Monday, November 30, 2009

Dan's Birthday

This is why I refer to the time from mid-October through mid-January as the "Grand Celebratory Season": In addition to the holidays everyone else enjoys (or endures), we have 6 kids' birthdays (and both mine and my dearly beloved's, which we studiously ignore). #1 was my little guy's birthday. Dan is #2 in the list of fun and games here in our little corner of the world.

You may remember that a year or 2 ago, we got Dan a spare wheel for his '94 Caddy. All cars for at least the last quarter century have come with those absurd miniature spare tires, which are rated for a good 50 miles travel. This was a good excuse for a present, and it doubled as a seat.

This year, he wanted brakes for his pickup truck. That's easy to wrap: a check in a box.

His cake commemorated the truck. It was a buttermilk chocolate cake. It was gone in under an hour.
And this is how Thor spent the birthday party. I have stomped on the kids' habit of letting him shred wrapping paper and leave me a mess, so he slept upside down, all teeth showing.

And now, life is quiet, for the next 3 weeks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

2 turkeys totalling 34 pounds plus extra legs, stuffing, mashed white and sweet potatoes, creamed spinach, pizza tomatoes, pies and cakes are all long since memories. And I'm proud to say I lived through it.

I scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in 30 minute increments: 10 minutes on my feet, 20 minutes off. My kids laughed at my schedule, things like: "11AM: Pizza tomato topping." But it worked. the girls did all of the potato peeling, with a lot of supervision from friends, brothers and even a dog, who wasn't visible in this picture.
Dan is my master carver.

But I decorate the platter. I still believe things taste better if they're pretty.

Jeff set the table. He found it confusing, but he got through it nonetheless.

Our friend Greg brought sausage stuffing. Sadly, I discovered after I had taken some that it contained peppers, which I can't eat. That's not to say it was a bad thing that I planned ahead and lost 5 pounds BEFORE the holiday.
My table was full of family and friends, including the newlyweds from July.

The kids are all back at college, but will be home in 3 weeks. Meanwhile, I have 173 pictures from the weekend to enjoy.

Holiday love to all of you. Try not to let the Christmas shopping drive you to drink.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Thor and his people want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

Last year he sat next to Ryan, waiting patiently for his portion (which he does NOT get while sitting on the carpet).
See you in a few days.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Plans

16 people will be here. Another probable. 2 more maybes. Good thing I make sure there's plenty of food on the Thanksgiving table!

Thanksgiving Feast

2 turkeys, totalling 32 pounds, plus 4 extra drumsticks

(I call this "Chernobyl Turkey": each has 4 legs)
Sausage stuffing (our friend Greg will bring it)

Mashed potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes
Creamed spinach
Green Beans Almondine
Pizza Tomatoes (maybe)
Whole cranberry sauce
Jellied cranberry sauce (canned, of course)

Cuban Bread
French Bread
Family Pleaser Light Bread

2 pumpkin pies
Lemon Meringue pie
Chocolate Buttermilk cake
Carrot Cake

Snacks before dinner:

Deviled eggs
shrimp cocktail tray
Basil-parmesan crackers
Cranberry Bread

And, now, I must cook. No one is here to help at this time, but two more sons are somewhere near Chan's neck of the woods, barrelling up I-81 toward home, and they will be certain that their sisters are in the kitchen tomorrow.

And, this is my Thanksgiving dress.
You're seeing correctly. I never even got it cut out. Well, there's always next year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cottage Cheese Pie

I am still finalizing my Thanksgiving day ment (by which I'm sure you understand that I'm deciding how many desserts we "need"). Having decided to be smarter this year, I lost 5 pounds BEFORE this holiday week, which will let me pig out without feeling guilty! Woo Hoo! Way to plan ahead by a month!

I found this recipe in the Fanny Farmer cookbook, and it intrigued me. Of course, I adapted it a bit, and it was good. Chan, I'm posting it today especially for you, but everyone else should try it, too. Anything you can mix up simply using your food processor is a great thing indeed.


