Apples for love – a perfect cake for any occasion but this occasion happens to be our 24th Anniversary (yes, 24 – really!). We weren’t that young (but still pretty young) which makes us likely older than you thought we were, but we’ve had many lives. We’ve lived many places and have had many adventures (and many adventures to come!). This homestead life of ours is a relatively new endeavor though we have always gravitated to the fringes of sufficient systems – which is to say, we’ve always been a little weird.
We look pretty normal (well, relatively speaking) and I think we lead a pretty ‘normal’ life (almost too normal somedays) but I have little to compare it to – our small enclaves of artist, activist, academic, and appreciators of these things, this is a pretty normal life. But we know the truth – that behind this air of apparent sanity – we are freaks (esp Josh, maybe if you know me, you already think or know I’m weird but he fools you right up to the edge – ha!).
We got married because we thought it would be funny. It wasn’t really a secret, we just didn’t tell anyone. We thought it was the last thing anyone would think of either of us doing. We had only been really dating for about 6 months (I had been living in VT not even a year from NJ) and our ‘dating’ consisted of selling all of our possessions, buying a beat up car and driving from Vermont to New Orleans visiting everyone we knew down the East Coast. It took us a couple of months to get there – we tried to find a place to live but we had spent most of our money on the way (friends wired us money to come back North). We ran out of ideas to avoid Vermont but returned anyway to find a place to live and maybe some jobs. Then we got it in our heads to slip off to the Town Office of Shoreham, VT and persuade them to find a judge to marry us Christmas Eve morning. He was a very kind older man who left his family to give us a short but sweet ceremony (Judge Douglas; later his daughter would be my manager at a retail/gallery job) and then we went to buy dog food for our naughty Malamute/Lab mix who – while we were getting married was happily munching on my favorite blue hat.
I’m not sure about Josh’s direct observations but I know I became a person with him. I was just an idea before, but through all our trials and adventures somehow I became a budding practice, a real person. Believe it or not, I was even a terrible cook when we first met (mmm, crunchy rice casserole) and he was brimming with patience (something I have chipped away at over the years – ha!). But for us, it’s always been about love and happiness (thank you, Reverend Al Green) – if it didn’t fit those parameters, it was time to change. He is the space I call home. He is the place I call love.
May you enjoy all the love that enriches you.
Onto the cake – we’ve been making this cake for about 10 years now from Food52. It’s a bit of a staple (though sometimes I make a different ‘less flour’ version that is a little more dense and just as delicious. I’m definitely one of those people who loves the kind of rye/fig/olive oil/spice flavors in a cake. Renee Erickson makes a stunningly dreamy dark Molasses Spice Cake with pepper and orange zest that is an adventure in itself.) This cake makes a great coffee cake, mature birthday cake, or an everyday give-me-some-cake kind of deal. I prefer a Bundt pan for all cakes, it’s just my thing but a Tube (Angel Food) pan works great, too. The secret is the low and slow cooking.
Apples, love indeed.
Deep South Apple Cake
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cooking oil of your choice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 juice of a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups peeled and chopped fresh apples
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
2 eggs, well beaten
- Preheat oven to 325F (160C) degrees. Grease a tube or Bundt pan and dust with flour.
- Combine sugar, oil, vanilla extract, eggs, lemon juice, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat well.
- Mix flour and baking soda then add to the first mixture and beat well.
- Add apples and pecans, if using, and mix well.
- Pour into prepared tube pan.
- Bake 1 ½ hours, until golden on top. Let sit a few minutes, then unmold.
- You can dust the top with a little Confectioner’s Sugar, if desired. This cake is great warm or cold (the next day is super delicious).