Monthly Archives: September 2014

Cheesecake and tea meetup

There have been several requests for a baking meetup dedicated to cheesecake. And so it will be.

Who: You who cannot resist the call of cheesecake.

What: Um, cheesecake. Also, your favourite tea to share. And some Tupperware for leftovers.

When: Tuesday, October 14

When, part 2: 6:30ish

Where: Sophia’s (email me for directions)

Why: Because it’s cheesecake and cheesecake is awesome.

How: Good question. Either baked or no-bake cheesecake is splendid.

RSVP: Email me or join zee Facebook cheesecake event.

And now I’m off to Scotland. I will be back in plenty of time for cheesecake.



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Well done, bakers! 2014 Summerland Fall Fair

I GOT A BLUE RIBBON! My cake may have been a disaster but I still got my very first blue ribbon for my sweet chilli jam! Cue the curvy woman dance, which is kind of like a wiggle with an undertone of ecstatic power.

Fall Fair 2014_6


While I was at the Fall Fair today, I ran into some fellow cake ladies and saw several familiar names on submissions. Well done to everyone who put forward their creations this year, and also to everyone who is supporting the Fall Fair by buying a ticket. It was a hive of activity this morning, which was great to see.

More fall fair baking photos did I hear you say? Well, alrighty then! Chantelle’s hard work and multiple submissions paid off! And I don’t know what those judges were thinking, not awarding a ribbon for Janice’s pumpkin pie. We ate that pie – it was awesome. I call for a recount! Hooray also for Kim and her excellent #piebomb! If I missed anyone I’m so sorry – it was hectic and there were so many things to look at! If you have Fall Fair photos to share, please post them on our Facebook page.

Fall Fair 2014_1 Fall Fair 2014_2 Fall Fair 2014_3 Fall Fair 2014_4 Fall Fair 2014_5 Fall Fair 2014_7 Fall Fair 2014_8 Fall Fair 2014_9 I got mine at the Apple Barn

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Filed under Summerland Fall Fair, Summerland is awesome

Burnt bottom, raw middle: song of my baking ineptitude

So, I run a baking club. Many people assume that means I possess a wide swath of culinary skill, churning out tiered cakes and piping that would put the Sistine Chapel to shame.

I’m telling you, it’s a sham.

Not that I don’t try. Only last night I was up until 2am attempting to make a traditional German plum cake. Using yeast dough. My first ever yeast dough. Let me expand on the ways in which it went so very wrong:

I think I overheated the milk. My mom told me not to do this, but I thought it would be fine. The final dough mix was sticky. I called my mom, who by that time was in bed. “My dough is sticky – should it be sticky?”

“No…” was her groggy yet emphatic answer. She then instructed me to add more flour without actually kneading the dough. Ever tried this? Impossible.

I placed bowl on top of slightly warm stove top because it was the only warm place in the house. The dough shot up like a balloon, after which I moved it to a cooler spot, where it sat frozen in its half dome for the remainder of the proving time.

In the end, I didn’t roll it out thin enough. The plums didn’t stay standing up. Too much liquid came out and the bottom burnt while the top stayed decidedly un-golden brown. In my attempt to move it around the oven to even out the bake, I burnt my finger. I wanted to cry. I steeled myself and did not cry.

Welcome to this morning. Most of the cake has decided it will not be removed from the tray, and those bits that have acquiesced have left parts of themselves behind. In short, it a ruinous thing.

To sum up:

  • 4 hours of sleep
  • Burnt finger
  • Rubbish cake
  • Fall fair entry ruined

On a positive note:

  • My sweet chilli jam did turn out, so at last I’ll have SOMETHING to enter.
  • Since it was my first attempt baking with yeast dough, I have something to add to my list of “39 things” (this is the challenge where you do as many new things as your age. It gets harder each year).
  • I have an excuse to make this recipe with my mother the next time we visit. Any excuse to bake or cook with your mom is super.
  • I can now turn my attention to something that I AM actually good at, which is cheering on other people. So my camera and I will be at the Fall Fair on Saturday, looking for bakers’ club names and generally documenting our awesomeness. Chantelle is doing SIX entries! If she doesn’t get a ribbon, I’m going to make one.
  • Finally, I leave for Scotland on Sunday.

If anyone would like a piece of barely edible German plum cake, please let me know. The cost is exactly one hug.

I told you it was terrible.

I told you it was terrible.

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Filed under Sophia's ramblings, Summerland Fall Fair

Fall Fair Countdown! Entry info and excitement

Bakers! The countdown is on. The time we have all be waiting for is nearly upon us. This weekend, for one weekend only… the chance to stand atop the mountain of baking glory at THE 105TH SUMMERLAND FALL FAIR.

I have two pages of scrawled notes containing my mother’s recipe for German plum cake. I’ve never made it before and despite the fact that the base contains yeast and requires two hours of rising followed by not too much overworking (usually an instruction that I misread before pummeling it to death), I’m quietly confident that the Family Favourite Cake judges will feast fondly on it.

