A Quarantined Life…Cultivate-Reset…(+ Boston Cream Pie)

Happy May!🌸

The best is yet to be…

Hello, sweet friend…

When I chose “cultivate” as my word for 2020 https://marciascottagebythesea.com/hello-january/I had no idea what this year would bring…

But it is was a word I wanted to explore…

To cultivate a more meaningful life…

It wasn’t about living life under perfect circumstances…

It was about doing the best I could with the circumstances I found myself in…

creating greater peace, comfort and belonging.

It gives me chills to even think about how this unexpected turn of events in our world is transforming how we live…

Cultivating a more meaningful life has taken on a deeper meaning as I learn to navigate these current times.

A “Cultivated” life has evolved into more than a year long mantra…

It has now become a daily reality check for me…

and for when these uncertain times are over.

It’s about taking intentional baby steps in living…

It’s a mindset shift which is impacting my thoughts in positive ways…

helping me to cultivate a home…

making it the nourishing, comforting sanctuary needed to thrive.

Most importantly it’s a chance to care for my health and well-being… savoring meaningful moments and connections along the way.



One of Joe’s favorite desserts is Boston Cream pie…so this past week I decided to bake one. It was my first attempt ever and I really enjoyed the process. Fortunately I had all the ingredients too!



Yellow Cake

  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk room temperature
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1/3 cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz dark chocolate roughly chopped
  • cream
  • 8 oz dark chocolate roughly chopped



  • Grease two 9-inch pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • Add in flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just combined.
  • Divide the batter among the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let sit in pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • In a large sauce pan, stir together milk and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup sugar.
  • Once the milk has reached a simmer, work quickly and carefully pour half of the hot milk in a steady stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling or cooking the eggs. Immediately pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Return to a medium heat and whisk constantly until mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat once thickened and stir in butter and vanilla until melted. Pour into a clean mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap, letting the plastic wrap touch the top of the pastry cream to avoid the creation of any film on top. Cool completely in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.


  • In a small sauce pan, bring heavy cream to a simmer over medium heat. Place your chopped chocolate into a small mixing bowl. Pour hot cream over chocolate and let stand 1 to 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.


  • Place a wire rack over a baking sheet. The baking sheet will be used to catch any drips from your ganache. Place a pre-cut cake circle onto the wire rack. Lay the bottom cake layer onto the cake circle.
  • Spread pastry cream over cake to create a filling. Top with remaining cake layer.
  • Carefully and slowly pour ganache over cake, letting drip down sides.
  • Transfer cake to the refrigerator and let cool until set, about 1 hour.
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4 Responses to A Quarantined Life…Cultivate-Reset…(+ Boston Cream Pie)

  1. Joe says:

    Very profound message contained in your colorful post today!
    Thank you!
    The Boston Creme Pie jumps off the page and, hopefully, with some work, onto my plate.

  2. Pat Stansel says:

    Spring is springing! Our they still planning the garden tour? The Boston cream pie looks better than a professional baker’s !

    • Marcia Ren says:

      Hi Pat!
      So nice for you to drop by. I’m not certain about the garden tour that was scheduled in July. I hope they don’t cancel. I think the committee is waiting to see what happens. I was so looking forward to it. Thank you for the compliment on the pie… Be safe my friend.

      • Pat Stansel says:

        I Hope they have the garden tour—it’s so uplifting to be able to get out & enjoy charming personal gardens with others who love the same things !

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