Saturday, September 26, 2020

September We Are Loving You

Can you believe that the Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus can tolerate winters in our Zone 5?

I'm concerned my loofah plant will not produce "loofahs" before the killing frost hits in October. I have shown you a loofah that I bought at the farmers market just in case.

September has been spectacular in many ways.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Another Sourdough Story of Sweet Friendship During Covid

I’d like you to meet my Sourdough Bread Starter. 

Serendipity has resided in my home since August 2020, and has had three good rounds so far. Serendipity gets fed, divided, and baked every two weeks. I watch her bubble on the counter since I have been working from home since April. Traditional sourdough bakers are known for naming their starters. Serendipity is a mix of bread flour, sugar, water, oil and salt. I've seen some inventive starter names like: Little Bread Rising Hood, Bread Pitt, Jane Dough, and Vincent Van Dough.
A couple months ago, Susan @ Savoring Time in the Kitchen shared that Kitty's Kozy Kitchen had sent her dried sourdough starter. I was offered some and took Susan up on the offer.

I've met so many wonderful bloggers over the years, and I share a love of baking with Susan and Kitty. Kitty was given a live sourdough starter over 20 years ago called "Civil War Starter". Kitty has kept it alive, and as you can probably guess, that's a lot of bread baking over the years. 

I received some of Kitty's dried starter in the mail! When I opened the bag of dried starter, it smelled so fresh and good! 

I followed the instructions on the King Arthur website on how revive the dried starter and soon I was on my way to baking sourdough bread. Yes, flour becomes your best friend. Susan mentioned that she did her baking along with countless other bakers in the world who weren't able to find dried yeast on the grocery shelves for so long.

I have made nine loaves of bread so far, and have shared with friends and family. I have received so many compliments, and three friends have asked for the sourdough starter so they can start making bread at home. 

To be continued....I love the bread so much that I haven't used the sour dough starter for anything else. I will be making popovers, and Chocolate Sour Dough Bundt Cake next month.

P.S. Joe no longer buys sourdough bread from our favorite bakery up the street. Ours is so much better :-)  Truly.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Mackenzie Childs Barn Sale 2020

I posted two photos of the items I ordered that haven't arrive yet. They are my two favorite items that I ordered, so I hope I get them. 

"Over the years, the barn sale has become an event where friendships, built over a love for Courtly Check, begin and are renewed." MacKenzie-Childs was not able to host the on-site Barn Sale in 2020 so they had their first ever Online Barn Sale. While it was great for the folks that have never been able to attend the Barn Sale, the rest of us are certainly looking forward to the Barn Sale resuming in Aurora next year. I sure hope we can hug by then. 
I thought I would show this photo of how they paint the the Royal Check pattern which is "composed of a range of blue hues that reflect the blues in nature that we see at our rural Upstate New York farm, from the blue skies overhead to the ever-changing blue waters of nearby Cayuga Lake. Additional depth and color are added to the pattern with subtle, jewel-tone highlights that are dragged through the blue checks."

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Easy Charlotte Cake

Just when I thought I was done buying cake pans, Nordicware produced a Charlotte pan that made me fall in love so I bought it in May. It reminded me of the beautiful desserts we saw in the bakery windows in Europe. The cake pan is ingenious, and makes an instantly elegant cake. I topped the cake with cannoli filling that we had left over from making cannolis for the birth of our granddaughter, and added organic blooms and lemon balm for embellishments.  

For the cake part, I used the recipe that came with the pan, and it's just four ingredients. 
4 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pan with baking spray. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high for one minute. Then, gradually add sugar and continue beating for 6-8 minutes until eggs are light and fluffy. In separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Sift half of flour into beaten eggs and fold in. Stir in second half and fold in completely. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes and invert onto a cooling rack. 
Due to the smallish size of the pan, it is the perfect size to use for a weeknight dessert or special occasion for a family member or friend. This size was easily eaten by me and my husband who doesn't need to watch his waistline. When you cut the cake, the pieces are on the small side.  It is a pleasure baking cakes in this, and the rest of my bundt cakes will rarely get used again.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Tales of the Traveling Tote #24

Welcome to our September 2020 edition of Tales of the Traveling Tote where TEN totes have been limiting their travel outings instead of the usual "living life" and sharing their adventures. Miss Key West has been getting a lot of use since she holds the credit cards for shopping online.  
Miss Bella was happy to visit Spring Creek Lavender in July. The family of six, including husband, wife, their daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren bought the property three years ago and started the lavender farm. It was a big hit this summer, and one of my favorite outings. 
Miss Aurora was happy to finally visit Aurora on my birthday. Even though the beautiful farmhouse was closed for tours, there was some "action" going on inside which was nice to see. We enjoyed shopping in the retail store, but it was just after the online barn sale so  there were no splurges :-)  I have now received five deliveries from the barn sale as of August 30, with two left to go. My favorite items have yet to arrive, and they have been shipping everything individually to me.   

We have been enjoying life in the woods at our camp this summer.

And a quick trip to Lake Placid.

I can't wait to introduce Claire to Miss Aurora. I'm in love already, and we met her Friday evening. 
Aren't these the cutest coasters for your favorite beverage ?!!!! Visit Panoply and Miss Luna and leave a comment to have a chance to win. Good luck! 

I know the other "travelers" would love a visit. 
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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