Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Cooking in Quarantine and Virtual Southern Exposure

I have been plugging along on my family history saga during these lockdown days and once I hear from a few of the cousins, I think I can at least wrap up a first version I can send them all as a pdf. It's 240 pages right now (a lot of those are photos) and every time I proof it, I find something else to change.


That's been the big project of late, since for much of April and May the weather was so cold and unwelcoming that it felt like a good time to clamp down and do it. Besides, you can get a lot done while things are baking!

My favorite lemon bread is always a must. I like having several loaves of this in the freezer to share with someone who does something nice for me. Or just to hand out "because." (This Martha recipe reads as a cake but I do it in five mini-pans and bake 45 minutes. I lightly glaze with powdered sugar/lemon juice and skip the cognac.) It's fun to have something on hand to help say "thank you."


One of Rick's tenants volunteered to do a grocery run so I made some chocolate chip cookies to share with him. I also shared some with friends Kate and Mike who brought me some of Mike's birthday cake.


We did a hands-free hand-off in the driveway.


I think that might have been the night I made beef stew. I had stewing meat for more months than should probably be allowed in my freezer and it was time to use it or lose it. It was really good. I wish we'd had more leftovers!


The lettuce and radishes I planted in pots have been very slow to come. It this rate, I'll have a salad by the fourth of July. I hope.


But I did do one fun thing -- a Virtual Southern Exposure. Those who have read the Gypsy long enough know that one of my "happy places" is an herb farm called Southern Exposure where several friends and I enjoy wonderful dinners and creative workshops. Of course, this year the first two of our workshops have been canceled.


But they decided they could do some virtual workshops. They would deliver the supplies to our front door and follow up with an instructional video.


Our project was a small moss basket with five plants -- thyme, kale, spinach, lettuce and a pretty pansy. My friends Kate and Jan and I got together and zoomed as we finished our baskets.


It wasn't quite the same but the basket is pretty and we had a good time.

Do you know what a "buckle" is? I didn't, but I had blueberries in the fridge that needed to be used and so when I found a recipe for blueberry buckle in my King Arthur cookbook and realized I had all the ingredients, it seemed like the thing to make!


It was delicious -- much like a tasty coffee cake, one I'll make again.


Have you been cooking and creating? What's in your oven or on your work table?

Sharing with:       Encouraging Hearts and Home    /    Pink Saturday      /     Charming Homes and Gardens    

47 comments:

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

When I grow up I want to be you in the kitchen. You make the yummiest looking baked goods. And now I'm lusting after a King Author cookbook.

I'm glad Southern Exposure found a way to do a virtual workshop for their groupie fans like you. One day you'll be back out there and that will be a day to celebrate.

Regina said...

Well this mama is going to make some blueberry bruckle and the lemon bread. That will be in my oven tomorrow. I'm getting together supplies for making a wrist pin cushion. I had hoped to have it up today but I didn't get any sleep last night. As a result I'm terribly tired.
Take care!

Pamela said...

I haven’t been cooking, but I have been making many things. What a great idea to do a virtual SE class. Your baking looks fabulous. I know your friends appreciate your gifts.in this crazy time, I love reading your blog!

Valerie-Jael said...

Glad you had some virtual Southern Exposure fun. That cake looks great, as does the lemon bread. I've been avoiding baking as I don't want to be eating baked goods when I spend so much time home alone! Have a fun day, Valerie

Iris Flavia said...

.pdf, yes ;-) Bugged me big.
I have sweets to give away here, too - give away as in... you know ;-) Sleepy sweet tooth does not care.
BBQ today! :-)
Nice of your neighbour to help out! Mine refuses. He´s 80 and wants to do it himself. But reckon that keeps him going, too!

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

You have found some great way to keep you busy on the ancestry work, cooking and the virtual workshop is neat. Your lemon bread, stew and the blueberry buckle all look yummy. I assume you are no one near the flooding that is happening, my prayers go out to all the flood victims.
Take care! Wishing you a happy day!

Beyda'nın Kitaplığı said...

Oruç olunca bu sıra canımız her şeyi istiyor ama bir tabak çorba içince devamı gelmiyor. Ama her türlü şey pişirmeye çalışıyorum. En son pizza yapmıştık.

My name is Erika. said...

