If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake! – Here’s a recipe instead!

The title of this post refers to a tune my Mother-in-law used to sing to my son.

In this case, I was actually going somewhere. I baked this cake to take and share at our family Christmas dinner.

-> But, I forgot to take it!

After kicking myself over this memory lapse, we ate it when we got home. (Which wasn’t such a bad thing, either.)

I took a couple photos before we ate it, but do wish I’d taken photos during the baking process. Next time for sure…

In any case, I’d like to share the recipe. It’s somewhat based on a recipe of my Mother’s that I found in an old cookbook of hers from 1959, called ‘Nellie Lyle Pattinson’s Canadian Cook Book’, by the Ryerson Press.

The recipe is called ‘Orange Cake’, but I put my own twist on the recipe and turned it into a ‘Lemon Cardamom Cake’.

With no oranges at home, I subbed it with lemons instead, and added cardamom too, which blends perfectly with citrus.

Without further ado, here you go!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 & 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (freshly squeezed if you can!)
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground cardamom pods
  1. Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9″ round pan. (You’ll likely have more batter than you need, so make some cupcakes, too. I used an pie pan to create a more decorative edge, purchased on Etsy.)
  2.  Cream shortening thoroughly until light and fluffy Рadd vanilla extract & grated lemon
  3. Add sugar gradually, mixing well after each addition
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mix in milk. Beat until mixture is smooth
  5. Sift flour, measure, mix.
  6. Sift baking powder, salt, and cardamom
  7. Add all dry ingredients, & mix until smooth
  8. Pour batter into prepared pans
  9. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (up to 45 for square pan) Stick a toothpick in. If it’s clean, the cake is ready
  10. Let cool on rack

In addition to that, I slathered on some store bought whip cream, then added some blueberries and raspberries. It gave it a nice colour! Then some confectioner’s sugar sifted on top. Yum!

If you decide to make it, I’d love to hear how it turns out. Happy baking! ~ Karen

Gift of Nature – An art exhibit in #MyHaliburtonHighlands

Bittersweet – Karen Sloan

Happily, (after an 8 year hiatus), I’ve picked up my paint brushes once again. ūüôā

I’m also happy to share some more exciting news:

Gift of Nature“: A group exhibition of local artists¬† (including me), held this Thanksgiving weekend: (Oct. 12 & 13, 2019) at:

Sir Sam’s Ski & Bike, here in the Haliburton Highlands.

Of course, #MyHaliburtonHighlands is a beautiful place to experience any time of the year, but if there one season in particular where any artist will find inspiration, (even one who has experienced an 8 year block), it would have to be autumn!

Haliburton County is currently awash with brilliant colours in every shade nature can think of, everywhere one looks!

The weather is absolutely glorious for those many ‘leaf lookers’ who will want to witness this autumn splendour.

Stop in for a visit if you’re out and about!

Having thrown my hat in the ring for this art show, I’m looking forward to sharing my newest painting, alongside the wonderful work of so many other talented individuals.

In closing, I’d like to offer a big thanks to Sir Sam’s for hosting this event, and to the Arts Council of Haliburton Highlands for all of their hard work creating this event, and getting a group of creative types, who offer paintings, ceramics, mosaics, photography, jewelry and textiles, all assembled together.

Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Karen

DIY Seed Balls – Throw and Grow the Love in Your Garden

After¬†reading¬†a¬†LOT of information¬†about genetically modified seeds, and in turn¬†learning about¬†‘guerrilla gardening’, I was further led¬†to¬†the discovery of ‘seed balls.

Seed balls are¬†sustainable, ecofriendly¬†tools, initially created¬†for ecological urban renewal.¬†On a less serious note, they’re just a whole lot of fun!

Seed balls solve many of the problems loose seeds face before they have the chance to grow.

Wind can blow seeds away, birds or rodents might eat them, the sun can bake out their vitality, and excessive rain can carry them off. Seed balls protect them from all of that.

A seed ball is a little ecosystem that protects the seeds inside¬†before they¬†sprout. Essentially, it’s¬†a ball of soil, clay and seeds, that when¬†thrown, dropped, or placed in the spot where you’d¬†like the seeds¬†to grow, (and after¬†it receives¬†some moisture or rain), the seed ball acts¬†like a micro-garden that¬†slowly starts¬†to break down as the¬†seeds inside¬†begin to¬†emerge.

The seeds are then nurtured in that same pile of clay and nourishing soil. and because of this, seed germination from seed balls is very high!

So enamoured with the concept,¬†I¬†immediately set out to make some. In fact, over the last decade, I’ve made thousands, distributing them across North America, in packages of a dozen to individuals, and bulk quantities to be passed out¬†at all kinds of events.

I also make them just for me.

By customizing the variety of plants every year, depending on what seeds I saved, I make a batch to throw on the steep hill beyond our back yard. It has beautified an underused space with flowers that encourage pollinators!

