Upside-down Apple Cake-Best served at Sunday Dinner


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We grow apples on the rabbit patch. I have needed to get pretty creative, when it’s time to pick. You don’t have to have fresh apples for this easy recipe-canned apples work fine, and you can eliminate a bit of work by using them.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

If you are using fresh fruit, you start here- peel about 5 apples, depending on the size.  You choose the variety.  Cut apples into bite-sized pieces. I use a cast iron skillet, but use what you have.  Cover apples with water, not any more and simmer.  You are about on your own here-but I use about 1/2 stick of butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and cinnamon to taste.  I also like to toss butterscotch  morsels in, if I have them-not the whole bag, but a handful.  When the kitchen is filled with the smell of it, and the apples are soft-they are ready. Pour  apples into a greased 11×13 pan, making sure to spread it evenly.* If you are using canned apples, then this is your first step.

For the cake, you can use a boxed mix- I have used yellow, spice and caramel with success. Just mix the cake up as directed on the box. * I use milk instead of water, but you do as you please.  Pour the batter right on top of the apples-try to cover the apples as best you can-but don’t worry , it’s going to bake like it ought to even if you have some bare apples.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bake at 350 as the box says, for about 30 minutes. Let it cool a bit-though you are not going to want to wait.  When you serve it, turn the pieces over, so the apples will be on top.

If you have vanilla ice-cream, this is a good time to use it- and remember, this cake is always better if you share it.

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*From “On Any Given Sunday”-May 2016

 

Peach Cobbler


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It’s hard to beat a peach cobbler.  This is a simple recipe and suitable for a variety of fruits. I have made it with apples and blueberries.  If I don’t grow them, then I buy at the farmer’s market or a roadside stand.  This is an easy dessert to fix, but fitting for a Sunday dinner.

 

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.    Wash and prepare fruit.  Peel if needed, and cut up large fruits.  Put in a bowl with just enough water to cover well and use sugar to sweeten as needed.  I usually use about half of a cup, but this step depends on the sweetness of the particular fruit. *If you are using canned fruit, then do not add sugar.

Let this sit at room temperature, while you mix the following:       4ad1f4e8ab3d17165a80de6a5bd10977

   1 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                       1 cup milk  ( I use whole or almond)                                                                                                      1 cup bread flour or all purpose-you can use self-rising, just increase the water in the                                                                    fruit mixture.                                                                                 

Mix well with a fork and pour into a greased baking dish.  Pour fruit mixture on top of the batter-no need to mix.  It will bake as it ought to-Bake at 425 degrees til the top  begins to brown-usually about 30 minutes.

I like to put a little butter on top after removing from the oven.

It’s better when you share it with others.  *Please note that the size of the pan you use, may alter the cooking time.  I use an 11 x 13.

 

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  • From-“Somewhere North of the Moon”-June 2016

 

A Spring to Remember


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Happy Birthday Tres

There is a birthday in the rabbit patch today.  Children grow up-I can prove it. I have five-and they all did just that.  My son, Tres is thirty one years old today-but I remember a time before now, when he was a child and I was young.

I was quite determined that my children would grow up just a bit uncivilized-and they did.  It was easy to accomplish this those days ago-before computers were in every home. Nobody had cable.  Most ball games were organized in a back yard or an empty field, by the children.  Who ever showed up got to play regardless of age or ability.  It was an uncomplicated time and I remain glad of that.

We read a lot of books and raised a lot of animals.  We walked many miles through wooded paths and watched meteor showers on blankets in the yard, no matter how odd the hour.  They all learned to play the violin and memorized poetry-still, my heart remembers.

I watched them play and predicted their futures by it.  Mostly I have been right.  Tres was my analytical child who sought answers.  He works in research today.  When he comes home to the old farmhouse on the rabbit patch, he immediately assesses what repair needs to be done next.  Now I listen to him about how to proceed.  This is the way Tres loves.

I will not see Tres today.  These days we celebrate on whatever day we can get together.  How it came to this still shocks me .  How does twenty years slip by?  It seems impossible, but it did. ” It s mystery to me” as my grandmama would say.

I think it may have been all those details that come with raising children, that confused me. I reckon there’s a cello waiting for me to play it-and a canvas waiting for me to paint it and I console myself with such notions.  I have some good friends, and we have good plans.  There is the inspiration of the rabbit patch that speaks to me with sweet thoughts.. .and there is Lyla, soon to be rambling in woods and learning to recite poetry by heart.  This is a good time too and I am glad of it.

