Hello Gentle Readers,
My Moonglow brughmansia came up two days ago! What a wonderful testament to the life of Spring and yes even Summer. I had given up on the two little guys and thought them dead but the sprouts poked up between the rocks in my zero scape. Once again the little leaves can reach for the sun and and try to thrive in the Southern Heat. I like to think that this gives me a point over the sandy and rather barren front yard.
Often we come across folk wisdom that is more right than one can say and this is very accurate with the science of air pressure behind it:
For June: Bats flying late in the evening the weather be fair but thunder is coming if the bird’s song is not there.
If I were a bat flying in the rain would be scary; I imagine it would be like seeing hundreds of parts of the sky just falling and none of it you can eat. Birds in general unless your a Junko do not like wet feathers so they quiet down before severe weather, I remember about two years ago there was a small tornado, more like just a down spout, but it hit about half a mile from my house. Besides having a Velcro puppy and two cats under couch cushions there was not a bird sound or stray squirrel to be had.
I would like to share a wonderful and older recipe with everyone that is amazingly easy to make and not too sugary. I tried it sceptically around Winter a while back and found it to be rather tasty. This cake is a lovely reminder of when sugar and spices were rare and a fine treat.
ELECTION DAY CAKE
Well before our country gained its independence, colonial housewives were making special cakes to celebrate the democratic ideals of their new homeland. This recipe has been adapted for modern kitchens.
Yield: Makes 12 to 16 servings
Cake and Icing
- 2 packages active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons each)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees to 115 degreesF)
- 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 1/2 cups sifted flour, divided
- 3/4 cup margarine or butter (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup raisins
- 2/3 cup currants
- 1/4 cup chopped citron (candied)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
- milk or cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
For Cake: In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast on the warm water; stir to dissolve. Add 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 1/2 cups flour and beat well by hand, or for 2 minutes with an electric mixer at medium speed. Cover and let rise in a warm place until bubbly, about 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, cream the margarine (or butter) and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside. Sift the remaining 3 cups of flour with the salt, cinnamon, cloves, mace, and nutmeg. When the yeast mixture is bubbly, add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar and beat well. Combine with the yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, beating with a spoon after each addition. Beat until smooth. Stir in the raisins, currants, citron, and nuts. Pour into a well-greased and -floured 10-inch tube pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 375°F for about 1 hour. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a rack to finish cooling. While slightly warm, spread with confectioners’ sugar icing.
For Icing: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar with enough milk to make a mixture of spreading consistency. Add the vanilla and salt and stir until smooth.
I also want to tell you about fun recipes for birds but woe be to any one who mixes the bird seed and suet with Election Day Cake. So there are other things for other days.
Soon the night will be alive with the glow of fire flies and soothing us with cooler breezes than the sun drenched day. Enjoy the stars as they share the darkness with the soft glowing moon. Try and find a peace with the shadows and remember that those little fire flies are reminding us that the star light wishes it could come out and play.