Wow, the last month went by quickly! It’s time for Fly on the Wall again – a chance for you to see what’s really going on in the homes of 13 bloggers when they think no one is looking. As a fly on the wall in our homes, you’ll be privy to the dirt (in my case, figurative and literal) that others never see. Quick…someone’s getting ready to open the door. Get ready to zip inside!
Babies – we have babies! Out of ten eggs under our broody hen, seven hatched. And you, my little fly friend, are missing a huge opportunity. The brooder box is very fragrant right now, because Mama gets really annoyed when I try to clean it out!
Six are little Buff Orpingtons, but one was a green egg, which makes it half Buff and half Araucana. The little misfit has sergeant stripes on its wings – so cute! Can’t play with them because Hoochie Mama freaks out and stomps all over them, trying to scoot them under her wings. Wish they could stay little and cute. And oh, I wish they could all be girls, since roos will
get nuked go to “Freezer Boot Camp” this Fall.
Speaking of chickens, I just have to tell you…cleaning out the coop is a BIG job. I shoveled it out last time, so The Man got the duty this time. You’re a fly, right? So you’d probably feel right at home buzzing around this guy:
I’m a ham. I have many humiliating examples I can produce to prove this, but believe me…it’s a fact. So when I was asked to be the “Zonk” for our “Let’s Make a Deal” tea for Homemaker’s Club, I was very pleased to put on my flowered dress and dorky hat, and – padded from boobs to bum, with front tooth blacked out – become “Daisy May.” I don’t know why anyone chose what was behind the curtain, because it was usually me, in a housedress sweeping dirt under a rug with (fake) cigarette hanging from my mouth, pruning a dead tree (and sharing some of my wine with it), in a lounge chair at the “beach” in my mumu, or playing “Clementine” on the guitar. Fun times!
I settled on “Clementine” because everyone knows that song, and I wanted them to sing along. But I also realized the my father had left me a real legacy when he sang songs to us around the campfire; I have a lot of “hillbilly” type songs filed away in my brain. Some of them start with catchy lyrics like “There’s a pappy at the gate with a loaded 38” and “Slap her down again, Pa – slap her down again.” It made me sad, made me smile, and made me wish I’d taught these old songs to my children. I guess that’s what grandchildren are for!
You were hanging out here during the 10th annual World Naked Gardening Day. Did you see anything interesting? Uh…no. Huh uh. I have been known to weed topless in the back garden just because it feels awesome and no one can see me, but naked is too scary. Yikes.
Gardening did get done, however. The beautiful weather led to hopes of an early Summer. We have a short season (usually can’t plant most things until Memorial Day) so this was very exciting. Many things went into the dirt with high hopes and crossed fingers. Just in case you’re curious, THIS is what my arm looks like when I take my gardening gloves off!
So just when I was feeling hopeful, THIS happened.
Bet you’re glad you were safely stuck to my wall, huh? We had five minutes of heavy rain and hail at the same time, blowing sideways at what I would determine was hurricane force. Accompanied by thunder, lightning, and barking dogs. Seriously scary stuff. There will probably be no fruit in our little orchard this year – the stupid hail tore off blossoms and some of the new leaves. Other than that, most of the newly planted garden wasn’t affected. Except for some of the strawberries. And the celery. And the basil.
“He Who Shall Not Be Named On Facebook” was here for a brief visit. I love my son, but the butthead has a real fascination with letting our yellow lab on the couch and petting him vigorously – with fur flying everywhere. He made a modest attempt at scooping some of it up this time (for a change) but instead of putting it in the garbage he made poor Otis a toupee and laughed uproariously. Idiot. Don’t tell him, but I know what he’s getting for Christmas. I’m brushing Otis regularly and saving all his hair, and I’m going to make him a pillow! I think that’s only fair.
Yesterday was another ladies’ luncheon. There was a cake baking contest and my S’mores cake took first place. Did I mention that only three of us entered? Still…it’s a yummy cake, and worth posting a recipe. For the 3 layer version, you can go to my original post at Yummy Northwest S’mores Cake
|S'mores Cake|| |
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I used peanut oil)
- 1 cup hot coffee
- 1 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 recipe Graham Cracker Layer
- 1 recipe Chocolate Ganache
- 1 recipe Marshmallow Frosting
- Make one recipe Graham Cracker Layer (see below)
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans. (I use parchment on the bottom of the pan and spray it and the sides of the pan with Baker's Joy.)
- Divide the graham cracker mixture evenly into both pans, reserving 2 tablespoons for decorating the cake if desired. Press firmly.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
- Add oil, coffee and milk and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat for 2 more minutes. Expect the batter to be thin.
- Pour into prepared pans. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
- ***While cake is baking, make your ganache! See below for the recipe.***
- Cool in pans on racks for 15 minutes and then turn out and cool completely on racks.
- To assemble, place one cake on a plate or cake board, graham cracker side up. Spread with ganache. Place the second layer over the first, graham cracker side down. Frost sides with ganache and pipe around the top and bottom.
- Fill the top with marshmallow frosting (see recipe below) and sprinkle with reserved graham cracker mixture.
- Decorate with marshmallows, Hershey bars, and pieces of graham cracker if you wish.
GRAHAM CRACKER LAYER
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl
16 ounces good quality dark chocolate (don’t use chocolate chips!)
2 cups whipping cream, preferably ultra-pasteurized
Chop chocolate into very small pieces and place in a medium bowl.
Heat cream in a small pan until it just begins to boil, and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and then stir gently until blended.
Let the ganache sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to spreading consistency. This will probably take at least 2 hours. The longer it sits the thicker it gets! If it gets too thick, you can place the bowl in a larger bowl of warm water and stir gently. Don’t ever add liquids to ganache!
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
In medium bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and vanilla at medium speed until foamy.
Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed until soft peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring corn syrup just to a boil. Holding the pan high above the egg mixture, pour in a very thin stream, beating at highest speed until frosting is thick.
If you make this ahead, keep it lightly covered until needed.
I actually left for the luncheon with an almost clean kitchen. Unheard of. Usually I cover every surface with dishes and pans, but I made a valiant effort to clean up after myself this time. Of course, there were those pesky chocolate cake batter spatters from cupboard to floor, and a few assorted bowls and measuring cups, but all in all it was amazing, since I was finishing the cake and baking croissants at 5:30 AM. BEFORE COFFEE! A tidy kitchen made for a more pleasant homecoming after the luncheon, but spoiled my whole “look at what a freakin’ mess I make” photo shoot idea. Next time!
I’ll leave you with these “before” and “after” action shots of The Man:
Well…if you hurry into the kitchen there are probably still some sticky bits on the countertop for your pleasure. Oh, who am I kidding? There’s no rush; it’s not going to get cleaned until tomorrow anyhow. When you’re through, please buzz over to these other blogs and check out what THEY have on THEIR counters.
Baking In a Tornado
Stacy Sews and Schools
Just a Little Nutty
The Sadder But Wiser Girl
Follow Me Home
Moore Organized Mayhem
Tiny Steps Mommy
Spatulas on Parade
Mom Rants and Comfy Pants