Thursday, June 5, 2014

Earthquake Cake

The quiet of the evening is settling on our leafy green lawns after another day generous with sun and warmth. 

It’s been one agreeable day after the other.

June is starting out lovely. This time of light and sun and pleasant temperatures is a gift of the year like no other.

A stretch of uninterrupted good weather is comparable to winning the lottery after the spring we could not shake.

It’s funny how weather patterns can be stuck one way and when they go to something else it’s like the old way never happened.

We’ve been out and about. We’re taking advantage of the vacation-worthy weather. We haven’t strayed from our general area and there’s no need to.

We’re glad the Cities, with beautiful places and things to do, is home. It’s convenient when choices that interest you aren’t far from your door.

Minneopa Falls was the longest of the day trips. Located in Minneopa State Park near Mankato, the waterfall is the largest in southern Minnesota. The double falls is spectacular when the creek is full as it is now.

The falls acted like a mist fan as we spanned the creek on the trail between the two falls. The lower falls is the larger of the two and cuts into a shady deep gorge. 

Cameras were clicking away. The photo shots are sure to show up in many places as this spot is shared with others.

We remarked that Minneopa Falls and the walkway around the brim remind us of waterfalls visited in Upper Michigan.

Considerable travel distance is saved by coming to this nearer waterfall, a little over an hour away from home. But sometimes, without visiting one place, you can’t nearly so much appreciate another. 

Traveling widely can teach you to value what is there in front of you.

Minneopa Creek, like our local lakes and rivers, carries the additional load of heavy weekend rain. Over 3” fell here over a short period. Outdoor plans went quickly from Plan A to Plan B when the rain didn’t stop.

Fortunately, leaves, shrubs and flowers are good users of rainwater at this time of year. They draw in precipitation that falls and goes into the ground.

Thirsty plants lap up moisture like pets at a water bowl on a hot day. The plants eagerly siphoning off water is a nice picture to have in mind when the next rain pelts down.

Before the weekend rain we got the garden in. Some new flowers made it into the yard plantings this year. We keep reworking our vision of outdoor space.

The garden isn’t big but has strawberries, tomatoes and the first of the herbs - rosemary, basil and sage - with more herbs yet to get. Faithful chives winter over and are there to find each spring.

Things get done around the house too. Al takes the lead in outside projects while I whittle away at the indoor agenda that daily goes on. This includes digging out the recipe for Earthquake Cake. 

The recipe is from my friend, the one written about in the June 1, 2014 blog. The cake hasn’t been made in awhile. Writing about my friend reminded me of her recipe.

It’s not her recipe if you know what I mean, but given to her from someone else, and from her to me. 

At the top of the card I put in her name before the recipe to remember Earthquake Cake comes from her.

Rich desserts seldom show up here. We indulge less often and that’s a good thing.

It makes it all the sweeter to sometimes throw caution to the wind, as for this cake. 

As the eggs and mixing bowl come out, and the recipe card is placed for following the directions, here’s a treat to celebrate a perfect start to June.  

Earthquake Cake

1 cup coconut, 1 cup nuts, 1 Box German chocolate cake mix, 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1 stick softened oleo (or butter), 3 cups powdered sugar

Spray 9 x 13 pan with oil. Make cake as directed on box. Sprinkle nuts and coconut on bottom of pan. Pour cake batter over them. Beat cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar very well! (with mixer).

Drop spoonfuls over batter here and there. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (Use your deepest 9 x 13 pan, as the cake erupts!)

The cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar rise - the chocolate cake forms fissures or streams - it’s fun to see! Delicious, too. Serve with whipped cream.

Recipe comment: The recipe is written out as worded by my friend. On the recipe card I added my notes. Next to “nuts” is written: “walnuts or pecans.” Next to butter amount is written: “1/2 cup.”

Beside “cake mix” is written “18.25 oz” to specify cake mix size. I use  Betty Crocker Super Moist German Chocolate Cake Mix but other cake mixes work equally well. 

Ro Giencke - June 6, 2014


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