Friday, April 29, 2011

It is almost May! We're having warmer weather but parts of our beautiful country have been devastated by tornados and floods.
The future King of England weds his new bride, surrounded by thousands of wild hats!
Football is on.
Casey is off.
The war rages on……

But here in my world, there aren’t so many Highs and Lows….there is just life. I’m developing recipes for Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery (there will be a cookbook someday!). I am also working with The Tasteful Olive on their recipes.

Geisha Chasing Butterflies
On May 20, I will have some of my mixed media collages in The Olive Branch Gallery for the Third Friday celebration in Historic Downtown Overland Park.
In just 6 short weeks, Art in the Vines will take place and I am gathering my work for that annual event at the vineyard. Mark your calendars now! June 11th...opening at 11AM!

Last night, I attended the Border Challenge for Autism 3, held at the Boulevard Brewery here in Kansas City. The painting, “A Puzzle Without Borders”, by The Somerset Ridge Painters, was a big item in the event’s silent auction. The painting will make its new home in the  Mason House, a facility for students with special needs, in Overland Park.
As one of the painters of "A Puzzle Without Borders"I can truthfully say we are thrilled it will be hanging there!


William's Cousins

 The Wedding
I set the DVR to record the Royal Wedding, starting at 3 AM today. When Princess Diana married Charles, the idiot, I actually set the alarm to watch the event live. Today, I woke at 7 AM, fixed a cup of tea and got back into bed to watch the elaborate occasion. I was amazed at the hats! Good Grief! Where do they come from? Some were lovely….many were ridiculous! Look at Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, the groom’s royal cousins! What were they thinking!

 Prince William and the beautiful Kate made all of those British subjects very proud….at last, they have normal acting, attractive looking royalty to look up to! I don’t know if I will still be around when William becomes King, but I imagine he will be a fine Monarch. After all, he is the great great great great grandson of Queen Victoria!
I am not a huge fan of British foods, but must say, the quality of today’s chefs from England is such that their food is changing my opinion. We all know they call cookies “biscuits” and I love them, whatever they are called, but it was while I was watching that British movie, “Calendar Girls”, that I realized I had never made a sponge cake. (I love the way the British say “sponge”!) So, I did a little research and came up with a recipe. This Victoria Sponge was the favorite sponge cake of Queen Victoria, and has since become a tried-and-true recipe for tea-time sponge cakes. Victoria Sponges are generally filled with jam, and are undecorated on the top, but you can serve each piece with a dollop of whipped cream, or shake some powdered sugar over the top if you'd like.
Victoria Sponge
1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cup regular flour
½ tsp salt,
1 ½ tsp baking powder
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
4 to 5 tablespoons strawberry jam
½ pint strawberries
½ cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
 Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cream the butter and sugar, add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time, adding a spoonful of flour between each. Fold in the rest of the flour and cornstarch and when it's all incorporated, add a little milk as you need.

- Pour and scrape the batter into two 8-inch round cake pans that have been buttered and lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cakes are beginning to come away from the edges, are springy to the touch on top and a cake tester comes away clean. Leave the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 min before turning out. Cool completely.

- When you're ready to eat the cake, put one layer on a plate, right-way up, spread with jam and scatter fruit on top. Whip the cream till it's thickened but still soft and spread over the “jammy fruit” (how British sounding is that!). Place the other layer on top and sprinkle with several tablespoons of sugar.
I could learn to enjoy Tea Time in England!

Needless to say, William and Kate’s cake was a little more elaborate than Victoria’s Sponge.

Follow this link to Saveur’s history if Royal Wedding Cakes

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Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker