Coffee, Earl Grey Tea Bread and a Remembered Poem

After our walk, my friends Jen snd I Went to have a coffee. There was a slice of of Earl Grey Tea Bread in the case and she’d had it before. Encouraged me to order snd try it . It was brought to the table with a generous amount butter and lemon zest on top.

We were at de Fer Coffee in the Strip District. And she was right. It was delicious. The butter slathered on top reminded me of the A.A, Milne poem the King’s Breakfast when the Dairymaid asks the Alderney “Don’t forget the butter for
The Royal slice of bread.” I’d say the cow did the butter spreading royally!

Remembering how my mother read aloud to me, this is a poem I can hear her voice recite the verses. Another she’d read with great expression was Milne’s poem Disobedience. I’d not thought of either in years.

Until the slice of bread arrived at the table in the coffee shop.

Funny how a slice of bread with lots of butter sparks a childhood memory of a poem being read aloud and the cadence and tone of a mother’s voice can come alive in your head, decades later.

Once my cousin John B wrote that my mother’s voice was mellifluous. I had to look it up!

Real Lancashire Eccles cakes at Afternoon Tea

This week I received a package of yarn and goodies from a Woolswap knitter who lives in the UK. Amanda included a tin of Traditional English Tea and a packet of Real Lancashire Eccles Cakes with Real Butter.    She mentioned her husband likes to dip his into his tea. This afternoon I was inspired to make a tea party for one on my front porch. The Eccles cake  was delicious and went perfectly with the English Afternoon Tea. I added a drop of milk. There are three cakes left so three more tea parties on the porch.    Here’s what the bakery says on their website

 

The Eccles Cake is a traditional product, which is believed to have originated in the town of Eccles, approximately five miles from our bakery.

The Edmonds family recipe and method of manufacture has been handed down through generations. Our Eccles Cakes are handmade and consist of a mixture of the finest Vostizza currants, raisins, butter and sugar enclosed in a shell of flaky buttery pastry.

 

 

Split-Second Cookies Recipe

Here’s the recipe I used to bake Split-Second Cookies. They are like a shortbread filled with jam.

I creamed the butter and sugar by hand.

Added egg and vanilla.

The combined dry ingredients.

I usually fill them with raspberry and apricot Bonne Maman jam. I was fortunate to receive some delicious marmalade and jam from two different friends.

I used Eileen’s Orange Marmalade and Pam’s Blubarb in addition to the raspberry and apricot.

Eileen’s Marmalade and Pam’s Blubarb Jam
Took a plateful to a friend for her birthday

Happy Day Cake Recipe

HAPPY DAY CAKE RECIPE

It’s my sister’s birthday today.

The Happy Day Cake Recipe post is from a birthday post I made for her ten years ago.  For many family  birthdays it was the 1-2-3-4 Cake recipe or the Happy Day Cake recipe on the back of the Swan’s Down Cake Flour box, frosted with Penuche icing.  My mother would put the saucepan filled with boiling brown sugar and butter, into a sink of cold water and then beat it by hand once it cooled.She’d add Confectioner’s sugar to it. I can hear the ring of the metal loop at the end of the pan’s handle.  She added a dash of vanilla extract.  My dad would pour milk over a stale slice of cake and eat it with a spoon.   Cake and frosting recipes below photo.

Mary bought me this vintage cake pan when we were visiting our brother in Okanogan Washington

Happy Day Cake

2½ cups sifted cake flour

1½ cups sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

Sift flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir shortening to soften. Add flour mixture, ¾ cup of the milk and vanilla. Mix until all flour is dampened, then beat two minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and remaining ¼ cup milk. Beat one minute longer. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans that have been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove from pans and cool thoroughly on racks.

This cake also may be baked in three 8-inch layer pans for 25 to 35 minutes, or in a 13- by 9-inch pan for 30 to 35 minutes. Batter may be spooned into 36 medium paper baking cups in muffin pans, filling half full. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Penuche Frosting   Butter is Key

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, more or less
  • hot water, optional
  • vanilla extract

PREPARATION:

In a saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually add sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water. Frosts top and sides of a 2-layer cake or a 13×9-inch cake.

Happy Birthday Mary.

 

I didn’t count the cake posts I’ve created in the last 12 years but if you have time on your hands and like cake  you can look at some photos from theblog tagged CAKE here

Danish Dough Whisk Put to Use

Early in the Pandemic my friend Debbie shipped scone mix and an unusual kitchen tool. A “brodpisker”in Danish or a Dough Whisk.

Here’s an Epicurious article all about this wonderful tool.

(Of course, you don’t want to overwork you’re scone dough!)

Thanks, Deb.

Those are bits of dried raspberries
Breakfast on the front porch with sock knitting on the side.

How Do You Like Your Toast?

How do you feel about toast?

Although I’ve burned toast on occasion this Duolit Toaster does a magnificent job, really toasting the bread properly. A milestone birthday gift from my friend Vincie. It’s  almost eighteen years ago, oh my.  It has served me well and is still going strong. I should have polished it for the photo.

What a vehicle for butter, Toast is! How do you like your toast? Jam?Jelly? Honey? Cheese? Avocado?

My granddaughter Anna’s artwork on the mug, at least a decade since it was given to me.

Here’s my sister’s Old School toaster in NYC from a blog post six years ago

Can you find one like my sister’s toaster in the museum collection? A toaster collection at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine Florida

Did you know there a song about toast? My SIL James sent this Heywood Banks Toast, Yeah Toast Song which has had millions of views on YouTube.

Winter Supper- Pierogies with Sautéed Spinach and Onions

A simple meal to ward off the damp chill.

Butter is key! (With a bit of olive oil so it doesn’t burn)

Basic potato and cheddar Pierogies. When I first moved to Pittsburgh the idea of mashed potatoes in dough turned me. Ha! Now it satisfies every carb craving that manifests itself in February. 

   
 

Years Later Everything Still Looks Fresh

Frozen in the moment. Still fresh,  Magic.

I went back to an external hard drive and dug through archives

Looking for images that say fresh.  I sure like to photograph my food. Scroll down for the fresh statue.

Anna is born. October 2003
Anna is born. October 2003

The butter cow at the Ohio State Fair
The butter cow at the Ohio State Fair

A fresh fruit tart at Suzanne's home for tea
A fresh fruit tart at Suzanne’s home for tea

A roll in Zagreb
A roll in Zagreb

Bill's Paint Palette
Bill’s Paint Palette

mixing up paint in with the food theme

Fresh Asparagus at my sister's in NYC
Fresh Asparagus at my sister’s in NYC

A Spinach Salad
A Spinach Salad

Vanilla Gelato
Vanilla Gelato

Fresh Strawberries
Fresh Strawberries

Zagreb Fountain Might be Considered a Bit Fresh
Zagreb Fountain Might be Considered a Bit Fresh

Single Ear of Sweet Corn

You can still get great tomatoes. Come January we’ll long for them. 

I was at a friend’s house and she made corn for us.

Butter, salt and fresh black pepper.  

I think it was the first ear of corn I ate all summer.

Delicious.

Had a half of an ear last Sunday at a Garden Party, but

will savor this photo come fall.   

Thanks Ann.

ear of corn