A Question of Two Eggs

Colors of Spring:
Gold finch in the pink dogwood
 Make up your mind, already!  Is it Winter...or Spring...or Summer?  Hard to tell around here.  We've had a couple of 80+ degree-days lately, complete with high winds and followed by strong storms...and now back to the 50's with a chance of light frost tonight.

Some of you remember our pink dogwood (photo, left) in the front...and how beautiful it bloomed last year, just in time for Nana's 90th birthday party in mid-April. Well, because of the unseasonably warm days we've had, it's bloomed already, way ahead of the azaleas. 

 Since we've returned to chilly nights, I made what is possibly our last pot of beef-vegetable soup (AKA: "clean out the refrigerator" soup...:) of the season for supper tonight.  No worries:  the pot is full to the brim, so I'm sure I'll have some to tuck into the freezer...just in case.

And when I checked the now almost empty fridge (I told you it was "clean out the refrigerator" soup, didn't I?), I found just two eggs in the egg-keeper.  Hmmmm.  Now, should I make a skillet of cornbread to go with that soup?  Or, should I make a chocolate cake?  Decisions, decisions.  You'll just have to wait 'til the end of the post to see what I decided.  (No cheating by clicking ahead...:)

Let's see.  A recap of our weekend sounds like a broken record: yard and garden work, or yardening, as Mr. T calls it.  With sunny weather and warm temps, we packed Saturday and Sunday with as many chores on our list as possible.  While I was at the Kathryn Clay Edwards Library in Greensboro for Master Gardener volunteer duties at the Earth Day Celebration (I helped wee ones...and some seniors, too...plant Patty Pan squash seeds in pre-moistened peat pots...what fun!...:), Mr. T channeled his inner Paul Bunyan by cutting down a cedar tree in the back yard.  He also built a flower bed at the end of the driveway with landscape timbers as well as distributed about 50 bags of mulch (from those pallets that were delivered months ago when we built our garden shed, remember?)

When I got home, we cut down three more trees (two more cedars and a sickly tulip poplar) in the front yard.  Why are you cutting down trees, you ask?  Well, these are some we'd identified as needing to go to open up our landscape to some sun light for the other plants (especially those in the front yard, which were blocking both the sun from our one magnolia tree...and the path to our front door).  And, we've waited the recommended year after our move before we did anything rash.  (You know, as in:  "wait at least a year before you make any drastic changes to your new home, inside or out...")

Never fear!  As you know, we rarely throw anything away...we just repurpose it.  So, those tree trunks (minus the limbs) are now outlining a new path and patio area in the natural area of our front yard, created using all those bags of mulch.  Since they are cedar, they will last for years.  And, now the front of our house looks much more open and welcoming to visitors.

Removing that cedar in the back opened up the right side of our back yard, too.  We moved our swing and the tiny brick patio in front of it all the way to the corner, where we can enjoy the azaleas (which are just about to bloom...any day now).  We also created a mulched path to the new swing location...and it's a whole different place!
Last of the King Alfred Daffodils

Today, after a night of wind, rain, and hail, I picked the last of the King Alfred Daffodils (photo, right) in the Way Back and the Blue Star Hyacinths (oh my golly gosh...these do have such a fabulous fragrance...:) from around the mailbox and beside the garden shed, so that I could give the bulbs a good dose of Bulb Booster while the ground is moist.  I hope the bulbs will grow big and fat...so they can put on a similar display next year.

And, I weeded the strawberry patch...so I could cover the tender plants yet again with row covers.  Tonight is supposed to be clear and cold...mid-30's...so a frost is certainly possible.  There are worlds of white flowers on the plants, and I want to try to save all those potential tasty berries.  Yum!

So, with all that work, you just know the answer to the question of two eggs, don't you?  Whoever heard of cornbread being a reward?  Not me.

The Answer of the Question of Two Eggs:
Deep Dark Chocolate Cake, of course!

I got out my Hershey's Make It Chocolate Cookbook (c. 1987) and made the "Deep Dark Chocolate Cake" with "One Bowl Buttercream Icing."  This is sooooo easy and soooooooooooo good.  And, if you look at the cocoa tin you will see that cocoa has antioxidants.  That makes it health food, right?  Tee hee. The key is the boiling water you add at the end of mixing the batter.  Plus, I also ice the cake while it is still warm, to seal in the moisture.

Nana/Momma/Edith, who is still having good days and bad days...and sometimes all in the same day, like today...gave me that cookbook, all those many years ago.  Surely she won't mind having crackers with her soup...so that we can finish our meal with chocolate cake?  Surely...


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