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Fun in the Kitchen and Other Things


I baked a lemon bundt cake this morning for my county fair entry, which I hope shall reach a mellow, not so loud, lemon tart flavor when the judges taste it this Wednesday afternoon. This cake has several firsts for me. It's the first time I've entered a cake in the fair, I tried a new recipe, and I experimented with the recipe twice (I wrote about the first attempt last month). I added a lot more lemon zest and a heaping measurement of sour cream to the recipe for more lemon flavor and less dryness. And, yes, I used a bundt pan this time.

Thank goodness that the Husband hung out in the kitchen while I was working on the cake.  He looked up things on Google: How many tablespoons equal 1/4 cup? How do I make lemon syrup? When do I douse the cake with lemon syrup? Which end of the bundt cake do I display (the Husband had it right—the bundt ridges must show)? and  How do I store the cake if I'm not serving it right away?

Sorry, no photo. The cake is nothing truly exciting to see. But, how about that photo above of Trinity River in Northern California?

I took the photo from the backside of Indian Creek Lodge where the Husband and I stayed when we were visiting the Trinity Alps area at the beginning of September. All that water you see in the foreground to the right wasn't there the day before. Lewiston Dam had been slowly releasing water for a local tribal boat dance ceremony that was to take place a day or so after we left.

The Trinity River watershed is huge. It was tamed by a huge earthfill dam in the early 1960s so the water could be diverted hundreds of miles away to irrigate the farmlands in the dry San Joaquin Valley.

Here's a photo of the trees above the river. It felt wonderful being among the trees. It's amazing how some people are ignorant about why we need trees to breathe.


CANNING SALSA
Good friend Missus H let me assist her with canning salsa last week. I wanted the experience of canning without the responsibility of making sure I haven't created a haven for botulism. Canning salsa with Missus H was easy and a lot of fun.

"Peel the tomatoes," Missus H said. I peeled the blanched tomatoes with a cute strawberry stem removal tool.

"Peel the jalapeños," she said, giving me a pair of non-latex gloves. I put on those gloves (no burning for me, thank you very much) and peeled the roasted jalapeños.

She showed me the recipe and gave me measuring tools to add spices to the simmering pot. I also stirred the pot from time to time. When the salsa was ready, I filled the sterilized jars after Missus H showed me how.


Missus H was on the mark when she predicted that we'd be done in three hours, from prepping the tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños to sterilizing the jars to processing the salsa jars in boiling water. My favorite part of the process was learning tips that only a person would know after decades of canning fruits and vegetables. Another favorite part was hearing the lids go pop! A sign of a happy jar of salsa safe to eat.

The salsa is yummy. Missus H sent me home with three of the seven jars we canned. The Husband and I are nearly halfway through one jar.

LOVE CAKE
In the last post I wrote about my mystery craft project for the county fair. Below is the final result. It looks like a cake, hence, I call it my love cake. I turned it in yesterday afternoon along with a bag made out of duct tape, a decoupaged rock, a wall hanging, and a pastel drawing. Pictures next week.

I'm sharing today's post with All Seasons and Mosaic Monday. Check them out after checking out the Love Cake.


Comments

  1. You love project is adorable! I like the river and the trees too.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I love how the Love Cake turned out.

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  2. I like the river but also the love cake!
    Enjoy your days....as you are actually doing all the time! ;)
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  3. Beautiful river and trees and as always, I love hearing about your life. Hope you did well at the fair with your lemon bundt cake. It sounds delicious!

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    1. Thanks, Carol. We'll go to the fair tomorrow. My knees will prevent me from hopping and jumping around like a 9 year old, but I certainly will in my head. :-) The cake turned out very lemony in flavor. I only had to bring half of it to the fair.

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    1. Thanks, Adam. I'll be sure to brag the results next week.

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  5. Your lemon cake sounds delicious - looking forward to hearing about the results. Canning food is very satisfactory. I made enough salsa to last the year this summer, and jams, as well. It's not difficult and it's so great when you have someone to help you and show you the way. Have a good week.

