I’ve been mostly absent in this space and, at first, I blamed it on the summer. Kids were home, my husband took an extended work sabbatical, vacations were enjoyed. Then the kids went back to school and I blamed it on the accompanying frenzy that followed-making sure everyone was organized, forms were filled out, college application deadlines are met. But when I really slowed down and honestly contemplated the reason I haven’t been hanging out on Fiercely Fresh lately, it looked less like outward distraction and more like inward discouragement.
When I began this blog, I intended to document my journey as a first-time CSA member. In the process, my love of photography bloomed (hooray!). Also, I realized there is a vast world-wide web of food blogs out there started by folks who (not unlike me) liked to cook and take photographs. I added many of those blogs to my rss reader so that I could glean from these pioneers. Many of them still occupy space there and I cannot wait to open my blog reader every couple of days to catch up on their latest posts. Slowly, though, something else was happening as I pored over these beautiful blogs taking mental notes about flavors and food styling…I was comparing my blog to theirs and repeatedly feeling as though I was falling short.
Mark Twain said “Comparison is the death of joy” and I have always found this to be truth. Comparing myself to bloggers who have been around awhile and put in a lot of hard work to evolve their blogs has insidiously decreased my joy in this space. But no more…starting with this apple cake, I’m dusting myself off and reclaiming my joy. This cake is sweeter than this recipe posted previously, and the brown sugar caramel glaze makes it decidedly decadent.
Another reason I started this blog is because I believe that it can be easy to make good, honest food. Even though my mother was a good cook, she depended largely on packaged foods (I never had mashed potatoes which were made from real potatoes until I made them as an adult!). Watching this piece recently from chef Mark Bittman reaffirmed why I will continue to post here.
Everyone has the ability to cook healthy, affordable non-fussy food at home.
Let’s all start today and we will celebrate with a cake.
- 4 cups apples, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups unbleached flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinammon
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup safflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- Brown Sugar Caramel Glaze:
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with butter and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and foamy. Add the oil and vanilla and beat well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until incorporated. It will be very thick. Fold in the apples and the pecans.
Spread evenly in the prepared pan using a spatula. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Make the glaze while the cake is still hot: Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. After the mixture begins to bubble, continue to cook another 3-4 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve. Pour hot glaze over cake and continue to allow cake to cool.