I am firmly in the beet lover camp: a well grown garden beetroot tastes of clean sweet earth. And that’s a good taste, intense, earthy, crunchy when raw, silky when cooked, deep garnet. But I know that the beet is as fervently disliked as it […]
Note: Recipe has been updated on February 11, 2009 to clarify some instructions and correct a typo.
When we moved to the country, we decided to join the local Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company. It took us a while to actually do it, but both Keith & I became members early this year. My role is strictly support and fund raising. For instance, I build our web site, I help with putting together flyers, brochures, with setting up fund-raiser dinners, breakfast, bake sales etc. Those activities are more critical than ever this year, as we are buying a much needed new fire tanker. Joining a volunteer fire company is a sure way to become more engaged in a new community and it allows you to give your time and your skills to your local community in a way that makes a difference: we help neighbors in emergencies.
This past week-end, WVFR offered an-all you can eat ham & oyster dinner as part of its continued efforts to raise money for our new tanker fund. I was working that night, cooking a 5-course dinner for 11 on a lovely hilltop house, I would not be able to participate. So I said I would bake one of my specialties: a pineapple upside-down cake.
I have a soft spot for upside-down cakes (something easily verifiable by looking at the list of cake recipes I posted so far); I love pineapple, one of the fruit growing at my childhood home; and I love the uncomplicated unsophisticated sheer goodness of a good pineapple upside down cake. Don’t get me wrong, I have eaten my share of unpalatable ones – generally too dry. But this cake is moist and flavorful.
I have found that it’s a popular cake at gathering (I rarely have any left over to take home); people of a certain age (over 40) reminiscence fondly about it (how their mom used to make one for their birthdays for example), and yet – not many people make it today. You can be pretty sure to see multiple plates of brownies at a pot-luck, but I have never seen another pineapple upside-down cake (as a matter of fact, a young 18-year old at that dinner had never seen one). It does take a little time to make, but really, not that much. Is this the butter in it that people are afraid of? Is this that there were too many poor versions that were made? For me, it’s one of those ideal, comforting, utterly delicious and homey cake that can be made in advance and is good at any time of the day, like a real homemade pound cake, as a matter of fact. And it’s so good for breakfast with a cup of strong coffee made stove-top in the percolator. (more…)