Five Little Things| Kitchen Confidante | Ina's Chocolate Cake

Five Little Things

Five little things I loved this week: 1. Ina’s Chocolate Cake You know me, I’m constantly tweaking and experimenting and playing with my food. But sometimes, you have to turn to the tried and true. I was asked to bring the cake to my great…

Five Little Things| Kitchen Confidante | Ina's Chocolate Cake
Five Little Things

Five Little Things| Kitchen Confidante | Ina's Chocolate Cake

Five little things I loved this week:

1. Ina’s Chocolate Cake

You know me, I’m constantly tweaking and experimenting and playing with my food. But sometimes, you have to turn to the tried and true. I was asked to bring the cake to my great aunt’s 90th birthday last weekend, so I turned to Ina. Her Double-Chocolate Layer Cake recipe is as perfect as it is reliable: dark, rich, and not too sweet. Now if I could just master the frosting part, I would be all set…but I don’t think anyone minded. It was quite delicious. Thank you, Ina. Again.

If you would like the recipe, click here.

2. The Definition of Beauty

I have a special place in my heart for my grandmother’s sister, partly because she reminds me so much of my Mama, in looks and in her quiet strength. And at 90, she is the definition of true beauty. Grace. Poise. A quiet calm. I took this photo at her 90th Birthday celebration last Saturday evening, and do believe she is as elegant and beautiful as ever.

Beauty at 90-LirenBakerPhotography-Kitchen Confidante

3. Cornish Hens History

Speaking of grandmothers, soon after I published my post on Buttermilk Braised Cornish Hens, I learned that the original breeder of the Cornish hen was none other than the grandmother of one of my friends! She sent me this lovely piece that was published after her grandmother, Alphonsine “Therese” Makowsky, affectionately called “Te,” passed away. Such a rich life, and what a fascinating culinary family history! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

And if you are inspired to cook more Cornish hens, may I suggest Pamela’s Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Game Hens. It’s another one pot meal that is sure to satisfy.

4. The Written Letter

When was the last time you wrote a letter? Not a text, not an email, not a tweet. A real handwritten letter?

I loved this piece that Jenna Bush Hager did for Today, on her very own grandfather, our 41st president. He is known for his love of the handwritten letter, a vanishing art in this impersonal digital age.

I must have a thing for grandparents this week. But this really touched me. To tears. If you are on a mobile device, you may not be able to view the video clip, but promise me that you will watch it when you get home. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat or not into politics at all. This is far more important than all that.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

5. Test Drive

And now, something fun. Wipe those tears and get ready for a good laugh. This is awesome!

Happy Friday! May your weekend be filled with family and delicious food. And maybe a handwritten letter, too :)

Comments

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  1. dixya@food, pleasure, and health

    I love reading your five little things- its so thoughtful :) your great aunt is so elegant. Very nice of you to make that cake. And talking about letters, I have been thinking to write a letter to my grand mother who lives in Nepal – in my native language because she does not do technology much or understand English :)

    Reply
    • Liren

      Thanks, Dixya! It was an honor to be able to make a cake for her.

      I hope you do write to you grandmother in Nepal – I’m sure she would love that!

      Reply
  2. Rose Magpies Recipes

    I love hand written letters ! My grandma used to write to me for a long time and I still have those letters.One Summer my best friend and I wrote to each other almost everyday and presented the letters to each other when we met again at school :) was so much fun! What a lovely list, and your grand aunt is so beautiful, grace personified indeed!

    Reply
    • Liren

      What treasures, Rose! Those are precious letters to hold on to…and reminds me of when my friends in high school wrote heaps of letters too! I need to find that box…

      Reply
  3. Marcie @ Flavor the Moments

    I never hand write letters anymore. Do thank you cards count? They have to, right? If so, then I have! I often feel like I should tinker with a recipe but some are just too good! Every year I make Ina’s Irish Soda Bread, and it’s so perfect. The only thing I tweaked this year was using chopped dried apricots instead of currants. I say thank you’s to Ina all the time, too!

    Reply
    • Liren

      I like to think that thank you cards definitely count, Marcie! They must!

      I love how you use dried apricots in Ina’s soda bread – brilliant!

      Reply
  4. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Heart-warming post! I love that we are able to learn so much from our loved ones :)

    ps: I’ve always pondered about hand-written letters. It’s been so long since I did one myself. Time to do it, thanks for the reminder :)

    Reply
    • Liren

      I need to write more letters, too, Kiran. My husband gets letters, but I need to write to my sister, and brother, and loved ones. I needed that reminder, too :)

      Reply
  5. Mary

    Have I mentioned that I wait with great anticipation for your Friday’s Five Little Things post. :) I was especially touched today by The Written Letter piece. I have always believed that my mom single-handedly keeps the postal service in business. Never a day goes by that she doesn’t drop at least one (often several) cards or letters addressed to family and friends into the mail box. She is such a strong believer in keeping the written word alive. Thanks to her example, I too, frequently send out letters and notes as well. I think she and George Bush would have a lot to talk about. Happy Friday, Liren!

    Reply
    • Liren

      I’m so glad!!! I do enjoy the Five Little Things, and am so glad you look forward to them. Your mom and her letter writing reminded me how sad I will be when Saturday postal delivery becomes a thing of the past. I try to send out cards frequently, but admit it has been a while since I actually mailed a letter. I need to do that soon :)

      Reply
  6. Patty

    Love your five little things Liren! The portrait of your grandmother’s sister-that just knocked off my socks -so gorgeous!!! Have a wonderful weekend;-)

    Reply
  7. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen

    What a touching post and what a gorgeous chocolate cake! I can’t keep my eyes off it. Thanks for sharing this and for inspiring us with all your lovely thoughts, Liren!

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Brian, I did feel a little sappy when I was compiling this list, I do admit :) All these darling grandmothers…

      Reply
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