July 25th, 2005

A Pocket Full of Murder

Yummy Recipe Goodness

Since Laura expressed an interest, I figured, why not?

This cake ends up tender and moist, but with a nice solidity to it that keeps it from falling apart when you cut it. It's also really tasty served with a dollop of whipped cream, as we discovered when mowing down the leftovers last night. And as my mother remarked, with that much butter in it it ought to keep well.

As submitted by Betty Jean Gosnell, Inman, SC
Published in Taste of Home Magazine

  • 1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups diced fresh or frozen peaches (RJA's note: I actually used canned, well rinsed and drained -- worked fine)
  • Confectioners' (icing) sugar (optional)

    In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to the batter alternately with sour cream. Fold in the peaches.

    Pour into a greased and floured 10 in. fluted tube pan (RJA: I used a bundt pan). Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.

    Yield: 12-16 servings, but don't expect them to last long.
  • A Pocket Full of Murder

    Babies and Bratlets

    Since I just mentioned that I did go to the midwife today -- I'm just over 34 weeks, and all seems to be well. Baby is still head down (good baby) in spite of the nightly calisthenics, and I haven't been experiencing any abnormal symptoms (or even, mercifully, some of the less pleasant normal ones).

    Meanwhile, my oldest son Nicholas, who is five, has found a friend in the seven-year-old girl next door. She's a bit brash and occasionally crude, but more in a silly way than anything I'd consider serious. I don't mind her coming in and playing at our house, and I've invited her to stay for dinner a couple of times. However, in the last few days she's taken to inviting herself for dinner, or at least trying to, which I find very annoying.

    I've talked to Nicholas about not putting me on the spot, telling him that if he wants to ask if Alex can stay for dinner then he needs to approach me in private rather than asking me right in front of her. He's having a bit of difficulty grasping the concept, but I think he'll get it eventually. However, I don't really know what to do with Alex herself when she says things like yesterday's, "I told Nicholas I'd keep on being friends with him if you let me eat dinner here," and tonight's announcement of "My mom says I have to be home for five-thirty, unless I stay here for dinner." (I somehow suspect that her mother did not phrase it in those terms, myself.)

    I told Alex, in both cases, that I would not be inviting her to dine with us that particular night, and even been so blunt as to suggest to her that it is not polite to invite oneself to dinner and that I will invite her again some time when it's more appropriate/convenient, but she doesn't really seem to get it (or perhaps just doesn't care). She seems to think that if she just finds some clever new way to phrase her self-invitation, it'll work.

    Perhaps I would feel more soft-hearted about this begging business if I didn't know that Alex lives in a perfectly nice house with a mother and father who provide her with regular meals (she is not, shall we say, a skinny girl -- not obese, but certainly solidly built) and also seem to spend a quite reasonable amount of special time with her, taking her for outings on weekends and so on. So I think it's just a case of the grass is greener syndrome, which doesn't exactly incline me to sympathy, any more than being put on the spot does.

    Am I a harsh and ungenerous person for wanting to dig in my heels and refuse to invite this girl to dinner until she stops inviting herself? Because that's really how I feel at the moment...