"That afternoon, when Laura arrived, a little round table in the hearthplace had already been laid for tea. And what a meal! There were boiled new-laid eggs and scones and honey and home-made jam, and, to crown all, a dish of fresh Banbury cakes. The carrier had a standing order to bring her a dozen of these cakes every market day.

It seemed a pity to Laura that the first time she had been offered two eggs at one meal she could barely eat one and that the Banbury cake, hitherto to her a delicious rarity only seen in her home when purchased by visiting aunts, should flake and crumble almost untasted upon her plate because she felt too anxious to eat."  - Candleford Green, Ch. 1

Though I finished watching the final episode of Lark Rise to Candleford's Season 3 some time ago, my obsession has not subsided in the least. I've read all I could find by Flora Thompson and have spent an inordinate amount of time tracking down recipes for some of the foods mentioned in the book(s) and series. I bought The Lark Rise Recipe Book by Mary Norwak, but found it disappointing (a few of the recipes can be found here). Two things I was especially eager to try were Banbury Cake and Queen Cake.

After those cravings had been satisfied, finally, I launched into a full-fledged baking (and cooking!) spree which has lasted for several weeks now. Nevermind that it's entirely *too hot* to be baking! Here are a few of the favorites that we've tried:
Spanish Cake (from The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 egg yokes
1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 egg whites

Mix ingredients in order given. Bake in two 9" cake pans for 20-25 minutes at 350°. Frost with  Cinnamon Vanilla Buttercream or Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream. (I'm thinking this cake would be delicious with just a hint of orange too!)

Though the weeding is killing me, our garden is starting to look a bit more cheerful, which makes it so worthwhile. Here's what is currently in bloom:

'Mutabilis' China Rose

'Evelyn' David Austin Rose

'Hot Cocoa' Floribunda Rose



Mexican Hat Flower

Chocolate Cherry Sunflower

'The Dark Lady' David Austin Rose

'Europeana' Floribunda Rose




Snapdragons & Violas




More David Austin Roses

In the Medieval Garden:


Calendula / Pot Marigolds


According to a recent article in The Wichita Eagle, this has been an unusually good year for wildflowers due to the long cold winter and then immediate summer-like (hot!) weather. We seem to have skipped spring altogether, but I won't complain since the flowers have been so beautiful and prolific this year. Here's what's been blooming around our house this past week or so:

Western Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron strigosus)

Buffalo Bur (AKA 'Kansas Thistle') (Solanum rostratum)

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)?

Flower-of-an-hour (AKA 'Venice Mallow') (Hibiscus trionum)

Goat's Beard (AKA 'Western Salsify') (Tragopogon dubius)

Meadow Flax (AKA 'Norton's Flax') (Linum pratense)