Day 4 ( Sunday) : Today was a "lazy day". We were expecting my sister and her family to come for dinner in the middle of the day, so we just hung around. It was threatening rain most of the afternoon, but we took a chance and drove down the road to River Bend Farm , where there was supposed to be an Arts & Crafts Festival. Apparently the vendors had decided to pack up early and avoid getting rained upon, because all the arts & crafts were gone. But there was a band concert going on, with the Claflin Hills Symphony Summer Winds, so we listened to that for about 30 minutes. It was a small group of musicians, but they sounded fantastic!
Chris & David finally got here around 5:00, with a peace offering of pastries from the cafe - bavarian cream berry tart, chocolate-iced rum cake, peanut butter cup cheesecake, strawberry-glazed cheesecake, cinnamon-almond croissants.... oh yeah. The sky opened up and there was a good downpour, which we enjoyed from the screened-in porch as we played Yahtzee and some clap-snap-circle game that my niece learned at camp and wanted us all to play, but the adults were having coordination problems with.
Day 5: Amanda and I got up early and went to the cafe this morning to help bake! Chris and Dave are short-handed, and are doing all the baking themselves right now, and are having a hard time keeping the pastry cases full. David makes the quiches, stuffed croissants, and cheesecakes, and Chris does most of the desserts - muffins, cookies, lemon bars, 7-layer bars, cannoli, , cream puffs, lobster tails, eclairs, rum cake, fudge cake, carrot cake, etc. Amanda and I made carrot cake today - one for the pastry case and 3 for the freezer. We worked great together, dividing up the tasks - Amanda peeled and grated carrots while I put the raisins in orange juice to soak, and then mixed up the wet ingredients. Amanda then mixed the dry ingredients together while I got the pans greased and floured. We worked together to combine the wet and dry ingredients and pour the batter into the prepared pans. The first batch went in without a hitch, but as she was pouring the cake batter into the pans the second time, Amanda's head suddenly snapped up and she stared at me! "BAKING SODA!". Fortunately, from some recess of her subconscience, came the knowledge that she had forgotten to add baking soda to this batch. So the batter went back into the bowl to have baking soda added and I went to wash and regrease and flour the pans. They seemed fine when they came out of the oven. Whew! Wouldn't want the reputation of Victoria Station tarnished by the visiting chefs!