Sunday, November 13, 2016

Almost Second Week of November Post

Well, it's been 9 days this time.....not too bad for me.

We are finally having much cooler weather, even cooler than normal for November.  Several spotty frosts but still not a hard freeze.  I had left my pumpkin harvest buried on the ground amidst the ribbon grass or whatever it is.  I just threw a comforter over them.  I think they will be fine.

I took a short tour of the yard a few minutes ago.  It was lovely in the bright sunshine....didn't even wear a jacket.  The following are some pictures of the fall yard:

This is the cistern planter chock full of lemon thyme and chives. I have cut both back several times.  I need to harvest some for the freezer next.

This is the self-seeded parsley bed I planted about 4 years ago.  It keeps coming back and I am delighted.  I will cut some for the freezer very soon.

If I knew how I would delete the trash can......I  don't.  This is the whiskey barrel with more herbs.  Rosemary which needed to be lifted and brought inside, chocolate mint and oregano.   The purple sage does not taste the same and the regular one.  I will be looking for it next spring.
The above is a clump of white petunias that must be from Rainmaster I planted a couple of years ago.  However this one does not have the markings on the flowers.  I keep watching for seed pods but so far, haven't seen any.  Very curious.  At one time you could buy Rainmaster seeds then they began selling only the plants.  I haven't quite figured that out yet. 

The cooking isn't quite what it once was.  I am being diligent  about baking sweets since Max's HA.  I did bake this chocolate cake for our friend's family.  She is our daughter's age and broke some lower vertebrae  in her spine and damaged her  tail bone riding in some horse competition.  She is now home in a body brace and using a walker for  weeks...

This is my go to cake and the one our grandson and his friends always request.
It was painful not to cut a piece, but I resisted.  DH wanted me to bake one for us....I didn't. Here is the recipe with two icings.  Max prefers the chocolate. 
Fabulous Fudge Cake
(I call this the boys' cake made for Ry and his friends)

First made during January 2006 ice storm when Steve and family came down and cleaned up the yard of debris.

I iced it with ganache (recipe follow cake)

You will need: Regular flour, baking soda, butter,brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, unsweetened chocolate squares and sour cream.

2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ but butter
2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 (l oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1cup sour cream
1 cup boiling water.

Preheat Oven to 350°

Sift together dry ingredients in bowl and set aside

In large mixer bowl beat ½ cup butter and 2-1/2 cups brown sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each. Add vanilla and melted chocolate, mix and add ½ the sour cream and ½ the dry ingredients to butter mixture ; blend well.
Add remaining sour cream and dry ingredients to batter. Stir in boiling water

Bake in greased 9x13 pan for 35 minutes.

Cool and ice.


shopping: 8 oz. Semi-sweet or bittersweet choc chips, heavy whipping cream, butter

8 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate chips or bittersweet cut into pieces. I used good quality like Giardelli.
¾ cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
l tablespoon brandy (opt)

Place chocolate in medium stainless steel bowl; set aside.
Heat cream and butter in medium pan over medium heat. Bring just to the boil.
Immediately pour over chocolate and let stand 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. I sometimes
add a little brandy for flavor.

Ice cake
this same ganache can be used to make truffles. First chill the chocolate mix really well. Form into small balls with hands (very messy)Can roll in chopped nuts or rolled in powdered sugar.

Another icing that goes well the the cake is this:

½ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup milk
1-3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and boil about 2 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup milk and bring to a boil. Place pan in cold water and stir in confectioners sugar. Stir until smooth spread over warm cake.

I am still making our oatmeal bread though.

We have begun our round of doctors after the ER.  This last one was to a Primary Care doctor, listed as a follow-up ER appointment. I will not voice my opinion of all these intrusions into our private lives.  We are to see her again in 3 months (or not).  DH seems very willing this time to follow to the letter the new policies our health care is made up of.  It is his decision.  I am not in the system.......yet.

Have a  super week.


  1. That cake looks yummy! Wish I liked to cook like you do.

  2. I've never been able to over-winter parsley. I mulch it heavily each fall, but it refuses to come up again in the spring. (Poop.) Have you used the chocolate mint for anything? I keep seeing it in our nurseries for sale but have never tried it. Have to admit I laughed when you said Max asked you to bake another chocolate cake for him but you didn't . . . sometimes we just have to say no! (It's for his own good, but goldarn it's hard to pass up something like that, isn't it?)

    1. I grew this originally from seeds my sis gave me. I didn't know anything at all about growing it. I thought it was my cilantro self-seeding until my niece agreed with my sis it was the parsley. After a taste test I knew they were right. It is planted in a very rocky, area at the base of the cistern planter that I could barely dig in. It must like the location, faces east next to the brick edge of the cistern which must store some heat. You might try laying flat stones around the plants to absorb and store the heat.

  3. Good for DH following up on his heart condition and kudos to you for helping him stay on track. I know you love the baking, but needs must. You have so much late growth. We've had several hard freezes the past couple of days so all annuals have been pulled and perennials cut back. It looks so bare in the back without them - and the blue ash tree gone. Bereft and forlorn. I freeze my parsley in vacuum bags and they taste much better than when I used to dry them. Take care.

  4. All my annuals are finished and I want to get them removed before Thanksgiving. They are right by the drive and look very bad.

    Great idea about the vacuum bags.

    We have lost so many trees that I have finally gotten used to the bare look in many places. Between tornadoes and ice storms we have lost at least 5.

    Have a good week.