retirement week one – baking

rhubarb upside down cakeOne of my goals for the first week of retirement was to try out a few recipes I had stuffed away in a drawer for when I could find more time.  The first was rhubarb upside down cake.

Since I haven’t lived in one place long enough to start a garden for more than 30 years, I haven’t had any rhubarb to pick for at least that long. This spring we found small rhubarb plants at Lowe’s. We planted three in our small garden, right next to the rosemary bush. When the stalks were big enough to cut, I began looking for recipes. After trying a couple of rhubarb cake recipes, I found the upside down cake recipe.

rhubarb upside down cake with ice creamI didn’t have a springform cake pan and I didn’t have a large enough cake pan to hold the batter. I compensated by lining the edge of my 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper to extend the height. The result was delicious, especially with ice cream.

The complete recipe can be found here.

heart shaped wafflesAnother recipe I couldn’t wait to try is for Norwegian waffles. I’ve had the waffle iron for several months (it bakes five hearts with the points in the center so the waffle comes out with a scalloped edge) and the waffle recipe for even longer. We serve the waffles at the House of Norway in Balboa Park on Sunday afternoons. A key ingredient in these waffles is cardamom which gives off an enticing fragrance while they are baking, just the kind of aroma that draws people into the House of Norway to find out just where it comes from.

Find the complete recipe here.

And finally, I found a recipe for orange zest scones from Laura Gummerman’s lemon sconesblog, A Beautiful Mess, which I thought I could make with lemons instead. But lemon juice is so much stronger than orange juice that I knew I had to compensate with more sugar. Instead of just squeezing lemons for the juice and adding sugar, I took a page out of a Norwegian lemon tart recipe I found in August 2015 Viking magazine which calls for slicing two lemons very thinly and then putting them into a bowl, pouring 2 cups of sugar over the slices and letting them sit for at least 8 hours. The sugar draws out the juice and adds enough sweet to it, turning the juice into a very thin syrup.

For the complete recipe, check here.




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