Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday night

I have lots of things to write about—my 10K yesterday, my thoughts on Paula Radcliffe's biography, which I am reading—but I am too tired tonight. Perhaps because I have had a full weekend, perhaps the change in weather (rain today, sometimes in torrents), or perhaps just because of the big dinner I had at my parents' house, which is still sitting firmly in my stomach and probably taking every ounce of energy my body has to try to digest it.

I take full blame for it—it was all hand-selected by me, all favorite foods, most of which I rarely eat but certainly enjoyed today! The menu: Country ribs baked in a sweet & sour barbecue sauce, tiny fingerling potatoes roasted so that they are crisp on the outside and creamy soft on the inside, corn on the cob (bought at the farmer's market today), and tossed green salad (my staple food) with chopped heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella (also from the farmer's market).

And for dessert, my favorite apple cake, made from a recipe that has been in my family all my life, which my mother originally got from a fellow teacher named Dagne Reque. It's a lovely recipe for the end of summer and fall, as apples are harvested and we start to crave things that are warm and cinnamony. This is one of those recipes that every who has it got it from someone else. So here it is, from Dagne to my mother, to me, to you.

Raw Apple Cake
4 cups cubed raw apples
2 eggs
½ cup oil
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoons cinnamon
1½ cups raisins or chopped dates (I always use raisins)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°.
Break two eggs over the cubed apples and mix well. Add oil, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts and and stir together.
Sift or stir flour, soda, and salt together and add to apple mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until flour mixture is incorporated into apple mixture.
Pour batter into a greased 9x13 baking pan and bake for 45 minutes (until done).
Serve warm or cold.
Cake can be topped with whipped cream, or (my preference) frosted after it is cool with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
¾ cup butter, softened
One pound confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat together cream cheese and butter; add confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and mix well.
This makes more frosting than you probably will need to frost the single layer apple cake. I don't know what you will do with the extra, but by all means, don't eat it out of the bowl with a spoon. That would be a very bad idea.

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