1 Crumb crust - use a deep dish crust, or it will overflow
1 pound (2 cups) cottage cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk
3 slightly beaten eggs
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F. Whirl the cottage cheese in the food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients in the order given. Pour into your crust, and bake for about an hour, until the center is firm. Cool completely before serving. If desired, top with canned pie filling (which is what I did), whipped cream or ice cream, or all of the above. The flavor is very similar to cheesecake, but it does appear to me that it has fewer calories. Always a bonus in my book!

Tomorrow, we'll have the Thanksgiving menu done. Tonight, I have to argue my little guy down from his position of "We're having three starches, so we need two meats, and I'm voting for roast beef." He's pretty hard headed.

Michelle, sharp eyes, noticing that Jeffrey got his hair cut off. I'm heartbroken. First, I want his hair instead of mine. Second, I'm disappointed that he succumbed to peer pressure and now looks just like everyone else. I thought I had one individualist in my crowd. And, the little boys thank you all for the condolences on the loss of their little piggy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving week menus

I'm still working out the details of Thursday, but here's what I'm doing this week:

Sunday (today)
2 oven stuffer roasters
"Party" rice
creamed spinach

mandarin oranges
Pullman bread
Cottage Cheese pie

Christmas fish (I'll tell you about it soon)
Christmas rice
Acorn squash
French bread
Chocolate Buttermilk cake

Penne with tomatoes and parsley
green beans almondine
Family Pleaser light bread
Brownie Tuesdays


Roast Beef
Rock Potatoes
Yellow or white cake

Find whatever you can (or, as Al Penwasser calls it, "Refrigerator Hunt"). I'll put it on the counter, reheated if necessary; good luck to all.

The last night all of the college kids will be home. I will muster all of my strength and think up something outstanding. I'll also have to bake each of them a loaf of cranberry or banana bread to take back to school. They'll be really eager to return in 2 or 3 weeks!

And, what post is complete without a picture of Thor and some of his college people?

Good and Bad Weekend

Jeff, Cass and Kellie came home Friday night, to great celebration, fanfare and hoopla. Being from this family means very enthusiastic greetings, and I'm exceedingly proud that all of my children are best friends. Thor, of course, is delirious with joy.

Sadly, on Saturday, Rusty the Guinea Pig died.
My little boys were, of course, very saddened by this, as were the girls. Patrick and Jeff were wonderful in helping to lay the poor little critter to rest. The surviving piggie, Cinnamon, is heartbroken. He's never been an only pig. Someone has had him out of his cage nearly continuously, because otherwise he mopes in a corner. I've not heard him squeak once since his buddy died. The little boys are doing their best to console him.

Hopefully, I'll get my week's menus posted later today, and Thanksgiving tomorrow. Then it's off to the loony bin as I race around here cooking like crazy. See you all later!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Easy Cobbler

We're heading tnto the busiest season of the year for most of us. I'm here to help you out on those occasions when you want to take a nice dessert to someone, but don't have a lot of time to accomplish it, or if you find out someone's "dropping by" and you want to offer something good.

I don't do a lot of cooking out of cans or boxes. Let's face it, cans are usually designed to feed 2 or 3 people (other than the giant #10 cans, which is the size I buy for canned fruit), so I could get myself a nice case of carpal tunnel syndrome opening 4 or 5 cans for one meal.
The exceptions are tomato paste, diced tomatoes and canned pie filling. This recipe uses the one you'd think most unlikely to live in my pantry, the canned pie filling (you remember me, the crust-phobic one, right?).


1 can pie filling (any fruit flavor)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 egg

Scoop the pie filling out of the can into a baking dish (I use the one that's about 7" x 10"). In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the dry crust ingredients. Stir in the butter and egg until well combined. Drop on top of the pie filling by tablespoonsful. It won't cover the whole top, but it thins out and spreads out. Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Serve with whipped cream (home made or store bought), ice cream or both!
And, for pity's sake, whatever you do, don't tell anyone how easy this was!

