Monday, September 30, 2013

Recipe: Cranberry Cardamom Cake..updated 10.1.13

cran cardamon cake w slices cut out  

         Last week I took my dad to the bog to look at the berries. I brought along an old snap machine and cranberry measure and filled a old cranberry measure (6 quart) with cranberries.

cranberry measure and snap machine2. 9.2013

I have been wanting to try a cranberry cardamom cake recipe that was given to me from a Finnish woman that I met this summer at the Lutheran Church in Barnstable.

cran cardamon cake well greased bundt pan1I heavily greased a 12 cup Teflon Bundt pan with unsalted butter.

 cran cardamon cake well greased bundt panafter greasing the pan I sprinkled the pan with flour and discarded the extra flour. I didn't want my cake to stick to the pan.

cran cardamon cake sliced cranberriesThe recipe didn't I sliced my cranberries instead of using whole cranberries. I wanted more cranberry to be distributed in the batter. Next time, I would add more cranberry to my batter.
cran cardamon cake batter w eggs in bowlflour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and 3 eggs, milk and melted unsalted butter. ( I used farm fresh eggs that my son gave me from his chickens) I didn't use my big mixer, I just beat the batter by hand.
cran cardamon cake batter in bowlbatter mixed, with added cranberries, ready to put in the Bundt pan
cran cardamon cake ready to go in ovenready for the oven,,350 degree's for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
cran cardamon bag of crushed cardamoncrushed cardamom seeds that I bought in a Finnish store when I was in Florida in March. You can buy cardamom whole or ground  in the spice aisle in the supermarket.
cran cardamon cake out of ovenmy cake is done and out of the oven, let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.
cran cardamon cake on cooling rackout of the pan and cooling on rack. Looks great, the cake didn't stick to the pan.
cran cardamon cake on plattercake has cooled and then dusted with confectioner's sugar.  
cran cardamon cake slice of cakeslice of cooled cake. Yum, this cake is delicious, and I will definitely be making this cake again, and soon.


  • 3  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2  cups granulated sugar
  • 1  tablespoon crushed cardamom seeds or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1  cup milk
  • 3/4  cup (1 1/2 sticks) margarine or butter, melted
  • 3  eggs
  • 1  cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Powdered Sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350ยบ. Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt cake pan or Kugelhopf pan. Mix flour, granulated sugar, cardamom, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. Add milk, margarine and eggs; beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in cranberries. Spoon into pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Decided to make this recipe again, as I read the recipe wrong. I only used a teaspoon of cardamon instead of a tablespoon. I didn't have ground cardamon, I had crushed. I also used more cranberries and added chopped pecans. Today, instead of a bundt pan I used a cupcake tin and a medium loaf pan. They both came out great.

While I had the oven going I decided to make homemade pizza...onion, red and green peppers, mushrooms, garlic, italian spices, italian sausage and pepperoni, and cheese. It was so good and the kitchen smelled so good.


Cranberry Harvest 2013

cranberry harvest 9.28.13 richards roadside bog flooded cranberry bog with the picked berries floating and ready to be suctioned off of the bog into the waiting trucks to bring the berries to Ocean Spray.
cranberry bog berries on the vine 2013 ripe cranberries on the vine ready to be harvested

Fall has arrived. Nights have turned cool and the leaves on the trees are starting to turn brillant colors. Some trees are already losing their leaves. Apples are ready to be picked, along with pumpkins. The cranberries have turned a beautiful dark red.. That means it is cranberry harvest time for my family and other cranberry grower's.
cranberry measure and snap machine6. 9.2013empty vintage 6 quart cranberry measure and vintage hand snap machine ready for me to start picking some cranberries.  It takes 5 1/2 measures to fill a large cranberry box.  16 1/2 measure to fill a barrel that holds a 100 pounds. Years ago cranberries were hand picked off of the bogs. Can you imagine how long that must have taken and how back breaking that was.

