It’s snowing today.
Friday my kids turned 22! Since both of them were busy all day, I planned on baking a cake for them within the next few days. It turned out that Travis got off work much earlier than expected. So, I made a blueberry mug cake for him and put some ice cream on top with a candle. He made a wish, blew out the candle and ate every drop of his birthday dessert.
Kelsey unhesitatingly requested a Funfetti birthday cake. Travis had no preference until I mentioned the Funfetti cake and then he said “Yes, those are awesome!” Now I realize that all those colorful sprinkles are very festive looking but I don’t care for the boxed Funfetti cakes. Since I wanted to please them and it wasn’t my birthday, I compromised by making the recipe I found for homemade Funfetti cake at Sally’s Baking Addiction. With more sprinkles on top and the squiggly candles, it really does look festive…and the cake was good.
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>.
In August Travis got a new, to him, car then in October he was involved in a car wreck when someone hit him. The insurance company gave him a check to get the car repaired and Travis had to get on a waiting list with an auto body shop to get an estimate. Finally, the auto body shop started figuring out the cost to repair the car and soon surpassed the value of the car so the insurance company declared it a total loss and on December 22 paid off the loan to the bank. That same day Travis made all the financial arrangements to get a new car then he and Keith went car shopping that evening and settled on 2011 Honda CR Z. Since the insurance company had a final check to get to Travis the deal on the car wouldn’t be finalized until Friday. Then the next day, Christmas Eve morning, the insurance company hand delivered to Travis the final check. So, Travis was able to get his replacement car on Christmas Eve day.
Around dinner time on Christmas Eve our extended family came to our house. We enjoyed good food and good company. For our gift exchange this year we used Elfster to draw names. It is a free, online tool that draws names according to restrictions you establish, such as a wife can’t draw her spouse’s name. Then participants can add a wish list that links to sites such as amazon. Participants can email anonymously or not and have group conversations similar to facebook. I think we all liked it and we plan on using it again. We also played the white elephant game which added more laughter to our time together.
For the first time in many years my father joined us on these special days marking this as a very special year. Christmas day we had a smaller get together and had a wonderful prime rib dinner. Our Christmas week was a joy!
The taco soup was delicious as was the pumpkin pie dump cake. I don’t cook very often but I did this past weekend. My son, daughter and her boyfriend, my dad and me all got together for a bit Saturday and we watched lots of videos from when my kids were babies. It’s always fun to watch those happy times.
Friday evening Travis was in a wreck and, thankfully, no one was hurt and he was not at fault. The damage to his car looks like it was pretty significant or will be to repair. Keith went on a fishing trip this weekend with a bunch of guys that included my brother and nephew. After their catch they had a big fish fry that I understand was quite good.
Monday Keith and I celebrated 24 years of marriage.
Wednesday, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday. Happy B-Day cookie decoration specially hand-made by my brother-in-law.
Over the weekend a group came down to our lake place and went fishing on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, we had a fish fry and enjoyed eating and visiting in our screened in front porch.
It’s official, our kids are 21 years old. We celebrated with the requested meal of prime rib, baked potato, hot rolls and broccoli.
To accommodate the group, we put the extra leaves in the table.
The food smelled delicious and we were eager to enjoy it.
After the meal, we sampled some wines.
Next they blew out their candles and we sang “Happy Birthday” to them.
For dessert we had the very rich Oreo truffles, which I had arranged into a yin-yang design.
Spending time with our kids makes a day more perfect.
The electric smoker was one of Keith’s Christmas presents and today he’s smoking some cheese. This should be interesting.
Meanwhile, on the couch, it’s naptime with the cat. Not sure who’s enjoying it more.
Happy birthday to my brother today! Another birth day in the family occured 136 years ago when Keith’s maternal great grandfather’s (Jacob Asbury Bullard) was born.
Woo hoo! With this post I’ve completed a second year of photo journaling.
Christmas Eve was a nice evening with family over. We had lots of food and exchanged gifts. After the gifts, my brother-in-law surprised his girlfriend with an engagement ring and she accepted his marriage proposal. Later we enjoyed playing a card game and laughing.
Christmas morning there was no rush to get up and open gifts since we had opened most of them with Kelsey the week before. We did save a few gifts so we would have some to open. The best part, for me, was when we did FaceTime on our iPhones with Kelsey. We each got to see and hear her and she asked Travis to open her remaining gifts while she watched.
There was threatening weather Christmas Day but it didn’t really develop into much at our home. It was fun to have it actually snowing on Christmas Day. That doesn’t happen too often here in Oklahoma. As Keith watched the snow fall in our backyard he alerted me to a wildlife photo opp. There was a bird on our neighbor’s fence near the house with all the wind and snow whirling around him.
Later that evening when I looked out a window, Purrkins was all curled up on the loveseat with the snow as the backdrop. Such a peaceful view.
When the weekend arrived we took our Christmas decorations down and put them back in the attic until next year.
As 2012 drew to a close, Keith got us some Martini Asti because I like sweet wine and because sparkling wine is perfect for New Year’s Eve.
Ready. Set. Go 2013!
Our decorations for the tree are new this year. We decided to cull some of the very worn and hodge podge ornaments for some new, cohesive looking ornaments. We do have some ornaments that are too meaningful to put aside so we bought a table top tree and decorated it with those.
Last week when we did our family Christmas, I got a new lens and some cool filters for my camera, which I used for the two photos of the trees. The filter makes star bursts of the lights, pretty fun. Keith got an electric smoker. His very first dish in the smoker was smoked olives.