baking, dessert, food

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry pie is a quintessential early summer treat. I have had success with Joy of Cooking’s recipe in the past, but it hasn’t turned out quite as I had hoped the last couple of times I’ve made it. The taste is good, but the pie loses its structural integrity rather easily, and it doesn’t travel well (I took it to a picnic).


My blog visitors

Since I started this blog, I have had visitors from the following places:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Guernsey
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

For three years in a row (during most of which I wasn’t active on the blog), my most viewed post was Nutria–what are they, and why?. Lots of visitors from Europe are interested in nutria.

This year, my most viewed post has been Bûche de Noël (the Yule Log). I am really excited to see where my visitors come from and look forward to expanding my audience if I can.

ME/CFS, Personal

#MillionsMissing: ME/CFS Protest!

Today is the day: an international protest/awareness event for ME/CFS! Because I cannot attend in person, I am doing what I can with the platform available to me: the Internet.

The empty shoes symbolize the people missing from society because of ME/CFS. Many people in my family suffer from this disease, and I asked them to contribute their photos to help us raise awareness.

If you would like to help spread awareness, there are suggestions in that link. Also, feel free to like or reblog this post, or put it on facebook. You can sign this petition for increased funding for research. I think we need to reach some sort of critical mass in public consciousness before we will get the funding we so desperately need.

My shoes
My sister Isabella’s rainboots
My sister Jane’s sandals
My sister Lizzy’s shoes
My mother’s photo and her message: “ME/CFS affects everybody in the family.”
baking, candy, Christmas baking, food, Holidays

Almond Toffee with Dark Chocolate

I made a foray into the world of candy making last December, having purchased a cookbook dedicated solely to candy earlier in the year. This recipe closely resembles almond roca, which is one of my favorite candies. I made it as a surprise stocking stuffer for my family, and they loved it! The response was very gratifying. If you like giving candy as a gift, this is a great choice.

I bought raw almonds for the toffee, and toasted them, which smelled incredibly delicious. For the coating, I used 12 ounces of dark chocolate (as well as some chopped up almonds).

Making the toffee requires a very close eye and constant stirring, and before I wised up and put on an oven-mitt, I nearly steamed my hand off. (I don’t have a dedicated candy thermometer which clips on to the pan, so I had to hold a thermometer while stirring–awkward!). The temperatures required for the toffee seemed unreachable, but it turns out that was just because I am a candy novice and didn’t know how long it would take.

I got the recipe from The Sweet Book of Candy Making, which I recommend! It has a plenty of variety in its recipes, beautiful pictures, informative sections on equipment and ingredients, and troubleshooting tips. I look forward to trying more recipes.


ME/CFS, Personal

ME/CFS Awareness Day

Today is, as you may have guessed, ME/CFS Awareness day. This disease has been known by many names over the years, but is currently known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS for short).

This is a devastating disease that affects many millions of people throughout the world, many of whom live alone and in poverty, because they are often too sick to support themselves and are not infrequently abandoned by friends and family.

Yet recognition has been slow and funding scarce, in defiance of good sense and of compassion (billions of dollars are lost to the US economy each year because of ME/CFS; researching a cure would be a sound investment!).

*I will update this post with more information on ME/CFS and what you can do to raise awareness when I can get to a computer. My phone is difficult to write on.