Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pure beeswax, lavender buds and lovely ribbon

Have you ever smelled pure beeswax? It is a beautiful and cozy aroma and is such a lovely warm colour too. Our good friends Magy and Clay owners of Green Hive Honey Farm of Camden, Maine were wondering what to do with all their beeswax and James and I came up with the idea of custom sculpted beeswax tablets scented with lavender oil and scattered with Maine lavender buds.

 The first step required  James sculpting a special mold for the you can see he included a beautiful big bee and one of Green Hives' iconic flowers on a background of comb hexagons - nice job James!
Then we sourced some lovely, soft lavender coloured ribbon to hang the tablet by (don't hang it anywhere hot or in a window that gets too much will melt!!) and I created the custom packaging and a nice new label for "bee fragrant"
Here is the first tablet wrapped and ready to go in Green Hive Honey's favourite pink tissue know you want can order from this page of the makes an awfully nice gift from Maine made by Maine bees from a Maine company sculpted by a Maine artist with packaging and label designed by a Maine designer...YEA!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Images from Maine on a beautiful Earth Day 2011!!

I love these double daffs and have no idea where they came from...
they smell just lovely!!

Happy Daffs standing proud against the bright blue sky
Rhubarb, rhubarb what shall I make with you can see my rhubarb is not very far along today, it'll be a while before I can do a rhubarb post!!
Lots of daffs ready to bloom in the "Enchanted Forest" by the barn

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Let them eat PIECAKE on April 29th!

Here is a pencil sketch I recently did for a very good client of mine...we ended up going in a different direction than this and I suddenly realized this would be a good image for this particular post!! FYI I usually do all my lettering by hand but as this was a quickie for this post I did break down and go the clonky Photoshop route...please forgive me!
Just in case you hadn't heard there will be a Royal Wedding in good old Blighty on Friday April 29th 2011...and if you'd like to celebrate then I have found and tweaked the
perfect recipe just for you!
It's PIECAKE...a cake baked in a pastry shell with pecans (or walnuts if you prefer) and toffee sauce, I made mine with maple syrup as a tribute to Maine and it is GOOD!!! Definitely worthy of Royalty and a recipe I have adapted from British Country Living...most apropos don't cha think?
Here she is in all her Piecake glory...YUM!!!!!

Enough for one tart case about 9” diameter…nice and thin,
I am not a chunky crust personage so if you like a thicker pie crust make this for a smaller diameter pan:
Have your oven heated to 350F

1 1/2 cups/6ozs of unbleached white flour
1/2 cup/2ozs confectioners/icing sugar
1 stick + 1 tablespoon/ 4 1/2ozs butter VERY COLD
1 large egg yolk
a tad of milk or cream if your dough doesn't stick together

1. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium sized bowl.
2. Grate the butter into the dry ingreds., and rub in until like breadcrumbs.
3. Add egg yolk and blend carefully until the dough sticks together
4. Mine didn't stick together with just the egg yolk so I added baby drop by baby drop some cream until it did start to come careful once it does start to come together it does so quite quickly...don't let it get sticky!!
5.Tear dough into big chunks… strategically in pie pan and start squushing to a create a smooth even covering of the entire pan…pop back into the pridge or freezer for 1/2 hour or so and let it get nice and cold..
The beauty of this crust is that it does NOT shrink…(although I will admit it shrank a little when baked blind as in this case...but not much!!) it stays put…good crust!!...and it tastes like a really good shortbread…yum!!

6. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes and then allow to cool.

The crust smushed into the pie dish

Piecake ready to go in the you see in the background someone in the house is goldleafing
4oz pecans or walnuts gently toasted for about 10 minutes at 150-200F
3 large eggs
5oz sugar (I translated this recipe from grams and the amount is odd and doesn't then translate into cups easily...sorry!!)
5oz sifted white flour unbleached
1 stick/4oz salted butter melted
10 whole walnut or pecan halves for the top of the cake.
1/2 cup maple syrup
2oz/ 1/2 stick salted butter

1. Crumble nuts into smaller pieces and sprinkle evenly over the slightly pre-baked pie crust.
2. Melt 2oz of butter with maple syrup and gently boil until the syrup foams up...allow to cool and then evenly pour over the nuts in the piecrust.
3. Beat the eggs until fluffy then add the sugar a spoonful at a time until all is added and mix is thick and pale.
4. Gently fold in the sifted flour.
5. Gently fold in the melted butter.
6. Spread this batter over the nuts and 'toffee' and then place the whole halves on the top - as above.
7. Bake in 350F oven for about 20-25 minutes until evenly browned on the surface.
8. Allow to cool before cutting...this is a great treat with a good steaming cup of tea AND it greatly improves with a couple of days keeping IF you can keep it around for that long...James and I didn't manage it...YUM!!!

Here's to a long and successful marriage for William and Kate....