Here's one last drool inducing look. Don't blame me for the slobber on your monitor.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's Thorsday!

Thor's Mom had a screaming headache all day and night Wednesday; it's finally dissipating today. Thor and his friends had pizza last night, because I was so stupid with pain that I put the roast beef in the oven and went to bed without turning on the oven. They were all delighted. So that Thor's fans worldwide are not disappointed, here are a couple of pictures of our boy engaged in one of his favorite pastimes - playing with a rawhide bone. Happy Thorsday, Everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Crane in my Garden

...OK, so it was over my garden.

A section of well pipe rotted through last Thursday. Well driller said he could fix it Monday or Tuesday, unless I wanted to pay overtime for Saturday or Sunday. Um, no, thanks; the water's still running.

Sunday morning he called at 7AM, said he had a crew with nothing to do, and would I like my well fixed at standard rates Sunday, or did I want to wait until Tuesday? Do I look stupid?

Ryan was fascinated by the crane truck, and didn't realize the crane would be so tall - it's only lifting out 20' sections, after all (he forgot that the well's 420 feet deep), so he's the author of these lovely photos for you. And today Patrick's out mulching those leaves. No lawn fertilizer creating polluting runoff for the Chesapeake Bay in my little corner of the world!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Coloring Outside the Lines....

...or, I can't even make a stinkin' schedule right.

When I was a child, my most treasured possession was my box of 64 Crayolas. I colored the pictures, and drew more background around them as I felt necessary. Well, that's exactly what happened to Saturday night's dinner - the first night of the schedule! Argh!

I planned to make Cuban bread, and did. But I really hate all that salt, so I also decided it would be a great night to try out an oatmeal bread recipe I'd found. It was light, it was fluffy, it was wonderful; my dearly beloved didn't even try it, although the little boys raved about it. I did have Cuban bread left over, but no oatmeal bread.
The recipe is modified from the Farmer's bread cookbook I found at the used book sale back in April.


2/3 cup warm milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup quick cook oats
1/4 cup water

3 tsp yeast
2 cups flour
1 tbsp butter

In a 2 cup measuring pitcher, stir together the first 4 ingredients, and let them sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, put the water in your bread machine container or mixer bowl, sprinkle the yeast over top, add the flour and butter, then scrape the oat mix into it. Proceed as
with all other breads. Pour into a well greased loaf pan, and brush the top with 2 tbsp milk stirred with 1/2 tsp sugar. Let rise until doubled, bake at 375F for about 28 minutes, and let it cool a few minutes, because it will be much too soft to cut.

And, while we're in the messed-up schedule confession mode, I discovered last night that I had no turkey left. So, last night was changed to hm, and Thursday will be a chicken thing of some sort. I didn't really need indecision this week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Less than 2 Weeks to Go...

...and I need to think hard about Thanksgiving.

3 of the kids arrive from college Thursday and Friday, because they have the next week off, my 2 sons from South Carolina arrive Monday or Tuesday (They aren't all that good at planning), and the law school daughter flies in Wednesday at midnight.

So, I'd better get my brain firmly into planning mode instead of my normal "build the day around *this meat*" modus operandi. Here's what's on the schedule for my little corner of the world for the next 7 nights:

Saturday (today):
Chicken Wing Soup
Crusty Cuban Bread (at the insistence of my dearly beloved)

Turkey Breast
Whole cranberry sauce
Green beans almondine
Babylonian Bread
Cottage cheese pie (Fannie Farmer, this had better be good!)

