Friday, June 18, 2010

My Grandmothers Frosting

I was asked by a dear friend what I had been up too lately… well, between cleaning out the basement, chasing around a two year old and getting ready to spend 5 glorious days at the ocean, I made a real honest to god home-made cake for my mothers birthday. To celebrate I pulled out a book of my grandmothers recipes. My grandmother was an interesting woman who lived a most extraordinary life. She grew up in Shattuck OK in the early part of the 20th century. Her mother died when she was 15 and her father was sent away to prison for bootlegging. She was left to raise her younger sisters with very little help. She had a high school diploma, attended art school and spoke several languages. After my grandfather died my family moved in with her so she would have help on the ranch. She was a part of my daily life until I moved away to Seattle. We were very close and when she died I was devastated. I still miss hearing her stories. One of my grandmothers greatest gifts was her baked goods. In her house you never, and I do mean never, got a piece of toast that was not burnt or a cup of coffee even a hardened truck drive could drink, but she made the most amazing pies and cakes. They did not look like fluffy, air filled pastries you can buy from a sparkly clean upscale pastry shop. Her baked goods had heft and they were never pretty to look at, but they always tasted like heaven. For my mothers birthday I made a family favorite, Caramel Frosting.

My grandmother always put this frosting on a chocolate cake. My mother is not crazy about chocolate so I made a yellow cake instead.

As you can see I am wearing my new apron, I forwent the black cocktail dress and heels and went for comfort instead, my grandmother would have approved.

This frosting is a bit tricky but I knew I had it right when it smelled like my grandmothers frosting.

Now if I just had my grandmothers oil sludge in a cup and one of her stories I would be truly content.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Aprons and 3" Heels

Several months ago we went to visit friends in Montana and I saw this fabric in a shop in Missoula. I am an extremely thrifty sort of person and I find it is very difficult for me spend money on myself. This fabric was a bit on the pricy side and I walked away without buying any of it. On the way home we had not even made it over the Montana/Idaho border and I was already kicking myself. So I called my friend and pleaded (I didn’t have to beg too hard) with her (she was nice enough not to say, “I told you so”) to make the 45 minute drive from her home to purchase 2 yards of this glittery Dia de los Muertos fabric for me. Julie understands me so well.

After much contemplation I decided I needed to make something that would highlight this sparkly fun fabric. I come across this Simplicity pattern for a retro apron in a local shop and I knew I had found just the right item for my new fabric.

A few weeks ago I found this vintage mint green rick rack in a large box of trim at an estate sale.

I added a pocket with just a hint of the mint green rick rack.

And I lined the inside with this black spiral fabric.

I can hardly wait to wear this apron. I think I might need to make cookies tomorrow.
Now where did I put that little black cocktail dress?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not Again...

Please excuse spelling and other dumb grammar mistakes.

I have often gone back over old blogs and wondered where my head was at when I wrote them. After 6 years of college, you would think I would have a better grasp of the English language, but apparently not. In my own defense I do have a two year old who requires my constant attention. So please keep that in mind when you find that I have composed a bit of misspelled twaddle. Speaking of which, his majesty is in need of my services. I must be running along.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rose Petal Jam

To me nothing tastes better than homemade jam on warm toast with coffee on a cool fall morning. That little hint of spring as winter approaches. Jam making is a messy process; well it is for me anyway, so I like to make several batches at a time. After perusing jam recipes on the internet I concluded that I would like to change up an old favorite and add a new recipe to my jam making process this year.

We have a hedge of wild yellow roses that borders our yard. They are magnificent when they are in full bloom, but they only last a very short time. They are prolific and it has always seemed a shame that all of the beautiful petals should go to waste. I have never eaten rose petal jam but it sound decadent and worth a try.

I made traditional rhubarb, strawberry jam (my favorite) but this year I added rose petals to the mix.

The lemon rose is new to my repertoire. It has a  distinctive sweet and sour flavor and a yummy golden hue.

And a family favorite raspberry

I found a recipe for dandelion jam which I think I will try next. That is, if I can collect enough dandelions.

Update...sheesh maybe I should learn to use spellcheck more often...