I have been creating my own original needlepoint art for a long time now. Instead of sitting in my closet, I found a seamstress to make me some pillows. Next step – I opened an Etsy Shop. It is called TheOriginalNeedle.
Check it out…
Beauty day in the North Land
Years ago we put together a family recipe book. Four different versions of the Indian Cake recipe were entered by four great cooks. Goes to show that even in a family the need to “tweak” a recipe exists. My cousin always thought the name of the recipe came from the fact that all ingredients were staples in every kitchen and a great use for leftover coffee, plus Grandma was born in the 1881, so it was probably a “prairie” recipe handed down by her mother. Unfortunately, most of the cooks have passed and we will probably never know for sure.`
This is my grandmother’s version of the cake.
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coffee
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup hot water
1 clove coffee, heated
Mix all ingredients together, stirring in hot coffee last.
Bake at 350 degrees until done.
You can see that this is kind of vague and might need some additional “tweaks”. I don’t know what a “1 clove coffee” is.
One of my aunts increased the cocoa by a quarter cup and took out the baking powder, vanilla extract, salt, and clove coffee. This makes no sense to me, it would be pretty bland, I would think.
Another aunt increased the cocoa by a quarter cup and added cream of tartar.
A third aunt provided the last variation and it is the most detailed:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coffee, cold
1 cup water, boiling, minus 1 teaspoon
Sift together: flour, cocoa, soda, and salt and set aside. Cream 1/2 cup butter into the sugar. Add beaten eggs and blend slowly. Add vanilla. Add into sugar and butter mixture, some of the flour and mix well, then add some of the cold coffee and mix them alternating, continue until all is in but mix in the flour last. Stir in the hot water (minus 1 teaspoon) and mix well. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour. Test with toothpick until it comes out dry from the center of the cake.
I’m not 100% convinced on this one. One hour seems way too long. But I haven’t tried it and don’t know what kind of a pan she used.
I have made the original recipe minus the clove thing but I might have put some clove spice in it. I think I cooked it for 30 minutes in a 9 X 9 and it turned out pretty good.
Try your hand at it and see what happens!
It was a kind of gloomy fall day. 48 degrees when I got up. Chilly. So, with hat, gloves and parka, we wandered to the lake. The geese were enjoying themselves.
I’m gonna lay down that atom bomb
Down by the riverside down by the riverside
Down by the riverside
I’m gonna lay down that atom bomb
Down by the riverside study war no more
I ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
— Pete Seeger
Hug me, squeeze me, love me, tease me
‘Til I can’t, ’til I can’t, ’til I can’t take no more of it
Take me to the water, drop me in the river
Push me in the water, drop me in the river
Washing me down, washing me down
— Al Green via Talking Heads
Eloise Butler was born on a farm in Maine in 1851. In 1874, she moved to Minneapolis to teach botany and took her students on field trips “botanizing”. In 1907, she persuaded the Minneapolis Park Board to set aside three acres for a wild botanical garden. After 36 years of teaching she retired and became the curator of the garden. In 1924, she spent $700 of her own money to expand the garden to a five acre fenced off area. The garden was re-named the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in her honor in 1927. She died at 81 tending the garden.
My relatives.. This is actually a postcard dated 1912. Apparently it was all the rage at the time to make your photographs into postcards. It is addressed to my grandfather and just says “My Latest”.
We are back in the deep freeze. Seven new inches of snow and temperatures well below zero F. with strong winds. Blizzard conditions. But, hey, this is Minnesota. We trudge on.
It is the first of two holiday weekends. Family, Festivities, Fun, Food. I’m making a Hazelnut Torte to take to the Xmas eve get-together. Then I will take my father to a nice restaurant for Xmas day. And it will be cold. I lived in Mexico City growing up. Our tradition was to get up the day after Xmas and load up the car and drive to Acapulco for a week. Now, that was way more fun than any other Xmas stuff. My holidays were always related to travel. Either traveling home from boarding school or traveling to the beach or, one year, we traveled to Kenya and Tanzania to see the game parks. I might need to revive that traveling tradition.
I became interested in the show Yellowstone because a new prequel just came out with Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford called 1923. So, thinking the whole show was on Paramount Plus, I signed on. I then saw there was another prequel called 1883. I have been binge watching 1883. I figured I would start at the beginning. Then I discovered the actual show isn’t on Paramount Plus, they sold it to Peacock. So if I want to watch the actual show I have to sign up with them. This is getting to be very confusing. And expensive. Maybe I can find it at the library…
Anyway, 1883 is about the Dutton family’s trek from Fort Worth Texas to Montana by covered wagon. They are traveling with a group of Eastern European immigrants. Within the first few weeks, half the people died in one way or another. Disaster after disaster. The narrator is a teenage girl who goes from despair to elation about love and nature and god’s hand in nature and the beauty of the land and the cruelty of it as well.
It made me think about my family and their trek across the sea and then half way across America. They must have traveled the same way. Covered wagons, horses. On my father’s side my ancestor came from Ireland in 1811, and bought land in Pennsylvania. They didn’t stay long. His son was born in Ohio in 1818 and they later moved to Missouri. When he found he was on the wrong side slavery, he moved his farm and family north to Illinois. After he died in 1858, the family moved to western Iowa where they had kin. My grandfather was born in Iowa in 1880. He dug in a farm and stayed there.
On my grandmother’s side, her family sailed from England to Connecticut in 1641. The family stayed there until the mid 1700’s when their house was destroyed by fire.
The father and two elder sons went into the wilderness to clear some land and left the wife and baby in a white settlement. The father and eldest son were killed by Indians. The second son, Isaac, was fourteen when he was captured by the Genesee Indians. Several years later he managed to escape but it wasn’t until he was 70 years old when he found his baby brother who had been left behind with his mother. By that time he was living in Ulster County, New York. The family stayed in New York until about 1880, when they up and moved to western Iowa. My grandmother was born there in 1881.
You can see why 1883 draws me in.
I hope you have a super duper holiday weekend!
½ lb shelled hazelnuts
8 eggs, separated
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup breadcrumbs
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup whipped cream
1 cup tart jelly (I like raspberry)
Grind the unblanched hazelnuts very fine. Put 2 tablespoons of the ground nuts aside for the outside of the cake.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar till very light. Add the breadcrumbs, lemon rind, lemon juice, vanilla and ground nuts. Fold in the egg whites whipped very stiff but not dry.
Bake in 2 layers, 30 minutes at 325 degree F. Cool in the pans.
Take out and put together with whipped cream and a little jelly spread between the layers. Whip the rest o f the jelly with a fork and spread it over the top and sides of the cake. Powder with unused 2 tablespoons of ground nuts. Decorate the top of the cake with a swirl of whipped cream. Chill before serving.
Maybe I’ll have a picture next week.
The light was amazing yesterday at William O’Brian State Park, Minnesota.
We found our back to Sunfish Lake Park. It is even more beautiful in the fall.
They have a prairie restoration project going as well.