What You Want is Often the Very Thing You Need
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. The windows were open throughout the house, and the cool air pouring in was tempered by several hours of heat blasting from the oven. The Great Autumn BakeFest has begun. I simply couldn’t hold back, so I held off on what needed to be done, and did what I wanted. Made a batch of oatmeal cookies with a shot of orange zest and some cinnamon, and a loaf of garlic cheese bread to go with the beef roast in the crock pot, and made some dough for four small loaves of stollen, too, and was it ever a fine time.
Feeling torn all week, really, between the Things I Need to Do and the Things I Want to Do. Need to pay some bills, and give the house a once-over with the vacuum as I haven’t had it in me to clean since the kids left for school. Need to wash some windows, and there’s a room needing paint, and I really do have to get out and buy myself a dress or two and some socks and a pair of black pumps because the ones I have no longer work for me. They’re as close to shredded as shoes can be.
What I want to do? It’s Prime Time for an orchard visit. I love going to the orchard. The drive there is an event in itself, and though the trees have just begun to turn, the rolling meadows and dense forests along the way make it a real pleasure to travel at or below the speed limit. I prefer to pick my own apples, not because the picked ones aren’t good but because there’s a feeling you get picking apples that’s as close to holy as sittin’ in church. The feeling of reaching and gathering and the smell of fresh fruit. My gosh. There’s cider there, too, hot enough to burn your lips if you aren’t patient, and there’s caramel corn and fresh pastries and the earliest pumpkins and some squash and gourds and shocks of corn for decorating.
Takes a good few hours, an orchard visit does, and if you’re like me, there are several orchards to visit in a day, and why not hit two or three? Fill the trunk with apples and bring home someone else’s dumplings for dessert, and just bask in that calm feeling autumn brings. If you time it right, you’ll be home around dusk, with enough time to play some music and throw together a pan of apple crisp, or apple cake. Slice up a few apples into a skillet, with a bit of butter and sugar and cinnamon, and let it cook a while. Then pour it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream, and there you are. Perfect food, and you can eat it while you watch that movie you’ve been wanting to see. Or listen to the radio. Or sit near the window and listen to the birds.
Yeah. It’s a good weekend for a trip to the orchard. What I’m finding, as I grow older in years, is that what you want is often the very thing you need.
Here’s a recipe for one of those cakes you make and serve and everyone freaks out because it’s so good. And they all want the recipe. So bring along copies wherever you take the cake.
Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake
2 cups sugar
1½ cups vegetable oil
3 cups raw shredded carrots
2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp salt
Mix together and bake in a lightly greased 9×13 cake pan at 350 for 45-60 minutes.
8 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 lb powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Cream together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.
Slowly blend in powdered sugar.
Frost cake when cool.