Labor Day on the Lake

September 7th, 2011

It was the best of times.  There is nothing like spending a long weekend with the family enjoying the end of summer on the lake.  We had cookouts, a birthday to celebrate, a wine tasting and some firsts.  Unfortunately I took very few pictures of the food but will share some of the images from the weekend.

Granddaughter Rachel has been taking swimming lessons and this was the first year that she jumped into the water from the dock.

It was Grandson Cameron’s first visit to Lake Lure.


Uncle Jeff got a chance to wakeboard.

We had a blind wine tasting of Pinot Noir wines from California.  The unanimous winner was a Hendry Vineyard Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2008.  Thank you Dave A. for always bringing a case of Hendry wines to the holiday get together.

The kids had their own blind fruit juice tasting.  The winner was Simply Lemonade.

David smoked two pork butts for our pulled pork dinner.  It was better than any barbecue restaurant in North Carolina.  He made a ketchup based sauce and a vinegar based sauce.

My friend Lyla suggested I try Trisha Yearwood’s recipe for Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese.  In the interest of keeping it real here, I have to tell you that this is not my picture.  I did not remember to take a picture.  The picture came from this site.  The adults absolutely loved the mac and cheese and it was easy to put together.  The kids liked it, but did not love it.  It has something to do with that little box of powdered cheese, if you know what I mean.

We also celebrated our DIL Kristen’s birthday.  I made a Lemon Layer Cake with Raspberry Curd.  I made the cake layers and the raspberry curd ahead of time and frosted the cake on the day that we served it.  The cake layers are split in half and the raspberry curd is spread between the layers.

The raspberry curd  filling was delicious.  The recipe came from a book called Luscious Berry Desserts by Lori Longbotham.  Here it is.


2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Raspberry Curd:
1 stick unsalted butter
12 ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Curd Directions:
Melt butter over medium heat.
Add raspberries, yolks, sugar, and salt. Mash raspberries. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour through a strainer, pressing to extract as much as possible.
Cool to room temperature then stir in lemon juice. Chill.

Cake Directions:
Heat oven to 350. Prepare two 8×2 round cake pans. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with lemon zest in food processor until finely ground.
Beat butter and zest mixture with electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add remaining sugar and beat until smooth.
Add 1/4 cup milk and beat until just blended. Reduce speed to low and alternately add flour and milk in 3 batches. Beat only until blended, no longer.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat to stiff peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the batter carefully.
Divide batter between the two pans and bake about 35 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes in pan then remove and cool completely.

Frosting Directions:

Beat butter and zest until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add lemon juice and beat for one minute.


Cut each cake into two layers.
Spread curd in between layers, leaving about a 1/2 inch border.
Spread frosting on sides and top

Printable recipe

16 responses to “Labor Day on the Lake”

  1. Oh Penny… What a treat this post is!

  2. Gloria says:

    Penny I love the pictures and what amazing and nice is Cameron, I love it! gloria

  3. Big Dude says:

    Looks like you all had a great day at the lake and BBQ pork is hard to beat. I guess the storms we had didn’t get that far East.

  4. bellini says:

    What a wonderful way to usher out the summer and move on to a new chapter. Good food and family always go hand and hand.

  5. Lyla says:

    The story about the kids and the mac and cheese is hilarious–and familiar. My daughter spent a few hours a week at my friend Ginger’s when she was in grade school so I could teach at the local CC. Ginger fed her and her other little charges the Kraft yummy? version of mac and cheese. Over a decade later when Betsy and some friends were driving back for a weekend from college in the Chicago area, they all agreed that Ginger’s macaroni and cheese remains the best–it was only a stick of margarine, a little milk and Kraft. Glad the adults liked it, and I apologize to the little ones–I know better. Love.

  6. It looks like it was a wonderful weekend! I thought about you and all of your guests. We had a couple – our neighbors from Tennessee here for the weekend. It was fun too.

    Crock pot mac and cheese sounds like the perfect way to make it for a crowd!

  7. Thanks for sharing your family pictures…it looks like a good time was had by all! The wine tasting looked like fun, too! We will have to try that when we have a group.

    The cake looks yummy, I always wanted to make a curd. And I love raspberries!! I may just try this but I’m all thumbs when it comes to baking, it definitely won’t look as pretty as yours!!


  8. What a lovely post this is! I love baby Cameron – what a sweetie he looks! Your cake was obviously the piece de resistance – well done!

  9. Happy times and great memories at the lake. One could not want for more.

  10. Penny says:

    Hey Lyla, The kids were just very picky eaters so it is totally no reflection on the mac and cheese recipe. They even had a problem with PB&J because the J was strawberry instead of Grape. That is just kids being kids. Michael is a gourmet eater now but I was lucky to get him to even look at unusual ingredients when he was young. Thanks for a great recipe.

  11. Pondside says:

    What a fun way to spend the weekend! There’s nothing like water to make everything special. I made your teriyaki chicken on Friday night and it was a big hit. I doubled the recipe and it worked perfectly.

  12. katiez says:

    That yellow boat looks just like our old boat! Brought back a lot of memories of picnics on the lake…. Looks like a perfect end of summer weekend!

  13. Wow! What a fantastic Labor Day. I can’t even put into words how jealous I am. Thanks for sharing!


  14. Cathy says:

    What a great Labor Day get together. I had to chuckle at your juice tasting for the kids. I’ve never tried crock pot mac and cheese and have bookmarked it for our next family get together. Your little grandson is adorable, Penny. We have one about the same age.

  15. This post made me smile through and through! Thanks so much for being the absolute best host and hostess anyone could ever dream of! Love you!

  16. Kat says:

    This is late, but looks like you all had a wonderful weekend with lots of good food. What a wonderful looking family.

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