Sunday, September 25, 2005

Virtual Celebration Cake

Yesterday afternoon I was still so keyed up from the experiences of the last few days that I couldn't really sit still --even after we put the house back in pre-Rita order. So I busied myself making a celebration cake (a caramel cake) pictured above and took slices to our neighbors who also stayed behind. I'm offering virtual pieces to all of you who prayed for those of us in Houston and left thoughtful notes on the blog.

I know some of you will ask, so here is the recipe for the cake in case you would like to sample a real-life version:

Caramel Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 package plain white cake mix
1 cup whole milk (I use 2%)
1 stick butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
two 9 inch round cake pans, greased and floured

Put all ingredients in large mixing bowl, blend with an electric mixer for 1 minute on low speed. Scrape the bowl and beat 2 more minutes on medium speed. Pour batter equally into pans and cook 27 to 29 minutes. Take out and cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

Prepare the Caramel Frosting just before frosting the layers.

Caramel Frosting

1 stick butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup whole milk (again, I used 2 %)
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place butter and sugars in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, stir and bring it bac to a boil. Then remove the mixture from the heat, add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Use immediately--if it cools it will harden too much. If it does harden, return it to the heat briefly to soften up enough to frost. Decorate with nuts if desired (I used pecans, above).

Very yummy and very soothing. Goes well with 'ritas!

Other Rita Updates

Many of you followed our church's involvement with an extended family of 60 people who evacuated from New Orleans after Katrina and were sheltered at Bethel Ministries near our church. About half of the group had left to live with other relatives when Rita loomed out in the Gulf.

We arranged for the rest of the group to go up to Livingston, Texas (about 1 1/2 hours north and east of here) to shelter at our presbytery's Camp Cho-Yeh. Alas, a bad decision--Rita went east of Houston. So no sooner did they get to Cho-Yeh, then they had to evacuate again--this time west to New Braunfels (between San Antonio and Austin). It's a good thing, too, because the dam at Lake Livingston was threatened and the floodgates were opened this morning so everyone south of there had to get out ahead of those floodwaters. Those poor, poor folks. As of today, we don't know whether they plan to try to return here or not.

Church was pretty empty. Many people are still out of town. We decided that Bible in 90 Days would now be "Bible in 97 Days". Everyone will have this next week to catch up on their reading and we will resume our group meetings next week with what we should have done this week. We'll just go with the Act of God here.

We're still planning a mission trip to Mississippi next week for those who want to go help clear out some of the areas devastated by Katrina. This is being done through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. There but for the grace of God...

Lastly, some gas stations are getting fuel and some grocery stores and businesses were starting to reopen around here this afternoon. El Jefe plans to wait until mid-morning to decide whether to try to drive in to his downtown office. If the highways are clogged with returnees, he'll work at home. We may need to go stay with my father-in-law tomorrow since the woman who usually stays with him during the day evacuated to Austin and may not make it back.


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Thank you so much for the recipe! It looks so good and I am glad that we can be part of the celebration! I have been to Livingston....Rach and I were there a couple of months ago. ~grins~ It is just nice to know where you are talking about.

mibi52 said...

Of course, being the sugar junkie I am, my immediate inclination was to make a batch of the caramel frosting and sit in the corner with a spoon and eat it all. Diabetic coma, here I come! Yummy. I know you're doing OK if you're baking again.


Purechristianithink said...

I was wondering if Rita would throw off the bible reading schedule. . . I'm glad you've got it figured out.

Bad Alice said...

Oy that looks good. And here I was gearing up for the South Beach Diet.

Songbird said...

You are the Quotidian Queen of Cake. My, this is irresistible! As soon as I can squeeze in a trip to the supermarket, we'll be eating it!

LutheranChik said...

Oh, that cake looks so good...and up here in the increasingly light-deprived Upper Midwest, I'm craving lots of carbohydrates, like a bear getting ready to hibernate.;-)

Glad to hear that you and the neighbors are well.

Pink Shoes said...

Um, yum-yum-yum.
Thanks for the recipe.
My mouth is watering already.

Lorna said...

erm we can't buy cake mix here. we have to make it from stratch. so how much cake is it? in one mix I mean?

loved this idea :)

be so blessed!

Quotidian Grace said...

No cake mix in Finland? Fie.

You can substitute any recipe for a yellow or white two-layer 9 inch cake for the cake in the recipe and then use the caramel frosting. Try it!

I'd give you a recipe for cake from scratch, but it would be in cups and not liters.