I will think of these things when I say goodnight to the rabbit patch later on tonight.  I will speak of my “great expectations” under the millions of stars I have been seeing-and I will remember a spring from a long while back- and  with a grateful heart.   Happy Birthday, to my Tres.

 

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Strawberry Bread Pudding


  1. I take the basic bread pudding recipe and add strawberries, when in season.  We like raisins and cinnamon in the fall.

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          2 eggs                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup sugar                                                                                                                                                       1 2/3 cups milk                                                                                                                                      about 2 cups bread crumbled in to bite size pieces * I use old biscuits, but any stale bread would do.

Beat eggs and add sugar,milk:  fold in bread – Pour in a buttered pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 min.  If you are adding fruit, fold it in with the bread. I cut my fruit up in small pieces.

I bet bananas would be good, too. It is quite good without any fruit-and especially good when you share it with a loved one.

7e13f344ad5a8b1ac4040762a3041091*From the “Roses and Strawberries” post.

I Remember


3ec30cddb619150761cd65733d65ef1bThe rabbit patch is wet and full of mud.  The air is damp and the garden is not fit for man nor beast-On these  kind of days,  I like to remember.

I talked to my cousin, Faith, last night. I don’t have much of any memory before Faith.  She is just a bit older than me and so has been there all of my life. Faith grew up in a full house-a house full of my cousins. My favorite childhood memories include the big fancy farmhouse with the huge kitchen she grew up in.  Her mom, my great Aunt Agnes was always in that kitchen.  The kitchen table was huge and the folks around it were loud .  Aunt Agnes had made a name for herself as a fine cook.  Her recipes are still used today and we declare they are the best every time we have them.  She made the pickles in the family each July.  Her house would smell like vinegar for days.  There would be huge  vats sitting around with concoctions known only to her.  I was always glad when she was through with that.  She wore perfume and played the piano like she was born knowing how-ragtime music and hymns.  Faith can too, though she wouldn’t admit it.  

Mama Hodges, was Aunt Agnes’s mom, and my mother’s grandmama. Mama Hodges was old when I was born, and lived til i had my first child.  She was old a long time.  She lost her husband as a young woman and wore black dresses or black and white gingham, every day til she died about forty years later.  Her house stayed “hot enough to cure tobacco” year round.  She made pound cakes on a regular basis-the kitchen always smelled like one. She raised her four children and a grand daughter too. None of us kids acted up in her sight.  We did not “disturb the peace” at her house as we were prone to do when we got home.  My sister Delores and I sat in that heat on Tuesday mornings without interrupting the adults nor getting up til we were told we could sit on the porch.  Mama had told us that elves lived there and she had seen them, so that helped us out on those long mornings.

There was a brother and sister that lived right by Mama Hodges, John and Dephie.  John made homemade wine . He gave me my first violin.  Miss Delphie crocheted things for babies and could make flower arrangements from things growing on a ditchbank.  Faith talked back to her once and got in big trouble.

Sometimes, Cousin Tillie would send a letter full of details about her travels.  She had quite a bit of status because she was seeing the world . It didn’t bother me one bit, that my world was just a few miles wide.  There was the Church, the A&P and people like Faith, so I was content.  

We had stories too.  It turns out my own Grandmama had saved the lives of all her siblings once.  They were on their way to school, when the horse pulling the buggy got spooked and ran like the devil was after him past the school and only God knows where else.  Grandmama was a little girl-but she climbed on to that horse and changed his mind!  That’s a story!  It made me fearful of making her mad when I heard it.

My own mama had a story.  Once when she was little, she snatched on my grandma’s china cabinet door and ended up pulling the whole thing over!  The precious china must have made an awful racket, shattering and breaking up in the little house-and at just that moment, God sent the preacher in the back door.  I am sure he saved her life.  Thank goodness he had the good sense to stay awhile til things settled down.  That must have been mighty hard on Grandmama.

I remember these things now on days like today. This is where I came from.  These are  people I remember .  They had dreams when they were young too.  I could not imagine that as a child.  Now I wonder how Mama Hodges felt, becoming a young widow -suddenly, and left with four children and a farm.  I wonder what Aunt Agnes thought about when she was washing dishes all afternoon.  I think about miss Delphie making baby clothes for everybody but herself.  When i consider all of it, then I have a sense of pride and courage.  I knew these people.  They were real and they all had a story-and I vow all over again, that I will remember.

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