Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Cake That Mom Makes

Chocolate Sheet Cake

Make and eat this cake at your own risk. Do not be left alone in the house with it.

I made this cake for my daughter today, even though she will only eat a piece or two. I plan on taking some pieces to church tomorrow evening. I think the last time I made this cake was when we lived in Iowa. Long time ago.
It is important that you have all ingredients measured out before you make it. Have your oven heated up to 350° so when the cake is mixed you can pop it right in.

It is taken from a 1973 favorite cookbook. Here is the recipe.

1/2 C. Crisco oil ( I used Canola oil)
4 T. cocoa
1 C. water
1 stick butter
Bring these to a boil in a saucepan. Then pour it over ....

2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
that has been mixed together thoroughly.
Then add,

2 beaten eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk OR 1/2 C. milk that has had 2 tsp. white vinegar added to it
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. soda

Bake in a sheet cake pan ( @ 12 x 18 ) at 350° for 20 minutes.
Immediately ice cake with the following icing.

6 T. milk
4 T. cocoa
1 stick butter

brought to a boil in a medium saucepan, then add
1 box powdered sugar ( 16 oz. measured in weight)
1 tsp. vanilla

This should be put on the cake while cake AND icing are both hot.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sugar Cream Pie Revisited

So I made the requested Sugar Cream pie. I was a little nervous but got through it. Said pie is on its way to the recipient as we speak. I forgot to take a picture of it. :( But you can get an idea from this post from the Year of the Pie. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. WE will be going over the river and through the Grandmother's house..... HONEST.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Justify FullSome good things HAVE happened this week.

Our dog still has a good attitude, although her eyesight has been severely compromised.

My husband got to feeling better and was able to get out and about yesterday to work.

Some 'anonymous' person gave my cousin's husband $20.00 to give to ME so I could make him a Sugar Cream Pie. I will share the recipe with you soon. I think I will make the pie tomorrow so 'mystery person' can have it for Thanksgiving Day.

I spent three very lovely hours yesterday with my Aunt Rosie. She taught me how to 'patch' pants. She started patching her brother's clothes when she was 12 and has been patching clothes since. She is now well into her 80's. Yesterday she also made two dozen chocolate chip cookies for the roofers that were putting on a new roof- in the WIND I might add.

My daughter and I will take the rest of the week off school. Hopefully, we can help, Jenna, with her new way of life and drive into town with my $20.00 and buy 'whipping cream' for the pie. There will probably be about $18.00 left. Hmm...what shall I do with it???

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest Post

Guest Post by Margaret

Aren't those eyes so beautiful? With more intensity and emotion than any other dog I've ever known, Jenna could always captivate someone with her human like eyes. Now they are cloudy and a pale blue, as she has now succumbed quite rapidly to cataracts.

She used to have perfect posture, now she runs into things, and trips as she's walking. A fine Frisbee champion, she now can no longer see it right before her eyes. Her favourite past times are now burdens as she tries to navigate through a much darker world.

But we, in our love for our little Border Collie, are quickly making her world a little brighter...

A radio at night that keeps her company...

a Frisbee scented with bacon grease....

and bells on the cats, will all let her know that we still love her.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Visitor

TV Guardian

Do any of you have TV Guardian or something similar to it?
If so, would you recommend one?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Knitting in the Pink

Lately I have been knitting pink things.
Below are baby socks.
Knit Picks Stroll Fingering Weight
75% Superwash Merino Wool
25% Nylon

Below is the Moebius in Pink.
I am trying it in 'Thick & Quick' Wool-Ease Yarn
If it is too bulky for around the neck, I can certainly rip it out and create something new.
This yarn comes from Lion Brand Yarn
80% Acrylic ( I know..this is just WRONG...don't tell Elizabeth)
20% Wool

It has taken two skeins and will probably take a couple more. I need to go acquire some.
It is 36 inches long at this point.

You can see the built in I-cord border

You can see the 'invisible' cast on at the bottom with waste yarn holding it for me til I can weave the ends together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not A Pretty Sight

Our television is not new and fancy like some. It is one that is still 'fat' in the back and sits on a stand. It isn't high def. We get one channel...sometimes two. Honestly, I don't know what channels we DO get, but it is the one that had the Olympics. It is just a typical lovely television set.
Sunday we drove to Bloomington for a birthday party and sat in a living room that had a HUGE flat screen television on the wall. High Def and all the bells.
They had football on. Colts vs. Bengals.
To my surprise...they had about six football
announcers....all men all lined up behind a desk. They were huge on this TV.
Are you kind of picturing this.....?

O.K. My point is this.

Um let me see, how can I say this gently.....
if you ain't easy on the eyes on regular tv ain't gonna be on high definition. I don't think the magic of television goes that far. Actually, in my opinion, high def...just intensifies the issue. Yikes.
Maybe if they just didn't get such 'close-ups' of the announcers....oh the pain.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This Evening's Sunset

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised.

