Friday, September 7, 2018

Family, Food and The Gruffalo

Does this photo of our granddaughters that their father took while they were visiting us last weekend not personify the last lazy days of summer?

I am in love with it and with the two models and was beyond excited to learn they were coming to visit Mimi and PawPaw.

I remembered their dad, our son, once saying that he liked New York cheesecake so I baked my second one of the summer from Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires, a book my friend Melanie of Comfy House sent me, knowing I was a Reichl fan.

This time I remembered to wrap the springform pan in heavy foil and avoided butter dripping all over my new oven. What a mess that was!

Here's a recipe link for it.

BreeBree kept checking on me while I was cooking.

I marinated chicken the day before our company was due, using another favorite recipe from Reichl, this time from her My Kitchen Year, Food Cart Curry Chicken, recipe here...

I also made a 1940s recipe Cucumber Aspic, but knowing how the majority of you feel about aspics I'll skip a pic of that dish.

The next day RH and I went into our usual time to clean up, company's coming mode and then I set the table...

and went out to the garden to clip some blooms for the table.

Soon it was time to cook our simple supper. I love Reichl's chicken curry recipe because it only takes a few minutes to sauté the chicken and only 20 minutes for a pot of rice cooked in chicken broth.

One of the best sights in the world is these two girls hopping out of the car for a visit. 

Our beautiful daughter-in-law is hidden behind my flower arrangement...

And for pity's sake, remind me to remind RH not to take pictures of company at table from this angle. Or to at least put the lid down on the toilet in the bathroom first! Wouldn't you think that he'd have learned his lesson, Poppy, Tammy and Doreen, after leaving the seat up a couple of weeks ago? That cost us two trips to the chiropractor after I fell in it in the middle of the night. 

I am very glad that RH doesn't have a blog himself, right? Payback time would surely come!

But since this is my blog, here's a shot of the dreaded aspic, after all. 

And since this is Ratting on RH Day, let me 'splain why my New York Cheesecake looks so pitiful.

When you're running a knife around the rim of your cheesecake before releasing the springform latch and your husband insists on helping, be sure he knows you don't want it pried out of the ring, just loosened.

Oh, I would so get it if he were a blogger.

However, his son, and mine, took the pictures of this cheesecake. Does he ever know how to make a messy cheesecake look beautiful, or what?

Now's when I have to highly recommend a children's short movie for you--and I'm not a cartoon-type fan at all but our granddaughters wanted to watch it and who am I to argue with that. Are any of you familiar with...
Charming movie! I've watched it twice by myself on Netflix since the girls went home.

All too soon it was our last day and a beautiful morning in the garden after breakfast.

Believe it or not, I took these two shots with my phone but how could they help but be good, with my two beautiful models? 

Who knew that grasshoppers liked potato chips?

Ah, the last lazy days of summer, they can't be beat, can they?

So you don't like aspic, dear readers? 

How do you feel about New York Cheesecake?

Not like that either? 

Then how about joining the Gruffalo for a meal of:

Roasted Fox
Scrambled Snake
Owl Ice Cream

Just watch out for the poisonous wart on the end of his nose!

Want to join me for a dish of Gruffalo Crumble?


  1. Dewena, Oh How I laughed about your assistant cook...prying the cheesecake loose. :) Sorry honey, just have to say I know your pain. :):) I love the little stick poker girls. That is a truly adorable picture of them. Glad you had a grand time. Blessings to all, xoxo, Susie

  2. Dewena, the photos of girls is simply marvelous! As to the food, now I'm hungry. Sunday I made a peach cobbler and a black cherry cobbler both delicious! Here's to good food and great company!

  3. You KNOW I think those girls are precious right?! Who wouldn’t? I can feel the joy in your writing over having them with you. Truly a wonderful way to end the summer.

    I laughed out loud imagining you falling into the toilet. Sorry not sorry lol. Can’t help it. I have a warped sense of humor like that :).

    Love NY cheesecake, and like you, I’ve made more than my fair share of goofs while making it. Lots to think about...water bath, waiting just the right amount time to remove it from the pan, and lastly, making sure fisherman doesn’t ‘help’ the process because for sure he and RH are cut from the same cloth.

