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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter, Cupcake!


My grandson met the Easter Bunny for the first time!

I made cupcakes for Easter Dinner

Some tulips for the table

Monday, March 18, 2013

Very American Irish Soda Bread

 This recipe made a very generous, impressive-looking loaf of Irish Soda Bread.  It's a recipe adapted from Ina Garten and "retrieved" (whatever that means) from strudelandstreusel.com.  I have to say that I followed the recipe to the letter, except that, when I thought the dough was a bit dry, I added another splash of buttermilk, which made the dough quite wet (one of the secrets of a tender crumb).  I started with the paddle attachment to my mixer, then changed to the dough hook when the mixer motor began to strain.  Be gentle, over handling make a tough loaf.  Anyway, there wasn't a crumb left.  It's so good you may not want to wait another year.

4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsps. baking powder
1 1/2 tsps salt
2 tsps. caraway seeds
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 large egg (if you use extra large egg you may not need the extra buttermilk)
Grated zest from 1 lemon (only the yellow)
1 cup golden raisins tossed with 1 tablespoon flour (keeps them distributed through the loaf)
extra sugar for the top before baking

Combine dry ingredients (first six), add butter on low speed until well blended.
Lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, zest and slowly add to flour mixture.  Add the raisins last.
Knead on a well-floured board and shape into round loaf. You can smooth the top by folding the top and sides gently down around the loaf, like tucking in a blanket.  Cut an X on top with a sharp knife and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 375 degree, pre-heated oven (center rack) for 50 minutes.  Cool on cooking rack, serving warm or at room temperature.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Late Winter Morning

The beauty of winter enfolds us just for a morning,

Hemlocks bowing, robed in white icing that melts away in a day.
Spring awaits.