My old mixer was put through its paces again this year with the three-layer cake batter and a big batch of thick icing. It did just fine.
I don't know why I insist on using 8-inch pans for cake recipes that call for 9-inch. I do kind of like how tall and unwieldy the cake is, though.
Here's the pastry dough I was so excited to try. I used a little more than half leaf lard and the rest butter, and a bit more salt than usual. It tasted great, I think, and was exceptionally easy to work with; baked up, it was sturdy and flaky but not nearly as tender as all- or part-shortening crusts I've made.
We've been going on little daytrips. Friday we took the scenic route to and from Augusta, and yesterday we went to Decatur and spent a couple hours at Your Dekalb Farmer's Market, where we had lunch and bought, among other things, some tiny quail and a couple of bream (bluegill), which we grilled with lemon and basil and garlic and had for supper with the best French bread ever (more on the latter later).
The bug, possibly because of all the fun things she's been getting to do this weekend, has been sleeping very well. She slept from six last night until six this morning—straight through. Yes, twelve hours straight. (And she's napping now!) Mr. Chalmers says he heard her make a few whimpering sounds at one point when he was up anyway, but it wasn't enough to wake me up and that's what really matters. And of course because of all this wonderful sleep she's been in excellent spirits, as have we all. Even Cooper and Wagner are getting along better.