Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Flowers, Lunch, Tea & A Bunny

Yesterday was such a great day!  My cousins Melanie and Sharlene and Aunt Trish came over for lunch and we had the best visit!  Sharlene is due to have a baby girl in August so I was thrilled to pass along some things to her that Sydney had outgrown.  To thank me, she brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers, they brightened up my kitchen and my day!  I love Stargazer lilies, this bouquet had one fully opened and three more ready to bloom, so beautiful!

My Aunt had recently been in Burns Lake, the town where I grew up.  When she was there she ran into my best friend Brandie and mentioned that she was coming to see me.  Brandie, being the amazing person that she is, got a little package together for me and sent it down with my aunt so I got a lovely surprise gift from her when the girls arrived for lunch yesterday! 

Brandie sent a beautiful pottery dragonfly mug and Black Forest tea from the Driftwood Pottery studio in Burns Lake for me and the sweetest little stuffed bunny made with real wool for Sydney.  She loved it, it's the perfect size for her to tote around!  I had three cups of tea today in my new mug and thought of (and missed!) Brandie every time! 

I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful life-long friend in Brandie and wonderful cousins and Aunt!  Am looking forward to adding to the girls club with the addition of Sharlene's new baby in August!


I love lilacs.  When I was a little girl my Grandma had a lilac tree in her front yard and every year we would wait in anticipation for it to bloom just so that we could smell the fragrant blooms!

The summer before Sydney was born we planted a lilac bush in our garden.  I've always thought of it as Sydney's plant and, like her, it grows more beautiful each year.  This year is the best yet with about twenty blooms!  Lilacs only bloom once a year, usually around Mother's Day here in Vancouver but with our unseasonably cold and wet spring they are just now blooming, about three weeks behind schedule!  Aren't they beautiful?

I even cut a bouquet for my kitchen one evening and when we come downstairs in the morning we were greeted with the most amazing smell!  Welcome Spring!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Lemon Loaf

Recently I have been reading a lot of 'Mommy Blogs' and have been inspired to start my own as an e-diary of sorts of my days with Sydney and the sweet, simple pleasures that make this time of my life so amazing.

One of the things that I love the most about being a stay-at-home Mom is that I have the luxury of connecting with friends during the day when I would otherwise be stuck in an office!  The other day I went to my friend Sally's for tea and she served the most amazing lemon loaf from Butter Bakery, one of our favorite little shops in Dunbar.

I couldn't stop thinking about it once I got home so I searched through my dozens of cookbooks for a simple recipe and made one myself!  It was simple deliciousness!  I love how the pan is dusted with sugar to keep the loaf from sticking!  It was so yummy and didn't last long in my house!

Here's the recipe if you want to try it yourself, it's from Martha Stewart Living, April 2005 edition:

Glazed Lemon Loaf

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, plus more for dusting
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus finely grated zest of 2 lemons, plus more zest for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a 9"x5" loaf pan.  Dust with sugar and tap out excess, set aside.  Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.  Stir together 1 tablespoon lemon juice and the milk.  Put butter and 3/4 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix until pale and fluffy, about 2  minutes.  Mix in eggs and zest.  Working in two batches, alternate mixing in flour mixture and milk mixture.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.  Upon removing cake from oven, immediately brush with lemon glaze.  Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes.  Unmold cake.  Brush remaining glaze on top.  Garnish with zest.