Saturday, May 23, 2015

Walk About the Farm Yard

Old fashioned Lilac bush - so fragrant!

Although later than most years,
It's one of the prettiest times of year here on the farm.
In spite of it being very dry
and a frost last evening - everything is blooming beautifully.

Periwinkle blooming against the barn wall.

Lily of the Valley - taking over a whole flower bed at the back of the house!

My favourite White Bleeding Hearts Plant
Graceful Ferns unfurled and luscious green.

Hostas and Peonies - and a purple ground cover (not sure what it's called)

Fragrant White Lilac - best blooms ever this year!

I learned something new today.
My friend Margo told me that her mom always squished the woody stems of the lilacs when making a bouquet.
It helps the lilac last longer and absorb the water better.
Did you know that?
I hope my bouquet stays fresh and beautiful.

Wish you could smell this ...

Nothing is quite as pretty as a bouquet
 of Lily of the Valley!

My mom always put them into this very vase - it reminds me of her so much.
It looks so nice on the corner of the old Hoosier cabinet that was her first cupboard
and now has a special place in my farm kitchen.

Mom had so many beautiful flowers and almost always had a bouquet on her dining room table.

Well, there you have it - a wee walk about the farm yard.

Look who's waiting to be packed and hitched for a little bird watching "Escape"!

This post was inspired by Vee's recent postAnneliese's recent post, and especially Marg's "Happy Place" post!  I sure appreciated their inspiration this week! There is much work to be done and we are waiting for the warm rains predicted early in the week before edging and mulching the beds.

Till next time ............ stopping to smell the lilacs while they last!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Backyard Feather Music

The hills trees are alive
with the sounds of birdies ....

Indigo Bunting - so excited about this one.

I am loving my back yard these days!

Flocks of finches

Red Breasted Grossbeak

The elusive Oriole sits on top of the old apple tree
and sings like a Robin who's had voice lessons - so beautiful!
I just can't seem to get a picture of him .... maybe tomorrow.
The hummingbirds are swarming the feeder - it's wonderful.

The rhubarb is growing by leaps and bounds and I can't wait to make Lovella's "Roasted Rhubarb Scones" this weekend!

Loving Spring and all it offers! So thankful ....

Till next time - looking forward to some more birdwatching in a few short days at MacGregor Point with dear friends ...

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pat's GermanTorte

We recently celebrated a milestone birthday at our house
with one of our favourite cakes.

The first time my sister-in-law, Pat, made this cake we were all in awe!
We sometimes beg her to bring it to special family gatherings.
  This cake is a combination of white cake and chocolate cake which is sliced into alternating layers and iced with the most delicious icing!
Just make sure you have lots of eggs and butter on hand before starting.

The recipe below is for a large slab cake.
I cut the ingredients in half and made a smaller round cake.
Hint - don't cut the filling/icing part in half - it's just too good!

White Cake:
6 eggs - separated
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. water
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Beat egg whites till stiff - set aside
Beat egg yolks, sugar and water till fluffy and light
Sift flour, baking powder and salt and mix into the egg mixture
Add vanilla
Fold beaten egg whites into batter
Pour into a greased and parchment paper lined 9 X 13 cake pan

Chocolate Cake:
Same as above but with the addition of 1 Cup finely ground nuts and several scoops (4-5 Tbsp.) of cocoa powder or 1-2 oz. grated dark chocolate added to the flour (Pat always uses cocoa powder).

Bake both cakes at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool

Split both cakes horizontally and spread filling/icing between all layers – alternating the white and chocolate cake layers.  Use remaining filling to ice the cake.

6 Tbsp. Flour
2 Cups Milk
2 tsp. vanilla
Bring the above ingredients to a boil – stirring constantly till thickened.  Cool.
Cream together 2 Cups White Sugar
1 lb. unsalted butter – softened.
Add the butter and sugar mixture to the cooled pudding and beat till smooth.

Sprinkle with cocoa powder and chopped nuts (optional). Slice and enjoy! Cake leftovers should be refrigerated.

Till next time ......... now scoot and enjoy this last day of April 2015 - May here we come!