Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Solstice Cake

Today's the winter solstice, longest night of the year, after which the daylight creeps up again, yay.  My 99 Honda Civic may soon be going into that long dark night.  I had her in for a pre winter inspection today, and found that to keep her safe and on the road will require thousands of dollars, which I'm reluctant to pour anywhere, much less into a rusty 16 year old beater.  Sigh. She's been a good car, never broke down nor failed to start once in her lifetime.  But bad winters, massive snowstorms and ice storms and floods and salted roads have taken their toll, and I am now looking at options.

These range from figuring out if I can manage without a car -- not very practical in an area where none of the local, rare, buses goes where I need to go -- or using the cost of owning and insuring a vehicle to pay for someone to tote me about to meetings, not sure if that's practical either!  Or if there are any other good ideas, short of being forced to buy a new car.  No mad rush on this. Just musing.

So it seemed like a very good idea, in the course of these musings on the turning of the earth and my car,  to make this festive cake, which is a five star version of this (from the Sunset Basic cookbook, owned by Handsome Partner in his single days, and with various dear notes in his writing in and on it)

Making this

you see the parchment paper, important if you are ever to get it out of the pan, and you see the fat raisins and the banana, which I don't mash into oblivion, keep a few pieces for the texture.

This is to the standard banana bread as my old beater to a new Honda, well, the other way around, but you get my gist.

What I do is to soak golden raisins in white rum ahead of time (friend gave me a fifth of this, very good stuff, from when he was in Puerto Rico, and I don't drink spirits, so I had the onerous task of figuring out ways to use it, beyond a swipe into hot milk at night).

Then I just drain the raisins (the rum goes into my jar of homemade vanilla essence) and add them in to the flour part of the bread. Mix all together, and you get a really nice sort of fruitcake, the kind that people would like if they got this instead of those dried out old building bricks commonly sold as such.  And you inject a drop of rum here and there, over the first couple of days, just to keep your spirits up, sorry, couldn't resist.

All in all, a good Winter Solstice Cake, I think you'll agree. Happy Solstice!


  1. Have you considered rentals? I know people who do rent, and they say for them its a lot cheaper and simpler than owning a car, with all the attendant inspections, insurances, etc...

  2. Well, I will now. Thank-you for reminding me they exist.

  3. I've pondered trying to do without a vehicle except for perhaps a rental for one carefully-planned day, every 2 or 3 weeks. But what I really need is not Less Car, it's More Truck ;)
    Even though I'm tempted to try the experiment, it's the possibility of an emergency trip to the vet that holds me back...there are no cabs in my town. Also, there is a real possibility that what is already a pretty reclusive life would become a bit more like That Crazy Lady Nobody Ever Sees.

  4. Who wouldn't want drunken raisins in their cake? One slosh for the raisins, one for you, one slosh for the raisins, one for.....oh. Oops.


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