Hi Everyone! Between WILLARD (which starts going out this morning and finishes Wednesday night) and this post, I think I’m going to wear you out! But in the Willard I promised you a recipe, I promised “make-up gifts.” (Too long since last Willard, should call them welcome-back gifts). But first, we need MUSICA . . . and I need to show you what my dad, better known as “Blog Daddy” and his darling wife Jeannie sent us for Easter.
Is that cute or what? I get the bunny with the bow and I’m seven again. It’s got green peeps, it’s filled with those little chocolate eggs with the thin crispy crust and my favorite dark chocolate-covered coconut bars. Thanks Dad, thanks Jeannie! There’s me and Blog Daddy → . . . Such a cute surprise! (We were so young!)
I hope Easter weekend was as beautiful where you are as it was here! We’ve been getting amazing doses (as in medicine) of spring, drinking it in, making it almost impossible to stay inside, stay home, stay down. We want OUT! We pop this music into the player and off we go…
The island is coming alive and it’s fun to drive around and look at it. You can see we are still waiting for leaves on the trees, but the air is filled with the sweet smell of thawing earth, the light is new, and the sailboats are coming back. It’s perfect timing . . . Happy Earth Day! It’s today! Pretty smart of the powers-that-be to tuck Earth Day into this beautiful time of year! For extra enjoyment, for frosting on the spring cake . . . Check out the Washington DC Cherry Trees in bloom! They will put a song in your heart.
And now, here’s the recipe for the cake I wrote about in Willard, an old-fashioned lemon-filled sponge cake, soft as a baby’s hiney, perfect for spring birthdays, and gorgeous as a Mother’s Day Tea Cake.
And since I made this cake for Easter, I thought I’d show you just how easy it is to put together. Making this roll is much easier than you might think if you haven’t done it before.
So set your oven for 375° and here we go . . .
Butter a 10″ x 15″ cookie sheet that has a rim (jelly roll pan), then lay down a piece of waxed paper (allowing it to go over edge), smooth it into the corners and into the butter, and then butter the paper too.
Put the yolks of three eggs in one bowl and the whites in another.
Beat egg yolks a little bit then add a cup of sugar and . . .
Beat them until they’re thick and lemon colored . . .
Sift a cup of flour together with salt and baking powder . . . (don’t worry I’ll give measurements at the end)…
And stir it in to your batter along with six tablespoons of hot water . . .
Beat the egg whites until stiff and glossy.
While you’re doing that take a peek outside . . . oh, my, what a DAY!
And LOOK!!! I begin calling for Joe . . . we have robins by the herds, we have gaggles of cardinals, whole families ~ (not that I will ever take them for granted), but see that bird on the right? We never see that bird. ever. Got out the bird book where we find out it usually likes woods and thickets. This is our driveway . . . he is a “rose-breasted grosbeak.”
We ooh and aaah over him for a few minutes . . . He must have spring fever, coming over for some dessert seeds.
OK, that was nice, but back to “work” ~ folding in the egg whites . . .
And then the zest of one lemon . . . Now spread the batter evenly on your well-buttered cookie sheet and put into oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
While it’s baking, lay out a clean dishtowel and sift over a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
When the cake is done, and wafting fresh cake fragrance to the neighborhood, bring it out of the oven and use the edges of the waxed paper to turn it out onto your powdered-sugar covered cloth . . .
Voila! While still hot, carefully peel off the paper. Then take a pair of sharp scissors and cut off the crispy edges of the cake all the way around . . .
You can eat those crispy edges immediately, but from experience, if you eat them all now, you’ll have nothing to dip in the lemon filling you’re about to make. Just sayin’ . . .
Now, using the dishtowel begin to roll up the cake. It’s fairly malleable while it’s hot so you can make a nice roll, just pull out the towel as you go . . .
Once it’s all rolled, just leave it there and let it cool while you make the filling. Essentially it’s in training now to be a roll.
LEMON FILLING: In the top part of a double boiler, put two whole eggs, a cup of sugar, the grated rind of two lemons . . .
The fresh juice of two lemons and two tablespoons of melted butter.
Pour the juice into the double boiler through a fine sieve if your lemons are like mine and filled with seeds. Stir over simmering water for fifteen minutes until the filling is thick. Cool slightly. (Más MUSICA Girlfriends?)
Then it’s time to unroll your cake; carefully peel it open until it’s flat ~ it goes very easily . . .
Pour over the lemon filling and spread it almost to the edges, but leave it thick in the middle. (Don’t forget to save a little bit of filling to dip your cake clippings in if you have any left.)
Roll the cake back up, not TOO tightly, because you want the lemon filling to stay inside. I roll and lift the cake a bit as I go so as to keep the lemon from squeezing out the sides. Move the cake to an oval serving plate.
Sift over a little more powdered sugar ~ the cake is beautiful, but I decide it needs a little Easter decoration . . . so I run outside to pick some of my pretty yellow (non-toxic) forsythia flowers . . . any excuse to go outside is a good thing.
