This buttery, almond flavoured cherry cake is an old family favourite! I’ve recently found it works just as well in this gluten free version made with almond and coconut flour.
Children’s Delight – new and old
A story is woven from the threads of a writer’s life.
The recipe for Children’s Delight cookies has been in my recipe binder forever. Just looking at the old card, written in my mother’s scrawl, brings back a rush of memories. The recipe card is stained and had comments written in after the fact (more butter!). And up in the corner, in brackets it says “Raylene Ewing”
Raylene was my good friend in Toronto when I was in grades seven and eight. Just seeing her name is an emotional blast from the past.
I didn’t plan to put the recipe in Summer of Fortune, but suddenly, there it was.
On the top shelf rested a wooden box. Stretching to her full height Maddie carefully brought it down, wiping the dust from the top. She held it in one hand, studying the scenes of the lake carved into the lid. Inside, yellowing recipe cards were written in a spidery hand: Sunday Blackberry Cake, October Relish, Children’s Delight Cookies.
An old fashioned drop cookie, they make the kitchen smell like cinnamon and cloves, an aroma that, in the story, comes to introduce the presence of Aunt Augusta the previous owner of the cabin who is, ahem, no longer with us.
The recipe also provides an introduction to Maddie’s backstory.
Maddie didn’t have any hand-me-down recipes. Most of hers came from magazines. These recipe names conjured up visions of a woman in an apron with streaks of flour on her face, like a character in an old movie. Her own mother had never cooked and Maddie was sure she didn’t own an apron. She had spent most of her time on the couch, watching her soaps with a beer in her hand.
Maddie inhaled deeply the unfamiliar scent of cinnamon and cloves that lingered in the box, and then, closing the lid, she placed the box on the windowsill over the sink where she could admire the carving.
Maddie ended up making the cookies, again and again, a sensory lure her handsome landlord couldn’t resist and a symbol of her move to another kind of life.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy! (Are you out there Raylene?)
Quick Fruit Surprise Muffins
Perfect for breakfast or tucked in a back-to-school lunch.
For me, September is all about keeping up with the ripening fruit from our garden. This year everything is ripening at once, so I’ve made peach jam, frozen figs to make leather later, pitted and frozen Italian prune plums and made Mostly Plum Jam from a mixture of other plums and the end of the blueberries.
It has even trickled into Starting Over, the story I’m almost finished writing, when Lily, trying to win over Marshall’s children, bakes them Fruit Surprise Muffins.
We’ve enjoyed these moist fruity muffins for years. I usually poke a frozen cherry in the center of each muffin, (that’s the surprise!) but since I’ve been working on plums this week, I made this batch with chopped plums. The original recipe calls for plums, but that has never stopped me from improvising!
Try them. I bet your family will love them.
I had a house full this week, my niece, her partner and their 5 children visiting and, it being cherry season here in BC, I took the opportunity to make my favorite Cherry Cake. It’s sort of like the French Clafoutis but the beaten egg whites make it more of a cake, less pie. And the almond extract makes it smell amazing!
We’ve been lucky to have a prolific cherry tree for many years and I make this cake form either fresh or frozen cherries. Best eaten the first day – as if you could resist!
Long Weekend Rhubarb Cake
It doesn’t feel like a summer long weekend to me without the rhubarb coffee cake my mother-in-law Betty always served at the cottage.
The Canadian and American July long weekends fall just a few days apart; July 1, Canada Day, the big 150 this year, and the Fourth of July. If your house is like ours, people are coming and going all weekend. We spent Canada Day at my sister-in-law’s lake house this year, and I brought the rhubarb cake as a tribute to Betty.
Sweet, not too rhubarb-y, it’s perfect anytime when you have a houseful.
Have a wonderful holiday!