Love seeing all your baking Jeanie. I've been trying new things too. I've never made a buckle before although I have heard the name a lot. Yours looks yummy. And I think I've made a similar lemon cake. I should make that next week's baking project as the hubby would love it. Yesterday I made coffee chocolate chip "blondies". Basically they are a blonde brownie but the blonde part gets flavored with instant coffee. Very different but yummy. And I love the idea of virtual class. I've been wanting to do a couple of with remote teaching, but it hasn't happened, yet. (11 days of school and I am counting!) Looks like you are enjoying your time and with all the stress of this disease, it is nice just to play and have fun. Take care and hugs-Erika

NanaDiana said...

I used to have blueberry buckle all the time growing up on a farm in PA. Pretty common in that area, I think.
Love that you could do a project like that via internet and home delivery. How cool is that?!
I copied the recipe from Martha Stewart for the Lemon cake and I will make the mini-loaves, too. We like those and lemon is one of the things that John can still taste and it tastes 'right'.
Have a great Thursday. xo Diana

David M. Gascoigne, said...

And here was I thinking a buckle was something on my shoes! Seems like you are keeping so busy during this period of confinement that you may wish for it to continue forever! It doubtless is becoming normal activity for some and I suspect that vestiges of this may linger well after restrictions are lifted. I am at the point where I am really ready to resume some social contact. Usually I am doing lots of public speaking, and my whole field ecology sessions for the summer with the university were cancelled of course, I lead bird walks, and mentor a couple of undergraduate students, meet with fellow naturalists, and most of all have dinner with friends. None of this is possible and who knows when it will be? I am ready to resume life! but only when it is safe to do so, and when my actions will pose no threat to others. In the meantime I will continue to be a model of Pavlovian compliance!

shoreacres said...

It's interesting -- I've always heard of buckles, but I'm not sure I've known what they are. This is very much like the coffee cakes I grew up with, and they were delicious. I have the blueberries, but I'll pass on making one. It's time to get rid of a few 'pandemic pounds' -- right now!

Joanne Huffman said...

The lemon bread looks delicious. I like the idea of keeping some extra in the freezer for gifts. I use the lemon bread recipe from the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cook Book and always make small loaves for gifts around Thanksgiving and Christmas; but it would be good to make some for now. I'm glad you got to do one of your workshops, even if it's online instead of in person.

Laurie said...

everything looks wonderful and I love love love the moss baskets,, Ive made a few of those too!! Your blueberry buckle looks wonderful, we love blueberry buckle,, its an oldie but a goodie!!

crackercrumblife said...

That blueberry buckle looks delicious! And how fun that you were able to participate virtually. :) People are so creative and inventive!

R's Rue said...

Yum

La Table De Nana said...

How creative of NE to do that! Fun!!And cooking and baking are great for the soul and tummy!!


Take care!

Decor To Adore said...

In my baby book (circa 1968) it lists Gerber's "Blueberry Buckle" as my favorite jarred food. If it tasted half as good as your delicious-looking cake I can see why. LOL

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

How fun to create that basket! The buckle sounds good!

Sami said...

My husband has been doing the cooking, and I've only baked 2 cakes in the last 2 months, one to take to work for a birthday celebration and the other I took to two elderly friends.
I've save the Blueberry Buckle and Lemon bread recipes, so I can make one of them when my son visits next week.
How nice that Southern exposure managed to have virtual workshops.
You manage to do so much Jeanie, I love the idea of your family history book. I've been researching my family tree, searching for the online Parochial birth/wedding registers and it's so time consuming!

Sketchbook Wandering said...

I'm always amazed at what a productive, creative woman you are, Jeanie!! From what I can tell, you have A LOT of projects going on!! Love that your workshop was able to happen!

Red Rose Alley said...

Your beef stew, lemon bread, and blueberry dessert looks delicious, Jeanie. How fun to do the Zoom workshops with your friends. Me and Nel were talking the other day, and thought that a Zoom Craft Night might be fun. Oh, I want one of those lemon breads with my coffee this morning. Jeanie, it's always a pleasure to come visit you and see all the wonderful creative projects you're working on. : )

~Sheri

Danielle L Zecher said...

