It’s been a while.
During the summer of 2018, I went with my friends Denise Ditto Satterfield and her kind husband, Frank, to London, England. It was a research trip for me for my working manuscript, a prequel to Deadly Thyme. Set in 2007 Harrow there is a parallel story set in 1940. And there is a couple of murders. Here are two photos. The first is a picture of me and my Scottish cousins (my mother’s side). I’m wearing the hat. Seriously, we look like we’re related.
Fiona, Cathy, and me.
We are waiting for our fantastic tour of London.
Here is a photo of my distant cousin in York. He is from my father’s side. If you knew my grandfather Robert Thompson Sr. You would say they look alike. Matt is (I’m pretty sure) my grandfather’s great-grand nephew.
York, England – Matt Sheperd
Now, here’s where things get really interesting. I thought part of my book would be set in York. Turns out that (very interesting) storyline detracted from the general forward pace of the story. So, the York storyline is going to be it’s own book in the series. WhooHoo! Here’s a picture of the cathedral.
Just after our train trip from London to York, I got news that my big dog, my best bud, the sweet Big Boy had died at home. Devastated does not describe how I felt. I sort of lost my stuffing for a while.
Slipping in a good photo of my daughter and the big guy.
But not to be left out is the picture of Harrow school because most of Deadly Haste takes place around and near it.
So, after returning to Houston and the empty house. Thank you, Frank and Denise for putting up with my sad self. The house was a grief echo chamber.
The decision to move elsewhere wasn’t a hard one. So we began renovating our 1910 house to sell. Yes, they are using the neighbor’s yard to take and replace siding and windows. It was a huge project. Huge. There has never been a bigger project in the history of anywhere! Trust me. Everything on the outside was made new, the kitchen made better, a new bathroom upstairs. Original flooring sanded and polished. It was so pretty. Goodbye old beautiful lady…
Hello apartment living while my husband took care of his aging parents. His mother passed away and his step-brother moved his step-father to Tyler, TX. So things were really quiet for a while, but our apartment was nice and there were a ton of amenities to enjoy, then came the monster from the East, Covid. No more amenities for you, my pretties! Apartment living was a bit claustrophobic. I learned to do watercolors.
The smoky mountains
I finished a painting I’d been working on a while.
Our son got married. He and the wife live in Fort Worth. The daughter’s family (and four grandkids) live in Lafayette, LA. So we decided with family living away, let’s move to Louisiana.
I don’t know, I love nostalgia. Do you see what I mean? Our house now and my grandparent’s house back in the 1940s.
The old photo is of my grandparent’s house in Iowa. The top one is our new house in Louisiana. I remember the arched garden entrance on the right. I don’t know why I was so enamored with that feature as a child, but I was.
Oh, but I forgot the highlight of moving to LA. (besides getting to play with my precious grands throughout the week.)
Meet George Bailey! Big Boy 2.0 He’s about to have a wonderful life!
All these photos are to answer, where have you been for over two years?
I know. I know. You didn’t sign on here to hear all about me. You want a recipe from my mother.
a photo of my parents Mary and Robbie probably in 1947
You tuned in for a vintage recipe and you will have the best, right here.
Prince of Wales cake (recipe from 1941)
I chose the Prince of Wales cake because I remember my mother making it often because it’s a good basic spice cake. Here is a picture of the recipe from her cookbook.
And it’s not because it’s not readable, here is the recipe.
1 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter (full) – that might mean real as opposed to margarine, which was the popular choice in her day.
1 1/2 cup sour milk (surely that means sour cream). I used sour cream. Maybe that’s why both times the cake seemed dry. Perhaps I should have used buttermilk. What do you think?
1 full cup ground raisons
1/2 t. grnd nutmeg
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. grnd cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t. grnd. cloves
1/2 t. allspice
Smear cake pan with crisco and then dust with flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the sugar and butter. Beat the eggs and add the soda to the sour milk/cream. Add all dry spices to flour and mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, depending on the pan. The Bundt pan I used extended that time to 45 minutes. Honestly, it’s anyone’s guess. I think my mother must have assumed anyone who attempted this cake would know how to bake one.
Me? I’ve never been exceptionally good at following directions. I tried this cake recipe two times and both times the cake was dry. But that isn’t how my mother’s cake was, so please try this and get back to me on how I can make it better. Here’s a picture of the finished product. It did TASTE good!