Thursday, July 19, 2012

Farmhouse cake and other farmhousey bits...

For ten years now, I've been doing my level best to turn my sandwich-style spec. house into an old-fashioned farmhouse.  Of course we don't have a farm.  Or chickens.  (My man says chickens will never happen and yes I've asked.) We don't own land.  And our house isn't old.  But those things haven't stopped me. Because my Mama didn't raise a quitter.

If you asked me what I thought farmhouse style really was (and I realize you're NOT asking... I'm just telling you) I'd probably say that it's more a "feeling" rather than a physical style.  (Okay that's not really true but go with me because I think you'll kind of agree with my opinion when I'm done.)

I think it's open armed invitations for drop-in visitors.  I think it's a jug of my Mama's famous (at least to me) Cinnamon iced tea waiting to be poured into mason jar glasses and sipped while kids play outside.  I think it's gauzy white curtains swaying in the breeze.  I think it's comfortable linens, squishy pillows, and baked goods beckoning.  I think it's a garden busting and tucking parcels of fresh produce from the overflow into your friends and families arms as they leave.  I think it's laundry swaying lazily on the line outside.  I think it's the feel free to "wear your shoes in the house, or take them off"- whatever makes the guest feel most at home, policy.  I think it's impromptu BBQ's where everyone brings something to contribute.  I think it's twinkle lights on the patio as the dark covers.  I think it's fresh-cut flowers from the yard sitting by the sink.  I think it's kids and various doggy friends running in and out of the house, followed by the echoes of laughter.  

But most of all...when you get right down to it, though we love all of those things, it's the warmth of our family to yours, via welcoming you into our home no matter what it looks like. 
 The other day I was taking my laundry off the line.  Side note about that, I hate laundry... but there is something very calming about laundry on the line, taking one thing down folding it and placing it into a basket, with sunshine and clean linen scent clinging to my face as I work.  I love laundry in the Summer. Go figure. Anyway, I was taking it off the line, and I rounded the corner, and my eyes fell on the colors of summer- green grass, flower and garden toppling out of grayed out raised beds, sparkling white picnic table, etc.  I walked inside and just breathed deeply.
  It hasn't felt like home here for a few years... most of you have been reading long enough to know why at this point... but since this house seems to be where we're supposed to be, we're doing our best to make it home.

And I'm doing MY best to make our home into an old farmhouse.  Ha!

I'm still working on the chickens part. 

And as for the cake I mentioned in my title... well, I made-up a very random new cake recipe the other day for my starving hoodlums just home from camp. 
I harvested a bunch of things from our garden and started creating.  It turned out to be a very delicious snack for two hoodlums that devoured almost half of it in one setting.  (As with all gluten free baked items, it's best fresh.)
Gluten free Farmhouse Cake: 
1/2 c rhubarb chopped
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c water
1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary
*Place in saucepan and heat until rhubarb is softened a bit.
Add 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries and puree.  Set aside.

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup puree (above)
1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs.
*Blend together.  Add the following dry ingredients and mix just until blended:
2 1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum

*Pour all into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  (If desired, add 1/4 cup puree to 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar and whisk in milk, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency for glaze is reached.)

Happy Weekend friends,


  1. I think that is a wonderful description of farmhouse style! It sounds lovely, inviting and a place to make wonderful memories for your family. I'd love that cinnamon tea recipe, sounds delish!

  2. between you, becky and shannan i am totally all about farmhouse. like all the way. my house is NOTHING like farmhouse, but my heart is... that's what you get for growing up in the chicken capital of the world in norcal! : ) i had rhubarb pie for the first time at my grandma's and it was phenomenal. i can only imagine how amazing this tastes. hmmm... now to adapt it for an egg free family!

  3. We have neighbors that have I get to hear their gentle 'clucking' while out back but don't have to deal with their stink or mess...AND my Momma has chickens (she has lots of property to house them!) so I get the benefit of FRESH eggs too boot! :) I'll be rooting for you to get a hen-house though!! - because that's what Blogland friends DO!

    And agreed...I had my Hubby put in a HUGE clothesline out back for me this year...I adore sheets dried in the sunshine!

  4. It looks like you're getting there, that cake looks so yummy. We live in the county and are zoned for chickens our neighbor has a few that pay us a visit every now & then. You always have such great pictures.

  5. that cake looks amazing...and i love your home.
    i sorta wish i had your amazing talent in the baking department!
    everything you make looks so divine!

  6. Ask for 5 chickens and when he says no, just tell him that Annie has 175 so in the big scheme of things, 5 is like none, really. :)

  7. I love this post. Especially the way you described farmhouses. That is pretty much exactly how I want my house to be! Minus the chickens thing. I love, love, love fresh eggs but I don't like the mess chickens make even in their own little coop and yard.

  8. Looks like farm livin to me! see my last post. We vistited my folks real genuine working farm in Indiana. Farmsytle is definitly a feeling. I say you did a great job.

  9. Just perfect! You nailed it right there! I love farmhouse style too!
    Love your photos and yum that cake looks fantastic!

