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This Cake is Doomed! Or, is It?

A number of years ago my 89 year old neighbor gave me some pound cake she'd made, and it was out of this world. Of course Corrine wasn't 89 back then, but she was still pretty old. Lately I have not written much about Herb and Corrine because, frankly, it is just too painful. Over the last two years Herb's dementia has increased a hundred-fold, whereas Corrine continues to lose weight at an alarming rate. That said, she is still driving, albeit slowly, and it makes me a nervous wreck. Herb has no idea who we are, just that we are neighbors. The conclusion to their story will not be good.

Nonetheless, after trying the pound cake, I had to have the recipe, and Corrine kindly typed it out.
Just like all good recipe cards, it is messy, a testament to the number of times I've made it. Last evening I set out the butter and eggs with the intention of making it first thing in the morning. And not long after getting up, I set out to do just that.

Except, things began to go wrong, beginning with not enough cake flour. Allegedly I could easily fix that by adding cornstarch to all purpose flour, however, I did not even have enough regular flour!! Bread flour, I've got like two five pound bags of the stuff. Now what? A combination of all my flours is now what! Then, while adding the eggs one at a time, I dropped half of one of the shells in the running mixer!!! That's a first. Plus, I made a big fat mess adding the flour, spewing it all over the counter.
Still love my white cabinets by the way. My goodness, what next? The batter is quite thick, perhaps the four extra minutes of beating?
(this is a funny picture, what with the reflection of the pan in the mixing bowl.) Smoothing it out, in the oven it went. After about ten minutes of cooking, maybe when I came back into the house after a recycling run, I smelled anything but the delicious aroma of pound cake. Oh no my friends, I smelled burning pound cake!
That was fun. I globbed out the stuff on the bottom using a large serving fork, and wrapped the bottom in foil. Good grief, what next?
Almost an hour and a half later, it came out looking like this. So much for my smoothing. The good news is that with the help of Bakers Joy, it came out of the pan like magic. Not that it looks all that great but still...
It is no wonder Corrine uses a very long loaf pan--to heck with that tube pan called for! Now, another hour and a half later, the cake looks like this, and although not perfect, surprisingly it was not doomed after all.
The crusty top is one of the things that makes it so tasty. The next time you are hankering for a scrumptious pound cake, make this one, just do things better than I did!

Meanwhile, during the cooling, I mowed the lawn after only five days, and I can't tell you how great it is to have a mower that starts on the first pull. I only wish we'd bought the new one about two years earlier. Another gusher last evening; thank goodness for the rain chain in the forefront!
On culture...

The other day I finished a novel by Jose Saramago, Skylight, that, although written more than 60 years ago, is astonishingly contemporary. Exploring so many of the same societal issues that we face today, it is really remarkable. Making it more so is that when he sent it into a publisher as a young man, they lost it, finding it 36 years later, a few years before he received the Nobel Prize for literature. In the unlikely event that you might find the back story interesting, here it is. I found myself wishing the book were mine because there were so many, many, sentences worth re-reading.

For example:

Therefore he had not yet given up entirely, and behind his resignation hope still lingered, just as the blue sky is always there behind the clouds. 

Here is another one:

"Has twelve years of living the way you've been living not shown you how badly people live? The poverty, the hunger, the ignorance, the fear?"

"yes, but times have changed...."

"Yes, times have changed, but people haven't."

So, that book was really good, as were two documentaries I watched this week. I just love documentaries! When Jonathan was a young teen he became interested in Japanese culture, specifically manga, and anime. He bought everything he could find, and when the movie Spirited Away came out in the States, he was in heaven. I did not understand the attraction at the time, but it wasn't porn, so that was good. Eventually he got me to watch that movie, and it was then that I began to appreciate his devotion. So, when I saw there was a documentary about one of the most famous Japanese artist in this form, I decided to dig in. Fascinating is what it was. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness is shot in the Ghilbi studio in Japan during the year they work on a new film. I learned that a big wig at Pixar spent time there in his younger years, and was highly influenced by Miyazaki. Think "Up."

Secondly I watched The Imposter. Unraveling the mystery of how a Frenchman, Frederic Bourdin, could convince a Texas family that he was their missing 15 year old son, you seriously cannot believe that it really happened. Sadly it did. There is a reason the saying, "truth is stranger than fiction," is still around.

Waking very early yesterday morning, I had a good idea. Or that's what I thought. For ever and ever, driving down Conway Road, there is a picture that I've wanted to take, just never have stopped to do so. Maybe it could be good at sunrise was my thinking yesterday. You see, there has been a single parked truck, and a single tree, that I thought would make a good photograph. Not to be, or at least the way I envisioned it. There were several cars in my way, causing me to have to angle the shot ,rather than shoot it straight on. Still, I kind of like it.
It is a well established fact that I love both clocks and watches so when Maureen offered me her garage sale find, I jumped at the chance. I find the numbering on this clock very interesting.
Speaking of time, it is lunch time around these parts...wonder what I can have?

Saving room for cake,

Gail
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