Bread and Sausage Rolls-


Baking makes me happy.

It keeps me sane.

And it makes me focus.

It accompanies my memories.

And fills my day with fragrance.

Today, I followed several of those strands- needing to be cheered,

seeking a focus for melancholy and enjoying the trip into the past.

My friend, Joanna at Zeb Bakes shared some of her pictures of the

holiday fare at her home.  And one thing she shared was sausage rolls.


At the very mention, my interest was piqued.

Jordan and I went to visit Luke and Willow when they lived in England

whilst Luke attended Durham University.  We went after Christmas-

Boxing day until the end of the first week in January.  It was wonderful.

We traveled around the north of England and into Scotland- visiting Lindisfarne-

staying at a B and B in the Lakes district- spending a couple of days in Glasgow-

and much more.  We ate at pubs and tea houses, got fish and chips wrapped in

newsprint, and had fried bread and baked beans for breakfast, picked up fresh

baked foods at markets- and snacked on sausage rolls while on a car trip.

Jordan said he figured we stopped at every bakery and used book store (second-

hand book shop) that we came across.  I loved it.

So when I saw the sausage rolls, I asked Joanna for her recipe.  It was actually

her husband’s recipe for flaky pastry and sausage.  I made my own sausage with

bacon, pork, Granny Smith apples, bread crumbs, onions, parley,sage, and salt

and pepper.

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 138 139

Then I rolled it up in the pastry( you make pie dough and roll

it out, add a layer of butter, fold it into a small packet, refrigerate and roll it out again.

It becomes a short version of puff pastry.

So- my day ended up much happier.

Happy memories.

An accomplishment I hadn’t anticipated.

And- because I don’t know when enough is enough-




And more BREAD!


My house smells s0 very good.

We ate the French bread with dinner.

The rest I’m taking to Columbus tomorrow to share in our grandson’s baptism.

Bread is a blessing.

Red velvet cupcakes: can’t beet this experience!


picture by Laurel Bocka

Recently my oldest  brother celebrated his 70th birthday.

His family wanted a five layer cake to commemorate the day and I decided to make the top layer.

The other layers were: bottom- Dark chocolate peanut butter, second-Strawberry Butter cream,

third-Meringue butter with berry lemon cream, fourth-fresh winter fruit cake with caramel glaze and


red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate frosting.

The idea came from a Rachael Ray article from her magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray.

Anyway- we got together the day after we returned from Virginia and so I made the 

cupcake portion of my contribution at Meredith’s house.

Interestingly, this recipe calls for red beets rather than a lot of food coloring to make

the RED part of the cupcake.  That is why I chose to make these- because I knew

that I could share it with my grandsons without impunity.  So there I was, boiling up

the beets (with Meredith moaning in the background- apparently she HATES beets!  Who knew?)

I had just taken them from the oven when the oven guys showed up to measure the wall

for the double ovens Meredith wants on that wall- so I kept apologizing to Ed and Eddie ( who

could seriously be a comedy show all on their own!

“Measure to this point” –Ed

“Now, we cain’t take it out to there.” –Eddie”

“Well, I know we cain’t take it to there, but I want to measure it to there.”-Ed

“That’s fine- but we have to keep it to the right size.” –Eddie

“I’ll keep it to the right size- measure to this point, here.”-Ed

“We cain’t take it out to there.  It won’t fit- we need to keep 1/4 inch all around.”-Eddie

“ Well I know that.  We will- measure it out to here.”-Ed

“ We cain’t-…” 

It went on and on for a good 20 minutes this measuring and bickering.  They were like Mutt and

Jeff in appearance.  We just sat there – entranced with the show- until Ed’s phone started

ringing.  Suddenly, EVERYONE wanted to talk to Ed.  And Eddie wasn’t having any of that

either.  “Just hang up the phone and let’s get measuring!”

“Well, I will.  Let’s measure out to this point, here.”-Ed


Any way- back to the cupcakes.


