisters got together and “trayed” the cookies.  I had never  “tray” in a verb form until I lived in Pittsburgh.

Marlene is Godmother of the Bride.

If you’ve been following the blog this week, you’ve watched the progress and everyone pitching in to help.

Here is what they did today and took them to the hall. The hall where the wedding reception will be held tomorrow June 7th.

The Alphabet Stamp cookies are from that well known kitchenware store but I see alphabet letters are available in other locations online so no commercial plug.

We used them at Laura and James wedding and also for Jaclyn and Mike’s wedding.  It is fun to change the little letters to spell out their names.  (Well, not that much fun, they are tiny.) But so satisfying to have them as part of the cookie table display.

 

Thanks Marlene for the photos for today’s post about the cookie baking this week in preparation for the big day….

I added the last one of the biscotti I baked after school yesterday.  Will bring it to the wedding tomorrow.  xxoo Ruthie

 

p.s.  My dear friend Donna commented on the cookie table blog, remembering the cookie tables she put together for her son John and his bride Angie’s wedding which was five years ago.    Click here to see her beautiful and delicious baking


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