Prince Snow Farm

5.27.2013

Remember

We headed to my parents today for
the annual Memorial Day Parade.

My parents recently had their front porch rebuilt.
It was perfect for a gathering of family 
and friends...and it is right on the parade route!


My dad flies his flag daily....but today it seemed especially
vibrant as it billowed in the breeze...


We ate bagels and drank coffee....and
chatted with friends (and students) as they passed...



The kids played catch while we waited for the parade to come by...






I had to take this one of my daughter on the back stairs...

and had to include one of me and my brother 
40 years ago or so on the same stairs....





This is Aurore's beautiful barn.
Some of you may remember my story about her here.


She inspired me 
through her beautiful gardens.


She let us keep our bunnies in this old chicken coop...


and let us play in this field.
Please keep her in your thoughts today...
 as she isn't feeling well.



This was the site of many
a baseball game...or hide-n'seek...
or tag...


Not easy to get this guy to stop and pose these days!



A day filled with family and friends...memories
 of those who have given their lives for us...memories of grandparents we have lost...
friends gone too early...

...a day to reflect

to reminisce...

to remember.



5.25.2013

Passion

As spring unfolds before my eyes
I feel a resurgence...

...the lilacs and lilies
greet us as we leave for work and as we return...



...the Allium's purple globe adds a pop
of color to a garden of fresh green leaves...


...the garlic is a foot tall...
reveling in the sunshine
after being covered
by winter's snowy white blanket....


...we have been planting and building...
this pea climbing structure was in process....
twine and another layer of bamboo were added....

...the Creeping Phlox
comes back again...ever faithful
at the foot of the white
Rose of Sharon topiary.


The Bleeding Heart 
is still going strong...
now surrounded by lush ferns...


....our lilacs succumbed to an impromptu
photo shoot during a moment's free time 
( the one of the week it seems....)


...then off to the neighbors ...


I made Dandelion Salve (surprised myself)
using this recipe from the Nerdy Farm Girl...a
new favorite site!


Last night we celebrated my dad's 81st birthday
with Chinese food at my parent's house.


I HAD to visit the double white Lilacs.


They are the most special
spring flower....

We attempted to propagate them, as they
are dwindling due
to a shady space... no luck.

We will try again perhaps.

What's your passion?

(All photos taken with my phone)


5.20.2013

Old-Fashioned Caramel Cake Squares (Gluten-Free)

If I had a Great Aunt Mabel, I am certain
I would have grown up eating these cake squares at
her kitchen table, with a chilled glass of milk straight from the
ice-box and Frank Sinatra or Judy Garland singing away in the background.


Well, I don't have a Great Aunt Mabel...but
I have several old recipe boxes spilling over with
recipes from Grandmothers and Great-Grandmothers....
recipes that can easily be converted 
to Gluten-Free goodies.

This particular recipe has been adapted from an old McCall's Magazine
yellow cake recipe folded and creased and covered with love.



I used Cup4Cup as a cup for cup flour replacement; however, you can 
use whatever gluten free flour
blend you are accustomed to using.
(Of course, regular white flour also works if you are not on a restricted diet).

I make the cake in a 9 x 12 brownie/cake pan,
let cool 'til firm,
cut into squares, arrange on a platter, and 
then drip the amazing caramel icing over the individual cake squares.
Simply Divine.
(Adjust the amount of liquid in your icing to fit the consistency you enjoy...less
liquid allows for spreading, more liquid allows for drizzling....with leftovers for 
"tast-testing" of course.)

