There’s something wonderful about creating from scratch.

My parents came to visit this weekend, and we celebrated 60 years of my amazing dad! Having exhausted most of the attractions in the Twin Cities, we took a daytrip to Faribault to see the Faribault Woolen Mill. This place absolutely blew my mind. They start with raw wool and after 22 steps on 100+ year old equipment, end up with the finest quality wool blanket you can find anywhere. The process is very hands-on and a true craft; pride just oozes out of the employees. As for the blankets and scarves? They make me want to curl up by the fire with hot chocolate and never leave. You better believe I’ll be back to Faribault for the next tent sale.

Accurate depiction of Sam’s experience at the woolen mill.

We embarked on a few scratch cooking projects to make my dad’s 60th birthday celebration extra special. The journey started with Mike’s mom’s incredible gumbo recipe. This is a special recipe where some extra time and work more than pays off. From making a roux to lots of hand chopping and shrimp peeling, it all comes together in the most satisfying gumbo this side of New Orleans.

Our scratch journey continued with a birthday cake for my dad – Coffee Angelfood Cake from the American Cake cookbook. Hearing that angel food cakes from scratch can be difficult, I was this close to using a mix. I’m so glad I didn’t. It’s amazing what can come from a little time, some egg whites and a Kitchenaid mixer. The highlight of this cake was the Coffee Butter frosting – espresso, sugar and butter… I mean, come on.

At the end of the day, I found myself with nine extra egg yolks after making the angel food cake. Facebook to the rescue – my Facebook family gave me so many great ideas of what to do with the yolks. I ended up making lemon curd – why had I never done this before? Plopping fresh lemon curd on my yogurt this weekend felt ultra luxurious.

Scratch can be tough – it takes time and it takes work. It’s not every day that I make time to cook from scratch, but I’m feeling like I should more often. Not only is the result usually better, but the process is beyond satisfying.

Until We Eat Again,

Two Happy Cooks


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