Later..  the above 2 pieces of equipment were used to harvest the cranberry crop. Rows of pickers went in a horizontal line across the bog until the cranberries were all harvested from a bog.  Harvesting  the crop was work when you had several acres of bog to pick.
cranberry measure and snap machine1. 9.2013 hand snapped measure of cranberries
cranberry measure and snap machine5. 9.2013metal rod/teeth of the hand snap machine. The berries are stripped off the vine with the metal teeth into the scoop.
cranberry measure and snap machine2. 9.2013  cranberry measure and snap machine4. 9.2013  

Then came the larger hand scoop
cranberry scoop and box of berries large vintage wooden hand scoop and large box of berries. This larger scoop was used to harvest the berries from the bog. Still very tiring after a day of picking.
After the scoops, came machines where all the berries were picked on dry bogs.
cranberry darlington picker Darlington picker held a box on the back that the berries that were beat off the bog went up the conveyor belt and dropped into the box. The boxes were then taken off of the bog in a wheeling off rig. The box were then trucked to the plant for processing.

The bigger and heavier Western Picker. The teeth were different, and this machine the berries were stripped from the vines, went up a little elevator and dropped into bags in the back of the machine. The berries were then taken off the bog, sifted to remove vines and then boxed and put on a truck to take them to the Ocean Spray plant.

Picking Machines used on dry cranberry bogs to harvest the crop.
Cranberry 2011 MB2Western Pickers
cranberry western picker

Now we mostly flood the bogs and use a riding machine that reels on the front beat the berries off of the vine. The bog is flooded and you don't have to worry about cold, frosty nights, as the bog is covered in water. The berries have 4 hollow chambers inside and float to the top of the surface of the water. The cranberries are then corralled with booms and then suctioned off the bog into a truck to be taken to the plant.
cranberry wet picker machine that is now used to wet harvest the cranberries. The reel on the front of the machine beats the berries off of the vine
Cranberry Harvest Gerts bog 2011Richard my brother, Richard running a wet picking machine
cranberry harvest 9.29.13 Richard on wet picker
The inside of a cranberry has 4 hollow chambers with tiny seeds, because the berries are hollow they float to the surface of the water after they are knocked off of the vine.
cranberry harvest 9.29.13 chambers of berry and seeds close up of inside of a cranberry and it's tiny seeds

cranberry wet harvest 9.2013
cranberry harvest corralled berries 9.20.2012corralled berries
 cranberry harvest 9.28.13 getting berries off of richards bog2
Cranberry harvest 10.1.12 berries suctioned off of bog farm2 suctioning the berries off of the bog into the truck
Cranberry harvest has come a long way. It is still hard work with long days, 7 days a week until all the bogs are picked, but so much easier than 100 years ago.
cranberry harvest 9.28.13 cocoa and bellz picked berries Bella patting Cocoa's tail. Cocoa is Kelly's dog.
cranberry harvest 9.28.13 cocoa and bellz eye to eyeBella was afraid of Cocoa until and then she loved him and was petting and hugging him all afternoon.
cranberry harvest 9.28.13 kelly bellz on rock    Saturday 9/28/13 was a beautiful, warm and sunny day. My niece, Kelly and granddaughter, Bella sitting on a large rock watching the cranberry harvest.
cranberry harvest cloud reflection on water 9.2013corralled berries and cloud reflection on the water of the bog
cranberry harvest 9.28.13 frog in ditch frog in the bog ditch 

These are just a few of my harvest photos. I hope you enjoyed them. I will most likely share more photos as the cranberry harvest continues. I have more cranberry photos with info on my picture trail site.cranberry bog album
also another website for you to view
history of cranberries and how they grown


So Sorry

It has come to my attention that my blog has been hacked. When you are reading my blog or looking at photos another screen pops up and redirects you to another page. I have contacted blogger, but haven't received a response on how to fix this problem. Urrghh!!

