Playing Catch Up: Easter, A Fond Farewell, First Smoke, & Biga

This Christmas I got a double 9"' x 13" size cake pan with a cover that holds a large 3-4 layer cake batter!
Playing catch up will start with a back story today.  We have three wonderful sons and I am humbled to be their Mother.  Our middle son Mike and his family have lived in the same subdivision as we do since our granddaughters were in grade school.  So we have been blessed to be with them as they have grown into beautiful young women.  Our son has taken a new position and his family will be moving to Georgia.  So Easter and the following days have been bitter sweet.

Our youngest son Joel and his wife invited us all to their home in Santa Claus, In. the Sat. before Easter and our oldest son Chris and hid family came from north of Indianapolis.  That is where I took the enormous cake pictured above!  It was my carrot cake recipe and I topped it with cream cheese frosting.  It also makes up in three large layers.

Yes, I still color Easter Eggs, I probably always will.
Easter Sunday we had an Easter egg hunt for our 7 year old twin grandsons.  Of course I made Easter Baskets for all the kids too.  They all are candy lovers!  We had a traditional meal with ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, deviled eggs, and both an Angel Food cake and the remainder of the Carrot cake.  I was over the top and didn't take pictures.  Not that I have found anyway!

Mike's Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I sent a care package with Mike when he went  this last round of some of his favorites:  Chocolate chip cookies and French Dip sandwiches.

After slow roasting a rump roast I wrap in foil and chill.  When cold I slice extra thin for French Dip sandwiches.
He has already ordered Vegetable soup and more cookies for the next trip!  I am happy to make it for them!

Sour cream and vanilla white yeast bread.
Our dog Molly got out of our fence during this time and our neighbors were nice enough to catch and return her one morning before the school bus even had come.  I baked them a loaf of white bread to thank them!

Smoked boneless pork loin roast.
Look at that smoke ring.  Delicious!
The next weekend Brian fired up the smoker and we smoked a boneless pork loin roast and 2 sticks of venison sausage.  We had eaten one and smoked the remaining 2 sausages and they are delicious!  The nice thing about the pork loin is that it will make us 3 different meals.  The first was sliced on Sunday.  Then Tuesday we had as a stir-fry with vegetables.  Next I sliced it very thinly and layered with BBQ sauce yesterday and will heat up tonight for an easy supper.

This is the beginning stage of the Biga.
Today I stirred up a Biga to start Cibatta (Italian Slipper Bread) tomorrow.  It needs to be started then to sit for 24 hours before making the finished loaves.  This is a new recipe I am trying because it makes 4 loaves and I will have 2 to send home with a friend of my husband's Saturday who is coming to help with a repair project.  With a little luck I will remember to take pictures and post the bread and the recipe tomorrow.  I also have set out all of the ingredients for my husband's favorite Oatmeal raisin and walnut cookies and plan to at least get them stirred up yet today.  I will bake them in the morning first thing.  Then in the late morning start the bread,  having given the Biga 24 hours to ripen into a sour deliciousness!