The recipe called for 1 1/2 lbs cooked beets- pureed.

You mix brown sugar,eggs,Greek yogurt and melted butter


and flour, baking soda and powder,cocoa powder and salt.

And you have batter for lots of cupcakes-




  • 1 1/2 pounds beets (4 to 5 medium)—trimmed, peeled and sliced 
  • 2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 sticks (1 pound) butter, 2 sticks melted and 2 sticks softened
  • 3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


    1. In a medium saucepan, bring the beets and 2 1/4 cups water to a simmer over medium heat; cover and cook until fork-tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer the beets with a slotted spoon to a food processor, reserving the cooking water. Puree the beets. Add the reserved cooking water as necessary to get 2 1/4 cups beet puree; transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar and let cool.

    2. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Line a dozen 1-cup muffin cups with jumbo baking liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

    3. Whisk the eggs into the beet puree. Whisk in the melted butter and yogurt until smooth. Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring with the whisk until smooth. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cups. Bake until springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool for at least 30 minutes.

    4. Make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter and the cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar and pinch salt at low speed. Beat in the white chocolate and vanilla at medium speed until fluffy.

    5. Using a pastry bag  pipe the frosting generously onto the cupcakes.Sprinkle with red sugar.

    This was a lot of work- and kind of expensive- but the cupcakes were very good.  And they are kind of good for you.  And they keep wonderfully in the freezer.

    And the Ed/Eddie show was such a bonus that I wouldn’t want to miss any of the experience.

    A little jaunt down memory lane…

    Meredith  and I spent an afternoon walking about the stores in downtown

    historic Annapolis the week before Christmas.

    The stores were filled with Christmas items, the street filled with people.  It

    reminded me of spending some time in England and shopping in York, in the

    Shambles, just after Christmas nine or so years ago.


    The atmosphere was so much the same.

    Shopping in the cold-going from shop to shop- looking into windows and entering

    into the hustle and happy bustle of capitalism on a local level.

    This is why I quit shopping at malls.

    If I’m going to be part of a crowd I want an authentic mercantile experience.

    I don’t like to shop.

    That’s why I make my own gifts.

    But – IF- I lived where one could go to a tea shop and a jumper shop and a

    Second hand Book Shop and a Yarn store- going in and out and breathing fresh, salty,

    cold air- then I would probably go shopping.

    Because it is invigorating and fun.

    Come to think of it- that’s what shopping in Chincoteague is like, as well!

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    Psalm 119- or parts thereof!


    25 I am laid low in the dust;
       preserve my life according to your word.
    26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
       teach me your decrees.
    27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
       that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
    28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
       strengthen me according to your word.
    29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
       be gracious to me and teach me your law.
    30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
       I have set my heart on your laws.
    31 I hold fast to your statutes, LORD;
       do not let me be put to shame.
    32 I run in the path of your commands,
       for you have broadened my understanding.

    I haven’t posted a psalm lately.  I’ve been away from home-

    busy with holiday and preparations- not good excuses- but reasons

    for my neglect.  Not posting doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking

    about the Word and it’s relation to me.  And the psalm I have been

    thinking about is 119. The longest- but divided into smaller portions that

    make it easier to contemplate.-

    And- quite honestly – I’ve been looking at it from the bottom up.

    Running in the path of God’s commands is intriguing to me.  I AM NOT

    A RUNNER.  I walk, I ride my exercise bike, I do low impact stretching and

    yoga – but I don’t even consider running.  But running in God’s path- now, that

    I’m interested in trying. 

    I am no great bargain in the servant sense. These verses describe me pretty

    well- laid low- found wanting- needing teaching- I’ve lacked understanding

    and am prone to deceit. 

    BUT- I have set my heart on God’s laws.  I’m holding fast to his statutes – and I’m

    looking to Him to give me understanding and strength.

    And by His grace- I’m running in the path of His commands.

    Want to run with me?