I am so very sorry that this happened and if anyone was turned off, I truly appologize, but it was beyond my control. Darn hackers!!! I can't believe that some get their kicks doing stuff like this. If the page you are looking at changes to another screen, hit the back button immediately or close the new page that pops up without opening it.
I am now in a quandry of what to do about my blog...shut it down or start a new one. If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this problem, I'd love to hear from you if this has happened to your blog. I'm not sure how I can transfer my blog content to a new blog, and how difficult that will be. Again, if you have done this in the past please leave a comment to tell me how you accomplished this. Do I just try and copy everything to a disk?

 Barbara, thanks for letting me know that there was a problem when viewing my blog.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Walk to End Alzheimer's

Yesterday, Saturday, September 21st,  I participated in a Walk to End Alzheimer's in Plymouth. Over
1,200 people participated in the walk. There were two options for the walk..a mile or a 2.2 miles. We walked the 2.2. Our team of 3, raised over $1,600. Between donations online and checks and cash..I raised $590.00. You can visit my personal walk page
Walk to End Alzheimer's banner

start of walk under the balloon arch in Pilgrim Memorial Park at the Plymouth Harbour waterfront...near Plymouth Rock and Mayflower ll.
our s-i-l, Terry, me, my cousin, Cheryl in the back.The wind was really blowing when this photo was taken.

 Plymouth harbor with commorants sunning on rocks in the harbor
Mayflower ll  

  The Promise Garden 
Garden of flowers. After the walk we all looked for our personalized flowers in the Garden of Flowers that had been planted after the walk started. There were 4 colors of flowers. Blue..I have Alzheimer's, Yellow...I am supporting or caring for someone with Alzheimer's, Orange...I support the cause and vision of a world without Alzheimer's, Purple...I have lost someone to Alzheimer's. I took a yellow flower for my mom, and a purple flower for my Grandmother. We all wrote a message on the flowers. After the walk I brought my flowers to my mom.

 It was a gorgeous day. A little windy which made it perfect for walking. Our team consisted of my cousin, Cheryl, my sister in law, Terry and myself. We raised over $1,600. Over 1,200 people participated in the walk. It was a great day. We already have plans to walk again next year.

Our cranberry season for 2013 started Thursday, but I didn't get to see the first day of our wet harvest.

My husband had been in the hospital for 8 days with a very large left lower lobe pneumonia, and my 89 year old aunt had been in the hospital and then rehab so I have been busy, doing a lpt of running from my parents, rehab and hospital. I brought my aunt home around noon on Friday, and later that afternoon my husband. Tom still has pneumonia, but he is doing much better, but will continue on antibiotics for another week.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Plymouth, MA..Free Fun Friday August 30th.

Plimoth Plantation sign Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 boat
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 sign
I have been really busy and haven't had a chance to post this on my blog. The last Friday in August was Free Fun Friday again this year at Plimoth Plantation, the Mayflower ll and the grist mill in Plymouth, MA.
I went last year to the Plantation, and decided to go again this year. I picked up a friend and we went to the Plimoth Plantation first.
 The Mayflower is finally back moored in Plymouth Harbor after being gone all summer long. The boat was in Fairhaven, MA having work done to beneath the water line of the boat. We didn't get to the grist mill.  We wanted to get to the Plantation early before it got hot and humid and too crowded like it was last year.
I posted a lot of photos last year so I didn't take as many pictures this year at the Plantation.
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 making breadbaking bread
 Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 baking oven oven ( I can't imagine baking in that, can you?
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 pilgrim ladies eatingpilgrim women taking a break for a meal
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 Pilgrim lady resting

Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 building a housebuilding a wall around the settlement
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 cut logs hand sawn
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 thatched roof cl upclose up of a thatched roof
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 houses  Pilgrim home with thatched roof
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 man w hat   Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 pilgrom man w gun
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 indian burning out a log2 Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 indian burning out a log3 Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 indian burning out a log7hollowing out a large tree using a fire to make a canoe

Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 Eel RiverEel river near the Indian encampment.
  Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 indian woman2  Indian woman playing a game with pieces of rawhide and deer bones.
Plimoth Plantation 8.30.2-13 thistle cl up a pretty but prickly thistle plant in bloom