Cake:

2- 2/3 c  Cup4Cup flour or king Arthur Flour Measure for Measure

1/2 t  salt

2-1/4 t  baking powder

1 c (2 sticks )  Unsalted Butter (I love Cabot's) softened

2 cups  superfine sugar 

4 large eggs (separate ahead of time)

1-1/2 t  pure vanilla extract (I have also made with almond extract or orange extract with orange frosting)

1 cup milk (I use whole milk)

Caramel Icing:

1- 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

3 T unsalted butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

Dash of Salt (no more than 1/8 t)

1/2 t pure vanilla extract

1 c confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
(I like to sift first to avoid lumps)

Preheat oven to 350˚
grease 9 x 12 pan and dust with rice flour or Cup4Cup

Cake Recipe:

Sift Cup4Cup/Measure for Measure, baking powder and salt over a bowl. Set to the side.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter. Gradually add sugar, continue mixing until fluffy.

Slowly add egg yolks. Beat well after each.

Add vanilla.

Mix in dry flour mixture a little at a time.

Mix in milk.

Using a hand-mixer, or a whisk, beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peaks form.

Fold into batter with a rubber spatula. Do not mix.

Pour mixture into greased, floured pan.

Cook 35-45 minutes (depending on pan type), until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool for 15-20 minutes or until cutting becomes easy.

Place squares on tray or on individual serving plates.

Icing:

Over medium -low heat, stir together brown sugar, butter, salt, and cream in a sturdy medium-sized pan.

Heat until just boiling, stirring constantly.

Shut off heat. Add vanilla and confectioner's sugar. Whisk until smooth. 

For a glazed look, immediately spoon over cake squares.

Enjoy!




5.13.2013

Brave


Sometimes in life we find
someone who inspires. 
Someone who fights 
through hardship with
grace and hope.


Someone who
takes what
she has been dealt, and
tries to help others
to understand, instead
of carrying self-pity or anger.


Our 9 year old is that person.
She has dealt with
since birth.
Violent vomiting
followed by days of life-altering vertigo.


She pushes through an 
episode every 80 days or so.
(We made it to 79 this time)

Then she picks up where
she left off....


...showing us all that
we need to embrace the
good times,
celebrate them.


She also deals
with her 
diagnosis of Celiac Disease
(unrelated to the CVS)
in such a mature manner.


Yesterday,
Mother's Day,
we went to watch a Mother's Day 5k
near our house.
This is C after 1 hour of sleep.
She is the one who encouraged us to go
to cheer on our friends.
Sit home and feel sorry? No way.
Rest? Not a chance!

Last night was another round.
Today she is
home from school resting, (as am I),
but it won't hold her back.
She has life to live.
She has people to inspire.
She is so brave.

5.07.2013

Almost

Almost. Soon. Any day now.

These are the words I have been hearing and
speaking for the past few weeks.


The Asiatic lilies will soon 
bud up in splendid reds and oranges...


The Lilacs are almost ready to open their vibrant purple buds...


The Maples will soon drop seeds from their chartreuse leaves...



The flock of ferns will soon unfurl and fill in this empty space...


The regal Daisies are bound to have snowy blossoms before you know it!


The Phlox is looking good!
Hopefully the butterflies will return to
its vibrant flowers.


The Limelight Hydrangea
is poking along....preparing
to shine
its glory upon our shade garden.


The raspberry canes
have been trimmed and are flourishing...bringing forth thoughts
of morning picked berries folded into fresh
whipped cream.



The Lupine is reaching for the sun,
ready to give us a pastel display that Monet would have yearned for....


The newly planted khol rabi
seems content in its new home....


The grass, in need of a mow,
announces its arrival in inches....
(and a broken tractor)



A few found turkey feathers
decorate a garden post....
a reminder that the babies will soon be
parading through
the yard.

The lavender
is slow to wake...after spending
much of the winter
blanketed in snow...



The Robins
are nesting
on their pale blue eggs,
bringing new life to the season....


Only a nature walk like this could
cause me to change my perspective.
"Perhaps," I now think, 
"Almost is Now."

I often find I am looking forward to what is to come:
spring, the garden, the flowers, summer vacation, the weekend, dinnertime.

When in reality, the moment is what has me enthralled, has me captivated,
pulls me by the hand. 

Emerson says it best:

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” 

Live for today. Enjoy the little moments.

❀❀❀







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