    I seem to be having a hard time publishing this comment so if you get two delete one.


  4. The New York cheesecake looks sooooo good, Dewena. That is the sweetest picture of the little ones, and one that should be framed. How wonderful you got to spend some time with your family. I've never heard of The Gruffalo, sounds like a fun character. I got to watch a little Sesame Street with my grandbaby, and it brought back so many memories of when I watched it with my young kids. I love the picture of the girls with the grasshopper. They look fascinated watching this lively critter. They sure are enjoying the last lazy days of Summer. : )

    love, ~Sheri

  5. Nothing any sweeter than those sweet little girls hanging over the dock with sticks. Mine do the same thing when we take them to the park. Perfect picture.
    The Gruffalo sounds like a great childs movie. I will check it out.
    I have never had aspic, I know, what planet am I from? I would definitely try the cucumber one. Love cukes.
    The cheese cake looks delicious and I will take two slices.
    I so enjoyed your post and wow, where did the summer go?

  6. The problem with assistant cooks like yours (and I have a similar one) is that one doesn't want to discourage them from ever helping again, yet sometimes the results are not quite what one wants. I like aspic. And cheesecake.
    The girls on their tummies poking sticks into the water is a perfect summer photo.
    Two of our grandchildren are with us this weekend and I thought the Gruffalo would be ideal to watch. Alas, it's not on the Canadian version of Netflix yet.

  7. Too funny about your dear husband's foibles!

    Your granddaughters are so adorable. That first photo is the epitome of summer. I think that one should be printed and framed.

    Never heard of the Gruffalo but I'm guessing that's because there's no little ones around in my household.

    Mmm...chicken curry. Love it! Well, even though your cheesecake didn't turn out the prettiest because of "a little mishap", how did it taste? I bet it was still delicious.

  8. I just read your post. and every single comment.
    well. not the falling into the toilet part. you can have that.
    but I love the reality of the pictures and the tiny face in the kitchen looking up at you checking on your progress!
    and the girls and your beautiful landlords! this post is what I bet Father Knows Best wishes it could have been! the reality of it. it's perfect to me.
    and YES! I would eat the cheesecake if it were even dropped upside down. proof that it's what's inside that counts and you can't judge a book by its cover!
    and who says nobody doesn't like Sara Lee? I'm sorry! the commercial just ran through my head. I like aspic! I've never had the cucumber kind but I bet I'd like it! it looks so fresh and jewel like! ok. enough gushing I guess. but... DSM... OH MY!

  9. I think everything was an absolute success for your feast! We all make mistakes and they NEED to be posted! Most times we never notice what people point out--like the toilet!! And so many of us become brave...and include photos we never would have. And your table setting is beautiful!

    Finally, your two little models are tugging at my heart. You have beautifully captured summer with every photo on your blog today! :)

    Jane x

  10. I love the Handful of Sunshine photo -- it's too too charming! Your beautiful models do help to make photography easier :-)

    The cheesecake would tempt me to the depths of gluttony, especially *because* it was a little tattered on the edges, and one always needs to tidy up by eating the tatters away, right??

    This was a fun post indeed. But you still need to write the one about all the good dinners you planned and prepared with the gleanings from your pantry, fridge, etc!

  11. Those are beautiful photos! They are timeless. The girls are so pretty. Does BreeBree love chicken? Our little dachshund loves it and haunts the kitchen while I'm cooking. All of your food looks delicious but the aspic does remind me of my grandma. Falling in the toilet is not funny! I'm always reminding Monsieur about the seat. Late summer is a beautiful time.

  12. That photo should be published. It's amazing! And while I've never had aspic, I do love cheesecake...NY style is the best! And it doesn't matter what it looks like either. I'm in!!

  13. Oh Dewena, you are too funny!!! Good thing Hubby doesn't have a blog is right, he'd get you good for this one! Your grands are gorgeous!!

  14. Sweet little girls, and the pictures sure are the essence of summer! I am new to your blog and have so enjoyed reading your posts! I have become fascinated with aspics now.....