We had gorgeous weather that Friday. It wasn't too hot or humid to walk up and down the winding, dusty dirt paths thru the Pilgrim and Indian settlements.
You can see more photos that I posted last year here Plimoth Plantation August 2012

After we left the Plantation I drove to the waterfront. I didn't think I would find a parking space close to the Mayflower ll, but was shocked when I found an open parking space just a short walk to the boat.
Click here for interesting relating to the Mayflower  Facts about the Mayflower , First Thanksgiving, Crossing of the Mayflower, The Mayflower
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 crows nest2 Plymouth Mayflower 8 Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 boat2Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 crows nest
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 largest crows nestone of the crows nests
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 wooden hanging compasscompass on the Mayflower
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2nd port hole in bow of boatlooking out of the port holesPlymouth Mayflower 8.13 porthole in bow of boat
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 open slated area on boat
 Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 fishing baskets and netbaskets to hold fish and net
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 basket storage wicker basket
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 eel fish basket traptrap for catching fish
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 deck hand on boat
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 pilgrim on deck 
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 bed desk in boat   Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 coils of rope heavy rope for the anchor
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 huge wooden piece that brings the rope to the anchor in in the bow of the boat the rope was tied to this huge piece of wood and with cranking the rope would lower and raise the anchor.
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 kitchen area 1 kitchen areaPlymouth Mayflower 8.13 kitchen area 2 Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 kitchen area 3
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 kitchen area cook area and wateroven and water barrel in back of cook area in front of the boat
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 small chest small carved box
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 storage chests and chair storage chest
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 small bedbed
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 narrow bed very narrow bed
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 double bed on boatonly double bed on board the ship
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 small cannon small cannon Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 small cannon 2
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 windows stern of boatwindow in stern of the ship
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 wooden caskbarrels that were used to store provisions and water
 Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 map of NE
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 crossing sign
 Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 chief officers log
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 Compact The Mayflower CompactPlymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 men w drink sign Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 Smiths map plague diseasesign  Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 agent and merchant sign
 Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 apothecary photoPlymouth Mayflower 8.13 Provisions sign
 Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 costly goods sign
     Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 painting of the Mayflower crossing Painting of the Mayflower crossing the Atlantic   Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 supplies from England sign  
I hadn't been on board the Mayflower since my youngest son was in grammar school, so it was nice to visit again. I love Plymouth, and go at least once a week. So much to see and do and it is only 15 minutes away.
After my friend and I got off of the boat we took a walk along the water front, and harbor area.  Right in this area you can take a harbor cruise or go whale watching on one of the Capt. John boats. We stopped and had lunch at Wood's Fish Market.
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 harbor Woods Fish Market
Shirley had fish n chips and I had a lobster roll. The food at Wood's is always delicious.
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 lobster roll at woods
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 harbor 2 commorants on boat 2 cormorants resting on a dingy.
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 harbor boats1
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 harbor boats2 looking out in the harbor
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 harbor boats3

We enjoyed our day in historic Plymouth.
Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 harbor snowy egret1 Plymouth Mayflower 8.13 2 harbor snowy egret2  wading in the shallow water near shore

Walk to end Alzheimer's
On September 21st, I will be in Plymouth to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraiser. 
My cousin, Cheryl, my sister in law, Terry, and a friend of my cousins and I make up our team..(Love of Family and Friends)
I hope in the near future a cure is found for this devastating and tragic disease. I can't imagine how many of the aging baby boomers generation will suffer from this disease. My mother suffers from Alzheimer's, as did her mother, my grandmother. I am terrified at the thought that I may also get Alzheimer's. 
I look back at pictures from just 1- 2 years ago, and my mother has changed so much. Most days now Mom just sits and stares, when she walks she shuffles and has to depend on home health care workers to do everything for her. Somedays Mom knows my brother's names and other days not. With each passing day I am losing my mother a little more as her Alzheimer's progresses. It is  very sad and heartbreaking to watch. 
If anyone would like to sponsor me (Elaine Akers) when I participate in the walk later this month I can't thank you enough. Here is my page to make a donation. Walk to End Alzheimer's .