Sunday, December 02, 2007

There have, in fact, been a few cakes

There have, in fact, been a few cakes, in spite of what is suggested by the LONG neglect this poor blog has endured. Nothing like the frenzy that was indicated in this post, but, a few cakes, here and there.

Over the summer, this cake was a big hit. I then went on to experiment with a few other simpler blueberry cake deals, but, nothing all that noteworthy came out of that. That remains a project for another August.

This fall, in our new fancy schmancy kitchen (one of the big selling features of this house we bought in Maine was the kitchen – it was remodeled by the previous owners, and it has “chef-quality” appliances and so on. There is definitely enough cupboard space, which is a very nice thing. But, upon moving in and trying to actually live in and use this kitchen, I have discovered what I certainly already knew in theory: that throwing a lot of money at things does not necessarily mean you end up with the functionality or quality you want. One of the first nights we were here, the fake-cupboard panel that hide the dishwasher fell off and nearly busted Milo’s tow. Then, we also couldn’t use the dishwasher until we figured out how to get the panel back on, a slightly more challenging task than it should be. The professional stove top is so powerful that the pots and pans of mere mortals are really inadequate, and the oven is so complicated that, even with instruction book in hand, I cannot always figure out how to work it. So, I haven’t been having quite as much fun in my new kitchen as I had hoped to. Plus, sadly, there seem to be no neighbors to bake for. Alas.

Okay, sorry, just a little rant there. Try to end on a good note: I do admit to liking the mammoth Sub-Zero refrigerator.)

… I have baked two cakes.

First was the Double Apple Bundt Cake, from the Dorie Greenspan book. I had meant to throw out my bundt pan, when we were moving. I have decided that bundt pans might just need to be replaced regularly, that the non-stick just stops working, and then you have sad cake removal from pan issues. So, with a few other odds and sods, I had placed the pan in the garage at Raintree Ct, in preparation for throwing out. Then, in their over-zealousness, the movers somehow packed it into the truck. That is always a drag, the discovery, when unpacking, that a certain amount of what you hauled across the country (or, rather PAID to have hauled across the country) was garbage. Then, the formerly destined for the dump bundt pan sat around in the garage here, until I realized I had a bundt cake to make, and no new bundt pan. It was then pressed into service one more time, with only slightly dicey results (that is, the cake did stick a bit….).

I made this apple cake just because…. It seemed like the right thing to do in fall in Maine. I might have made it with apples from our apple-picking expedition. But, now I am not quite sure. Regardless of which apples I used, I do know this: they were very local, which is cool.

Really yummy cake. Most compelling proof: Alden ate quite a bit of it and even wanted to have some sent in his lunch one day. High praise. Ingredients of note: apples, apple butter, typical apple pie type spices, raisins and nuts (I used pecans).

The other cake was a pumpkin one. I am pretty sure I have made a pumpkin cake in the past – for Karen’s birthday? But, no blog record exists, and there have clearly been too many cakes at this point, to allow me to call up the particulars of something I might have made over a year ago. I googled around, found this recipe, and went for it. It was a really easy recipe – oil, rather than butter, which makes it extra easy (and, less expensive too, I suppose.)

We had been invited to a family-oriented Halloween party, by one of my colleagues. It was a potluck, and you know darn well what I’ll try to bring in any sort of a potluck situation. I had fun decorating this cake with my silly little Halloween bits and pieces. Sadly, another problem with this new kitchen I am in is that it is really hard to photograph things in it. Bad light (er, no light….).

Note: I just realized that there was another cake, but, this post is getting way long, so, I’ll have to come back to it another day.