  15. That first photo is, indeed, summer sweetness personified! Please tell me you will print it and place it in the most beautiful frame you have, then put it somewhere, (I'm guessing your night table), where those adorable girls are the first and last thing your eyes see every morning and every evening. I absolutely LOVE it!

    I'm not a big fan of cheesecake, but if I do find myself cutting a sliver of it, among all the other bigger slices of desserts I would serve myself in a tray, (strawberry tarts, chocolate eclairs, tiramisu!), then it must be smothered in strawberry or raspberry topping. YOURS, though, looks scrumptious, just the way it is, as do all of your dishes, which you always prepare with so much love.

    Oh my goodness! I pictured you plopping into the adult 'potty', and tensed up, imagining the shock you must have felt, and secondly, the dreaded trips to the chiropractor! Hopefully, your hubby has become more aware of the potential consequences of his 'masculine' tendencies!

    I'm so glad that you got to spend such quality time with your precious princesses and their lovely parents. You are beaming from their visit, just like the gorgeous rays of light that shine in your beautiful photos!


  16. Good Morning!
    Well you know it just isn't those darling girls that personify Summer, goodness, family, values and love it's you!
    Dropping by to visit you is like getting a cup of goodwill and

    I have never made a cheesecake, I have always been afraid of them.
    Maybe it is time to replace fear with a sense of adventure and faith!
    I hope you are doing well now after the "potty," episode and that hubby is practicing better potty courtesy!
    Wishing you a great day,

  17. Hello,
    Thank you for the prayers for Sam. He last called me on Monday at 2am, he was off to Basic. He quickly told me he loved us and he would be preparing for the hurricane! Goodness, he has jumped right in. ;-) he had more airline issues than I ever have had and now a hurricane.

    I LOVE that photo. The curly hair, that just makes me smile.

    I am not a cheesecake girl .. I LOVE PIE! :-)

  18. Hi Dewena, I got a few chuckles out of this post! First your granddaughters are adorable. That photo of them fishing looks like something out of Huck Finn! You should really frame a copy! Also thank you for posting the curry chicken recipe...I cannot find mine and it's been years since I made any!! I will have to print that one out! I have had similar fiascos removing desserts from pans. I am not proficient at serving cream pies and every holiday the same disaster occurs when I serve my chocolate cream pie! What I have learned is that it still tastes wonderful even if it is served in a heap of something that does not look all that appetizing!!! You just can't go wrong with pie crust, chocolate pudding and whipped cream. The same is true for cheesecake, though yours at least stayed together when you served it by slice....what a wonderful visit you had with your family! Good times, good food, good memories made...take care! Linda ps I missed the potty lid up...I didn't see it. I even clicked on the photo to see it larger and still couldn't see it. I must need stronger glasses....

  19. Oh my Dewena your two grand-daughters are so adorable. Fabulous photographs of them, but I especially like the first one - it speaks summer days!

    BreeBree looks so sweet too.

    I so enjoyed your post and seeing your meals and recipes too.

    All the best Jan

  20. Lovely and Laughter should be the title for this post.
    Lovely family and you make me laugh ( great sense of humor ).
    Those two cuties, fishing off the dock , reminds me of a scene from Little House On The Prairie. Adorable!

  21. Ha! Very cute ending to this post! The first pictures of your precious granddaughters could be a prize-winner - It is perfection! The two of them on the chair is adorable! I'd probably eat the aspic, and I'd never say no to NY cheesecake. Poor RH - I bet he won't make that toilet error again!

  22. i liked your post - adorable "models" so cute and that cheesecake..yum. Love the colors of the room where the table is.


RH and I love your comments! They are sent to my email for moderation first but I do hit publish as soon as I read them. A few commenters' comments are not sent to my email for some reason but I try to visit that section on my design page twice a day to see if they're hiding there so I can publish them. I went the first 3 years of blogging not knowing that was there and when I discovered it there were many pages of old comments that never got published. I was so embarrassed and contacted recent ones but hid in shame from those who had given up long ago.

In these busy days I appreciate so much when you take time to comment. Thank you so much!