Monthly Archives: January 2014
Gathering all of our essential items to go down to our storm shelter when severe weather threatens has taken on a bit more of a priority for me since the May 20, 2013 tornado. To help us more easily keep our cat safe when moving around during times like that, I bought a pet carrier several months ago. Soon after that, on a trip to the lake, I decided that Purrkins needed to get used to the carrier so I placed him in it. I was thinking it would be a fight to get him in there but, to my surprise, he loved it! In fact, when I left it unzipped he walked right in a laid down.
Now, when we drive to the lake we get the pet carrier out and he easily gets in. We place him on the console between the driver and passenger side in the truck so he has a good view and he is very content. Historically without using the pet carrier, Purrkins would find a place to hide and stay there. Perhaps inside the carrier he feels like he’s ‘hiding’. Or, maybe he simply feels safe while his curiosity is running wild.
We drove to the lake last night with Purrkins in his pet carrier. See how content he looks. Maybe he’s humming an old song “driving around in my automobile“ and feeling comfortable with no particular place to go.
What’s your favorite cake?
When I asked my Dad that question I was amazed at how instantly and without any hesitation he exclaimed “Pineapple Upside Down Cake”! I had forgotten that was his favorite cake and haven’t baked or eaten that type of cake in probably 30 years. Since his birthday was only a few days away and I wanted to bake him a cake, I looked through my family recipes just knowing that I would have the recipe that Mom used many, many times. But I did not have it. Thankfully, Mom came to my rescue by providing me with a scanned copy of the recipe from her cookbook along with some family history about it. We all know that the messiest pages in the cookbook have the best recipes on them and this is no exception, just see for yourself from the scan.
This is another one of those recipes that conjures up sweet memories of parents and grandparents. Once I read the recipe, I had to ask Mom some specifics about the ingredients and process so she shared a few other tidbits:
I always used maraschino cherries – I have a slight recollection that mother may have once or twice used whole pecan pieces in the pineapple holes rather than the maraschino cherries. I never added whipped cream to it and can’t even imagine why anyone would. I always used the skillet to make it. It was a perfect fit for the amount of pineapples in the can – after I broke the last one or two into quarters to fit in the spaces left by pineapple circles next to one another. I can remember worrying when I first used the skillet whether the handle would survive the oven temperatures or not; fortunately, it did. I don’t recall what mother baked hers in but the picture of the cake in the recipe looks to be similar in size to the one from my skillet. I rarely had patience to wait very long to eat a dessert, so we likely always had a piece before it got fully cold but I doubt that I ever ate it hot (pineapple would likely burn the roof of your mouth).
I don’t remember, as mother indicated, that she baked it in a skillet and that got me wondering about the history of this cake. Upside down cake history goes back to when cakes were cooked in cast iron skillets. The oldest printed recipe for the pineapple upside down cake is dated from 1925 after canned pineapples became popular. (1, 2) So, I decided to make this recipe and bake the cake in an iron skillet. I’m not sure whether the cake was any more delicious because of the iron skillet but it certainly helped make the caramelized crunchy edges, which are the very best part of the cake in my opinion.
Happy birthday to my brother whose birthday was also this week.
- “The History of Pineapple Upside Down Cake.” The Kitchen Project. Stephen Block, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <http://kitchenproject.com/history/PineappleUpsideDownCake/index.htm>.
- “Keepsake Cakes.” The Many Sides of Upside-Down Cake. Therese, n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2014. <http://keepcakes.com/article2.html>.
When we moved in to our house years ago there were 4 trees in the front yard. We cut one down because it was in an awkward spot; we lost one to an ice storm; one got diseased and was dying so we cut it down; and the May 20 tornado took our last one.
Today, we had a Chinese Pistachio tree planted in our front yard! It looks like they did a nice job firmly planting it. Of course, it’s dormant now but we look forward to seeing it mature.
Note the port-a-potty in our neighbor’s front yard. These were placed throughout our neighborhood after the May 20 tornado due to workers’ needs and continues to be a need.
You can see in the background that the houses are getting repaired and rebuilt. What few trees remain in the neighborhood are very broken from the winds.
Again you can see our in the background the new construction and notice our new street light. Our street lights were just recently installed in our neighborhood. I had forgotten how bright they are at night!
I’m pretty excited about seeing the beauty this tree brings to our yard.
The first five days into this year have passed and I just haven’t decided whether I want to continue this blog. Since I started it, it seems I’ve done fewer entries in my genealogy blog and I don’t like that but it’s simply easier to post something from the last day or two than researching about a person I know nothing about. Yet, I want to do both. Last year I briefly considered posting to this blog only if or when I shot a photo of interest but I decided not to do it that way because I feared I would not do it with enough regularity. However, sometimes when I post a photo or two on facebook or instagram in the moment and then want to later post it here, it’s old news. Humpf! So, what to do.
In the process of selecting photos for this post, I cleaned up my iPhone photo albums, stream and dropbox only to realize, too late, that I deleted some before I saved them to my computer. So, that means I only have those that I had already shared. Oh well, for now, this is my decision. Post these while I think on it. Feedback is always nice and welcome.