Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Chef Rick's Cake

All the way from Germany,
here's my brother Rick's
Hummingbird Cake,
his submission for our
Two things to note,
the German flags
the little hummingbird
hovering above the cake.

No one has a better sense of
humor and fun
than my brother Rick...

He actually sent me pictures of his cake weeks ago.
But because of the colored layers,
 the obvious fake hummingbird,
and knowing how much Rick 
likes to jack me around,
I failed to realize
THIS was his cake.
I asked him today,
"Why the colored layers?"
He says originally is was supposed to
represent the colors of the German flag,
black, red and yellow.
"Major fail," his words.

Rick used a fairly standard cake recipe.
It's the frosting that made his cake,
German Vanilla Butter Cream Custard Frosting.
The cake was "just okay."

This is an old picture of Rick,
but one of my favorites.
Love you Bro!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Porch Progress Report

Work on the new porch
has continued steadily all this week.

Remember last week when the old ceiling
had been removed and I mentioned
I played with the idea of leaving
the ceiling open with the rafters exposed?

After about two seconds I decided,
although I liked that look,
it really wasn't in the spirit of
the "cottage look" of my house.
So I continued with the original plan
of a bead board ceiling.
That has now been installed.
It will be painted white.

I love the look of the brick wall.

The porch is now completely exposed
and all the supporting posts are up.

To avoid future painting maintenance,
the posts have been wrapped with white aluminum.

The old vinyl siding was removed from
the eave of the roof line and covered
with a moisture barrier.
New vinyl has been installed 
at the top of the brick foundation.

This shot makes the porch look massive to me,
but it's really a fairly small one.
All in all, some good progress this week.
What's remaining is a final coat of ceiling paint,
fan installed and
the floor addressed 
(still considering that one).
Oh, and the screens need to be installed!

Hope your weekend is a good one!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nancy's Hummingbird Cake

There she is,
the proud baker,
my beautiful sister Nancy
and her cake for this year's

The cake looks wonderful
and Nancy reports it was "delish!"
She used the 1978 SOUTHERN LIVING 
magazine recipe.
Two things strike me as notable about Nancy's cake:
*it was baked in a toaster oven
(another story all by itself)
*she used 2 sticks of butter 
 2 boxes of confectioner's sugar
for the frosting.
You can read all about 
her cake here.

Excellent looking cake Nancy!
I can almost taste it!

Still waiting to hear from you 
about your cake.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Big Do'ins at the Cottage

When the initial renovations
on my little Cape Cod were finished,
I decided perhaps one big project 
a year would be manageable.
I have passed my one year anniversary
in the house
and the time has come
for this year's project.
See the small white addition
on the side of the house?

This addition was a small
paneled room just off my living room.

Since I have only used it for 
storage since moving into the house,
I have decided the space
will be much more usable to me
as a screened in porch.

After planning and discussing 
this project with
my contractor, Jim
since early this year,

the project finally got started this week.

Jim has been stripping 
away the inside paneling.

The above pictures 
are how the room/porch
looked at the end of Day One.

By the end of Day Two
the ceiling had been stripped away.
I excitedly "played" with the idea
of leaving it open.
More on that later.

My original plan was to leave this 
wall covered with the paneling
and paint it.

 But after seeing the exposed brick
once the ceiling was gone,
I decided I like the
idea of it rather than a painted wall.

By the end of Day Two
we were down to exposed studs.

On Day Three
Jim began removing the
vinyl siding from the outside 
of the addition.

I have a small black room on the side of my house!

Yesterday, on Day Four
the walls actually started 

By the end of the day,
everything was clad with plastic.

I have a plastic room on the side of my house!

We are now on the fifth day of the project
and I can hear Jim hammering
as I type.
I'll keep you informed how we progress...

In the meantime,
have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Hummingbird Cake Bake Off - Our First Submission!

Here it is!
The first entry into our

My sister in law, Pat has taken the plunge
and baked the first cake.
It was baked as a birthday cake
for her husband, my bother, Bill's birthday.

Pat used the recipe from 
by Anne Byrn.

One variation Pat made to the original recipe
was that she baked the cake in
a bundt pan,
rather than making a layer cake.
Pat's motive for the change
was to reduce the amount
of frosting needed to frost the cake.

According to Pat,
"Very moist,
very tasty."
And that,
"the birthday boy did not complain."

The cake looks great.
My thanks to Pat for being the first
to jump in and bake this cake.
I actually baked mine last night,
although it is not yet put together
and frosted.
That will happen tonight.
It will be served to my 
knitting group tomorrow
during our weekly get together.
Updates to follow!

I'm waiting to hear from you
about your hummingbird cake!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Another Birthday Post...and Other Ramblings

they just keep coming,
year after year!
What's to be done about that?

I have decided the very best
thing to do about birthdays
is to enjoy them.
No one that I know of...yet...
has figured out how to 
slow them down.

This time last year I was just moving into my new home.

What a year it's been!
Most of it has been very, very good.
Some of it has been difficult.
But overall it's been an lovely year for me.
I am even learning to do a little gardening!!!
The above pictures are from my yard.
I cannot take credit for the actual plants,
they were here before me.
But I am trying to maintain them,
and have been developing a few beds
into my own sensibilities.
No pictures to share just yet.
It's a process...

This year I have been trying to 
live with enthusiasm,
embrace simplicity,
and most of all, 
be joyful.
Some days I fall a bit short,
but others,
I am a raging success,
thanks to friends, new and old,
and family,
who help me laugh daily.

Some house changes are in my future.
I have a small paneled room just off my living room,
which I will soon be converting into 
a screened porch.
Just waiting for my contractor
to come and work his magic.
I will be sharing as it happens.

The 2018 Bake Off continues.
While celebrating our birthdays
in Knoxville last week,
(his is one day before mine)
M and I discovered this one 
in a small eatery.

Since I chose the Hummingbird Cake
as our "cake to bake" this year,
it seems to be popping up everywhere.
Please remember to share your 
pictures, recipe, and stories
if you make one,
and I will in turn share here.

My birthday flowers from M.
Perfect as usual.

Hoping your June is perfect too.
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