Life on Regal-Hill: June 24, 2009

Thankfully, here at Regal-Hill we didn’t get the hail that some people in the area got last week. When we learned that there could be hail with the thunderstorm we found empty pails, plastic ice cream containers and whatever we could find, and covered any plants that were big enough to be damaged by hail. Being there was no way to cover the peas, since they have brush for them to trail on, we concentrated on covering the broccoli and tomato plants. At least now if hail is predicted again, we are ready with things to cover plants with. The plants had grown considerably since they were planted so they needed bigger containers to cover them.
This is the time of year when deer have their babies. So far we have only seen one doe and her little fawn and that wasn’t right here at Regal-Hill. However, one recent morning while walking I noticed a big plot of brown in our flat along the road. I wasn’t sure it was a deer but I couldn’t think it could be anything else. Anyway, I stopped and watched it. I couldn’t see any movement for some time and then I noticed that an ear moved so then I knew she was alive. I made some noise and she still didn’t get up and run off. I couldn’t understand her since normally it takes so little for them to take off and, if you don’t notice anything else, you can’t miss their tail. Finally, she got up and walked a short distance and turned and looked at me. She watched me for several minutes before ambling off. I still don’t know what was going on, but I wondered if she was trying to have her fawn. I haven’t seen her since, so I still don’t know.
When I walked this morning I did see a doe with her fawn. It wasn’t right here at Regal-Hill, but it was just down the road between the turn and the schoolhouse in a ravine, below the road where there is a stream running parallel to the road. Since it was raining I had my red rain slicker on, so of course she quickly saw me and ran off. I couldn’t tell if the fawn ran and caught up with her or not. Whether it was the same deer that I saw a few days ago I couldn’t tell since they all look alike. I was glad to see them anyway.

Lemon-Mint Pound Cake
with Strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
2-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 jar (10 oz.) lemon curd
1 qt. fresh strawberries, sliced
Place sugar and mint in a small food processor; cover and process until blended. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and 1-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4-1/2 teaspoons reserved mint mixture. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour alternately with 1/4 cup cream. Stir in lemon juice and peel.
Pour into a greased and floured 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a large bowl, beat remaining cream until it begins to thicken. Add 1/2 cup confectioners’ and 1 tablespoon mint mixture; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in lemon curd; set aside.
In another bowl, combine strawberries with the remaining mint mixture and confectioners’ sugar. Slice cake; serve with strawberry mixture and lemon cream.
Yield: 12 servings
Country Woman June/July 2009

Lemon Blueberry Shortcakes
1 pint vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons sweetened lemonade drink mix
2 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar
In a small bowl, combine ice cream and drink mix; cover and freeze for 1 hour.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds, lemon peel and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk egg and cream; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in blueberries.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times. Pat into a 3/4-in. thickness; cut with a floured 3-in. star-shaped cutter. Place 2-in. apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around edges.
To assemble, gently split cakes horizontally with a serrated knife. Top each bottom layer with a scant 1/4 cup of ice cream mixture; replace tops. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.
Yield: 10 servings
Taste of Home June/July 2009