We have yet another lawn ornament.  Actually, no, it’s work for Paul but they seem to be encroaching in “my space” like where we park our vehicles.  Cute boat though, no? A couple whom are around 86-87 own it.  They call their son when they want to sail – at least once a week; he trots down to the dock and gets it ready, pulls up the sails, sets everything, mom and dad walk onto the boat and sail away….off to the Isle of Shoals (a few miles) where his dad takes a long nap on the boat and Mom walks around the island.  They then come back to the dock and John breaks it down to put away.  They love it!  Isn’t that just the sweetest thing?  I love that he enables them to have and enjoy what they want so many people deny their elderly parents their “first love” just cause they’re old and what???? may die out there? who cares, they would be happiest.  Love it.

What to do on a rainy day?  For me, that would be sew or do some weaving.  I just love being in my own cozy nest on a crappy day.  I’ve been taking this Food Service for Managers Course for the past few days.  I thought I had a week to do it online but no, it’s 120 consecutive hours.  So, when I open it up to start (it is phenomenally boring, tedious and also hard, lots of chemistry and temperatures) the CLOCK IS TICKING.  There is even a timer in the corner of the screen, makes me crazy.  Anyhow, in between while my brain was resting I banged out a clothes pin bag.  Now I know your thinking – what kind of fete is that but just producing something simple, clean, tidy, no real math or science or even thought…ah, pleasure and success.

And, it works!  Hangs on the laundry line 24/7, made out of Sunbrella which is all weather fabric left over from some canvas cushion covers I made for the little boat.  It has a velcro attachment so I can take it on and off the line if I’d like.  Perfecto.  I got all excited about it and thought I should mass produce these as it really looks cool on the line and works but then after polling a few friends discovered I am probably the only person on earth who still hangs my laundry out.  What’s with that?

The March issue of Bon Appetit had a Black Sesame & Pear Tea Cake recipe…..sounded good.  I got out all my stuff…..ready to go and then reread the recipe.  Hey, Sesame, not poppy.  My brain automatically just assumed Poppy.  It got much more interesting to me at that point.  Cool.  I’ve never made a sweet/tea bread or even thought of sesame seeds as such.  Cool again.  I happened to have black sesame seeds on hand.  I buy them at an Asian store where they come in large bags.  I was going to use fresh rhubarb of which I have tons in my garden now but while in the basement where I keep my “kitchen” I happened to pass a caning jar of sweet pears of our own that I put up last fall.  Perfect.  I love it when that happens and I was wondering what to do with that jar as it’s perfect on ice cream but I’m trying to not eat that stuff.  Wallah…cake, we love cake!  (I know Sydney, I should not be eating that either).

Amazing.  What a cool flavor, kind of crunchy as you can actually taste and have texture of sesame seeds.

Paul, the naysayer, said he didn’t like the black stuff.  So, I made a yellow sesame one with frozen cherries.

Pretty good but I do prefer the black sesame better.  I found the white sesame to be a bit heavy with that kind of nuttiness peanut butter has.  Made me feel sluggish, nice flavor though. 

I made two loaves at a time as I wanted to give my friend Marcia who came for a visit on Saturday a loaf and why waste the dirty dishes on one thing at a time anyway – I’m sure this stuff freezes well.  Our house is like grand central on the week-ends this time of year so it goes fast around here, no leftovers.

This cake uses almond flour in it – 2 C. per double batch and 3 C. of unbleached flour so if your thinking of making it you may want to get some of that almond flour first – most of us don’t stock it.  Bob’s Red Mill has it at our Market Basket grocery store.  It also uses buttermilk which I usually make just milk with some white vinegar in it – same stuff pretty much.  Who has buttermilk on hand?  I cut out some sugar – calls for 2.5 C. I used 1.¾.  So here it is for two breads:

2 C. almond meal

3 C. unbleached flour (half whole wheat would be good)

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

Sift this together:  Add,

1 C. black or white sesame seeds


2 Sticks unsalted butter or use coconut oil, same amount

Put butter in mixer, add:

1.¾ C. sugar (I use a light brown organic sugar)

2 whole eggs

2 Egg yolks

Beat till mixed nicely then start adding flour mixture and

1.5 Cups of buttermilk alternately.

Fold your fruit in last – chopped fresh fruit, small bag of frozen fruit (minus the thawed juice).

This fruit amount is probably about 1 C. or so for the two cakes.

Bake at 325 in a buttered loaf pan, sprinkle the top first with some sugar first.  Bake for anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half.  Turn the pans occasionally.

That’s it.  Kind of a nice addition to the tea bread line.

P.S. I finished that darn course with a few hours to spare…there is something wrong with me when I’m pressured; totally freak out.  I may have to gear up and take an anxiety pill when I test on Friday in Boston.  Such a dope!


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