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    1. Canning is easy the way Mrs. H. made it, but, still, I prefer doing this activity with someone.

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  6. Your bundt cake sounds yummy. I love your creative ventures and wish you the best in the fair. I'm glad you are enjoying the salsa which I would stay away from since I don't like anything too hot. reading that you have to wear gloves is enopugh for me to say...nope:)

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    1. Thanks, Birgit. We'll learn the results tomorrow. You know I'll be bragging about it. :-) The salsa is mildly or medium hot, depending on the tongue and tolerance level of the eater. My tolerance level seems to have come back, probably not a good idea since some experts say spicy food may cause eczema to flare. I just got mine under control with a nonsteroid prescription.

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  7. YOU - so much fun! . . i think it's time for a local tribe lemon cake boogie. 🙂
    love & love, -g-

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    1. Oooh, a lemon cake boogie featuring trombone, accordion, congas, and cow bell!

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  8. I love that popping sound too. :) . . . I think it taps into something this time of the year that we are only a generation or two away from, (some of us even less) which is to make sure there's enough food stored to get us/family/whoever we are responsible for, through the coming winter and early spring.

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    1. Pop. Pop. Pop. With the year-round organic produce stands and farmer's markets in my area, I'm not inclined to preserve food for the winter like my parents did.. Except for tomatoes. We just bought 20 pounds which mostly got frozen whole. Some got cooked into a big pot of tomato soup today, some of which will go into the freezer, too.

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  9. My mother used to do canning. I think the boiling water takes care of the botulism. But I'd prefer to do it with the experienced canner, too.

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  10. Su-sieemac - "what the world needs now, is love, sweet love …" And you have given us some with your Love Cake. Hope it and your other entries at the fair earn you some ribbons! How lucky you are to have a canning expert that is willing to share her expertise. "A haven for botulism" - I laughed and laughed. Yep, that's something to avoid! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday, my friend!

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    1. Thanks, Angie. I'm glad you got a good laugh! lol

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  11. ...when I'm doing things I would be dead in the water without YouTube. You can learn how to do anything!

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    1. A YouTube for almost everything is amazing. I still remember when there was hardly anything on the Internet.

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  12. Wow, an explosion of baking and making here! Hope they liked your lemon cake at the fair. Never have mad salsa, but 3 hours. is not as long as I thought it would take. The Trinity lake is gorgeous, and it sound like it's in California? Many thanks also for showing your art piece for the fair. - you did quite a bit of work - good for you Susie! Thank you much for sharing with All Seasons, and have a fun Autumn week:) Thanks for accompanying me at the trip to Nevada::)

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    1. Thanks, Jesh! Trinity Lake is in Northern California, about an hour west of Redding. You might like that area. The Trinity Alps is to the west of Redding and Lassen National Park to the east of the City. Lake Shasta, to the north, is nearby too.

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  13. Love to look at all entries at fair. there a lot of talent people out there. I sure hope you have a chance to share some photos.
    Coffee is on

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    1. I saw some of the floral arrangements yesterday when I brought mind down. I saw a lot of creativity and imagination in the room. I'm looking forward to seeing everything tomorrow. Photos next week or so. :-)

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  14. How did you go with the lemon cake? We have stacks of lemons at the moment, and my family LOVE lemon meringue pie. A lodge by the lake sounds like a perfect getaway. Have a fabulous week and thank you for stopping by my blog this week.

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    1. I won't know the results of everything until tomorrow when we go to the fair. The only thing I didn't like about the lemon cake recipe was creaming the butter. Creaming butter is usually what stops me from baking cookies. I LOVE lemon meringue pie, too. I ought to try making one soon.

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  15. I hope you do well with your country fair entries, I love the love cake. As for baking and making, i'd prefer to sit where I can gaze at the gorgeous scenery in your first photo, it looks lovely there :)

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  16. The cake really does sound like a winner! I love anything made with lemon! I always loved making salsa with all the peppers and tomatoes from the garden. Makes your eyes water....and your mouth too! Enjoy your day!

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    1. Thanks, Lavender Dreamer! I had planned to enter lemon truffles, too. Next year.

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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