ooh.directory is “a collection of 2,018 blogs about every topic”. Pretty cool, and useful at a time when the major search engines seem to be totally whacked. And, my site is on it! Found out about it from Sam. ❤️ This led me in turn to its creator Phil Gyford’s personal site. Love it, talk about a personal repository!
All of the birthdays in our little family fall within a 15 day period in the middle of the summer. There was a lot of cake around for nearly a month. And then we went to the UK to visit family who kindly wanted to celebrate all of our birthdays, so we did it all over again.
Now, B asks for cake after nearly every meal, sometimes for breakfast. Obviously we’ve been trying to phase it out, explaining that there’s none left. But there have been enough times when he’s asked for it at random moments and it has been around. So there’s no way he’s going to chance not asking for it.
This was the conversation the other day at his Nana’s table during lunch.
“No buddy, there’s no cake.”
“… Happy bur-day?”
“No buddy, there’s no cake. It’s no one’s birthday.”
“…… Happy bur-day Nana?”
It had been my birthday, Sam’s birthday, and his birthday already. But we hadn’t celebrated Nana’s yet, so it was a logical ask to be fair.
I asked him what his favorite song was yesterday, and he started singing Happy Birthday. (This was 100% a ploy for cake, his actual favorite song is “Hey Jude” because he likes to yell the NAH NAH NAH part.)
He’s still getting over jet lag since we arrived back from the UK last weekend, lots of 5:30am-ish wake-ups. This morning, he wandered sleepily out of his bedroom to go use the potty and the first thing he said was, “Bur-day?”
I’m pretty sure he thinks he can manifest cake.
This is my Grandma Piper’s classic white frosting recipe that she always used on the family recipe for white layer cake. Her notes: “This frosting is super. It never hardens on the cake. BUT, it is only enough for sides and top. So must use a filling.” I just doubled it for B’s birthday cake and there was plenty left over.
I’d never heard of a frosting with a flour and milk base before so looked it up online. Apparently this is “ermine” frosting. I was sort of skeptical, but it is really, really nice. It’s not quite as sweet as a standard buttercream, and Grandma Piper is right. It stays so fluffy, it’s kind of crazy. It was super easy to spread even after it had been in the fridge (after it had come to room temp, of course).
Double the quantities if using it for the top, sides, and inside of this white layer cake recipe.
- In a saucepan, combine 5 T all purpose flour and 1 c (225 mL) milk, and cook until very thick. Whisk constantly! If you manage to avoid lumps, you won’t have to push it through a sieve later. Put it aside and let it cool completely.
- In a KitchenAid mixer or a large bowl with hand beaters, cream together 1 c (227 g) unsalted butter, 1 c (125 g) powdered sugar, and 1 t vanilla until white and fluffy.
- Add the 100% cooled milk mixture to the butter mixture and beat them together for around 10 minutes. At the end, the frosting should be lump-free and the consistency of thick whipped cream.
- If you still have lumps, push the frosting through a fine mesh sieve to get the majority out.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
It’s such a stereotype. But there really is a moment when suddenly they’re not a baby anymore.
You open up your phone to look for particular photo and notice it’s automatically made a memories album of your kid. So you click and watch, and realize you missed the moment, whenever that was. It’s a weird shock that seems so obvious, it’s like you didn’t get to say goodbye to a friend you always knew had to leave.
This recipe was in the cookbook that my Grandma Piper customized for me. This is apparently the cake that the Piper family always made for weddings (so my great-grandma’s recipe on my Grandpa’s side, I think), and my Grandma made it for birthday parties. I made this for the first time last week for B’s birthday party on the weekend.
It results in an exceptionally smooth batter, it almost feels a bit too fancy for a kid’s party. But it’s a lovely cake! It also stored well double-wrapped in the fridge for a few days before I iced it. I haven’t tried freezing this cake, but I think it would probably work nicely.
Grandma would have always used her KitchenAid, but it was no problem making this with handheld electric beaters. Her recipe didn’t specify salted or unsalted butter. I used salted and quite liked it. Likewise it didn’t specify the sugar. I’m almost certain she would have used granulated, but I used caster which worked fabulously. If you use caster, just make sure to go with the weight measurement, not cups.
Apparently this recipe makes 3 dozen cupcakes and you have to bake those for 25 minutes. But I’ve never tried it, and there is no more instruction from her on that.
Goes well with this classic white frosting recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 325F (165C).
- In a KitchenAid, or in a large bowl using electric hand beaters, cream together ⅔ c (150 g) butter and 2 c (400 g) granulated sugar until very smooth. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and beat until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, sift together 3 c (360 g) cake flour and 1 tbsp baking powder.
- With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in to the butter mixture alternating with 1½ c milk, blending after each addition. Do not overbeat.
- Butter and flour two eight-inch cake pans.
- In a separate bowl, beat together 4 egg whites until stiff but moist. Make sure that the beaters and bowl are very clean, any fat will prevent the egg whites from frothing up nicely.
- Fold the beaten egg whites in to the rest of the batter using a large metal spoon.
- Pour in equal parts in to your two prepared layer pans. Then bake at 325F (165C) for 10 minutes, and 25 minutes at 350F (175C).
- When done*, remove from the oven and let cool in their tins for about 10 minutes. Turn the layers out on to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before icing the layers or double-wrapping in cling film to refrigerate or freeze them. If storing, try to store them side-by-side to preserve height.
* This cake is sort of hard to tell when it’s done. When done, it will have picked up a little bit of color on top and should pull away from the sides of the pan slightly. If you listen to it you shouldn’t hear much crackling, and if you very lightly press the top, it shouldn’t feel like you pop too many bubbles.
This post by Peter Richardson is wild. I considered doing something like this a few years ago but A) the tech didn’t exist / wasn’t easily accessible, and B) I’ve been sort of afraid of how deep the rabbit hole is.
My favorite season as a kid was summer (obvi). Then autumn in my 20s, maybe because I actually started experiencing it then. Now it’s spring. You get all of the excitement and anticipation of summer without the humidity and mosquitos. Not sure it will ever be winter, but who knows.
I think it’s time to get in to macrame. The big girl version of my childhood friendship bracelet habit. F**k it, bring back friendship bracelets too!
My grandma’s cheesecake is truly the best around in my opinion, and it has been a huge hit on the extremely rare occasions I have made it for friends.
It is a little involved to make, you really need to follow the instructions and ingredients quite carefully in order for this to come out right. It takes about a whole afternoon and it’s best to let it chill in the fridge overnight, but it’s very worth it. Also worth the lactase pill, in my case. Can be made 1–2 days ahead of time.
I’ve included variations on the original recipe below because she included these variations in the cookbook she gave me. I’ve never made them myself though, not yet!