Everyone is gearing up for Christmas. My fellow inmates who can get out and about to shop are coming back to the Palace laden with sacks full of gifts and Christmas goodies. Most of us just rely on Christmas envelopes to brighten the holidays for our children, grandchildren, and other loved ones. Everyone understands.
Last night I had the most wonderful dinner at my friend Lynn’s house. Included with the group were her mother and her mother’s Friday night dinner club. They have included me on several occasions and I’ve enjoyed being with them. It just happens that three of the ladies grew up in Ellsworth but have long lived in Salina so there is never a shortage of conversation about the town that holds many memories for each of us.
Lynn had her table set with lovely china and crystal with a couple of bottles of decanted wine standing close by. Everything she served was delicious…pork loin slathered with a thick paste made of peppers and other seasonings and roasted to perfection. She also made a very yummy butternut squash casserole and a delicious combination of two kinds of kale steamed with herbs. For dessert, there were individual ramekins filled with warm apple cranberry dessert.
I had one of the aides from Health Care drive me to Lynn’s to avoid any possible mishaps. Lynn brought me home as her house is only a short distance from the Palace. It was only about 10 pm but not a creature was stirring. For a place that is huge and has lots of residents, it’s very quiet, which I appreciate.
Today, for the first time since my arrival, the vinegar cruets on the dining tables contained apple cider vinegar rather than tasteless white distilled vinegar. That was a pleasant surprise particularly since we had Brussels sprouts as an option for lunch. I like my sprouts swimming in good vinegar so now I don’t have to take my own small bottle to meals which everyone thinks is a shot from the last plane trip I took. We also had teriyaki chicken which was good, a tasty potato casserole and pumpkin pie topped with ice cream.
Today I sat with Doris, Hazel and Joy. We always have fun together with lots of laughs. There were lots of people missing from lunch, or so it appeared. I guess some were just late arriving.
My granddaughter’s boyfriend’s birthday was today so she baked him what he requested…a “moist” chocolate cake. Here’s the handsome guy with a piece of his birthday cake. Happy Birthday, Ty Walk.
Mackenzie got the recipe from master baker Greg Connally who got it from Mildred Grubb. It is scrumptiously delicious. Here’s the recipe, if you’d like a good, easy and very dependable chocolate sheet cake, or layer cake:
Mildred Grubb’s Good and Moist Chocolate Cake. 2 c. all purpose flour, 2 c. granulated sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I use a little more to make it extra chocolate-y), 1 t. baking powder, 1 t. baking soda, 1 t. salt .**Whisk dry ingredients together in mixing bowl until well blended and blend 1 c. vegetable oil, 1 c. buttermilk, 2 large eggs **Add above wet ingredients til well incorporated. Once incorporated, add 1 c. boiling water ** add boiling water slowly, scraping the bottom of the mixing bowl to incorporate. **grease and dust pans with cocoa powder. I use a 9X13, or use 2-8″ cake pans. Bake at 350 until tooth pick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean. 45 minutes.
When you get the cake out of the oven, it will be domed…I usually lay a paper towel over the cake and gently push the air out of it until the top is all level…it makes it more moist, and it looks better. If doing a 9X13…I use the following “glaze”. If doing a layer cake, I use chocolate butter cream. Glaze: (in a small sauce pan) 1 stick butter (melt) 1 c. granulated sugar 1/2 c. cocoa powder pinch of salt 1 c. milk 1 t. vanilla bring to a slow rolling boil for three minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Whisk to incorporated. Pour over warm cake…glaze will soak in to cake. If you want the icing a little thicker, add powdered sugar until desired thickness is achieved.
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