Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Bionic Breakfast

Computers are like God and the devil....they lift your soul up with wondrous things one minute, and send you gnashing your teeth into a fit of helpless rage the next - we give this glowing box way too much power in our lives. I remember when the only computers were giant room size machines with spinning things and flashing lights, and Steve Austin and Jamie Sommers, the most awesome bionic couple that never was.  Remember when the olden days meant covered wagons and outdoor plumbing and not bell bottom jeans and the Ford Pinto?  Criminy I'm old.

I love the computer, and now it's in my phone - anytime, night or day (as long as I haven't run my battery down playing Candy Crush or left the GPS on after driving to Milwaukie for the 50th time because my memory is that bad) I can look stuff up, play a game, check the weather anywhere in the world, look at pictures from the last 2 years, keep in contact with family, see what friends are up to, and delete the 40 emails a second that get dropped into my inbox.  After I make sure none are a real email from friends...but I apparently have none.  Convenient?  Hells to the YES....a pain in the ass?  You betcha.  Continuing to text while someone tries to engage you in conversation is quite rude but I have done it.  Laughing out loud during that exchange is boorish...done it too.  We will have cellular implants soon, and it can't happen fast enough...I hate the little rubber thingy I have to put on my phone to protect it when I drop it, it falls out of my pocket and bounces out the car door onto the street, or I fling it across the room because Candy Crush put me in time out, and having it installed in my head will keep both my hands free to work the Wii remote and still be able to drink a glass of wine.  Just not sure about where I'll have to plug in the charger...

My sister in law lost all the recipes on her computer due to some massive hardware failure, and son number 2 was not able to retrieve any of the data off her hard drive, so she occasionally will request one that I've given her in the past.  And I get why it's cool to put them on your computer, but I prize recipes like not much else....they have to get written down and put in the binder, because losing a really good one can crush my soul.  I lost the eggnog scones once for over a year...I had a little party when I found it again, and still can't eat the damn things - right, who am I trying to kid?  Someday I will write a cookbook, so the binders and this blog are my reference for that purpose - I even still have a RECIPE BOX....go to an antique store or a fossil dig if you don't know what that is.  And every recipe carries with it memories....even if I forgot where it came from, I can always recall at least one of the times I made it.

So I got a text from said SIL the other day asking for my apple coffee cake recipe, and I was busy and told her it was on the blog.  Quite a while later she txt'd back and said she looked everywhere and it wasn't there, so she made raspberry scones because that was what her work peeps requested anyway.  My first thought was that she was nipping her vanilla a bit too liberally, because I KNEW it was there, so when I went to search, was shocked to find it WASN'T.  Not sure why....I know I am holding back on one recipe in case I ever open a bakery or cafe etc, and will feature said product as "World's Best" Item and become famous when Guy Fieri shows up and lets me drive his Camaro after tasting one.  And don't get me wrong, this recipe KICKS SERIOUS ASS....sorry for the swear, but dammit it's the best coffeecake I've EVER had!  

First time I had it was when my daughter made it for Mother's Day...she was probably pre-teen, and no doubt Handsome Daddy helped, but it was and has always been the most moist and delicious coffeecake known to me and everyone I've ever made it for.  I tweaked it ever so slightly and doubled the topping - I'm a sucker for the sweet crunch and the way it melts into the top of the cake in pockets of pure delight, so why not?  The kids made it every Mother's Day until they grew up and stiffed me with diamond earrings, the Jag, and a cruise to Tahiti....I would trade it all for coffeecake.

Apple Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1/4 C. shortening
1/2 C. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 C. flour
1/2 C. sour cream
1 large apple, peeled and diced

1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
2 T. butter, cold

Preheat oven to 350.  Beat shortening and sugar until fluffy, beat in egg, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix well.  Put in half the flour and the sour cream and blend, add remaining flour and apple and stir just until mixed, spread into a greased 8x8 pan.  Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts, using a fork, smash in butter until crumbles and sprinkle evenly over batter.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until no longer jiggly in center and a toothpick comes out clean.  It's even better warm than cold, but cold is still better than any other coffeecake on earth....not kidding.

You can use other fruit - I've made it lots of times with blueberries, and am going to try it with rhubarb soon.  And I always double it and put it in a 9x13ish pan....if it's a bit smaller, it will take longer because it's thicker.  Nuts are a choice, of course....but walnuts go with apples, and I like that they make the top crunchy - you could use pecans or almonds too, or none at all.  It's not cakey, light, or borders on pudding-ey, but is not smooshy either - just drop dead moist and flavor for miles...the apples are heavenly!

So there you go, Pam - in a race against raspberry scones I'm sure THEY will come in a respectable second, 'cause I think you know how much this cake rocks...but can I have your recipe for scones?  You just never know, maybe you'll be riding shotgun with me in Guy's baby while he works on a plate of each...


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