I love that you keep lemon bread on hand to hand out like that. There's nothing like home-made food as a "thank you" or "I care about you" gesture. I'm beyond thrilled that they keep saying that the COVID exposure risk from prepared food is fairly low. I'd have a much harder time living in a world where we couldn't share food.

That's wonderful that you got your southern exposure fix. Isn't any little bit of normalcy wonderful?

I vaguely remember reading something years ago about buckles being named by pioneer women because of the way it buckled in and it reminded them of how they sometimes felt like they were buckling under. It was probably in one of my grandmother's or great-grandmother's old cookbooks, but I cannot remember for sure where I read it. I looked at the recipe, and it looks really good! We have blueberries in the fridge, so that may be in our future.

I haven't been nearly as creative or productive during this as I had hoped. Mostly, I do my work (since I'm still working from home) watch TV, crochet mask straps and extenders, and do online jigsaw puzzles. I don't know why, but I can't seem to find the motivation to create very much.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I hate to tell you, Jeanie, but I don't bake very much. I love my microwave, so that's my cooking choice. On the other hand, I would LOVE to eat at your home. The food and baked goods all look so good. I can't believe you lost weight because I'm putting it on due to a bit of stress, I suspect.

I'm sure the experience at Southern Exposure was quite different, but at least you didn't have to make the cute basket alone. I don't have zoom or any facetime software or hardware for my computer, so you are truly lucky. Hope your experience was nearly as good as being there.

Stevenson Que said...

Oh Jeanie! You made me crave like super bad for all those goodies! Those lemon loaves look so tasty and I can even smell how good it is from the photo then you mentioned cookies Oh my! And that Cake is divine! I am a big sucker for sweets and desserts and pastries so yes, those are treats for me! I am so happy to see that the garden provides virtual workshops complete with materials! I love their resourcefulness and care for their learners so much! Happy Birthday to your friend Mike! and please stay safe, weekend is about to come dear Jeanie!

Stevenson

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Jeanie, we have dreadful weather here in WV as well. Cold and wet and it still is. Although God bless the peonies - they are marching on and blooming.

I have been doing my normal cooking and baking and trying a few new recipes, with what I have on hand. A lot of soup, as it has been so cold and rainy.

So sorry, to hear about the devastating floods in your state. Folks certainly didn't need that along with the virus.

Wishing you a Happy Memorial Weekend!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Jeanie, you sure are making good use of your time! I've enjoyed all the posts, even if I haven't commented on each. Those little lemon breads look fabulous. As I read this morning, I wondered if you had that many small loaf pans, or just alternated baking. I don't have any that size. While making a quick dash into a Kroger for a few items lacking on today's clicklist (in another neighborhood), I saw those little pans in aluminum - great! I've been doing a lot of baking and freezing too (and sharing). Your Southern Exposure folks are doing a good job of keeping the public engaged, I love that. And your genealogy project will be greatly appreciated, I'm certain. I have mine from both my mother's & father's side (researched by an aunt and cousin, respectively), and really, really appreciate having it and all the work they did.

Not sure of distances between you and the flooding areas, but have seen the videos and read with compassion for your state's residents. Stay safe and well.

Beachgram said...

Just love your blog and keep the good recipes coming!!

DUTA said...

The blueberry buckle is my kind of treat. It goes well with coffee, and/or as stand alone piece of cake.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

your cakes look yummy - glad to read you're doing well. This week with the flood I was praying you were north of that - and it must be so! Have a great weekend!

Prims By The Water said...

All this food is making me hungry. LOL We planted our garden now too. Janice

The French Hutch said...

You have been a busy bee and accomplished a lot under quarantine. I'm sure you will be happy to finish up the last of the genealogy project. The bread loaves look delicious and who wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of this. Happy you did get to enjoy the Southern Exposure. Even if it was a Zoom classy you had a hands on experience. Sill in Quarantine here, picked up some garden items today, curbside. Working outside repotting some plants this weekend and grilling out. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend........

Mae Travels said...

"Blueberry Buckle" is a flavor of Gerber baby food so lots of moms would recognize that recipe name! I just googled it and they seem to still make it, though my memories are very old. In a way I'm surprised it still exists because they have backed off of very sweet baby food -- babies loved it too much. I would love your cake!

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

thepaintedapron.com said...