Psalm 113:3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Socks are Done Finally

My socks are finally done.
This particular one tested my nerves to say the least.
I did a sewn (see below) bind off, which I like a lot.

My daughter volunteered to be the model.

You can see the "Tuscany" pattern in the picture above, just below the ribbing.
Below is the ribbing turned down. They don't look the same size in the picture below, but they ARE.

50% Merino wool
25% Bamboo
25% Nylon (I believe Nylon is to strengthen the sock)
Premier Yarns
Serenity Sock Weight
Colorway: Chili

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy Hamburger Buns-Bread Month One

I picked up a copy of The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook from the library the other day and found this delightful bun recipe. They were quite easy.

Bake, cut in half, butter it, fry it.

Put sandwich together.

If you don't want sandwich buns you can shape them into round balls and crowd them close together in a pan to make dinner rolls.

Here is the recipe.

1 C. (8 0z) warm water (110°-115°)

2 T. (1 oz) butter

1 large egg

3 1/4 C. (13 3/4 oz) unbleached all purpose flour

1/4 C. (1 3/4 oz) sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 T. instant yeast

1 tsp. onion powder (optional) I didn't use.

1/2 tsp. dried minced onion (optional) I didn't use.

Combine all the ingredients and mix and knead them together-by hand or mixer-until you've made a soft, smooth dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a flattened ball. Place the buns on a greased baking sheet (I used parchment paper), cover and let rise 30 to 40 minutes, until they're quite puffy.

Preheat the over to 375°F. Bake the buns for 12 - 15 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool them on a rack, split and use for burger or sandwiches. For burgers, butter the split sides and fry them, buttered side down, until they're golden brown and warmed through.

Very tasty.
 For small sandwiches divide the dough into 15 or so buns.  Bake accordingly.  I bake these a couple minutes longer when making these into dinner rolls, since they are attached.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It Is What It Is

Today I put together two coconut cream pies for a charity pie-bake off.
One pie is to be judged. The other pie is to share with the crowd. There will be a pie eating contest which sounds like fun. I have never witnessed one first hand. After all of the fun they will auction pies off to raise money for local food ministries.

The pie closest to you will be put in the judging. The meringue just came out nicer than the back one.

I plan on going and just enjoying myself and just relax after an afternoon of pie making.
Julia Child says..."when cooking, strive for perfection and if it isn't, never apologize! no excuses! no explanations!"

It is what it is.

(isn't coconut cream pie what MaryAnn always made for Gilligan on Gilligan's Island?)

The pies were taken and eaten and judged and that little pie in front got runner up in the Cream Pie division. The fella in the back was auctioned off for the rescue mission at the price of $45.00.
I hope it helps them a great deal.

A Bread Journey

For the past few months, my daughter and I have tossed around the idea of the Year of the Pizza. The making of a pizza trips me up every time. My sister can make a delicious pizza with her eyes shut. But when I try it, the crust never cooks all the way through. If I leave it in long enough for the crust to cook, then the toppings burn. So making a pizza each 'month' for a year might help me get it right. But I kept putting it off and putting it off. My dad used to say....'when in doubt, back out'. So I didn't do it. Then all of a sudden, yesterday, as I was attempting a round loaf of bread, it hit me. We need to do a year of bread. I need to get the hang of this. So with much agreement in my spirit and from my daughter, we have decided to do a year of bread and post ONCE a month about our bread experience. Bread seemed to be more of a necessary thing to learn than pizza. Although, I have a feeling that getting the hang of bread will automatically give me the hang of pizza dough.
So, our bread journey will be posted once a month. If you have any suggestions or ideas please leave a comment. We need all the help we can get.
Let the baking begin!
Oh, and my sock update-ugh.....this pair of socks has caused me much stress. But I am almost done with them and will post a photo of them soon.
Until Next Time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Decorating on a Budget

Our lunch today consisted of a celebratory home made sub with a flag topper! We posed the sandwich with our most current decoration.

My daughter likes to purtify things. My husband is a carpenter and he brings home a lot of unwanted items and Margaret immediately starts thinking of ways to make them feel loved and useful again.
She has had this old window for several months now and has had a plan for it. Just this week she was able to complete it. She decoupaged (one of her favorite things to do) a poster board with pages from an old book and then added some extra pictures and draped a little bitty garland over it and tada, you have a lovely wall hanging. The fun thing is that when the mood hits she can change the poster board to another theme or old family pictures in each frame or old quilt blocks, or .....well you get the idea.

Chris has brought home more than his fair share of old unloved toilets.....and he sits them out back til they get thrown out or find a new home. Sometimes folks just need an old toilet for some reason. Right now we have THREE lovely toilets sitting out back. They are lined up in a majestic row and the one in the middle is PINK. It is as pink as a toilet can get. She has already laid claim to all three, especially the pink one, to plant flowers in next spring. I know that sounds goofy to some folks, but I just betcha she will make them look nice. I can imagine wave petunias flowing out of the openings.