Day Off From Work
It’s funny, you think when you retire you will have a carefree life, but we human beings being who we are, it turns out retirement looks a whole lot like the life we had before. Or maybe it’s because we choose the lives we get?
We are busy. We have taken on obligations. We have deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, groceries to buy, church duties, volunteer jobs – people are counting on us. It’s very much what our working lives looked like, even then, we had jobs that weren’t always fun, but had a lot of moving parts that we thoroughly enjoyed. I mostly worked in libraries, fund raising and social services; AdventureMan worked managing people and resources. Not a whole lot has changed, except the hours are better.
But it is easier to take a day off. Today I am usually at my volunteer job, but when they called last night to ask if I would be coming in, I just laughed and said “No, see you next week.” They were probably as glad as I was; less prep for them.
No, I needed today to bake my Soused Apple Cake for the Thanksgiving gathering, chop the nuts for the Mom’s Cranberry Salad, pack up the Rosettes, and get the broccoli marinating. I know, I know, broccoli for Thanksgiving? Yes. We get older, we need broccoli. I soak it in good olive oil and garlic, with a little salt, then roast it on Thanksgiving at 400° for about 30 minutes and it is tasty and delicious and you hardly know you are eating broccoli.
Soused Apple Cake
From Quail Country: The Junior League of Albany, Georgia.
If you don’t have brandy, don’t bother with this one – the brandy give it the punch, even though all the alcohol cooks off during baking. Kids hate this cake, adults love it.
4 cups cooking apple
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg (grate it fresh, it matters!)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salad oil
1/4 teaspoon mace
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups flour
Peel, core and finely chop apples; put into a bowl with raisins and cover with brandy, and soak overnight. Drain apples and raisins, set aside.
Combine sugar, salad oil and eggs. Set aside. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and mace. Add to oil mixture. Mix in apples, pecans and raisins. Mix well and pour into an oiled 9 x 13 baking dish. Cook in 325 degree oven for 1 hour.
Cut into squares, serve topped with sweetened whipped cream. Yield 15 – 20 servings.
** I use a tiny bit of ground cloves instead of mace. I also have used all sorts of whiskeys and brandies, but my favorite remains calvados or . . . rum! It is one of my favorite recipes.
I need to get in and out of the kitchen, finish my clean up so AdventureMan can make his famous Pecan Pie – he makes it with chocolate, it looks very fancy and tastes divine. Everyone oooooh! and aaaaaahs! when they see his pecan pie. 🙂
There is a great joy in this work, knowing we will be with people we enjoy, people who are full of thanks and interesting stories. We will do a lot of catching up and share a wonderful meal. Happy Thanksgiving!