Found this little guy on my roses yesterday as I was out cutting a few for a little vase in the kitchen.
Another gray, cool morning. I quite like it. Fixed myself a hot cup of tea this morning. We visited a new local farmer’s market Friday evening and I picked myself up a small jar of local honey. They had a few different shades you could try, and I ended up picking the lightest variety despite my love of the deeper shades. I thought it tasted citrus-like, but I’m pretty sure the booth owner thought I was a little crazy when I mentioned it.
The garden has been kind of a disaster this year. Again. Sigh. Almost all of our Roma tomatoes were hit with Blossom End Rot. Our other tomatoes aren’t doing so great, either. I’ve resorted to picking tomatoes early – at the first sign of their color turning – and letting them finish ripening in the window of our kitchen. Our corn has been smacked around this season by the storms so I’m not even sure what we’ll end up with – if we end up with anything. There are ears on the stalks, but I don’t know that they’ll be any good. The tomatillo is huge, but for all the blooms it put out there’s only about 1/4th of them that actually resulted in fruit.
Overall, I feel like this has just been a really underwhelming gardening year. Which is no surprise, really, considering the struggles everyone is having all over the country with the lack of rain and whatnot. I doubt I’ll get anything canned this year. Oh well. I’ll just have to start planning now for amending our soil this fall for next year’s garden in hopes that I can fix the issues.
The one thing I can seem to grow is weeds. The front flower bed has been a mess lately, but today it rewarded me with some pretty Pink Smartweed to cut for a vase. I do believe this is one plant I won’t be ripping out anytime soon – it’s too pretty to rip out. (If it’s too pretty to remove, does that make it a proper flower?)
73 degrees and perfectly cool outside. Almost feels like fall despite being August. I’m going to curl up on the patio and work on some of my knits for fall tonight with a beer and enjoy this small break from the summer heat.
I’ve had this bee in my bonnet lately over tiny cakes.
You see, I love cake like I love snow: It’s good for one day, and after that it needs to go away. Cake for a little celebration, whether it be a birthday or an anniversary or just as a special little treat, is fabulous. Cake the day after (or, as it happens around our house, for days and days and days) not so much. I just want my cake for the day and then I want it to go away. So, of course, I’ve been thinking a lot on baby cakes. Small little one-day affairs that are the perfect little treat, but don’t stick with you for longer than necessary. Bigger than a cupcake, but not so big as a regular-sized cake.
The universe and I were completely in sync today on this tiny cake thing. Out, I ventured, in search of something to bake tiny cakes in. And surprise! Tiny cake pans on clearance at Hobby Lobby! And, bonus, cute polka-dot plate – perfectly sized for a little cake – on the clearance shelf for $1!
I used what has become my favorite old-fashioned cake recipe and made a little 3-tier and decorated it special for my sister’s birthday (Just a silk flower stem, since my rose bushes aren’t doing so hot lately to put some pretty fresh flowers on, and a little decorative butterfly… I think, total, the stem and the butterfly cost me $5, but the butterflies were a pack of 6 so I have 5 left for future cakes). I didn’t have anything on hand to make frosting from scratch so I just used some plain frosting-in-a-can. Next time I’ll do Alicia’s Cloudburst Frosting, which is what I used on my own birthday cake last month and I definitely prefer it now to other frostings.
The tiny cake pans use so little batter, however, that I need to do a little math and figure out how to cut the recipe down. I think I only used about 1/2 cup or so of batter in each pan, and I had more than enough batter to make a single 8″ round cake AND I tried out one of my small glass Pyrex storage containers as a cake pan, too. So, essentially, I have 3 cakes out of one recipe. Which, now that I think about it, might not be such a huge deal – perhaps I should wrap the spares up well and freeze them for the next time I need a cake for a special occasion?
I really do need to plan a week-long camping trip one of these days. It always feels like we set up camp and then, in the blink of an eye, we’re tearing everything back down.
I opted, after much deliberation with myself, to take my phone with me. BUT! I shut it off immediately after I heard that my little furball was safetly at home with my niece and nephew for the weekend and didn’t turn it back on until we came home.
Instead of staring at my phone, checking my social media updates, etc I knit, read, and relaxed. I played card games with the boys and we watched the birds flutter around and we ate ridiculous amounts of delicious camp food. We even watched a movie Saturday night at the campground’s amphitheater (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – not something I would have picked but hey, it was free and close by!). It was absolute bliss not being connected all the time.
Here’s what highlighted my weekend:
A quiet haven in the woods // The teenager practicing his campfire skills // Card games instead of computers and phones // Delicious pizza sandwiches for dinner // A little bird watching at camp
Waking up to this never gets old // Being that person making bacon and coffee on the campfire for a change // Knitting and reading (why, yes, that is a Star Wars novel) // Taking a stroll through the woods // Foil packs for dinner