How nice that Southern Exposure delivered kits to you and you could Zoom with your friends about it! Wow! Your lemon cakes/bread sound wonderful, so smart to make extra for giving!
Jenna

Divers and Sundry said...

The family history will be a real treasure. That lemon bread looks delicious. I might have to try it, knowing that it freezes well and can be made in the small pans. Thanks! Beef stew is one of our favorites, and it's always a shame when the last of it is gone. But then it's time to make more :) I've not heard of "buckle" but it looks a bit like coffee cake. yummy!

The virtual workshops sound enjoyable, with the material deliveries in advance. It's heartening to see people adapt to all this.

Gayla said...

Everything you cooked sounded just delicious! I think I need to try that lemon bread... and the buckle. What fun to do that project and zoom with your friends. And the result looks like the pages of a magazine!

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jeanie. Is it still raining there? I hope you weren't in the midst of all the flooding. All your goodies look good enough to eat and I wish I could! I thought about you missing Southern Exposure, as I know how much you enjoy it, but the moss basket looks beautiful and I'm glad you got to work on it..Take care and stay well..xxoJudy

roughterrain crane said...

Your bread is wonderful. It will make everyone happy.

Polly said...

The only buckle I know is the one on a belt, but your blueberry buckle looks might good, as does your lemon cake and the beef stew. That was such a good idea from Southern Exposure, and how lovely of them to deliver to your doorstep. I know it's not the same as being together but I think zoom is great I use it for my 2 book groups. Stay well Jeanie x

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I have already bookmarked the blueberry recipe, thanks Jeanie. yes I have been baking in recent weeks, several banana breads and homemade artisan bread and decided to stop for at least a week or so. That sdaid I switched to homemade fettuccine last week and maybe pasta is up for the coming week. The lemon cakes looked wonderful and how nice to do a baked exchange. Also glad you to see that and your friends were able to do a virtual Southern Exposure project.

Miss Val's Creations said...

Lemon bread must be amazing with some ginger tea. It really is a perfect time for baking and sharing with others. Wishing you luck with the veggies and herbs. The buckle looks a lot like a crumble. Yum!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I admire your discipline to work on your family history. Wow the lemons bread looks so delicious and so does the blueberry buckle...I love desserts. The stew looks appetizing and healthy. I am so glad you had a virtual Southern Exposure, I always enjoy those posts!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Glad you were able to do a virtual southern exposure project. Not the same as what you are used to but a pretty good substitute for these times. I just planted my garden on Friday. I got it in 1-2 weeks later than usual but our weather has been so weird and cold. It required a trip to the garden center but I went on Friday afternoon when it wasn’t busy so felt pretty safe and didn’t cross paths with other shoppers for the most part. Everyone had a mask and many, including myself, wore gardening gloves. They sprayed down your cart with disinfectant in front of you, too.

I haven’t heard of a buckle but it sounds yummy! I have not done much baking but I did make banana bread yesterday as we had some very ripe bananas. It turned out really good!

Bella Rum said...

That blueberry buckle looks yummy. I haven't tried Martha's lemon cake. I use Ina's recipe. Did you know that Martha now has a show on FoodNetwork? I haven't seen it yet.

Good friends and family a great, especially during these times.

Beef stew is comforting and reliable, isn't it? This reminds me that I have some in the freezer.

Marilyn Miller said...

Blueberry buckle sounds delicious!
What a creative way to take your class. I loved that you and Kate and Jan were able to zoom and share in the event together. On a cool, rainy day you stew sounds good. Making the small loaves of your lemon bread and freezing them is such a good idea. I do that with my apple bread and cranberry bread. They do make nice small gifts or just the right amount to bring out for a treat with tea.
How wonderful to have your family history almost done. That would be quite a project.

Sarah said...

Jeanie, cooking and baking here as well, and lemon blueberry bread has come out the favorite with repeat requests to bake more. You are using your time wisely!

Victoria Zigler said...

I swear every time I read through my books I find something to change too. There comes a point though where you have to say, "Enough," and hope you didn't miss fixing anything noticable. Anyway, well done on managing to complete the first draft.

Awesome you were able to do a virtual workshop. Not quite like going there, but fun anyhow by the sounds of it.

I've been doing a reasonable amount of cooking and baking, but no crafting.

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh Yum!
That blueberry buckle looks delicious.

All the best Jan

Popular Posts