Anyone can make seedballs! Here’s how:

Before you begin,¬†and I learned this the hard way so you don’t have to, this can be a messy project, especially if kids are involved,¬†so to save time¬†and aggravation,¬†don’t wear your best clothes, and remove your rings!¬†– Now for the recipe!

  1. Mix two parts soil, two parts dry powdered clay, and a whole lot of seeds.
  2. The varieties here include a range of drought tolerant native species harvested from my own garden. However, you can use any flower seed, herbs, fruit or veggie.
  3. Next step is to¬†add¬†water.¬†¬†Not too much, or¬†too quickly, but¬†enough to make the mixture damp. Stir it in slowly.¬†If the mix is too dry, it won’t hold together so add a bit more. If the soil and clay become¬†overly wet, the seeds will sprout before your finished seedballs get a chance to dry, which means you can’t store them to use at a later date. If the clump holds together, but won’t ooze water if you squeeze it, then that’s the perfect consistency.
  4. Then,¬†roll¬†the small clump in your hands into the size of¬†a meatball and place them¬†on¬†trays¬†to dry. If you’re fortunate enough to have a grow light stand,¬†put them under the lights overnight. They’ll be¬†almost completely dry the next day. If not, it will take a couple of days. Put them next to a heat register if you have room.
  5. Just a¬†note to tie in with¬†step¬†1 –¬†If you’re using sunflower seeds which are large in size, I’d suggest¬†rolling the balls first, then manually¬†pushing a few¬†seeds inside after.

Once they’re completely dry, they can be packaged and given as gifts¬†to friends and family! This is a great project for¬†kids, too.

If you’re really feeling¬†motivated and want to make more, how about getting creative? Use a candy/soap mold to make different shape seed balls!

I picked up a heart shaped chocolate mold at a local thrift shop and have used it for years to make the¬†heart¬†shaped seed balls. They’ve been a favourite¬†choice for¬†wedding favours¬†and for non-profits to hand out to volunteers at events.

Just to add, they’re really¬†popular this time of year as a Valentine’s Day gift. Enjoy, and grow some love!

 

 

 

Minden’s Christmas Shopping Evening – This Thursday in #MyHaliburtonHighlands

Get the jump on that holiday shopping! 

Make the most of the extended shopping hours offered this Thursday evening from 6 Р8 p.m. at many of the lovely shops in Minden, including Wall Flower Studio!

Browse at leisure from our delightful collection of locally made gifts.

We off unusual plants, culinary goodies, organic skin care + soap, gift baskets, pottery, jewellery, stocking stuffers, and more! For that hard-to-buy-for person, we offer gift certificates, too!

–¬†A range¬†of product¬†that are¬†guaranteed to include something for everyone!

Unable to visit our brick-and-mortar store?! Consider a¬†visit to¬†our Etsy shop online. We ship worldwide… AND, from now until Thursday at midnight, receive 20% off every item, (no minimum purchase required), with our sale code:¬†CYBERSALE20

– I’d be delighted to send any purchase intended as gifts to the recipient for you! Simply leave me a note upon purchase with the correct address and your included message. I’ll wrap it in festive paper and include a note card!

Thank you, and Happy Holidays! ~ Karen

 

Upcoming art and gardening related workshops

Wall Flower Studio is offering two distinctly different upcoming workshops!

  1. Kokedama moss ball workshop

Based on ancient Japanese art, the literal translation of¬†Kokedama¬†is ‘moss ball’.
Kokedama is essentially any plant wrapped in moss and doesn’t require a container. The moss is the container!
Once created, Kokedama can sit anywhere or be hung from string.
Perfect for small spaces, as a table decoration, on the a windowsill, or hanging above one, this living art will enliven any living/office space.
Join Karen on Sunday October 22 to make and take home your very own Kokedama!
All supplies provided! Fee: $30.00


2.¬† Papier-m√Ęch√© Animal Workshop

Interested in learning the art of Papier-m√Ęch√©?
Join Karen for a fun-filled adventure & learn how to create your own 3D animal sculpture! (*There are 2 spots left)

It’s fun, messy, and it’s a 3 date class… One to build, one to cover with papier-m√Ęch√©, and one to paint.

Dates: Sunday Oct. 29th + Sunday Nov. 5th + Sunday Nov. 12th. (2-4 p.m.)
Fee: $90.00 .. break it down to only 30 bucks per week. A great price for a fun class.
Come create, and don’t forget to¬†bring along your inner child!


Please r.s.v.p. for either (or both) workshop(s) to: 705.286.6999sloanartgallery(at)gmail(dot)com (or) at Wall Flower Studio on Facebook.

Wall Flower Studio is located at 102 Bobcaygeon Rd. РMinden Ontario. (Directly across from the CIBC) РPlease see map here on our website. Thank you!