My front door. Welcome! ♥
New England spider cake (recipe below).
This morning, a baby cardinal came to our garden and inspected the feeder.
It was a mostly quiet week which was just lovely. We've had a lot of out-of-town company this summer, with more on the way, so it was nice to have time to potter around the garden and walk in the woods and read and just be.
A couple of weeks ago when I was in Gloucester, I found the slim paperback book pictured above. It is a historical novella called Moss on Stone about Susannah Norwood Torrey who lived on Cape Ann in Rockport during the 19th century. The novella incorporates excerpts from a diary Susannah kept early in her marriage and reads like a memoir. I feel I owe a debt to the author Sandra Williams for introducing me to Susannah. In 'Susa' I have found someone very kindred to myself. The book is a lovely, lovely volume with beautiful illustrations by the author's artist husband, and though it is not an exciting book or a particularly compelling tale, it captures the spirit of a person and place that have captivated me. You can read more about Moss on Stone here.
In the book, Susannah and her husband make a New England spider cake for supper one evening. I had never heard of spider cake. I found a recipe for it here and made it for breakfast yesterday. It is made with cornmeal but does not have the same texture as cornbread. It reminds me of Clafoutis. It was quite good with maple syrup, but I think it would be excellent with fruit preserves, as well.
New England Spider Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine 4 teaspoons of white vinegar in two cups of milk and set aside to sour (it helps to warm the milk slightly first).
In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup of yellow cornmeal, 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
Whisk two eggs into the soured milk. Mix into dry ingredients and set batter aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 12 inch cast-iron skillet (I used a regular oven proof skillet). Pour in the batter. Pour 1 cup of heavy cream into the center of the batter. Slide skillet into oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until top is set and golden. Slice into wedges and serve warm with maple syrup or fruit preserves.