This and that

I didn’t post yesterday. We commuted to Philadelphia for my bone marrow biopsy. Enough said.

This weekend we (fully vaccinated) are driving to the beach to meet my daughter (fully vaccinated) and her husband who is also fully vaccinated. It is my daughter’s birthday, and I will bake her favorite cake (the Hershey cocoa cake with chocolate frosting). We plan to do absolutely nothing. Sounds delightful to me. No appointments; no schedule; no worries. If I’m very lucky, my granddaughter (also a fully vaccinated medical student) will be able to join us. It will be only two days, but oh, how I’m anticipating those days!

I’m thinking, too, about how lucky I am to have my family’s support and love. My daughter-in-law in Maryland calls me almost every day. She always has a story about the kids or the cat or my son to make me laugh. Her youngest, 7-year-old Alec, got in trouble at school. Big trouble. Seems that he had finished his work and was reading a book when his teacher called on him. He was unable to respond. “Alec, you need to pay attention.” He replied, “To what?” That made me chuckle, though I know his reply was totally inappropriate. Not a good move, grandson.

Our extended family is having a zoom Easter Bread baking bake-off. We will zoom the mixing of the dough one evening and zoom the finished product the next day. Along with yeast and sugar and vanilla, our recipe uses anise and lemon extract as well as a dozen eggs, five pounds of flour, and one pound of Crisco. I know. I know. But it’s once a year; it makes 6 loaves, and it freezes well. My husband really likes the sweet bread, but it’s an acquired taste. Neither of my sons will touch it.

One of my brothers used to make ricotta and raisin pie, one of my mother’s Easter desserts. I never liked it much, so I didn’t bother to learn how to make it, but he did. He was a manly man–build like a fire hydrant, but he was a kind soul. He made his own pie crust too. “The secret, Diane, is to be gentle with it. You work the dough too much.” He was right, of course, but now that I can buy Pillsbury in the dairy aisle, I don’t even try to make my own pie crust.

My father-in-law loved my peach pie. Once he told my mother-in-law that she should watch me make my pie crust since it was so flaky (Pillsbury) and I should write down the recipe for her. She was not pleased by the suggestion. I don’t believe she ever baked him another peach pie.

When I was in high school, I became the dessert maker in the family. My father did not like sweets, but he would devour my blueberry tea cake as well as my chocolate mint layer cake if I didn’t use icing between the layers. These days most of us skip desserts, but these two recipes usually go over well with guests.

A dreary day again today but at least it’s not raining. I will stop now and prepare for our walk on the park trail. After I told my husband I got lost walking in the new development in town, he insists on accompanying me. Having a handy bench every 50 feet or so is a plus, so the trail it is.

I see sprouts on the forsythia and buds on the azaleas and rhodies! That observation brightens the dreary weather today.

5 thoughts on “This and that

  1. All that talk about desserts has made me hungry. The Hershey’s chocolate cake is one of my favorite. Right now I am in the mood for a red velvet cake, but a coconut cake is a must for Easter. Enjoy your weekend at the beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First: I am glad to know where you were yesterday. Here’s to a good report. Secondly – the combination of the Hershey cocoa cake and forsythia and Alec and that decadent Easter cake (anise really, really intrigues me, although with my southern roots I must honor the Crisco) – just layers and layers of richness, this. For the record – I, too, love coconut.

    Liked by 1 person

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