Tasting History: Birthday Cakes

This video caught my attention. It’s not my birthday, but I’d still try to make it.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 3 of the WuFlu Quarantine. Isn’t this a strange time? It is a sacrifice to stay in quarantine, even if it isn’t the same as running into a bomb shelter every night or surviving a nuclear bomb. Most of us will suffer great financial loss and a few will suffer the ultimate health loss. It’s not as bad as dystopian fiction makes such times out to be, but it is weird and harmful.

Work has continued and my team’s done a bang up job as we strive to be productive with so many constraints. I haven’t resorted to spending the day in pajamas or sleeping in. I’ve even managed to keep up with my Lenten resolve to give up red wine and chocolate, though I haven’t done the writing I hoped I would. I admit I’ve had chocolate a couple times, but I’ll just choose a couple days after Easter and the Monday after to make up for that.

After finishing The Hustler, I’ve now watched all the films I’ve gotten from the library. I own some DVDs I haven’t seen yet. I can go on to Kanopy, a streaming service from the library and see what they offer. In the past, I’ve had buffering issues with Kanopy. The library also has a service called Hoopla, but for some reason I’m having trouble exiting my defunct account via the library I worked for and changing over to my local library. Since we can pick up food for take out, I’m ready for library take out. Please?

I just started an online course on the U.S. Constitution, which is very high quality. It’s from Hillsdale and I like how it shows background information such as the state constitutions that influenced the national one. Each lesson is 30 minutes or so, which means I learn a lot without being deluged with information.


from pixabay.com

Inspired by watching Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship, I’ve decided to bake every week. My baking for the week was a pineapple upside down cake. I’d forgotten how tasty this old classic is. I used crushed pineapple and I think I liked that better than the rings. This week I’m toying with the idea of baking hot crossed buns.

It is a weird time. Not much going on and it’s impossible to plan anything. My nephew’s high school graduation was canceled. A niece who’s graduating college had her graduation postponed till August, which I think is wise. The school can’t count on a May date, yet these students deserve a ceremony. While they’ve all gone home, they can choose to return for a ceremony one weekend. Some may be in new cities working at new jobs, but I bet that number will be quite low.

The Musette: sinfully-rich brownies

I’m baking more and want to try these. I did give up chocolate for Lent so it’ll be a few weeks more before I do. Tomorrow I’m making pineapple-upside down cake. 

The richer a brownie is, the better it tastes. Most people would far rather have a fat finger of something truly decadent than a large square of what…

The Musette: sinfully-rich brownies

Cooking at the Library

I went to a Holiday Appetizers program at my library this week and learned some great tips. Let me share them:

  • When baking preheat the oven 50º higher than the oven says and then after your dish has been in the oven 10 minutes reset the temperature to the specified one. This counters the cold that gets into the oven when you’ve opened the door.
  • When baking a pie, it’s better to bake it on a jelly roll pan turned upside down.
  • Sunflower oil (80%) with extra virgin olive oil is better to cook with as it’s got a higher smoke point.
  • Don’t have guests bring appetizers as they may arrive late. Let them bring dessert.
  • The teacher suggested not serving appetizers first. She serves the meal 15 minutes after the start time, then people have time to talk or play games and after awhile have appetizers followed by dessert. (She seems big on games and activities.)
  • To avoid leaving platters at other hostesses homes, she either brings a white platter with an engraving on the back to give as a hostess gift or she brings her food in disposable packaging and borrows a platter or pan or from the hostess to use. That way she’s never in the midst of her own entertaining and realizing her platters or serving dishes are missing.
  • Before adding spices to a recipe, mix them with lemon juice or oil (that’s required by the recipe) to “wake them up.”

Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday 456 : 9 February 2019

The image above inspired me to find photos of people cooking. Here’s what I found.


Source: Library of Congress 

Pratt Institute Cooking Class, 1915. Preparing men to cook for the army and navy.


Source: California Historical Society, n.d.

Label, Virden’s Pure Lard.


National Library of Ireland, 1896

At Adar’s Bakehouse in Waterford, Ireland.


Source: Miami University Library, 1913

A domestic science class Ohio State Normal College.


Source: Florida Memory, 1949

At a round up.


Sepia Saturday

sepia baking

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt serves to inspire bloggers to find photos of baking. What a great subject!

I found several on Flickr Commons. If you want to see other blogger’s offerings, click here.

I can't resist old packaging

I can’t resist old packaging


In Wales (n.d.)

Source: Mennonite Church, USA, 1951

Source: Mennonite Church, USA, 1951


Word of the Week

pf cookie

Click image for link to recipe

pfeffernuss, n.‘ A small, round, sweet biscuit flavoured with spices such as ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, etc., and typically eaten during the Christmas season. Usu. in pl.’]

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈ(p)fɛfənʊs/, U.S. /ˈ(p)fɛfərˌnəs/
Inflections: Plural pfeffernüsse, pfeffernuesse, pfeffernusse, pfeffernussen.
Forms: 18– pfeffernuss, 19– peffernissen U.S. regional (Pennsylvania), plural, 19– pfeffernuß. Also as two words and with capital initial(s).
Etymology: < German Pfeffernuss gingerbread biscuit (1741 or earlier; < Pfeffer pepper n. + Nuss nut n.1). Compare Dutch pepernoot (1778), German regional (Low German) Pepernööt (plural), Danish pebernød (1710). Compare the earlier calque peppernut n.
In plural form peffernissen after Pennsylvania German pefferniss (plural peffernissen; compare German regional (Palatinate) Peffernuß, plural Pefferniß).
Chiefly U.S.
A small, round, sweet biscuit flavoured with spices such as ginger, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, etc., and typically eaten during the Christmas season. Usu. in pl.
1891 Los Angeles Times 22 Nov. 14 (advt.) Pfeffernusse and Lebkuchen at Jevne’s.
1928 E. E. Hoyt Consumption of Wealth viii. 76 A German woman moved into a small New England village, and in three years all the housewives were making pfeffernüsse at Christmas time.
1969 N.Y. Times 20 Dec. 24/1 For Christmas, baking and giving Bremen pfeffernusse—crisp, cinnamon-cardamom flavored rolled cookies—has been a tradition in the Luhrs home for generations.
1998 Christian Sci. Monitor (Electronic ed.) 24 Dec. 15 She would come down three flights, tousle my hair, and give me a Pfeffernuss.