Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saranac Summer Solstice Soiree

I have a new colleague at school named Joanna who teaches English. Joanna and her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter live on this BEAUTIFUL dairy farm in Saranac called Woven Meadows. And fortunately for me, Joanna and her family were gracious enough to invite their neighbors and friends and colleagues around for a Summer Solstice Celebration this afternoon. It was absolutely DELIGHTFUL! Perfect weather, lots of critters running around, kids at play, and tons of delicious food including a heritage pig roast (porker from Caton Acres Farms just down the road).

Check out this above-ground set-up (photo credit: Woven Meadows):

There were lots of other good eats, too...

Some hot chicks were mingling at the party:

And these ladies did not want to take no for an answer...

How many kids can we fit in a tiny sandbox?

It was a fun day for doggies, too (clockwise: Sadie, Eden, and my baby girl, Dollop)!

In addition to that most succulent Caton Acres roasted pork, there were several tables groaning with potluck dishes. I brought Texas Sheet Cake, and it sold pretty well. But the thing I liked best was a deliciously puckery lemon pound cake (pictured below, to the left of the neon red bundt) that one of Joanna's neighbors dropped off before the party. I am still pestering her for the recipe, and if I ever get it, I will report back and update. In the meantime, I am going to start counting down the days to next year's Summer Solstice Celebration, as I hope it will become an annual event.

UPDATE: Joanna kindly slid the recipe for that delicious pound cake that her neighbor made for the party under my office door, so here it is...

Cruze Farm Buttermilk Pound Cake
(Source: The New York Times)

3⁄4 cup butter, plus more for greasing the pan
3 1⁄2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the pan
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
2 ‌1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
3⁄4 cup solid shortening
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cultured buttermilk (see note)
Juice of 1 lemon, strained.

For the glaze:
2⁄3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.

1. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan, tapping out excess flour.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. In another medium bowl, whisk the sugar to break up clumps.

3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening, stopping to scrape down the sides. Slowly drizzle in the sugar; cream the mixture well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding the next when the last has been incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, mix in a third of the flour mixture until just combined. Add a third of the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk. Add the lemon juice and mix to combine.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 75 minutes. The top of the cake will be lightly browned, and the sides will shrink slightly from the pan. Cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a cake platter.

5. Before serving, stir together the glaze ingredients and spoon over the top and sides of the cake. It’s even better the next day.

Adapted from Cheri Cruze. Serves 10 to 12.

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