The French Laundry

Fresh, white and clean sheets with lavender scent in the vintage French Laundry Basekt

Fresh, white and clean sheets with lavender scent in the vintage French Laundry Basket

I stumbled upon some french laundry baskets this Memorial Day weekend at an antique warehouse in Forney, Texas.  I have wanted one for a long, long time but hadn’t found one at the right price.  As luck would have it, DeRidder Antiques was having a Spring Cleaning sale and they were very reasonably priced…so I bought three.

Few simple things bring as much pleasure as line dried bed linens washed in home made lavender laundry detergent.  The smell and feel of crisp, white linens pulled taught on a freshly made bed that beckon a heavenly rest.

My laundry closet is like my house; not fancy or well appointed…but simple, straightforward and quaint.  No apologies…it just is what it is.

The perfect place for home made lavender laundry detergent.

Simple Washing Powder

16 cups baking soda

12 cups borax

8  cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*

3 tablespoons lavender,  lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Combine baking soda, borax and  soap flakes. Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk. Use 1⁄8 cup per  load.

 

The basic items needed: Borax, Baking Soday, Soap Flakes and Essential Oil.

The basic items needed: Borax, Baking Soday, Soap Flakes and Essential Oil.

Soap flakes just look clean, don't they?

Soap flakes just look clean, don’t they?

 

A vintage enamel bowl is put to good use to mix Borax, Baking Soda, Soap Flakes and Lavender essential oil.

A vintage enamel bowl is put to good use to mix Borax, Baking Soda, Soap Flakes and Lavender essential oil.

Vintage containers hold linen water, Borax and cleaning supplies

Vintage containers hold linen water, Borax and cleaning supplies

 

Vintage Mason Jars filled with old wood and wire clothes pins with a sweet home made label

Vintage Mason Jars filled with old wood and wire clothes pins with a sweet home made label

 

Using office supply oak tags and alphabet stamps for laundry room labeling

Using office supply oak tags and alphabet stamps for laundry room labeling

 

Home Made Lavender Laundry Detergent.

Home Made Lavender Laundry Detergent.

Freshly dried and folded linens in the French Laundry Basket.

Freshly dried and folded linens in the French Laundry Basket.

 

 

That Simple Moment of Happiness…

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Farmer’s Market Eggs.

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Farm to Table Lemons.

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Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice.

Sometimes everything you have is everything you need at that moment.  A content moment, although fleeting, feels second nature.  Maybe it’s a belly laugh at a good joke, a picture that conjures up a fond memory or crashing into a song on the radio that you loved, but haven’t heard in a while.  Or maybe, just maybe, it is a simple as enjoying a helping of good food that rings every bell on your palette.

Memorial Day is the last hurrah of Spring and the signal of warm, balmy days to come .  It is also the time of year that I make the ever Patriotic Flag Cake.  An Ina Garten recipe that I have been making for years, it is a lovely and moist lemon sour cream pound cake base with cream cheese frosting and an abundance of farm market fresh strawberries and blueberries that celebrate the red, white and blue.  Add a bit of my homemade raspberry lemonade as a chaser and everything you have is everything you need for that simple moment of happiness.

Recipe is below, enjoy and above all, have a happy and safe Memorial Day.

I hope you find some inspiration.

We Remember.

Always,

Cindy

 

 

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Blue Berries Cream Cheese Frosting

Farm Fresh Blueberries and Strawberries

Farm Fresh Blueberries and Strawberries

Flag Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the icing:

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To assemble:

  • 2 half-pints blueberries
  • 3 half-pints raspberries

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

 

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.

 

Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.

 

For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.

 

Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.

 

I serve this cake right in the pan. If you want to turn it out onto a board before frosting, use parchment paper when you grease and flour the pan.

The Days Ahead…

 

Christmas Pepperberries, now dried juxtopposed against the shiny mercury glass.

Christmas Pepperberries, now dried juxtaposed against the shiny mercury glass.

 

Please forgive me, I haven’t posted in a while.  Simple explanation…I had company for about three weeks and I started a new job.  Roll both of those together and it leaves nary a moment to do any kind of blogging.  But here I am, in the first weekend when I can breath a little bit.  It is such a lovely day, all I can think about is green grass, hydrangeas getting ready to bloom and in general, looking ahead.

Last weekend I spent cleaning from top to bottom.  This weekend I can take some time to pay attention to the details like changing out my Winter vignettes for something that says Spring.  The dried pepper berries with mercury glass arrangement is just such a thing.  Pepper berries have gone by the wayside, mercury ornaments are placed in a wire bowl someplace else and both are replaced with lovely, white blooms.

Something simple makes me very happy.

I hope you find some inspiration.

Until next time,

Cindy

Pepperberries and Mercury glass...the bridge between Winter and Spring

Pepperberries and Mercury glass…the bridge between Winter and Spring

 

Replaced with simple white blooms.  An easy change with great impact that welcomes Spring.

Replaced with simple white blooms. An easy change with great impact that welcomes Spring.