Here is what you need to know about entering your bake in this year’s Fall Fair!

  • Step 1: Choose your bake. If you haven’t decided what to make, head to page 20 of the Fall Fair guide and choose from one of the baking categories.
  • Step 2: Entry times. The exhibit entry hours for baking are: Thursday, September 11 from 5:30pm to 8pm and Friday, September 12 from 8am-9am.
  • Step 3: Entry cards. You can buy your entry card (remember your $.50 per entry!) when you bring in your bake during the above times.

Note: All plastic bags that are used for entries must be new!

If you’ve entered in the Fall Fair before and have any tips for our new bakers, please comment below or share your ideas on our Facebook Page.

I’ll be heading to the fair on Saturday morning look for familiar names and photograph the blue ribbon bakes. Because that’s how I roll.

A couple of other notes:

  • We enjoyed an amazing time at Grape Escape Guest House in July, and several bakers expressed interest in heading out again and have a go at picking grapes. Well, the time is now! Contact Gerri and George at (250) 404-4281 to get your hands on some grapes.
  • There will be a meetup in October. I don’t know where, however there have been several requests for a cheesecake themed meetup, so wherever it is, there will be plenty of cheesecake. I will follow up in early October.

Happy baking, everyone!

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August meetup!

BakenightA massive thank you to everyone who came along to pre-Fall Fair baking practice night at Okanagan Crush Pad in August. We ate a lot of pie, and some cake, drank some amazing wine, and generally had a splendid time. There were stories of great success and a few of disaster. We learned that putting a cherry pie on top of a fridge to keep it out of the way of a pie-loving dog, can later result in a dramatic fountain of cherry juice descending upon your clean shirt when you attempt to haul the pie down again.

Thank you to Okanagan Crush Pad for letting us take over your beautiful patio, Mike for giving us the grand tour of the winery and introducing us to the baby “Bubs.”

I present photos of the evening, interspersed with the odd recipe.



Clan o’ bakers!

Bakenight1 Bakenight4

Mike shows off the Bub

Mike showing off a Baby Bub in the making. This is a truly hand crafted product, requiring a delicate tours and a lot of patience.


OCP Baby Bub

Baby Bubs in the making

Peach Pie2

Jennifer’s Peach and Ginger Pie.


Better late than never! Straight out of the oven and to the bake night table.

Apricot Pie

Jean’s Apricot Pie


Mike’s traditional Tarte Tatin.

If you’re keen to try a Tarte Tatin, Mike swear’s it’s fairly straight forward. It certainly was tasty!

Bumbleberry Pie

Laura’s Bumbleberry Pie

Laura’s Bumbleberry pie filling calls for 1 cup raspberries, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup strawberries and 1 cup blackberries plus 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch. Bake 375 for an hour (or so).

Carrot and beetroot cake

Lisa’s Family Favourite Carrot and Beetroot Cake

Cherry Pie

Kim’s Beware-of-pies-up-high-Cherry Pie

iapple pie

Sandra’s I-Pie (Apple Pie complete with Apple logo)

Sandra’s Apple Pie (in partnership with Betty Crocker)

Pastry for 9 inch Two Crust Pie
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ t ground nutmeg
½ t ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
6 cups thinly sliced pared tart apples (about 6 medium)
2 T margarine or butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare pastry. Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in apples. Turn into pastry lined pie plate; dot with margarine. Cover with top crust that has slits cut in it; seal and flute. Cover edge with 3 inch strip of aluminum foil; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust. 40 to 50 minutes.



peach and bourbon pie

Sophia’s Peach, Ginger and Bourbon Pie


Diane’s Apple Pie, complete with pretty lattice work!

August was Diane’s first bake night, and she went the extra mile with her lattice work.

Pie Crust

2 cups flour
1/2 package tenderflake lard, very cold
6 tbsp very cold water

Measure flour, using large holed grater, grate lard into flour, fluffing it in as you go.
(I add a pinch of salt)
Add the water, and lightly mix together with a fork or knife, then dump onto floured surface and knead only till it comes together and is smooth, about 10 times.

Cut in 2 and roll.

Filling: from Perfect Apple Pie, Better Homes and Gardens (1965)

6-7 tart apples
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
Dash salt
Pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie
2 tbsp. butter

Pare apples and slice. Combine sugar, flour, spices and salt; mix with apples. Line pie plate with pastry, fill with the apple mixture, dot with butter. Adjust top crust, or make lattice top,; sprinkle with sugar for sparkle.

Bake in 400* oven, rack in bottom 3rd of oven, 50 minutes or until done.

Pumpkin Pie

Janice’s Pumpkin Pie. For a woman who says she doesn’t do pastry, this pie was amazing!

The Summerland Fall Fair is this weekend! Your wee reminder of all the deadlines and other newsy factoids will be posted tomorrow.

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