Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday, Spring and Glazed Lemon Loaf

Khurt Williams /

There is a feeling in the air today which makes me think Spring is really here ... at least for the moment. I think we need to celebrate. Throw open the windows. Put something in the oven. Jot you a note. And, because we're still too early for songbirds yet, I found a link with some lovely bird trills and whistles to keep me company -- it's been playing all afternoon. 

I was out earlier doing some small errands around town. When I got back, I felt in need of a little rest. The window was open to catch the warm afternoon sun, and gentle breezes set the lace curtain to billowing. Do you think heaven could be any sweeter?

While I was out, I stopped at the library to pick up a book I had on hold. I've never read it, even though it's been around for decades. But it looks a delight. In the introduction, a fellow named Robert Barnard assures us that mystery readers "who have never encountered Josephine Tey are in for a delicious treat. Ms. Tey belonged to the Golden Age of British crime writing...and her place in the pantheon of mystery writers is unassailable." Sounds good to me.

Here is an excerpt from the back cover in case you, like me, are not familiar with her writing or this particular novel:
"On sick leave from Scotland Yard, Inspector Alan Grant is planning a quiet holiday with an old school chum to recover from overwork and mental fatigue. Travelling on the night train to Scotland, however, Grant stumbles upon a dead man and a cryptic poem about the stones that walk and the singing sand, which send him off on a fascinating search into the verse's meaning and the identity of the deceased. Despite his doctor's orders, Grant needs just this sort of casual inquiry to quiet his jangling nerves. But what begins as a leisurely pastime eventually turns into a full-blown investigation..." 
The Singing Sands is the sixth in a series of six mystery novels that include Scotland Yard's Inspector Alan Grant. Trust me to start from the back of the series, so I do hope it is a stand alone and doesn't need the others for it to make sense. And, poor Inspector Grant, we already know he's got nerves that need unjangling, so it will be interesting to see what kind of trouble Ms. Tey writes him into before it's all said and done.

At last it's out of the oven -- my Glazed Lemon Loaf -- and it's driving me crazy as it sits calmly on the kitchen counter cooling, while the tantalizing aromas of zesty, buttery goodness waft past my nose. The recipe is one I've had for decades now -- so it's tried and true -- and I am happy to share it with you here.

 * * * * *
“Cakes have gotten a bad rap. People equate virtue with turning down dessert. There is always one person at the table who holds up her hand when I serve the cake. No, really, I couldn’t, she says, and then gives her flat stomach a conspiratorial little pat. Everyone who is pressing a fork into that first tender layer looks at the person who declined the plate, and they all think, That person is better than I am. That person has discipline. But that isn’t a person with discipline, that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy.
A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life.” ~ Jeanne Ray, Eat Cake

I think this Jeanne Ray is a smart woman with her very sensible thoughts on eating cake. I shall remember her fine words when we have a slice -- a thick slice -- of lemon loaf later this evening. And now, it's time for the weekend to begin. I hope it's a lovely one for you, whatever you are planning.

* * * * *

Hugs and blisses,

PS.  I forgot to mention I have a new guest post up on the
InScribe Writers blog about unfinished projects and momentum.  
I'd love for you to visit -- here is the link.  B :)



  1. Oh I like Jeanne Ray. Marvelous quote. I, of course, having eaten a few too many doughnuts today, can not be looking for that recipe because I do have a problem with not eating the entire thing.

  2. I read Josephine Tey many many years ago. I'd almost forgotten about her. She is such a good writer.
    That looks like what we call 'Lemon Drizzle cake' when the lemon and sugar goes on just as the cake comes out of the oven. Yum!


  3. I think that is a brilliant quote by Jeanne Ray. I love anything lemon!

    I've never read Josephine Tey either. You'll have to give us a report on it when you've finished!

  4. Josephine Tey is my favorite of all the writers of the Golden Age. Singing Sands is wonderful and certainly stands alone but do try and find The Daughter of Time. It is wonderful and unique and has a wonderful blend of history and fiction.
    And thanks for the recipe. I love everything with lemon.

  5. Enjoy your book, it sounds like a good mystery! I think I'll add this author to my list. The lemon loaf looks delicious ... is there any left? I agree with Jeanne, there's nothing wrong with enjoying a little sweet stuff occasionally. Enjoy your week ahead Brenda :)

  6. Lovely post. I so enjoyed the words of Jeanne Ray. And, I absolutely agree with her about cake - love cake. Thank you for the recipe for the glazed lemon loaf. I will put that to very good use - most likely this weekend.
    Again, a lovely post and I always feel like you gave me a little gift!

  7. Love that quote re cake! A fine philosophy. ;) And that British mystery sounds wonderful. Our power went out today so I have been sitting in front of the fire and enjoying a quiet day -- a British mystery would have been just the thing. Your lemon cake looks delicious. Hope you're doing well Brenda. xo Deborah

  8. Lemon cakes are definitely Yummy!

    All the best Jan

  9. The spring breeze blowing through the lace curtains certainly does sound like Heaven, Brenda! To have the scent of lemon cake, too, would be absolute bliss! That first bite would be my idea of one of the best things in life. Some people just don't know what they are missing......old books are my favorite kind. Thank you for the recipe! Sending hugs xo Karen

  10. Dear Brenda - wonderful post. I can smell that Lemon Bread too...sounds delicious! Visited your link. Great inspiration - made me want to get busy in studio and start tossing some senseless mess and finishing the possibilities. Have a lovely week - hugs!

  11. I'm looking forward to trying your loaf. Maybe I will used one of my own dear lemons from my little lemon tree that grew eight fruits this year. I love desserts with intense lemon flavor :-) Have you ever increased the amount of juice in the glaze?

    1. I have not increased the lemon, but it might be a nice surprise to do so. Enjoying one of your own lemons will be a delightful treat indeed, Gretchen. I hope you enjoy!!

  12. I echo the other comments about the cake quote. Life is too short to deprive oneself of the yumminess of cake or other treats!

  13. Brenda, I had to come back and tell you I read two of Josephine Tey's books this week. I was supposed to be reading my book club book, but it didn't really interest me, so I went to the library with your recommendation. I read Singing Sands and Daughter of Time. Loved them both, esp Singing Sands. Thanks! xo Deborah

    1. While in Oxford I'm going to see if they have more of her work. I loved Singing Sands but our library doesn't seem to have much of her. Glad you are enjoying her writing too. xox


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo