|Huckleberries are in an abundance I've never seen here before.|
|A douglas squirrel is beeping at me!|
I am trying to keep myself creative. I've been focusing more on writing lately than anything else, but I am slowly transitioning back to the applied arts, thank goodness.
|Alex helps me pick huckleberries.|
|And\by helping, I mean eating them.|
They're very tart, but he eats them.
|Here's a plump one mommy.|
I've also been obsessing with tea-cakes for some reason. Okay, I found an online recipe that is so good, I can't stop making it, and trying it with various berries. So far, I've made it with the recommended blueberries, and with Marionberries, and with Hood strawberries, and even chocolate chips at one point. If I can find good delicious red currants, I'll make it with that too! There's a reason why I've gained back 30 of the 40 pounds I lost with Weight Watchers. I'm out of control! I use breastfeeding as an excuse, saying it makes me voracious, and part of me feels like it does. Just like how I immediately get thirsty the moment the child 'locks on'. But yet, you're supposed to LOSE weight when nursing a child. It burns calories! Nope, not me. It might, however it probably has to with my penchant for overdoing it food-wise at any given chance. And my complete lack of discipline has derailed my husband too, but he has only gained back 15 lbs of the almost 70 pounds he lost.
|We have about five bushes in our front yard area. Two of which|
went from five feet to almost eight in one year, and they're just
exploding with berries.
So to begin this new resolution of disciplined eating and healthier foods, let's talk about this tea cake recipe! It's SoOoooooo good. I make it so much. I made it for a neighbourhood 'block party' last weekend, and made it again this weekend for the picnic.
|Top: Marionberry tea cake|
Bottom: Standard Fruit Tart
My spoils to share at the neighbourhood block party.
|Just a brief moment or two of picking huckleberries yielded what I needed.|
Here are the basics:
Cream together: 1 stick of softened butter, 3/4 cup of sugar, and one large egg, and 1/2 a teaspoon of real vanilla extract. Mix until fully blended.
|My friend Stephanie II gave me her old Professional 600 KitchenAid.|
I am so happy! ::lovelovelove!::
|When the butter, sugar and egg are smooth, then go to the next step.|
Mix until it's a smooth, consistent texture.
|I love looking at it at this stage. It's a beautiful, thick (if not sticky) batter.|
|In go my berries. I doubled the recipe so I tossed in a cup of huckleberries,|
and a cup of blueberries to balance out the tartness of the huckles.
|Alex dragged his rocking dolphin out|
to the kitchen to be there with me while
|Almost looks like Christmas.|
Now, onto the topping!
1/2 stick of butter cold and cut up.
1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of salt
and 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
|All the necessary ingredients are gathered along with the balloon whisk.|
|Run it at a medium speed for a minute, or even two or three, until you get|
|Sprinkle liberally on your cake(s)|
|Let cool enough so you can remove them from the pan. With the parchment,|
it should be a simple task. You can peel away the parchment and allow them to
finish cooling on a rack.
|A sumptuous cake, perfect for tea or coffee. And addictive so beware!|
While I baked these babies and they filled the house with their amazing aroma, I decided to pick up that false-start project of the spoon bonnet I aspired to make using some cheap paper-lace hatting I found at Mill End for cents a yard. I had been daunted by the project when I started hand-stitching it, so I threw it aside and forgot about it for a few years. No, I'm not kidding. Then I just got a wild hair on Saturday. I decided to attack it, but this time, just give in and use the machine. So when Alex went down for his nap, and the cakes were baking, I sat down and just started sewing around and around, pinching little 'pleats' into the hatting to shape it.
|Running the machine with the arm off the edge of the table made maneuvering|
and shaping much easier.
|Hatting lace, which I initially thought was raffia, is actually just paper. So|
no biggie if it fails.
|The gold lace to finish it off.|
|Soaked, shaped, and left in the sun to dry.|
Yesterday, I attended the seventh annual Pittock Mansion picnic, and I arrived laden with things promised to a variety of people. I said on Facebook that I felt like a summertime Santa, carrying her ho-ho-hobag. Yes, I'm classy like that. Anyway, let's see, what little things did I create and bring? Well, I made another Dormeuse cap, which I did in just plain white organdy with lots of decoration around the band.
|I think a single gusset on each side ought to suffice.|
|Yes, these did actually happen. They are minuscule.|
Weeks ago, I presumptuously set up a GoFundMe campaign for Alex to have a play set. Okay, I know, it's obnoxious isn't it? Asking friends to buy my kid something this big and decadent when our finances are in the toilet and we're scraping by. But you know what? The stress of everything is getting to us all, and Alex feels it. And his happiness is our happiness, so I did it. I trawled my friends for cash, I panhandled for funds, so I could give my kid a good, happy place to play on our property, which is otherwise quite unsuitable for outdoor play. We still have to furnish it with a nice soft footing (it's mostly on gravel right now, eep!), but at least with us close by, he has this great place to go during the day, where he can deplete some of that never-ending child energy and get some great exercise! So I am enourmously grateful for the contributions from my friends and family for this play set. The donations were enough to get the set, and Dan picked up Friday and busted his ass building it all weekend, finishing late Sunday night, dehydrated and exhausted by the heat. He ended up being sick today because of it. :( But that's fatherly love for you. And this morning, Alex was able to play on his set for the first time, and I cannot describe how excited he was. He played after breakfast, lunch and dinner, and he cried when we brought him inside. Outside! he cried standing by the door before bedtime. Nope, Alex, tomorrow you can slide on the slide.
|Happy hardly describes it.|
|Is this really all for me?|
|This is my fort.|
|This afternoon, Daddy felt good enough to clean up|
the tools and paraphernalia and to help Alex on the slide.
|So much awesomeness.|
Peace out for now, folks. :) Buy my prints! Buy The Wizard King!