Monthly Archives: September 2008

7up Cake

No wait. Don’t go. It’s good. Really. Great, actually. My most requested cake in fact.

My friend Michele is from Texas and this is her grandmother’s recipe. Maybe those of you in Texas know about this recipe—Michele says it was a staple in her house growing up. We love it around these parts but it’s sometimes hard to find 7up, so it often becomes Sprite Cake. The soda is used both for flavor and in place of the baking soda for leavening.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of sweet unsalted butter
3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tablespoons lemon extract
¾ cup 7up
powdered sugar and lemon juice for glaze

Directions:
Cream butter and sugar until smooth
Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each addition
Add flour until just combined
Ad lemon extract and 7-up slowly
Pour into prepared bundt pan
bake at 325 degrees for  1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean

Glaze:
Combine 1/4 cup sifted confectioners sugar with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and mix until smooth adding more sugar or lemon juice as needed to achieve desired consistency
Drizzle over cake after cake is completely cooled

I’d show you a photo but the cake never lasts long enough to take one.

My Mother’s Basement

Look what I found in my mother’s basement:

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Pearl was my grandmother. Let me just say here that the knitting-related items found inside this box, while sentimental and campy, are not suitable for viewing by the fiber-faint of heart. One word: acrylic. Need I say more?

Moving on. Most of the fabric my grandmother saved couldn’t be salvaged (and I’m not sure I’d even really want most of it) but get a load of these funky fish! There are yards and yards of it and unlike most of the other fabrics in the goody box, it actually appears to be cotton. Suggestions? I’m thinking sundress, but I’m open. I wonder what Pearl had in store for it.

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I have an easier time imagining what she may have had planned for this.

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And as an added bonus, my mother stashed some of her own crafty goodness in the box for my inevitable discovery. Guess which era she was crafting in!

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There are dozens of these wonderful ribbons. (Please excuse the wrinkles. I was too excited to iron.) I remember my mother using them for various projects when I was about five. These will almost certainly embellish a quilt at some point. I especially love the sunny red one with the blue fish in the upper right corner.

Niall has gone to some kind of architect’s prom, Jake is at his Dad’s house and the baby is asleep. It is dark and quiet in the house (save the sound of the rain on the windows) and I find myself spooked by this post I read at Burrow House this morning.

Have a spooky evening friends!

A Comment About Comments

I’ve been thinking about why reader comments are so important to me. When I first started reading blogs I didn’t get it. I lurked around stealing glimpses into people’s lives. The truth was that I thought my comments wouldn’t matter. I mean, why would anyone want to read what little old me had to say? (What was it that Woody Allen Groucho Marx {thanks for the correction, Natalie} said about not wanting to belong to any club that would have him as a member?) The truth is that we keep our journals online instead of in our bedside table, safely locked away, because we want to share. We long to connect.

I’m not the first blogger to write that there is comfort and safety in sharing with strangers. We write things that sometimes we wouldn’t even tell our ‘real life’ friends. (I still haven’t told my mother that I even have a blog.) The comfort comes from hearing that others have been there — that there are like-minded people (and people of different mindsets too) who are interested in what we have to say. The safety comes from the distance. My life’s experiences matter to me whether I share them or not, but the support and insight that comes from reaching out is something that I couldn’t get from locking my journal in the drawer. Even when a comment is just a ‘hello’, I’m pleased to know that the world is smaller than it was before.

So if you’re here, drop me a line and let me know. It’s the difference between looking through the back window and knocking on the front door to say hi. And I promise to do the same when I’m at your place.