And voila! Like little butterflies. Your cake would be just as pretty with wild violets, pansies, johnny jump-ups, or roses . .
Now, soak the dishes, while you’re at it, notice the guy in the garden . . . that really good guy in the garden? Doing the aphrodisiac-thing women love?
Mulching and getting everything ready . . .♥
Go ask him if he would like a piece of Lemon Cake . . . Tell him you will bring it and he can eat it in the garden.
He deserves this . . . tender soft sugary cake with the most lemony of lemon fillings . . .
And while you’re out there, find reasons to stay . . . Hang up your bird houses . . . because you LOVE the serenade of birds in love . . .
Go take a picture of your old bunny crossing sign … take note of good mulchy dirt . . .
Give up looking for more to do and go on a walk! Such an amazingly gorgeous weekend.
Remember these Jingle Shells I found on the beach . . .?
. . . and then arranged on my window sill?
Well, one of our Girlfriends mentioned how much she would like to have some of these genuine Martha’s Vineyard jingle shells . . . so yesterday, out on our walk, I collected these . . .
And I put them in this Emma Bridgewater tin as a surprise . . . because I thought they might be a fun giveaway for spring, to celebrate the change of season, a box from the sea.♥
Jack agreed. I tied the box up in a little bag. Then I thought maybe not everyone wants shells, but I bet everyone would love an original 1900 copy of the wonderful “Elizabeth and Her German Garden,” the first book written by one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth von Arnim (she also wrote “Enchanted April” which you would love if you haven’t already read it). So I added that . . . Look at the beautiful raggedy edges on the pages of this old book . . . (Of course, If I’m doing anything different at all, Jack is immediately involved. He has an inquiring mind that wants to KNOW.)
So I put them together and thought, that looks nice, but something is missing . . .
A Fine Romance! Yes, must have that in the package. I hope you like it! I’ll sign my book and the Elizabeth book to whomever wins the drawing . . . All you have to do to be entered is leave a comment; right here at the bottom of this post you’ll see the tiny letters “comment” ~ click there and say anything sweet and you’ll be entered.
But is that enough when it’s been almost a year since your last Willard? Don’t you owe the Girlfriends something else? Maybe not “owe” but “wish to give?” Oui! I think so! So Vanna will choose TWO names this time, and the second name drawn will get these two Keepsake books (guided “life story” journals with lined paper, places for photos, sewn-in ribbon bookmarks ~ and lots of fun questions to be answered in their own handwriting by mom’s, grandma’s, aunts, sisters), more Mother’s Day festivities! xoxo We are starting early because we know that the best way to remember Mother’s Day is to forget it once, but we never want that to happen!♥
Here’s the recipe Girlfriends!
- 3 eggs, separated in two lg. bowls
- 1 c. sugar
- 6 Tbsp. hot water
- 1 c. sifted unbleached flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- grated rind of one lemon (zest)
- sifted powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter a 10″ x 15″ cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, one with a rim. Line it with waxed paper leaving some to hang over edges (an inch is fine). Set pan aside. Separate eggs into two large bowls. Beat egg yolks, add sugar and beat until thick and lemon-colored. Stir in hot water and dry ingredients. Beat egg whites with electric beater until stiff; gently fold into egg batter. Fold in grated rind. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake 12-15 min.
Immediately turn finished cake onto clean dishtowel lightly covered with sifted powdered sugar. Carefully peel off waxed paper. With sharp scissors, cut off the crisp edges of the cake. Using the cloth, roll up cake pulling out cloth as you go. Leave it covered and rolled, set it aside to cool while you make the filling.
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- zest and juice of 2 lemons (strained if necessary, no seeds please)
Put all ingredients into top part of double boiler. Beat well and stir til thick, approx. 15-20 min. Cool slightly.
Unroll the cake, spread on the filling, and roll back up. Cool completely. Transfer to serving dish. Sift over a tiny bit more powdered sugar. Add flowers if you like, edible and unsprayed, violets, pansies, roses, johnny jump ups. Here’s a list of edible flowers.
Now something everyone needs the week after Easter, a delicious recipe for:
These make the most delicious just-home-from-work treat, on the porch while you watch the green things growing. Which is what I hope you’re all doing these days, just as crazy with spring fever as we are. ♥ Deep breaths of the gorgeous outdoors, that’s the only “cure.”
Happy Spring, Girlfriends . . . I’m off to work on my book, my new addiction, a few hours every morning, trying to figure out what our heroine is going to do next (she seems to have a mind of her own) . . . housekeeping, gardening, normal life in the afternoon. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the seashells and books. Also, if you have any trouble with WILLARD, be sure to let me know. He goes to lots of addresses now, it takes a couple of days for them all to go out, but if you haven’t received him by Thursday morning, check your spam box (because I’ve heard he can take a detour) and then let me know . . . you can write either here, or on Twitter, or on FOSB (Facebook), and we will be paying attention!