No one could possibly go hungry with all the wonderful baked goods available.
A limited number of vegetables were for sale, but plenty of crafts. R Garden had vegetables and garden "poop" for sale (goat manure supposedly good for growing anything without the usual manure odor).
Tryon Palace opened its grounds free of charge for the weekend. A sale of heritage plants and trees was a big attraction, but the beautiful flowers were also a draw for visitors. Cheerful pansies greeted me as I began my walk towards the formal gardens.
Raised beds were filled with dainty irises and purple flowers that I didn't recognize.
A pink carpet of flowers enticed me through the entrance to another, more formal setting with statues.
Just as I was reveling in the glorious shades and shapes of so many lovely flowers,
When I got home, the Palace gardens were still on my mind, so I baked up some cupcakes and topped them with pansies from my garden.
Source: Southern Living, March 2009
Rating: 10 out of 10
Click for PRINTABLE RECIPE
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla + 1 tsp. vanilla powder (or 2 tsps. vanilla)
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 cups cake flour (I used White Lily all-purpose.)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice)
Heat oven to 350F. Place baking cups in 24 muffin tin wells; spray with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In medium bowl, beat sugar and butter with electric mixer using medium speed, until creamy and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat till yellow disappears. Beat in flavoring. In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; add to wet mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Batter will be thick. Spoon batter into cups, filling ¾ full.
Bake 18-22 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake returns with just a few crumbs. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack and cool completely (about 1 hour). Spread with desired frosting. Yield: 24 cupcakes Frost with your favorite frosting, or make some wonderful Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting.. And don't forget the pansy!
1. Please sift the flour before measuring.
2. Please use cake flour or White Lily all-purpose flour for best results.
3. Don't over-mix the batter and don't beat at too high a speed.
4. Don't over-bake the cupcakes.
5. Refrigerate leftover cupcakes if using cream cheese frosting.