Monday, April 26, 2010

Quick Update

Um. Where to start.

Work. Work. Work. Work. That pretty much tells the story of Monday to Thursday.

Friday. Worked -- a little bit longer than planned, but still out of the office in time to run home, throw the dog and the food into the (already packed) car, drive back downtown to pick up Myfanwe, and make it Norbert's school by 2:30.

We arrive at Shell Cottage in late afternoon, and I immediately started mowing the lawn because I wanted to get it cut before it started raining. I got the front law mowed before the rain came down, and it rained the whole rest of the weekend, so I never got to finish the back. It's going to be a bear to mow next Friday.

We had chicken, onions, mushrooms and sweet potatoes roasted with white wine and rosemary for dinner. It was ok. Norbert loved it. The boy is ALL about the mushrooms.

Saturday I woke with a migraine. Lots of meds and an ice bag later it was manageable, and coffee helped keep it at bay for the rest of the day. Which was good, as I had a lot to do. The rain was nice, soothing, and I loved knowing that the roses were being watered by G-d. That way I don't have to tote buckets. (Have I failed to mention that this house has no spigot to take water to the outside? No. Really! None.)

Mitzi had an appointment with the vet in Three Oaks. Mitzi needed her rabies vaccine and she desperately needed to have her nails trimmed. (Click Click Click all through the house!) It's so much easier to walk her over to the vet in Three Oaks than to drive downtown and park. The vet in Three Oaks is a quiet, pleasant man and I really liked that he apologized to Mitzi when he stuck his thermometer up her Hoopdeedoo. I also liked that the bill was half as much as in Chicago. We will definitely be repeat customers.

After the vet, we decided that Mitzi stank and needed a bath, so we drove a few miles to the town of Bridgman, which has a do-it-yourself dog was and feed store. Plastic aprons donned, we proceeded to wash and condition, rinse and dry poor Mitzi. She is such a good dog. I'm sure if I'd been poked and pinched and stuck with a needle, had something stuck up my folderol and then been dunked in water, well, let's just say that I wouldn't be happy about it. Mitzi is, above all, forgiving.

Saturday night there was a hog roast at the American Legion hall, the proceeds of which benefit the Three Oaks Flag Day Parade. Flag Day in Three Oaks is a very, very big deal. If you were taking your ACT, the correct answer would be, "Flag Day is to Three Oaks as the Tournament of Roses is to Pasadena." Or possibly, "Flag Day is to Three Oaks as Mardi Gras is to New Orleans." It's part of the life force -- the spirit of the place.

Sunday I made my favorite coffee cake. In the cookbook put out by the Women's Axillary of the Three Oaks American Legion it is called the Walton's Mountain Coffee Cake. Paula Dean has a variation -- which is really just the Walton's Mountain recipe without the 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. (And, to be totally honest, it is better with the cinnamon.) I also increase the nuts and mess with the brown sugar, so I guess this is MY version, and I'm going to call it the Three Oaks Coffee Cake.

Three Oaks Coffee Cake

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 18 knobs of frozen white dinner roll dough
  • 1 pack (4 serving-size) NON-instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • Generously grease a 10 in fluted tube pan.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans in the bottom of the pan.
  • Arrange the frozen dough balls on top of the pecans.
  • Sprinkle pudding mix over dough balls.
  • Sprinkle brown sugars and cinnamon over the pudding.
  • Sprinkle remaining nuts.
  • Drizzle with melted butter.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise on the counter for 8 to 10 hours or refrigerate for 12 to 24 hrs.
  • Uncover and bake 350 degree oven about 35 minutes or till top is golden brown.
  • Let cool 5 minutes before inverting coffee cake onto a good size serving tray.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
I really love that all of the work occurs the night before. And I love the flavor. SO delicious. And, yes, I understand that there are some food snobs who will turn up their noses at a recipe that calls for pudding mix. Feh. This coffee cake is one of the best things I have ever made. And I now make it almost every week. It's that good.

Gotta run.


Susan said...

Be still my beating heart! That is a wonderful concoction of everything that makes life I shall take that to the next family gathering. Thank you for sharing!

Sarah said...

Oh what a delicious sounding recipe. I just started WW to loose a few pounds before coming back to Three Oaks for high school reunion weekend Aug. 13-14. I hope you'll be there so I can meet you and your family and to see Shell Cottage.

Ted said...

Well: this blows my low carb diet all to hell.

But could you recommend a brand of non-instant butterscotch pudding. I honestly can't think that I've seen one in my grocery stores. Thank you.

Aidan said...

Ted: Jello makes a non-instant. I think the term they use is "Cook and Serve", but I could be wrong. I don't have any trouble finding it here, but if you do, let me know, and I can send you a care package!

sue said...

Miss your posts - three months is too long!!
Hope everything is ok with you and your family.