Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Pound Cake

This was the cake I learned to make many, many years ago. The recipe was given to me by a great aunt and I wrote it down in the back of grandma’s steno pad where she wrote down recipes. I hope you like it. If you follow the directions exactly as given, it will turn out perfect.

Note: This cake recipe requires a particular type of tube pan, the kind where the bottom and center tube can be removed. You cannot substitute an angel food pan where the bottom is not removable. The recipe also does not work best in a normal bundt pan, but you can try it. Search for “Loose Bottom Angel Food Pan” or similar on Amazon if you don’t have one.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature (using regular salted butter is fine)
2 ½ cups sugar
6 eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 cups of cake flour
8 oz. (½ pint) sour cream (do not use reduced fat variety)
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon or orange extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Generously grease (with Crisco) and flour a tube pan whose bottom is lined with wax paper. If you are using a bundt pan, make sure you get plenty of Crisco and flour into the ridges of the pan.
3. Sift the flour once to measure, then sift together the flour, baking powder and salt 3 times. This is important. Don’t skip this step. Set aside.
4. In a clean bowl, cream together the soft butter and the sugar for several minutes on high speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each addition. Each egg should fully disappear before adding the next one.
6. Alternately add one third of the flour and one third of the sour cream, beating well, but on low to medium speed, after each addition until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
7. Add the extracts and mix well on load speed until fully incorporated.
8. Spoon or pour batter into cake pan and gently even out any unevenness in the batter. The cake batter will be very thick and won’t really pour.
9. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the crack that forms during baking comes out clean. Do not open the oven door while cooking until the cake has “crowned” and the large crack has formed in a circle around the top of the cake.
10. Let cool for 15 minutes, then run a sharp knife alone outside of cake so you can lift up the tube and cake and allow to finish cooling completely. If using a bundt pan, invert onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Don’t let it cool for too long in the bundt pan or it won’t want to come out at all.

Pics of a quilt for D&J

This is the quilt I finished last year for Diana and Jonathan.  I didn’t share pictures at the time because I wanted it to be a surprise for them.  I am so pleased with the way it turned out.  I had so much fun quilting it, even though it took more than 2 months to finish the stitching.  I think it came out very well, and they sure seemed to like it!

The first day of school …

So, it finally arrived.  Juliette’s first day of school.  After a flurry of scheduled activities to get her and us ready for today, she woke up this morning eager to get dressed and get going.  And I have been fine through it all.  Nary a tear and not even really feeling sad, primarily because she was SO happy and excited to start.  It’s hard to feel sad for yourself when your kid is so full of joy over something.  And I must say I held it together really well this morning, until the moment came in the Kids & Company room to hug her goodbye and let her get on with her day.  It just came on like a ton of bricks, all of a sudden.  It felt as though my heart jumped up into my throat, and I could barely breathe and I fought against my feeling until I got out the school door and could let go of the fight.  I had to sit there a while in my car before I was in any condition to drive.  And I’ve been thinking all morning, about how this represents such a major milestone for her, and for us, how this is the first of many little and big acts of letting go, where we continue to love her and care for her with all of our being, but have to ease up on that firm grip we’ve had until now.  As Harald pointed out last night, from now on we will have her to ourselves only a few hours each day as teachers and peers become an increasingly important influence and part of her daily life.  So there is part of me that is so sad to see those first five, precious years end.  And yet, this is what we have wanted all along, to raise a child up to be part of the next generation, a contributing and vibrant member of society, and this is all part of that process.  So it is a bittersweet day, tinged also with plenty of satisfaction and anticipation.


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A quilt for dear Inger

When I saw a package of Tonga Treats Balinese batiks last year, I instantly thought of Inger.  The colors and the life in them reminded me so much of her, I knew instantly I had to make a quilt for her out of those fabrics.  So I bought them and got to work.  I completed the quilt in time to take it to her when we visited her near Beitostølen, Norway this summer.  I had no idea how her house was decorated, and after arriving was afraid it wouldn’t match anything in her decor, so I told her to feel free to take to their home in Cypress or wherever she could use it, but I was delighted to learn her whole bedroom was done in soft shades of pink and the quilt looked very much at home after being put on the bed.  It is a Terry Atkinson pattern, Merry Mosaic, and it was quilted by Mary Brandt.

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A quilt for Per & Regula

This is a quilt I made for Per & Regula and I took it with us to deliver to them when we arrived in Norway. I’ve wanted to make a two color quilt for a long time, and this one came from a design I saw someone post on Pinterest. It was an easy block to figure out and to make. And it looks gorgeous with the quilting done by Mary Brandt. I am so pleased with how it turned out and I think Per & Regula liked it very much too!


Four years ago

It was four years ago today that we were nervously getting ready for the short drive to Methodist Hospital where we got to meet our daughter Juliette for the first time, just a few hours old. I remember looking into those clear, bright, alert eyes of hers – and my heart melting all over the floor. And then her birth mother asked me if I wanted to feed her. It has been the most amazing, demanding and rewarding four years of my life and I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. I feel so privileged to be given the opportunity to be her Papa. Happy birthday, Juliette. Papa loves you!


Say hello to Dr. Faber!

Yesterday began with pouring rain, but the skies parted and the sun came out in just enough time for Hamline University to conduct its graduate program ceremonies outdoors.  Here are some pictures from the blessed event.  It was a very happy day for every graduate, family member, friend and faculty who were present to show their support.


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Getting ready for Easter 2013

She has been full of excitement all day as in “You mean TOMORROW is Easter day, Papa!?”  So we had to dye some eggs, make some treats for dinner tomorrow – deviled eggs for uncle Johnny, Liptauer cheese for an appetizer, lemon cookies for dessert, and a gallon of sweet tea for me and anyone else who wants it.  And we had a ton of fun in the process too!

Her Easter dress and shoes are all ready to go, and now just to get our clothes ready so we aren’t in such a rush tomorrow morning.

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