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Of comfort and thanks and the holiday menu

We're all in need of a little comfort right about now. A favorite book of mine is a charming little novel called "eat cake" by Jeanne Ray. When describing the heroine, Ruth, the dust jacket blurb says "When she meditates, she imagines herself in the warm, comforting center of a gigantic bundt cake." During the last couple of months, I have often thought of that and imagined myself hugged by the warmth of a fresh-out-of-the-oven Italian Lemon Cake with mascarpone, one of two delicious bundt cakes on this year's holiday menu. The other is a customer favorite, Apple Bourbon Cake with cider bourbon glaze.

This year I'm especially thankful for my friends at Merrifield Farm Stand in Porter. Grace and the gang kept me busy all summer baking pies, galettes, cookies and brownies. I may have lost several wedding cake orders, but the farm stand customers more than made up for it. Grace's fiance, Noah, has become my Pie Mascot.

There are, of course, plenty of pies on the holiday menu. My 10-inch pies feature flaky, all butter crusts. Since most of us are keeping Thanksgiving small this year, I've included three fruit galettes on the menu. These free form, open face tarts, are perfect for two or three to enjoy. But, if you want leftovers, order the full size pie!

How about a box of cookies to drop off to a friend or family member this year? Or a pie or a cake? I can put the box in a big shopping bag, tied with a festive ribbon to make gift-giving a snap.

New this year are gingerbread kits, inspired by the light house kits I produce for Stonewall Kitchen. This year I'm offering a barn with farm animals, a traditional gingerbread house and a winter cabin with a pretzel woodpile. All come with extra pieces to add to the display so everyone has a chance to decorate something. Royal icing mix (and if you want me to mix it for you, I will), two pastry bags, colored sugars, snowflake sprinkles and gum drops. If you want to ship kits for gifts, call or email and we can discuss options.

On a personal note, I've cut back on orders a bit as I'm taking care of my mom this fall and winter. She is recovering from a broken hip. I'm grateful to be self-employed and able to spend time with her. We stayed up way too late the other night watching election returns, have been ordering lots of great take out from area restaurants and seem to have a good laugh at least once a day.

Wishing you all a safe, happy, healthy holiday season. As always, let me know if I can help you celebrate any occasion with delicious treats.

Air hugs all around,

Lisa Mae


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