photo by Sheri Dixon

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Not a Cake...Take Two

I was baking a cake last week and remembered a conversation I'd had with my banker almost 10 years ago. He was asking about our dairy goats.

His question was, "So, what does it take to milk a goat?"

I described the steps, from gathering the implements, to securing the goat and cleaning her udder, then milking, then straining the milk and putting it into containers in the fridge, being sure to wash all the equipment right away to avoid milk scale building up.

He listened intently, then cleared his throat and said, "You know, they sell milk at Walmart".

I was thinking back on that exchange because I was baking a carrot cake. While most things made from scratch are ridiculously easy- most of the time every bit as easy as starting with a "box mix"- such is not the case with carrot cake.

It's a veritable pain in the ass.

But the end result is so much better than any mix from a box slathered with goo from a can that it's worth it.

Just like milk from an animal you know and feed- so that you know exactly what you and your children are drinking- is far superior to the enticing gallons at Walmart.

Remember back a few weeks ago now, my heartwarming yet embarrassing story about Erika and Dave and their dad's surprise birthday cake?

And my punchline was..."Whatever it is, it's not a cake" in reference to Ward's...thing on his eyelid- his one remaining eyelid on his one remaining eye?

Well, the news is very good- it's not cancer. It's some sort of blocked gland thingy and we're headed back down to Houston Sunday, meeting with the ophthalmology surgeon on Monday and coming home Tuesday (we'll repeat that 3 day dance step twice more- once when she does "the procedure" and once for a recheck...I think- actual schedule may vary).

It's a veritable pain in the ass.

We don't WANT to make more trips down yonder.

But it's ok. Because "It's not a cake".

However, this IS a cake- enjoy...

Pain in the Ass Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Icing

1/4 c orange juice
1/4c raisins
2c baking mix (I like Pioneer)
1 1/4c olive oil
1c packed brown sugar
1/2c sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cloves
4 eggs
3 or 4 carrots, grated (2 1/2 cups)
1 c chopped pecans

Place the orange juice and raisins in a small saucepan and heat to boiling. Turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Mix all the dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients, stirring well after each addition, then mixing with an electric mixer for 3 minutes.

Stir in the carrots and pecans and pour into a greased/floured 13 X 9 baking pan.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 or till a knife inserted into the center comes away clean.

Cool on a rack.

Meanwhile- make the icing-

With mixer at medium speed, mix 1 8oz package of softened cream cheese with 1/8c evaporated milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract and enough powdered sugar to make frosting.

Once cake is cool, frost, cover and refrigerate.

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