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.

 

 

Through a Porch Door Screen

This is Bob, short for Bobtail, as he does not have a tail. The least feral of feral cats. Steve takes such good care of him. He found a spot of sun and enjoyed the new Kalenchoe centerpiece on my porch table.

My Friend’s Geraniums are Magical

These glorious geraniums on my friend’s porch are coming to the end of their blossoming season. But they’ll return next summer! We visited on her from porch this morning and captured these blooms, so amazing.

The very same plants. I’m not kidding.

How does she do it?

Here’s her method. Works for 5-7 seasons.

Get a large brown paper lawn bag, NOT plastic.

Take the geraniums out of the window boxes and knock off (gently) all the dirt that clings to the roots.

Place into the large paper leaf and lawn bag.

Carry to the basement. ( here in Pittsburgh we have basements, not sure what to advise other regions)

Thank you, TW. They are luscious.

And my friend wrote the directions I omitted -! “To continue those directions: next year, on May 1st, take the geraniums out of the bag. they will look very dead, leaves and flowers dry and brown. Cut the stems way back to where it looks green. Replant and water with Miracle gro. It will take a good month or more and all the sudden, you will see tiny leaves appear. Then, they grow on from there. A sure sign of hope and new life”. TW

Doll Hair Gone Wild

I heard from a friend a couple of weeks ago that her daughter’s doll was having some wild hair and could I possibly knit a doll hat?  Of course. They came to the front porch, masked,  the other morning and brought the dolls so I got to take a before and after photo.  We even had an impromptu knitting lesson with some worsted and those kid needles, where one needle is red and one blue.  I am sure a followup lesson in is our future.

Our favorite hairstylist Lauren suggested a good Dawn Liquid shampoo and a drop of conditioner MIGHT help revive the doll hair.

 

Cannelés from Gaby et Jules Bakery

My friend R  came for coffee on my front porch Saturday morning. She brought lovely French  pastries. And a box of……

Cannelés
from Gaby et Jules French bakery In Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.

(Click here for a recipe if you don’t have a French bakery nearby)

(pronounced “can-eh-lay”), also spelled canelés. They come from the Bordeaux region of France..” from Chef Iso website “ basic ingredients–milk, flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and vanilla. But baking them at high heat in ridged fluted molds transforms them from a liquid batter to deep golden brown treasures. The outer shell is crunchy and crisp while the inside is delicious custard.”

canelés with one “n” or two 

Breakfast with the Queen

Breakfast with the Queen on Monday morning. Out on the front porch again while summer is still here.

I went and got the solar powered waving figurine out of the dining room window to join me for breakfast. Why?

My friend Vincie went to London (and Paris) last month and brought me a lovely souvenir. A jar of Rhubarb Raspberry Vanilla Bean Jam from Selfridges Food Hall. She knows those three are my favorite flavors. What a combination.

Fancy. Nothing like jam and butter on toast. Very tasty.

Put my two balls of sock yarn in the little shopping bag, too!

BTW Selfridges was voted Best Department Store in the World.