Fish (create something new)
Rice (dream up something interesting)
salad (if Patrick gets ingredients)
Whole wheat Italian bread
buttermilk chocolate cake

Spatchcocked chicken
Heart attack potatoes
Pullman bread
Brownie Tuesdays

Roast beef
rock potatoes
glazed carrots
peas (boring, but I don't know what to do with them)
Italian potato bread
Walnut meringue squares

Sweet potatoes
creamed corn
Family Pleaser Light bread
Whatever cake strikes me

Mini Penne in red sauce
Italian bread

Friday, November 13, 2009

Crusty Cuban Bread

This comes from my very first bread machine cookbook, by Donna Rathmell German. You remember it, the one that's falling apart. The way I see it, the book is just handier this way. You just pick a page and take it with you (at least, if it's one of the first 30 or so).

1-1/2 cups water
4 cups flour
4 tsp gluten powder

2 tsp sugar
4 tsp salt
3 or 6 tsp yeast

Use 3 teaspoons yeast if you have plenty of time, or 6 tsp if you want your bread in an hour. Dissolve the yeast in the water, then follow your bread machine's instructions, or the ones I've written, accessed by that link over there ------------>
I formed this bread into 2 small round loaves. Mark was delighted by the wedges of bread. I doubt anyone noticed.

My dearly beloved really adores this bread. He even wanted it used for his toast this morning. As for me, well, I find it just too salty. Most of the boys really enjoy this one, too, so your salt taste buds will have to be the judge on this one!

Ryan is finally up and about; the prescriptions the doctor gave him for the flu (regular, not H1N1, so Patrick will have to stop oinking at him) have finally kicked in. Thor is happy, because both of his boys will now play with him and feed him. There may even be some romping in store for this weekend, if the sunshine holds up. I'm starting Thanksgiving menu planning this weekend. How about you? Excitement?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Thorsday Appetizer

You know my boy Ryan has been sick. So we haven't been doing much school work. And I feel my skills becoming a little rusty.

We have not been romping in the yard. And I need more romping.

This is what I've been doing. A lot.

Queen Bitty recently contacted me, and demanded that my human get that salad dressing recipe for her human. Really, for a 4 pound dog, she can be quite demanding. I prefer to get my way by charm. Now, over to my human for....

Marinated Artichoke Hearts

Thank you, Thor.

My dearly beloved loves artichokes. Steamed with drawn butter or marinated, the man adores artichokes. so, rather than pay the excess price for marinated artichokes, I long ago learned to simply buy cans of artichoke hearts, drain them well, quarter them and plop them into Italian salad dressing. My own dressing, of course.
And, for Duckie, here's a recipe for a great Italian dressing; feed it to Ben to your heart's content!


1/4 cup wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tsp finely minced onion
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder (more, if desired)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

1/2 cup salad oil (not olive oil)

Mix the onion and spices into the vinegar, shake well, and let it sit for at least an hour. Add the water and oil, shake and serve. Great on salads, it's also wonderful as a marinade, or poured over steak or chicken before grilling. You really need to let the spices soften up and mix with the vinegar to get the full effect, and the water will keep the vinegar fro
m making your eyeballs spin inside your head. Olive oil becomes rather viscous and unpourable in the refrigerator, thus I caution you against using it. This is another "Learn from my mistake!" moment. You can use white vinegar instead of wine vinegar, but look how pretty this is!

Happy Thorsday, everyone. Thor is hoping for healthy boys and no rain next week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Italian Potato Bread

This was the bread I served with my Chicken Wing Soup. Now, don't tell me there's no such thing as Italian Potato Bread. Just let me have my silly little creations!


1-1/2 cups water
3 tsp or 6 tsp yeast
3-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

4 tsp gluten
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Use 3 tsp if you have time to wait, or 6 tsp of yeast if you want your bread in an hour. Add the ingredients according to your bread machine directions, or mix following my suggestions (see link to the right), form into three baguettes, let rise, and bake at 375F for 17 to 20 minutes, depending upon how dark you want your crust.

My dearly beloved greatly enjoyed this bread. Indeed, he scolded me (just a little bit) for being stupid and making French bread the next night instead of making this again. Maybe that tells you something.

I noticed on the internet yesterday a headline that told me what I already knew: "Bread = Happy." Evidently, the thrust of this article is that a lack of complex carbohydrates makes people foul tempered. So, go ahead, make and eat bread!

