Tag Archives: birthday

A Cake, A Cobbler, and Baby Marley

2 Aug

Chocolate Raspberry Whipped Cream Cake

Today is the first Thursday of the month… and that means that the Ashland Rotary Club celebrates the birthdays of the members born in this month.  This day is important to me because for the last dozen or so years I have been the creator of the monthly birthday cake.   It is one of the ways that I serve the club and I enjoy it because it gives me the chance to connect with everyone in the club at least once a year.

At today’s meeting,  the program was given by one of our club members, Tim Simonsen, who talked about Mercy Ships.  Tim’s daughter, Alyssa, is a nurse and last year she volunteered for eight months aboard the Mercy Ship and for two weeks, Tim and his wife, Kathy, worked there as well. The entire crew is made up of volunteers who not only work for free, but  also pay room and board to work on this ship!

Mercy Ships currently operates the largest non-governmental hospital ship in the world.

Though I’d heard about the Mercy hospital ship before, today was the first time I saw what it was that they do and I was deeply moved by the stories that Tim shared with us.   The mission of Mercy Ship is “Bringing hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor” and the world is a much better place because of the efforts of all of their many volunteers.  If you’d like to learn more about Mercy Ships, you can see a short video about their mission here.

After the meeting ended,  I went back home with the goal of making a Raspberry Peach cobbler.  My friend Jamey’s son, Ryan, and his wife, Savannah, have recently had a little girl, and I wanted to bring a pie to congratulate them.  And just in case they wanted to share it with Jamey (who is gluten-intolerant), I knew I had to make it without flour!

Preparing the cobbler.

First I peeled the peaches and sliced them into a bowl.  Then I tossed the peaches with a bit of sugar and some cornstarch (not flour). Once this was combined, I added some fresh raspberries and placed it in a glass pie dish.  For the cobbler topping, I combined two cups of gluten-free flour (I use Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix when I don’t make my own) with 4 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of baking powder.  Mix this together until crumbly and then stir in 1/2 cup of half and half until it just comes together, and then gently plop it on top of the prepared fruit.  Bake for about 35 minutes at 375 and you will find a delicious dish waiting in the oven when you’re through!

This is what I brought to welcome Baby Marley… and to congratulate her parents, Ryan and Savannah.  I wish them all things good and a lifetime of happiness.

A sleeping baby Marley!

PS More good news!  The cake that I sent to my son, Coco, for his birthday TWO WEEKS AGO! has finally arrived… and is still edible.   And for that my heart is happy!




Day 119: Barbie

3 Aug

A short time ago, my friend Barbie helped me with a major project. She was prompt, professional and prepared. And when the project was completed, she stayed to help clean up. She was an angel when I needed one.

Since she would not accept payment from me for her work, I asked if I could please make a special dessert for her when she needed one. This offer was acceptable to her and the other day Barbie called to ask if I would make a fruity dessert for her son’s birthday. A fruity dessert? That sure sounded like a pie to me and so today I went shopping for some fresh fruit.

At the Ashland Food Coop I noticed the raspberries first – plump and brightly colored – they called out to me. But I didn’t want to make a pie with only raspberries and so I kept shopping. That’s when I saw the peaches and right away I knew what I was going to do.

Once home, I peeled and sliced the peaches. Next, I added the raspberries to the bowl. I have to admit that it already looked yummy!

Then I added sugar, flour and a dash of nutmeg to the fruit and gently mixed it all together. I put this mix into the pie shell that I’d prepared.

In about an hour, I took the finished pie from the oven. It smelled divine!

Tonight I send heartfelt birthday wishes to Barbie’s son. May this be his best year yet!

Day 51: A Birthday Pie

28 May

This morning I met my friend Dennis Dunleavy at The Boulevard Cafe to talk about my blog. Dennis has been blogging for quite a while and has been an incredible mentor and an invaluable resource for me. According to Jay DeFoore, editor at American Photo, “Through his blog, The Big Picture, Dennis Dunleavy has emerged as a recognized authority on everything from the use of cell phone cameras in the London subway bombings to the ethics of photo manipulation….His blog posts have attracted a wide international audience, and his writings have been translated into several languages.” I count myself very lucky to have Dennis as a friend and guide on my “blogging” journey.

As I was ordering my coffee, I found out that it was the manager’s birthday. Seven weeks ago, it was at this very coffee shop that I met with my friend Debbie and decided to begin this “pie a day” project. I thought, what better reason do I need to make a pie?

What kind of pie do you make for someone’s birthday? I considered several options before deciding that Chocolate Cream Pie was the best choice. I first made a crust made from crushed Oreo cookies, prepared the dark chocolate filling, and then topped it with whipped cream that had a hint of Kahlua. Rich and creamy and just a bit decadent – the perfect way to begin a new decade!