Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Eclipse Perfection

Google Images

I have just returned from a few days away.
I had the extreme good luck
to be invited by friends
to view the eclipse from
the path of totality. 

A group of friends
met up at
in Blairsville, Georgia
Monday morning.
The weather was perfect.

The vineyard organized a spectacular event for viewing
this once in a lifetime experience.

Spectators were limited to 100,
so it was not crowded.
We arrived around 10 AM,
claimed a perfect spot under a huge shade tree,
and set up our chairs and provisions.
Afterwards we headed to the tasting room
to sample the wines.
A glass of wine was included in the admission,
so everyone was able to make their choice.

The vineyard staff grilled hot dogs and hamburgers
near their pavilion and served lunch.

The actual eclipse was stunning to see.
We watched the progression of the
moon crossing the sun 
until it was totally covered.
It was almost eery 
to feel the temperature fall,
and see our surroundings 
 change from mid day sunshine to night,
in a matter of minutes.
And then to see the reverse happen.

What a treat to have experienced 
this once in a life time occasion in
such a perfect spot,
with a wonderful group of friends.

Thank you especially to Tami and Martin
for organizing this 
once in a life time outing!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The 2017 Davidson Bake Off

Got chocolate?
For the past couple of weeks,
my family has had chocolate to the max!

Do you remember our Bake Off cake from last year?
It was a Zucchini Cake with
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
and it was GOOD!

This year my brother Rick choose our cake.
It was the 1966 second place winner in the
Pillsbury Bake-Off Competition.
This cake has a soft fudge core baked into the
center, hence the name.

The original recipe calls for a package of
Double Dutch Fudge Buttercream Frosting Mix.
Alas, powdered frosting mixes are now defunct.
Because this recipe is one of the Bake Off's
most requested recipes,
Pillsbury developed an alternate recipe,
resulting in the same cake.
Above is Rick's cake from the oven.

Here's Nancy's cake just out of the oven.
I must tell you, 
Nancy gets extra points for her cake,
since she is limited to the use
of a toaster oven for her baking endeavors.
(Another whole story there.)
Nancy and Rick used the same recipe.

As usual, I had to go in another direction
and found a recipe for the cake from

Rick's finished cake. 
It got high marks from him.

Nancy's cake. 
Her assessment of it was
it's a good cake, but next time
she'll buy a package of brownie mix
and make those instead.
Enough said.

Here is my sister-in-law, Pat's cake.
Pat is picking up the slack from our 
brother Bill, who is not a baker.
However,  Pat says the cake was yummy 
and passed Bill's taste test.

Here's my NYTimes cake,
which was the only one 
to not call for a glaze.
This cake is VERY rich and
really didn't need a glaze.

However, if the glazed cake
 is NOT rich enough for you,
serve it with 
a scoop of ice cream,
as Nancy did.
My neighbor Sue, 
who was gifted
with a few slices of my cake,
suggested heating a slice,
topping it with ice cream,
and then perhaps a 
drizzle of chocolate sauce. 
(This suggestion was given as a joke!)

The recipe I used had some 
of the most specific instructions 
I have ever come across in a recipe.
For example, 
"Crack the 4 whole eggs into a large mixing bowl.
With a small knife,
cut the yolks and barely
stir the eggs,
minimally blending the
whites and yolks."
What the...???

Another interesting instruction,
"About 30 minutes after taking the cake 
out of the oven,
press the inside and outside
edge of the cake bottom down
all the way around 
to minimize the air pocket"
above the soft fudge center.
I followed this recipe to the letter,
but it started cracking 
before it even came out of the pan.

More cracking and collapsing!!!

Total collapse!!!

The cake is now all gone,
enjoyed by several people.
I don't think it's a cake
I'll ever make again,
although, Pat has already gotten
a request to make one for someone.

We all had fun with this year's cakes.
Thank you Rick for choosing our
cake and keeping us on track!

Nancy with her cake.

Sharing this week at
Foodie Friday/Rattlebridge Farm

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New Corporate Headquarters for Buttermilk Cottage

Or, in other words,
my NEW office/sewing room/work space.

Here's a reminder of what this room was like
when I started the renovations.
It's the downstairs bedroom,
to the left of the front door when 
you enter the house.

A look at the plaster
walls after the wallpaper
was stripped away.
The walls in this room were
in fairly good shape and
the crown molding was already there.

Looking in from the entrance at the front door.

 This is the view from my desk 
to the front outside.
There's a pretty little cottage style
garden just outside the window
which has been in bloom with 
different flowers since I've been here.

My old corner desk fit nicely into one corner of the room.
Can you see my sheep lamp on the side?

Isn't this a great lamp?
Particularly for me?

Before I moved I did a bit of
tweaking to my work table.
I chalk painted the bottom and legs.
I also put extenders at the bottom of each leg,
boosting the table up about six inches.
Since I do most of my fabric cutting here,
it's much easier on my back.

The extra height also provides a bit more 
storage for underneath the table.

The bins underneath roll out 
and their tops make a great storage space
for shipping bags.

The secret to this room
is using every available square inch of space.

So the space behind the door
has become a mini closet,
storing yarn.

Speaking of using every inch of space...
behind this closet door... a craft closet to die for!

The shelves were already there,
so I didn't have to do a thing
except fill them up.
This was meant to be!

This white wicker chest with shelves,
first came to live with me 
as a chest for my daughter Kate,
as a newborn.
Then it became a storage chest 
in a bathroom at my next house.

Now it has become storage
for trays of color coordinated yarns.

Remember this chalk painted wardrobe 
from a previous post

It has made the move and now lives
in my workroom.
It provides "storage"
for some of my favorite baskets...

Not to mention a bit of fabric!

Daisy's new bedroom is also
quartered here.
Do you spy it beside my desk?

She particularly likes having her space
in the same place I spend most of my time!

Although she doesn't look it,
she's quite happy at her new home.
As I am too!

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