Sunday, July 22, 2012

Me & the Travelling Susan Apron had a blast. So here's what we made before saying "Good-bye".

In between chasing after two crazy, 10 month old cats at home and cat-sitting for clients, I still found the time to work some magic in the kitchen. Wearing the Travelling Susan Apron led me to memories of very special women in my life. That is the magic of this apron, it leads you. Thank goodness because I was pooped and needed to be led by the nose. I felt honoured to be amongst all the lovely women who have had the opportunity to wear the apron while baking or cooking something that was special and personal to them. While wearing the apron, I was instantly drawn to the memory of one of my mother's well-known loaf cakes.
It was so good, asked for often by anyone who had sampled it and an easy to make addition to a gab session over a hot cup of tea.
I believe my mom may have put this creation together herself because she just called it...
                              THE LOAF
1/4 cup butter
1 cup of white sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sour milk
(I add 1 tsp of vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 5 minutes)
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
In a separate bowl, combine 3 tbsp. of brown sugar with 1 tsp. of cinnamon..set aside.

Easy Peasy, here we go...

Cream together the butter, eggs & sugar. I always use brown organic eggs.
Mix well
Add the remaining ingredients ending with the vanilla

Add half of loaf to the pan. I line it with parchement paper.
Then add on top 1/2 of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Now add the rest of the mixture on top of the 1st half.
Add the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture
Now it is ready for the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour on middle rack.
See how nicely it rises. This one split at the top and you can see how nice and gold the cake is. It is definetely a loaf to share.

This loaf was so delicious with Strawberry Tea.

While making this and wearing this magical apron, I was once again in my mother's kitchen, my Aunt Vera's kitchen or my grandmother's summer kitchen listening to tales from their past and laughing 'til our sides hurt. Those are memories that, as an adult, I depend on to give me strength to face life's challenges sometimes. My granny, my mom, my dear Aunt Francis and my aunt/God-mother Aunt Vera. 4 strong, hard-working women who always loved and cared for their families. Aunt Francis is now 91 and still a very active woman and we cherish her so much. My grandmother, mom and Aunt Vera have passed on but they are still a strong presence in our lives. My mom, who's hand I feel on my shoulder when I need encouragement, who's voice I hear in my head when I need answers and who's face I see when I hear myself laugh. All these things give me strength and today, while wearing this wonderful apron I enjoyed some very special memories.

We have experienced some very hot weather lately which has kept me out of the kitchen so before I pass this apron on I decided to make a cool, summer treat for you. This was passed on by my mother-in-law, Mabel who is also a wonderful baker and the best mother-in-law/grandmother anyone could ask for.

                                                  Strawberry Swirl
This is one of those recipes set aside for a hot day when you need a light, cool dessert.
Here's what you need:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tbs surgar
1/4 cup butter
2 c strawberries (frozen or fresh)
1 3oz strawberry jello
1 cup water
1/2 lb marshmallows
1/2 cup milk
1 cup whipped whipping cream

Mix crumbs, sugar & butter and press into the bottom of a 9x13 dish. I don't have one so I used a 9x10 and it worked.
Sprinkle 2 tbs sugar over strawberries
Let stand 1/2 hour
Dissolve jello (only the hot water)
Drain strawberries and keep the juice
Add water to juice to make 1 cup.
Add to jello
Chill until partially set
Combine marshmallows and milk and heat and stir until melted
Cool and then fold in whipped cream
Add the berries to the partially chilled jello
Swirl into marshmallow mixture
Pour over crust
Chill to set (4 hours)
Cuts into 12 servings

Chill for 4 hours. Delish!

I couldn't let this wonderful apron leave our little town without passing it on to another blogger/baker & cook. Sue from Just Sayin' was very excited when I asked if she would wear this magical apron and see where it leads her in her kitchen. Sue is a mom and grandmother of twin 1 year olds better known as 'the peas'. Cute! cute! cute! So, although it is not crossing any oceans and will stay in Ontario a little longer I think you will be happy to see what another fellow Ontarian will create in her kitchen.

Thank you Susan from My Mother's Apron Strings for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Susan Apron. Thank you Meggie from Meggie on the Prairie, Scarlet from Tales from Beyond the Nook, Elaine from Pear Tree Log and Jane from The Maple Syrup Mob.  It's just so fun to have met you all through the magic of this  travelling apron. And "Welcome, Susan" to the Sisterhood.

It was a hoot! Right, Audrey...yah!
                       "Thanks Jane for the cat grass seeds. I'll grow 'em then I'll eat 'em"
                                                   the audacious Audrey
hugs, Deb



  1. Well, hats off to you for being able to create such yumminess in this STINKING heat. The loaf has given me an idea for a vegan version, but I'll call it Deb's Loaf! Isn't it incredible that an apron can stir up such memories and emotions. I'm sure Audrey will enjoy her cat grass, and perhaps even share it with the oldies! Now I'm off to meet my new sister!
    Jane x

  2. Hi! Thanks for coming by my blog! I bet you're an awesome cat-sitter!

  3. Deb, I'm deeply touched when I read your reminiscences about your wonderful mother, grandmother and aunts. "I feel her hand on my shoulder when I need encouragement." Amazing. I don't have that kind of a heritage. I had a mother who was too focused on herself to see me as a separate individual. I've learned that as women we always need a mother. And if we don't have one we have to mother ourselves, try to find those nurturing qualities in other women, and hopefully break the cycle and pass on a different heritage to our own children. And that audacious Audrey . . . what a character, and what a gorgeous girl she is. Becky

  4. I loved reading how this apron and baking brought back such wonderful family memories. Love the story of the traveling apron! Hugs, Linda

  5. Memories of my own mother were very powerful when I wore the magical, travelling apron, so you can imagine how I enjoyed hearing about the wonderful women who have helped shape your life. I admit I had tears in my eyes as I read about your mother.

    I'm looking forward to 'meeting' Sue. In the meantime I am going to write down the recipe for The Loaf, I'll try it later this week.

  6. 'The Loaf' looks so good! I missed out on having generations of women around me as we were a forces family and were always far away, so it's wonderful to hear about the experiences of the sisterhood. I'll be popping over to visit my new sister very soon!

  7. I'm so glad you were able to experience the magic of the apron. What great memories of the women in your family. Thanks for sharing your recipes....both will be tried in my new kitchen when I'm completely moved in.

  8. Thanks for the wonderful recipes. I will give them a try!

  9. Mmmmmm... It looks so nice.;-) Hugs Stina

  10. These recipes sound wonderful! I will have to try them after my kitchen is put back together.


  11. What beautiful baking in spite of the I can't wait to try. Grands are keeping me busy, but hope to do some baking tomorrow. XOXO

  12. That's so cool. I want a travelling apron!

  13. I wanted to let you know that the apron is in Florida now! I received the Traveling Susan apron and am very honored to be part of the 'sisterhood'. I hope you can stop by soon. I have a post up this morning! Sweet Southern hugs, Diane