Friday, February 22, 2013


Artist's Pallette
Death Valley is a land of extremes geologically and climate-wise.The landscape is truly unique. It's one of my favorite places here in California. Peaks topped with snow, sand dunes, alluvial fans, craters, rugged canyons, then the lowest point-the Badwater basin.

 Probably the best thing about visiting DV at this time of year is:

Last month when the thermometer here at home was at the freezing point, Ernie got on the internet and made reservations for the "Valley". He couldn't have timed it better. 

Driving over, we traveled over the Sierra and dropped into 
the Owens Valley. I feel like I am on a movie set with Mt Whitney as the backdrop and the Alabama Hills in the foreground.  Actually, I am in a movie set! The Alabama Hills are a popular filming location for television and movie productions, especially Westerns set in an archetypical "rugged" environment, including Django Unchained and Lone Ranger. When the boys were younger, they had a blast exploring movie road.


 This year, we were too early for the spring wildflower display.  However, we did manage to get it right on Spring break a few years past. It was truly amazing.  I couldn't stop taking pictures of the fields of flowers emerging from the sand and the rocks.

Returning home, we had to take the southern route to avoid any mountain passes THE WINTER STORM of the year that dumped a barrage of snow in the mountains, closing roads and stranding motorists for hours

Anyway, sure was nice being warm for a few days!

Hanging out at BADWATER

Friday, February 1, 2013


  I did a blog awhile back "THEN THERE WERE NONE" about the attack and demise of all our chickens by a rogue possum.
 We started all over with baby chicks and finally they have grown up enough to start laying eggs. Helped by a light bulb in their coup to trick them into thinking the days are longer!!


Unfortunately, one of the Araucana hens that lay the green eggs turned out to be a ROOSTER!  He is a real brut in more ways then one but a Beaut with a very lusty crow. He has now found a new home!! After a short stint as poster boy on craigs list.

Love these farm fresh eggs.  Taste so much better and whip up nicely for cooking.  In fact, I had to whip up my favorite Lemon pie with my first fresh eggs and some Meyer lemons!  SWEET!!!

Lemon Cake Pudding was one of my dad's favorite deserts, so I was thrilled when I found this recipe for Lemon Cake Pie. I was perusing an article THE DESSERT COLLECTOR--"Baker Susan LaRosa rescues vintage cookbooks and cherished family recipes in search of forgotten favorites." 

This recipe is vintage, easy and just delicious!!  The pie has a lemon custard pudding layer which is topped with lemon cake.I have 'tweaked' the recipe a little. (don't need a cup of sugar as called for in the original!) Here is my version:

1/2 cup sugar
2 T flour
2 Tbl butter, melted
Zest of 1-2 lemons
1/4 cup lemon juice (5 Tablespoons) MEYER LEMONS ARE MY FAVORITE!
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup milk

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F. with rack in the lower third. Stir together flour, sugar, butter, zest, lemon juice, egg yolks, and milk. In a separate bowl beat egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into lemon mixture.

  • Pour into crust and bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. and bake until a knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. If top of pie gets too dark, tent with foil.