Things have been busy. Between selling our condo in the city and buying a house in the ‘farburbs’ (per my estimation, over a half-hour drive on both the Schuylkill and the PA turnpike warrants a more progressive term than ‘suburbs’), we managed to work in a Kentucky Derby party in Berks County, a Mother’s Day shared with two families, and a trip to New Orleans (did someone say crawfish?). I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed; plagued with nightmares of brown boxes, stubbed toes and squeezing in two settlements in one day. At least the food’s been enjoyable; take a look at a few highlights…
A Mint Julep for the Derby with fresh mint from Goshen View Organics in Goshen, PA:
I made a delicious and moist Honey Cake for Mother’s Day adapted from this Epicurious recipe — my version is below. I used local honey from Daniel’s Bee Farm in Port Treverton, PA, and Fruitwood Farms in Monroeville, NJ:
Beignets by Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter because, well, it’s just what you do when you’re in New Orleans:
It’s been an erratic schedule but as the calendar nears June, I welcome this eustress as it signals the beginning of a new life with J. Granted, it means I’m trading in the sturdy city pavement that has welcomed my sneaker-clad feet each morning and provided a short, walkable work and restaurant commute for years. Yet an ample yard of green grass (.3 acres of it thank-you-very-much) with a full deck, finished basement and walls that afford us some solitude and tranquility sound pretty darn good right now. (To this day, I question that any insulation at all lies within our condo walls.) And with ample kitchen counter space and cabinets to foster my hobby and creativity further, this nightmare’s looking more and more like a dream come true.
Adapted from Epicurious
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup honey
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup freshly brewed strong coffee, cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
Special equipment: a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan
- Put oven rack in middle position and pre-heat to 350°F. Oil loaf pan well and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
- Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk together honey, oil, and coffee in another bowl until well combined.
- Beat together eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add honey mixture and whiskey and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Finish mixing batter with a rubber spatula, scraping bottom of bowl.
- Pour batter into loaf pan (batter will be thin) and bake 30 minutes. Cover top loosely with foil and continue to bake until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes more. Cool on a rack 1 hour.
Cake keeps, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container, at room temperature 1 week.