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Greetings relayed from Lyn, cake recipes, usw.
I got a very welcome PM from thelyn last night--she and Alex are working to make their new apartment in San Jose habitable (it's painted, but still needs some repairs), and hope to be online before too much longer.

Big changes are on the way in my neighborhood, and I'm trying to get used to them . . . yesterday, I got a completely unexpected call from a local realtor, saying that the plot of land adjoining my back yard was going to be developed as a small retirement-townhome complex. I've loved the way my lot runs freely into the city cemetery's unused section; I have an unbroken vista of more than a half-mile, with just grass and a few trees. Not for much longer, evidently. There are much worse possible developments than retirement townhomes, but still--I have to sigh for the stand of big old evergreens that are just on the cemetery's side of the property line, because I can't imagine they'll survive the development. Goodbye, rabbits and yellow-bellied sapsuckers and foxes.

I have to bake a cake this afternoon to take to a Rotary cookout (greeting the new district governor; this is official visit day, and actually I need to do some whippin' and gittin' to make the official-visit board meeting at eleven). Which one of these should I do? I'll have to go to the grocery store for flour and sugar no matter what, because I'm almost out of both; the question is just whether I buy a jar of mayo while I'm there, or plums, eggs, and a lemon.

My Mom's Idiot-Proof Mayonnaise Cake, Proven Successful in Tiny Scottish Dorm-Room Ovens and Everywhere Else, Too

1 cup sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
2 cups flour
1 cup boiling water

Mix together. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes (grease and flour pan). Frost with simple powdered-sugar & cocoa icing.

Cinnamon-Sugar Plum Cake from Bon Appetit Magazine, Untried but Sounds Plausible

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

5 large plums, pitted, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Do the standard cake-batter thing (don't separate the eggs). Pour into buttered 9-inch springform pan. [editorial note: the springform pan seems like overkill, especially for a cookout, and where is my springform pan, anyway? Your basic round pan will do just fine.] Press plum wedges halfway into batter in concentric circles; mix remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over plums. Bake about 50 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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yeah for Thelyn, I'm sure she is extra extra happy to be able to fix up that apartment *YAY!!*

frown for the loss of the land, poor bunnies. Although bunnies are good at living anywhere. At least it's a retirement home so hopefully the noise level won't be too bad. Could be worse. And at least they told you about it. Hoping the construction guys obey whatever noise regulations your city has.

Hee! Yeah, Lyn sounds less than thrilled at the prospect of the repairs . . .

I have a meeting with the realtor on Thursday, and I'm definitely making a stand for the trees; if they're on the chopping block and he doesn't listen, I've decided that I'm going to the city Tree Board for backup. It's criminally stupid to cut down healthy 60-year-old clumps of trees, for all kinds of environmental reasons beyond the wildlife.

All that said--oh, yeah, if the cemetery was bent on selling that land for development, a retirement complex is FAR better than, really, almost any of the other options.

I need to save this mayonaise cake recipe. My auntie used to make one and no one seemed to have the recipe, I'll try this one. Anything chocolate sounds good right now.

Eeeeeee, somebody else who knows about mayonnaise cake!! You are the first person I've EVER known who had even heard of it, much less eaten it.

I'll be interested to know whether this one tastes the way you remember your auntie's. If it does, then she and my mom probably got the recipe from the same magazine, in about 1955. ;-) I still have the clipping, somewhere in the big plastic bin with Mom's other recipes, though at this point it's so worn as to be almost unreadable.

I have made a mayo cake, they are good! DId you make the plum one? It sounds great, kinda like pineapple upside down, cept rightside up with plums

Hey, another person who knows about mayo cakes!! Wheee!

Yup, I made the plum one, and it went over really well with the Rotary crew--the plums were just a bit tart (which tasted good on a hot evening). I want to try the recipe with nectarines or peaches sometime, though that might be almost too sweet, hmmmm. It was pretty simple, though nothing is as simple as the one-bowl-no-mixer mayo cake.

oh i'm glad she was in touch, i've been wondering how she's doing!!!

Yeah, I was glad to know that she made it to the apartment safely!

I know you don't cook, but you need to try the mayonnaise cake sometime, honest. It's SO simple and absolutely delicious--

I need an easy dessert thing in my life (I can never figure out the 's's in these things), for when I'm put upon to supply one (and why anyone would put upon me for something that requires cooking is beyond me).

Anyway ... yeah. When I purchased my little town home, there was a lovely copse of trees behind it. Then, about 1 1/2 years into being here, big nasty earth movers came and tore everything down. I'd been PROMISED that stand of trees would remain.

For the past 6 months or so, I've been watching more townhouses go up ... all of them able to look upon me sitting on my lovely deck. And no more rabbits. Haven't seen a humming bird since.

But how do I successfull screen by deck from this intrusive-feeling public eye? (Although being able to look into other peoples' lives through their back doors and windows has a perverse Rear Window appeal.)

The mayonnaise cake is totally THE recipe to have on the refrigerator door for emergency dessert situations. If you have cocoa, powdered sugar, and a jar of mayo on hand, you can have it mixed, baked, cooled, and frosted in an hour flat--and it's genuinely good, unlike a lot of "quick & easy" recipes.

My landscaper says he has ideas for screen plantings that will look attractive but offer reasonable privacy; I'll keep you posted as the situation develops here. But first, I'm going to make as determined a stand as I can to save those trees--I've never started a fight in this town, so maybe it's time.

Mayo cake? Why am I intrigued but simultaneously horrified?? I have never heard of a mayo cake before... How strange!

Hmm, why don't you mail me a piece of cake? :9

*hugs* Thank you always for your support, Cynthia. ♥

Oooooooh, I know--the very words "mayonnaise" and "cake" together are great conversation stoppers! But if you think about it, what's in mayonnaise? Eggs and oil. What goes into cake batter? Eggs and . . . whaddya know . . . oil or some reasonable facsimile. It's such an American, post-World-War-II, fascinated-with-labor-saving-cooking-gimmicks kind of idea, but unlike a lot of those ideas, this one actually tastes good. ;-)

(((((big hugs back))))) And Pen snatched those brown CH eyes instead of Flynn--they really soften his faceup! Pictures to come, once I get out of my current slump.

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