Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lunch with Gramma and Grampa

Ephesians 6:1-3 

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 
"Honor your father and mother"
—which is the first commandment with a promise—
 "that it may go well with you
 and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

My Mom called me the other day saying she hadn't heard from me for a while. Well I'll admit I hadn't seen her since Easter. But that's not that long ago. Really, she was trying to clean out a storage closet. So I said I would take the stuff and give to Goodwill what I didn't want. Interestingly enough she didn't want her stuff to go to Goodwill. So I said I would come out for lunch with Emily.

So today I called and said we be there for lunch. I decided that I would make a banana cake to bring out to my Dad, because my Mom is a vegan and she doesn't cook anymore anyway. I chose a cake from Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking: From My Home to Yours" that was recently used by the Daring Bakers. She called it a classic banana cake. I modified it just a bit, and only made half the recipe. The cake was supposed to be in a 10-12 cup bundt pan. I put it into two 5 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch cake pans. They work a perfect match for the amount of batter. The cake rose right to the top of the pan.

Banana Tea Cakes

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbls rum or whiskey
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 egg
7 ounces flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
grated nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used sultanas, currents, and cherries)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and paper two 5 1/5 inch x 2 inch cake pans.
Combine the flour, soda, salt, and nutmeg.
Cream the butter and sugar.
Mash the bananas, stir in the egg, sour cream or plain yogurt or buttermilk, and extracts and alcohol.
Add bananas mixture to butter and sugar and stir well.
Stir in the flour mixture.
Stir in the nuts and dried fruit.
Pour into the pans and bake until done, this was maybe 50 minutes.

I was in a hurry to get out to my parents place so I didn't take a picture. And when I got back home only 2/3 of the second cake was remaining.

As soon as I could handle the cakes I removed them from the pans to cool a bit. Then I located a cooky tin the right size, put tin foil in the tin and then the cake. I collected all I needed, like diaper, wipes, baba, baby (doll), book, and Emily, and headed out. We made a quick stop at Starbucks drive thru, and headed out of town. The coffee at the retirement home my parents live at is not really acceptable. It was 12:10 when we arrived, not bad really, but my parents eat lunch at a little past eleven. We all headed straight down to lunch and I felt like we were a parade and everyone was watching and waving and grinning. It was all about Emily. She didn't really seem to notice all this attention, which is good. It was a bit unnerving seeing all the old men who wanted to touch her. My parents were very nice about the fact that I took a bunch of food, cut it up into little pieces, and set it all in a large bowl that I found on the table. Apparently the bowl is used for garbage, so maybe my Dad was worried the waiter might take Emily's food. Emily was a very good girl. I was very proud of her.

After our lunch, we were again a parade as we walked out of the dining hall. It really seemed like Emily was the height of the day for many people in the retirement home. We continued to be an attraction as we worked our way to the area where they have an art gallery, which my mother seems to have something to do with. She used to be a docent at the Portland Art Museum. The new exhibit for the month was sports. Every month of so they change the exhibits, which are provided by the people in the community, and this month's was sports. Last months was vintage clothing, and I would have really liked to see that one, but my mother doesn't realize that I'm interested in vintage clothing, so she never told me about it. But the sports exhibit was interesting, especially pictures of the old people when they were young doing pretty amazing things. I think that people need to remember that old people were young once. There were two pairs of boots from my Dad's shoe factory with pictures of the owners wearing them in a sports related activity. I have a pair of Danner Boots that my Dad made specially for me because I wanted the top of my boot to be a little higher than normal and I wanted a little more padding at the top of the boot. I've owned these boots for at least 40 years. Three of my daughters have also worn these boots at one time or another. My Dad made very good boots.

"For myself I am an optimist - 
it does not seem to be much use being anything else." 
Sir Winston Churchill, 1954

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