    Deborah xo

  10. Looks like you're doing a pretty good job of it to me! I always read you in email but today came over looking for your FB....that's me, a day late and a dollar short....LOL

  11. Sounds as though you are doing a marvelous job in making your farmhouse a reality, Sasha. The cake sounds yummy too!

  12. I agree 100% with your definition of a farmhouse. I don't have a farmhouse either, but love the feeling of one. We do have some land and about 70 chickens, which sounds like a small number after reading Annie, from Morning Joy Farm's number!! Wow!!!

    I love your home, it's very warm and inviting - you're doing a great job at giving it the olde farmhouse feel <3

  13. I do love your explanation of a county farmhouse style home. Your photos are just wonderful. I feel as though I went hiking right along with you folks. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  14. little description there?? you just NAILED my total homemaking philosophy. i love that. i want my home to feel like that. and i totally know that feeling you got with the whole arm load of laundry, white picnic table...all that. ahhhhh. love this post :)

  15. you definitely accomplish that and more. can't forget the giggles and your bubbly voice to give it just the right ingredient to homey:)

  16. Oh that cake sounds divine! And I think you hit the description of farmhouse living perfectly. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It made me want that too. It made me want to come visit. It made me wonder what cinnamon iced tea was like :-) Hope your weekend is fabulous Sasha!

  17. I love your farmhouse style description. Perfect. Thanks for sharing! I needed that today :)

  18. Oh girl I have been trying to do the same thing to my cookie cutter house. Thank you for reminding me that the most important part of it is the feeling your home gives you and all who enter it.

  19. Great pictures on this post! I especially like the first one where it looks like the plants in the bowl are about to be washed but are actually on a different counter!

  20. I was raised on a small farm with goats and chickens. The house was always chaotically cluttered and messy, but people loved to come and visit. They would come to pick up their goats milk but would stay to chat over tea. As long as there was always a clean cup and a cleared place to sit, all was well. :)
    Growing up there with my grandma was the most wonderful thing. Her home was nowhere near as polished as yours, but certainly held the same 'ambience' of which you capture. I love your vision. It's simplistically perfect.

  21. giosmama26@yahoo.comJuly 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    I LOVED this post and my idea of farm house is exact same as yours. Made me smile from ear to ear. This post made me 100%. I'll refer to it OFTEN!

    Many blessings...


  22. i like that you said shoes on or off depending on what makes you feel most at home! i have a couple friends who are sticklers on the shoes off thing and it feels a bit intimidating at times! at our house we have given up on the shoes off because i don't want to have to scream at my children ten hundred times a day & ask guests each time they enter! it makes me a calmer momma!
    your "farmhouse" is so cute & fresh!

  23. Oooo.....sounds wonderful. I'll have to give it a try. Have a great weekend!

  24. Hey LMM- I adore your blog - it makes me smile every time!! We are not gluten sensitive so I was wondering it I made this cake would I just substitute WW flour? And what about the xanathan gum? What would I put instead of that? Thanks! Your house is definitly a HOME!!! :)

  25. I've been working for 10 years to turn my "1970's rambler w/ a daylight basement" into a farmhouse. :)

    For me . . .

    Farmhouse Style is . . .

    My white kitchen cupboards (painted over the DARK brown lacquered 1970's wood).

    My two Antique French Doors (one hanging from the ceiling above our kitchen "bar" . . . the other hanging on the living room wall as a picture frame for our 10 older children).

    The white wainscoting "bead board" in the entry and our master bedroom.

    My "craigslist" solid oak china cupboard in the dining room and my "craigslist" mission style lawyers bookshelves in the living room, with the leaded glass doors.

    The old window frame propped up on the fireplace mantel.

    But, most importantly, the comfy homey feel of a place where guests are always welcome . . . the backdoor is always open . . . kids, teens, and young adults always know there is a place to come "home" to.

    Yep. I sure do love my 1970's "Farm House", even though I would love a "real farm" some day, too.


  26. Such a beautiful description of a kinder, gentler way to live! I remember my mother having a huge garden and always having fresh veggies + she canned too. There's nothing like sheets that have dried in the sun! Have a nice shower and climb into bed...sleep like no other. Your home is beautiful and I'm sure visitors feel very welcome!


  27. you have done such a great job of creating that farm house feel that you desire for your home. I'm trying to slowly do the same thing over here at our place. It's far from a farmhouse, but I agree with you, it's more of a feeling.

    {lets keep telling ourselves anyway!}

  28. I agree with you %100. I've bee trying to infuse my cookie-cutter duplex with the feeling of farmhouse and country for the past three years, and your home is one of my inspirations. And one of the main reasons I'm in love with the colour yellow! I love the bowl you have your herbs in next to the sink. I'm slowly transitioning from the cheap and ugly dishes we bought when we got married to prettier but just as useful ones. I need a bowl like that! And I went out and cut some lavender simply because your post inspired me. Thank you!

  29. I love, love, love your description of a farmhouse. I think you encompass that whole atmosphere on your blog.

    Unfortunately, our true to life "farmhouse" are some of these things, but on the best days, it means mud in the house, medication in the fridge, a calf in the back entrance in means haul out a piece of newspaper so the old guys don't have to take off their boots at morning coffee at the kitchen table...means two toned vehicles in the front yard, I mean with dust. I could go on and on about what it means, but your thoughts are so much gentler.

    You are the best. One heck of a mom, too.