Don't Leave Out the Spice

Dear Friends,

None of our family members will ever forget Granny Ella ( 'Granella' to her grandchildren) and her memorable baking. She was famous for her special Spice Cake with maple and walnut frosting. She was also famous (in her later years) for leaving out the baking soda... But no matter, it was all cake to us and we loved her for it. Her recipe has a special place in the family cookbook - a love note from our Canadian grandmother.

Granny Ella lived a life full of her own particular spice, stories of her abound and make us laugh to this day. I suspect there's one in your family too, so here's her Spice Cake recipe to celebrate all the spicy souls we love. Those who've passed on and those who remain. Let's love them for all the flavor they bring into our lives. Thank you, Granny Ella, for more than just your wonderful cake. You will always be an inspiration. Enjoy.

Spice Cake

3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 cups Purity flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1 cup sour milk
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups raisins

Cream butter until it is soft and creamy and gradually add sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add flour and cut in with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture is like coarse cornmeal. Reserve one cup of this crumb for top of cake. To the remainder add sifted baking soda and spices and blend thoroughly. Beat egg until foamy, add sour milk and continue beating until well blended. Add spiced crumb and mix quickly, stirring until batter is fairly smooth but do not over mix. Spread carefully into well greased 8 inch square pan and sprinkle reserved cup of crumbs on top. Press crumbs into surface of batter and bake in moderate oven (350ºF) for about 40-50 minutes. Allow baked cake to set for 15-20 minutes before removing from pan.

Maple Walnut Frosting

*Container vanilla frosting
*1 tsp. Maple Extract
*1/2 c. halved walnuts

1. Stir together maple extract and frosting. Spread over cake. Top with walnuts, placed in circular fashion around the top of the cake.

With memories in mind,
love Ruth and Rose

To Dream...

Dear Friends,

Exciting news!

Ruth and Rose is getting a room of our own so that we can serve our customers better! A quiet space with four freshly painted walls. A space to work and a space to get inspired. We're thinking of putting a
fabulous quote on the wall. Any ideas?

We're also humming a tune - 'to dream the impossible dream....'

Please stay posted,

With memories in mind,
Ruth and Rose

If Walls Could Talk

Dear Friends,
Have you ever wished your scrapbook could hold more than just pictures? We have - in fact we talk about it all the time...
A handful of shells perhaps, or a bottle of beach sand from that lovely trip to the coast. Or the box of watercolors -and not just the child's painting? What about those pale pink ballet shoes, too small for her feet now, but filled with happy memories?

One of our favorite things to do is to find a great scrapbook page, frame it in a ShadowCase, then
add a touch of whimsy - something memorable that makes us smile. A ShadowCase is the perfect size for a 12x12 scrapbook page, we made quite sure of that. It is also a good 1.5" deep, lots of room for imagination and all the goodies my scrapbook simply can't hold. So please take a look, I made some samples below. I chose themes from all throughout the year, because I enjoy changing them out every so often. Sisters at the beach become sisters in the parade, children in the falling leaves become children squealing with delight in the first snowfall, that sort of thing.

Scrapbooking is such a wonderful art form, we simply love it! We think it will shape our times in the
same way yesterday's handicrafts shaped our mothers' and grandmothers' generations. All the love, creativity, and time it takes to remember our loved ones on those pages... Not so very different from a crazy quilt, a cross-stitched masterpiece, or your great-aunt's embroidered cushions. So let's not hide all our art and creativity inside our books. Let's get it up on our walls where it can shine!

With memories in mind,

Ruth and Rose

Food for Thought

Dear Friends,

Isn't it peculiar that our sense of taste and smell is so attached to our childhood memories? The
smell of woodshavings makes me feel eight again. I am waiting for my father to bring in a new puppet theater or small table and chairs from his woodshop. I can still feel the anticipation. The smell of aged sheet music takes me back to my grandmothers organ bench, instantly I'm there watching her fingers move across the keys.

And then there's the heaven of all taste and smell, grandmother's kitchen. There are those days when I need to feel her in my kitchen, to feel her a part of my family's life. I think that's why I search for her recipes and find them with such joy. Like meeting an old friend with a quaint German name. 'Hello Kuchen, how nice to see you again after all this time. You haven't changed a bit...'

So in the spirit of finding all our old recipes and bringing them back to life- maybe for the first time in your kitchen and mine - I want to share Grandmother Rose's LebKuchen recipe with you. This German cake is rich and chewy, fills the house with wonderful smells, and my children love it just as I loved it as a child. I believe that making good family food is a love language all of its own, and it is one I hope we all continue to share.

With memories in mind,

Ruth and Rose

German LebKuchen (loaf cake)

3 Eggs
3-1/2 C. Flour
2 tsp. Cinnamon
Powdered Sugar
2 C. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 C. Honey
1 tsp. Salt
4 T. Lemon Juice
Cooking Instructions:
Beat eggs until foamy. Add brown sugar and honey. Mix and sift flour with baking soda, salt, cinnamon, add to first mixture. Mix well. Pat into greased and floured jelly roll pans, 16x11 inch. This makes a stiff dough, so wet hands and pat even. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. While hot heat lemon juice and stir in enough powdered sugar to make thin icing. Drizzle over cake. Cool, cut into squares.