And, since I've noticed that all of my bread pictures look fundamentally the same, here's my sorry effort to take a slightly different picture.

Happy Veteran's Day

My grandmother's grandfather's grandfather, Peter Beam, fought in the American Revolution. Since then, countless soldiers have offered their lives in service of our great country.

Many people protest the wars in which we're currently engaged. Whether their premise was true or faulty, and whether you agree with the premise and our presence there or not, soldiers from Peter Beam and his compatriots right up to Jennifer's husband, currently enlisted, have fought to give you the right to express your opinion. Political correctness threatens to stifle much of that freedom of speech, but it remains an impulse within us.

To Jennifer, and other families like hers, thank you for loving your soldier and supporting his decision to protect freedom here and abroad. To veterans of past wars, thank you for protecting the freedom that Peter Beam helped earn us. And to all of my bloggy friends and casual passers-by, have a wonderful day, and don't forget to contemplate the veterans who have given you the right to have a great (or terrible) day, and the soldiers who continue to help us keep it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Garden Tuesday: Color

The outside of my garden, with the burning bush peeking over the top of the wall, says everything we ever need to know about autumn: it's pretty!

Sadly, it's going to turn cold soon. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the last few days of pretty colors.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chicken Wing Soup

Saturday, Ryan relapsed, and Patrick took up sounding a little hoarse. Oh, no! Quick! Someone find me a surgical mask - I'll risk looking like Michael Jackson! Wait, no, I won't, either.

Anyway, with all those sickos in the house, chicken soup was a very obvious choice. You could do this in your crock pot, although I don't have one for two reasons: first, it occupies more counter space, and, second, they don't come in the 3 gallon size. Now, granted, I only made 2 gallons of soup here, but with everyone home? 3 gallons really doesn't cut it. The joys of a huge household!

Fair warning: You will be drooling during the four hours this simmers. You've been notified; please don't blame me!


8 chicken wings
12 cups water
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 medium potatoes, shredded
2 medium sweet potatoes, shredded

1/2 to 3/4 cup barley
1 to 2 tsp salt

Put the water, wings, onion, celery and carrots in the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook 2 hours. Add the shredded potatoes and sweet potatoes, and simmer another hour. Add the barley, and simmer another hour. Use tongs to fish out the bones, skin (which will by and large float to the surface) and cartilage. The potatoes and sweet potatoes virtually dissolve during their long simmering time, so no one should whine about potatoes not belonging in chicken soup. Serve with a nice crusty bread.

With only 5 people home this weekend, I had exactly 1-3/4 cups of this soup left. Yes, it's that good. Here's a closer look !

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cranberry Sauce

So, when you made two loaves of my Cranberry Sweet Potato bread, that left you with part of a bag of cranberries, and wondering what their purpose in life is. I'm here to help.


2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup cold water

Combine all 3 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes, until the berries pop. Cool and serve.

I normally prepare 3 bags at once for Thanksgiving dinner, so this was a tiny, simple batch. It was great with a small chicken dinner, and, of course, we had none left.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cranberry Sweet Potato Bread

All of the flavors of fall are right here in one little loaf: Cranberries, sweet potatoes and walnuts. So, Duckie, you need wait no longer. Ben will love this, and so will everyone else!


2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger

1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes

1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup cranberries, chopped after measuring
1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Stir together all of the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. Add the potato, eggs,
milk and butter and blend well. Stir in the cranberries and walnuts. Turn into a greased and floured loaf pan, and bake at 350F for 55 to 65 minutes. Makes 1 loaf.

Now, of course, I doubled this. And, of course, it was gone in 2 days, even without all of my big kids home. And since they heard about it from Patrick, they're whining that they want it when they come home. Well, I haven't begun Thanksgiving week menu planning yet, so there is plenty of time for requests.

And Pam will note that I've named this properly: with a list of ingredients!

