Penny the Traveling Clothespin Doll shares her adventures at home and abroad.

All posts in Recipes

Happy Summer days to you! They are drawing to a close now and the colder days are coming. But what a lovely summer it has been! Here is a glimpse of my garden scattered with sunflowers. And our wisteria arbor all shady and green. This is a good spot for grilling out and for campfires on warm summer nights, looking up at the stars and moon, and slapping mosquitoes.

Penny has plans to make a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake to eat on the porch with her friends. You’re invited too!


Mix together dry ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Add liquid ingredients:
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spread in greased 9×9 inch pan
On top of batter, place topping:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Over this, pour
1 1/2 cups boiling water
Do not stir!!

Bake at 350° for 35 minutes

Ooooey – goooey, chocolate goodness!

On the porch, under the pink geraniums, Penny gathers with her two solar light critter pals.

Come friends, let’s sit in the shade and enjoy this snack together.

Topped with whipped cream and one giant summer raspberry.

You, my friends, can split the berry among yourselves because you are my special guests today.

Dig in!!

Here’s a wider view of the porch where we enjoy spending our time. On this day I had been picking flowers to make bouquets, with my faithful companions, Gracie and Jasper.

I found this poem online that shares some of the fun activities and memory making joys of summer days. What are the special things you enjoy about summer?

– from

“O Lord, how many and varied are Your works!

In wisdom You have made them all;

The earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures.” Psalm 104:24

As we look forward to celebrating Easter this Sunday, Penny and I decided to make some hot cross buns to enjoy with my family when they gather on that special day. I enjoy the flavor of these rolls with the sweet bits of fruit inside. I found my recipe on the Taste of Home website: Traditional Hot Cross Buns. Lets gather the ingredients, Penny.

Let’s take time to write out the recipe to be handy as we work here at the counter.

Penny is the reigning Kitchen Queen with her giant wooden spoon!

She watches over me as I mix the yeast into the warm milk and let it rise. I love the frothy stage of growing yeast.

Penny prepares the eggs, two large homegrown eggs from our hen house, to be exact.

Next, I got a bright idea, for the quarter cup of sugar called for in the recipe, I used pure Merle’s maple sugar from where my brother works tapping trees for springtime syrup making.

We add all these ingredients to the bowl of starter, including the soft butter, and the cinnamon and allspice.

Today we are using the KitchenAid mixer and I tell Penny to step back as it whirls around energetically. Be careful there, little girl!

I add one extra rising in here, to make a nice dough. I let it rise in the mixer bowl before I knead it on the counter.

Once it reaches this high, I dump it on the counter and begin the kneading process.

Keep your hands well floured, Penny, so you don’t get sticky!!

Now we cut them into divisions and roll them smooth, with hints of the dried fruit peeking out. I made two pans of a larger and small size, and let them rise before baking.

I let them rise a bit too much before cutting the “X” on top, so its not quite so distinct. Oh well.

Come celebrate with me as we sample our finished Hot Cross Buns with the frosting added, accompanied by spring flowers picked fresh from my garden.

Let’s celebrate the Easter season together.

Its wonderful to have fresh daffodils, so cheery and bright.

I have been enjoying this very special song, An Easter Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen and lyrics by Kelley Mooney. It is such a hauntingly beautiful song of praise sung here by Cassandra and Callahan Armstrong.

The lyrics begin with:

“A crown of thorns placed on His head
He knew that He would soon be dead
He said, “Did you forget me, Father did you?”
They nailed Him to a wooden cross
Soon all the world would feel the loss
Of Christ the King before His Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”

And they follow the story all the way to the empty tomb, and the risen Lord, Hallelujah!

Have a Blessed Easter, my friends. ♥ Christ is risen indeed!!


Its cherry season!  A very cheery time of year.

Come on up and sample, I mean, pick cherries in the tree with me!



A pretty little basket just my size.



Then we will set up for a picnic under this beautiful, colorful tree.



I’ll set out the tea things…

(Please shoo away that fly!)



And we’ll both invite a friend…



Let’s celebrate together…





We must get back to work because the birds will soon be carrying away all the cherries they can eat.  We want to stockpile enough to can and freeze for the family until next year.  It may turn into a race before long!  Hurry, hurry!



Let me share a yummy recipe with you.  These cherry bars are a quick and easy treat, for when there isn’t time to make a pie.


Grandma’s Cherry Bars

  Mix  -   1 1/2 cups flour
           1 cup brown sugar
           1/2 tsp. baking soda
           1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  Chop in - 3/4 cup of butter

  Spread half of this crumbled mixture in a 9x13" pan, 
  press down as a bottom crust.
  Now pour on 1 quart of prepared cherry pie filling.
  Sprinkle remaining mix as a crumb topping.  

  Bake at 350  for 45 minutes (Or until golden edged)










Welcome to our kitchen!  Would you like to join us in baking some chocolate chip cookies this afternoon?  Notice our faded old recipe card, all worn and hard to read.  We use the classic Nestles recipe.  First we will gather all our ingredients, and as a special treat, we will include some walnuts this time.

(These photos are actually from last year, but the recipe remains a favorite.)

Step One:  3/4 cup of each white sugar and brown sugar.


Step 2:  cut in  1 cup butter

Penny is unwrapping a roll of homemade butter, made fresh here on the farm from our cow’s thick cream.  It is not yellow now as it is in the summer when the cow is out on grass.  Each ball is 1/2 cup.



We often use this antique fork for mixing our cookie dough.  Electa was a great-great-grandmother in our family tree.  The long tines are useful for blending our ingredients.  It is special to hold a little bit of history in your hand.




Step Three:  We will add 1/2 tsp. of vanilla to the mixed sugar and butter.




Step Four:  2 beaten eggs.  Fresh brown eggs, of course.

Uh, oh, do I see a fragment of a shell in there?  Fetch it out, Penny!




Step Five:  1 1/4 cup of white flour

1 1/4 cup of wheat flour  (we grind our own in the electric mill)

and 1 tsp. baking soda.




Step Six:  1 cup chocolate chips




Always be on guard when other persons are wandering about waiting for this step to produce snitching opportunities! Hands out of the Nestles bag!!




Step Seven:  Drop by spoonful onto the cookie sheet.  Then bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes.




Never mind about the mess, this project is worth it!




As we smell the cookies baking, let us fetch some fresh cow milk from the frig.




Then let us invite over a few friends from the kitchen shelf.




“Come join us for a sample cookie and a tall glass of cold milk.” (Served on an upside-down bread pan.)




For those of you who wish to see the recipe in its entirety, it will be rather challenging.




We even saved a few cookies for the rest of the family,  with love!  ♥