Fanny Flagg's Caramel Cake Recipe – Elixir for Life?

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51P91PG80AL._SL500_AA246_PIkin2,BottomRight,-15,34_AA280_SH20_OU01_Last week while Larry was recovering in the hospital from a heart attack (he had angioplasty and is, thankfully, fine) I went to Sam’s and bought him a book and me a book. His book is one of those men’s books that I find rather boring. My book was Fannie Flagg’s Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, in paperback. I was attracted by the pretty cover, and by something light and fluffy. I needed light and fluffy.

Fannie Flagg writes a compelling read; she is the writer of the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, which she later adapted to screen as Fried Green Tomatoes. Her characters, mostly women, are quirky, interesting and definitely not stock female characters often found in books. The settings are often rural and Southern, and I can relate to that. Another thing is Fannie Flagg’s penchant for adding recipes to her books. This book was no exception. I won’t ruin the book for those who haven’t read it, but the protagonist receives a heavenly piece of cake that ends up saving the life of a person who eats it. I decided to make this cake when Larry got home from the hospital. It was fairly easy to make, and was fairly low sugar and low fat. Larry loved it. So now I have made another one, he having eaten the first one. He has been better and better, every day. Maybe there is magic in that cake recipe! Anyway, here’s the recipe, from this link: Fannie Flagg’s Recipes:

Neighbor Dorothy’s Heavenly Caramel Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

13⁄4 cups cake flour (sift before measuring)
Resift with 1 cup brown sugar

Add:
1⁄2 cup soft butter
2 eggs
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
13⁄4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat for 3 minutes. Bake in greased pan for 1⁄2 hour.

Caramel Frosting

2 tablespoons cake flour
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄4 cup butter, softened
1⁄4 cup shortening
1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Mix cake flour and milk. Cook to a thick paste over slow flame.
Cool. Cream sugars and vanilla with butter and shortening. Beat
until light and fluffy. Blend in salt. Mix in cooled paste. Beat
until fluffy. Blend. Should look like whipped cream.

What a lovely, pink sunset!

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DSCF2449DSCF2459DSCF2464Today at dusk, nature gave me a wonderful gift – this beautiful pink sunset – my favorite color of pink , too. It rained a lot today – more than an inch here, and we needed it very badly. But tonight our ponds are full, the frogs are singing harmony with the cicadas, and all is right with the world. At least for now.

How did I ever live without my iPod Touch®?

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iphoneOK, this is not a commercial, but I feel it necessary to say this: I honestly do not know how I ever managed my life before the iPod Touch®. Probably others with iPhones®, Blackberrys®, Palm Pilots® and similar PDAs can relate, but having that much technology in your hand is amazing. One thing I wish my iPod had, and it doesn’t, is the ability to connect with the web without having a hotspot around. But even at that, it is a blessing. Most of the time I’m near a hot spot, so it doesn’t matter.

Here are the things I love about my iPod:

  • I no longer have to lug my laptop everywhere; I can check my email, get my Tweets®, Facebook® updates and more, all from the iPod.
  • The iPod has all these applications that I never realized I needed before. And some of them work better with the iPod than they do on the laptop – for example, the Weatherbug® application has a radar map on it that allows you to zoom in almost to the street level, so you can actually see the weather as it approaches your neighborhood. This is way cool.
  • I love my Swiss Army Knife® application, which includes a flashlight. Now I never have to fumble in the dark to put the key in the door when I come home late at night. And, I use the flashlight to get to the door in the dark (we never leave the porch light on because that would require foresight, duh) and not stumble on the steps. A reasonable person would put a motion sensor on a light there, but we are far from reasonable. LOL.
  • The Kindle® application, which is free, is a Godsend. I crave a real Kindle®, but until that day comes, I can make do with the smaller screen on my iPod® and read best sellers for only $9.99. And all the free books, too. Because I take my iPod® everywhere, I have books wherever I go. A lovely feature of the Kindle® is the sample. One can download samples of every book and read a little of it to see if you want to buy it. Depending on the book you can read as much as three or four chapters this way. And I know you can do this online, but the Kindle® samples are longer.
  • Lexulous®, my Scrabble®-like game, is also an application on the iPod®. I also have games that don’t require an Internet connection, such as Blackjack and some casino-type games, but I also have Live Poker from Zynga®, which is an Internet application.
  • All my songs fit on my iPod. All of them. And I only have the 16G version.
  • I bought a $20 app that allows me to use all my MS Office apps on the iPod, meaning I can open all the docs I need.
  • I have my mobile iDisk on my iPod without having to go online to retrieve it. It is automatically updated when I plug it in to the laptop to charge.
  • My Quicken® application will show me my current bank balance, savings balance, and credit card balance. Sometimes this is TMI, but it is still nice to have.

I bought my iPod® earlier this summer, and it has already given me much back in service and convenience. I didn’t buy an iPhone because my service, US Cellular, is not covered by iPhone, which is currently only available to AT &T and Verizon customers. Also, I don’t need another bill every month. So, while this is not an advertisement, it is an endorsement. The palm-sized computing era is here, whether we like it or not; I suggest that everyone who wants to keep up with technology, get on board.

Raccoons in the garden

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For several days we have been dealing with an infestation of raccoons. The pests have torn down a great deal of our corn, grabbing the unripe ears and eating them partially, throwing the rest to the ground. We have one very useless dog who has mostly stood by and watched. Last night we finally caught an adult female (they call them sows, which I find strangely offensive) in the live trap, and this morning my stepson shot her and threw her over the fence. Sounds rough, I know; but farm life is hard. We still have three rows of corn that haven’t been touched much, and about half of the three rows that were hit hard by the ‘coons. We are hoping the worst is over, but the trap stays.

The Raccoon is dead.

The Raccoon is dead.

Damaged Corn

Damaged Corn

More damaged corn

More damaged corn

The corn

The corn