Thor thanks all of you for the well wishes for his boy Ryan. Ryan seems to be improving, but they've spent 3 days now heavily involved in Thor's favorite activity: napping. And Thor's rather offended that Patrick is oinking at Ryan; I keep telling Patrick, "No! We can't have that here!"

Have a great weekend, everyone. It's supposed to be sunny, and maybe approach 60 degrees here, so Thor and the boys may get some romping time after all!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Faithful companion, Thor

Thor spent yesterday guarding his sick boy Ryan. He even brought his duck, in an effort to get Ryan to play.

I should never have let the fool go to the pumpkin patch party in the drizzle. Thankfully, we have our faithful companion to keep any eye on Ryan.

Happy Thorsday, everyone! I hope your faithful companions, canine and feline alike, are taking such good care of you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maple Delight

I found this recipe (sort of) in my late-50's vintage Ladies' Home Journal Cookbook. It wasn't supposed to be ice cream; it was supposed to be folded together when partially frozen, and finished in freezer trays. Yeah, I'm a rebel, disregarding frozen dessert rules. *sigh* Boring! I know; I've been told.

This is the kind of ice cream recipe Pam likes: no cooked custard base. Truth be told, I prefer not to have to think hours ahead to, "Gee, maybe I'd like some fresh ice cream in, oh, about 9 hours..." So I'm with Pam on this one; anyone else joining in?


1 cup pancake syrup (like Log Cabin) OR
1/2 cup pure maple syrup PLUS 1/2 cup corn syrup (which is what I used)
1 cup water
4 tbsp buttermilk powder OR 1 cup buttermilk and no water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream, whipped (makes about 2 cups)

Whisk together the syrup and buttermilk (or water and powder, which is what I used). Add the lemon juice. Meanwhile, whip the cream. Into the bowl of your ice cream maker place the whipped cream, then add the syrup/buttermilk blend with the machine running. Process according to the manufacturer's directions. Or, follow the original directions, freeze the syrup mix until it begins to crystallize, whisk it into the cream, and return to freezer.

Either way, this is a great treat. It's sweet enough, but with a nice tang to it. My kids were not overly thrilled with it, but my dearly beloved was. In fact, I served him a sundae made with this, 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup and a good handful of chopped walnuts
. He wanted more. I told him not to be piggy, because he'd want it another night, too. The only downside to this recipe is that it's a small batch. Feel free to double it. After all, as Pam has said on more than one occasion, Every season is Ice Cream season. Or something like that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Garden Tuesday: Yard

My leaves are falling off the trees. It appears to be a law that the majority of the leaves can still cling to the trees on October 31, but they had better hit the ground on November 1.
But a blue spruce is a wonderful thing; it retains a superb color year round!

And, another glimpse of my gate...the burning bushes are burning more fiercely!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake

While trolling through cookbooks for an outstanding "second birthday cake" for my baby (the first having been the traditional marble cake), I came across a recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Cake in my new old Fannie Farmer Cookbook. There are tons and more tons of new cookbooks out there filling specialty niches, but I'm convinced that the old fashioned (preferably 1950s to 1970s) compilations of recipes for all manner of foods remain the best. This recipe, even with my adaptations, proves me right.


1-2/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tbsp buttermilk powder

1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Stir together all of the dry ingredients. Beat in all of the wet ingredients. Beat 2 minutes. Pour into a greased 9x12 pan, and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 28 to 32 minutes. Frost with buttercream frosting, or whatever else floats your boat.

Of course, if you have real buttermilk, use it in place of the water and omit the buttermilk powder. I don't have real buttermilk, and no way to get it from my milkman or restaurant supply house. But if you don't believe me that this worked wonderfully, let me quote Patrick, my nearly 25 year old who is pathetically indifferent to food on his best day:

"This has got to be, without a doubt, the best cake I've ever had."

And since this is, without a doubt, the worst cake picture I've ever seen, you'll h
ave to take Patrick's word for it.