Where to begin?
I think I'll start with the end of our trip. I have one last thing to say about that. When we got our itinerary, I was a little "bummed" (okay, a lot "bummed") to see that we were going to Mass every day. The thought of that took me back to my childhood when we had to go every day at St. Aloysius. Ronnie and I even had to go on Saturdays because we lived so close to church. If we didn't, on Monday, the nuns would ask us where we were on Saturday. Needless to say, going to church was a chore. I've carried that "chore" in to adulthood. Remember, I do not claim the be the best or holiest of Catholics. Anyway, I was dreading the thought of Mass every day. But at our very first Mass in Bethlehem, something happened. I can't quite put my finger on it as it almost went unnoticed. But I didn't think of Mass as a chore to be gotten through. All of a sudden, it was a "privilege" to be able to attend Mass at all of these holy places where everything actually happened. Turns out, Mass was one of the highlights of my day! I was hoping to carry that feeling home with me. But last Sunday was Palm Sunday and I didn't feel quite the same about it. Part of that was that I still wasn't feeling up to par after being sick the previous week.
About being sick---I'm still not 100%---but getting there. This past week at the farm, I went to bed around 9-10 every night and was just about the last one up in the morning. Not at all like me. I'm just feeling pretty tired and weak still. I can work for an hour or so, and then need to take a break. That leads me to preparing for Easter.
I got up this morning and started straightening up the house. I hadn't unpacked from the farm either. I did a few other things before I planned to start my cooking for Easter. About 11, Mindy called that she was on her way over to meet Steph and Nicky to hang out at the pool. Weather is great here to get a little sun. Of course, Mindy can't come without food being involved in some way. I had sloppy joes leftover from the farm, so we had those. Steph arrived shortly after followed by Morgan and Carson. I would love to blame all of them for the chaos and problems that ensued with my cooking. But the truth of it is, when they all went out to the pool, I laid on the couch and read/napped for the next 2 hours. Then I was ready to get my cooking started.
First up was to make a new cake I had never made before. I got the recipe from my friend, Sally, several years ago. It's called an Apricot Nectar Cake and seemed just perfect for Easter. After I tell you all the problems I had and what NOT to do, I'll post the recipe on the AYM blog. I usually don't make things if I don't know where to find the ingredients. I had no idea where to find apricot nectar. Sounded like it would be by the fruits or juices. Instead, I asked someone at Kroger and found it in the Mexican food aisle. I don't know why, maybe that's where it comes from.
So I make the cake and put it in the oven to bake. That's about the time I realize I miss-read the recipe and put the powdered sugar that was supposed to be for the glaze---IN the cake. I thought, "oh well, it will just be sweeter." I'll just use enough powdered sugar with the lemon juice to get it to "sink in" the cake like it's supposed to. I didn't factor in the fact that when you are baking, you have to be pretty precise about the ingredients to get it to turn out right. I started to smell something burning. Here's what that was:
I started making the carrots for the carrot casserole. I forgot you have to baby the garbage disposal---I don't cook so "big" anymore. Easy mistake. But still, I wound up with this:
Once I flipped it over, it didn't look half bad. I would be found out when several people got the slices that have a huge hole in them. Plus, I still don't know if it's going to taste good. So I decided to go ahead and make my "plan B" cake---Fiddler on the Roof Cake. I'll share that recipe too---when I get it made.
Right now, it's 5 p.m. and I'm waiting for the oven to finish self-cleaning so I can start baking again. Best laid plans....I just discovered that the oven wasn't running! Ugh! I went ahead and made the new cake and am baking it now while the burned smell permeates the house. I'll clean the oven when the cake is done. I just hope the new cake doesn't pick up the burned smell. Not a good day for baking. I think I'm just so out of practice. I don't think I've done any baking since Christmas.
I have the table half set, but need to cut flowers for the centerpiece. There will be 9 of us with family and "boy" firends. We're going to 8:30 Mass first. However it all turns out, it will be a fun day. Hope yours is good too!
Check out the recipes here: