Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cranberry Valentine - To The Brink of Disaster and Back Again


I love Wende and Harry Devlin's Cranberry series, mainly because I fell in love with the authors' work as a child. Their Old Black Witch is the first book I remember reading with a recipe at the back, and I was hooked on the concept from then on.

I've enjoyed rediscovering the Devlins' work with my children, and have been pleasantly surprised to find they like the books, too. Even though the stories appear old fashioned, and not the sort the children usually pick, the characters have a timeless appeal, and a charm that has drawn them in. Not to mention the fact, that each and every story in the series has a recipe at the back.

Cranberry Valentine, which we read yesterday, for instance, includes a recipe for "Cranberry Upside-Down Cake". You can view the recipe through the "Look Inside" feature at Amazon.com (I am an Amazon associate, but am not being paid for this link), just type "cake" in the "Search Inside This Book" box. However, I really recommend you check the entire book out, it's quickly become my second favorite in the series, right behind Cranberry Thanksgiving.

The younger girls assisted me with the recipe, filling the pan with butter...



...chopped nuts (the recipe calls for walnuts, but we used pecans)...


...cranberries...


...sugar (quite a lot of sugar)...



...and a cake mix.


I cut the recipe in half, because I wasn't sure if the children would like it, or not, and I didn't want to waste too many cranberries or nuts, if they didn't like it, so we only needed half the batter from a cake mix.


I reduced the baking time slightly, from the 40 to 50 minutes recommended in the book, to 35 minutes, because of the smaller size of our cake. Checking the cake with a toothpick, it appeared to be done, but after I flipped it out onto a plate (the younger children were very impressed with this process)...


...it became immediately evident, that the cake was not done.


I still hated to waste the cranberries and nuts, so I decided to flip the entire thing back into a clean, and greased pan, and bake it for another 15 minutes. Even the older children were watching by this point.


Amazingly enough, it worked, which is a good thing, because the cake is delicious. I practically had to fight the Man of the House off with a broom, for the children to each get a piece. Next time, we won't cut the recipe in half.


It's great to be a homeschooler.

Linked with Watcha Making Wednesday at The Ramblings and Adventures of a S.A.H.M.

13 comments:

Phyllis said...

I am going to have to check out that series. It sounds just like our type of books.

Blessings! said...

I'm glad it worked to put it all beack in the oven in a different pan. *smile* Also, thanks for sharing the groundhog craft the other day. We did it today and the kids really liked making it. So, thanks. *smile* Sincerely, Mommy of two little blessings & so much more!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Mommy of Two Little Blessings - Nice to hear!

Christy said...

I LOVE the series too! We haven't tried this recipe yet, but now we will! I don't think I have read Old Black Witch.

Wonder Mom said...

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? ;0)

sbswtp said...

What a yummy recipe!!! Thank you so much for linking up to Whatcha Making Wednesdays!!! :-) Have a great week!

Aimee @ Chickenville said...

Ummm, good to know I'm not the only one who has near-diasters like these! I was baking a new cranberry bread recipe the other day and had to put it back in the oven after it came out.

Thank you for recommending this series, I'm gonna have to check it out. We love books with recipes. Have you ever read Bee Bim Bop? That is one my kids love...
http://fromchapelhilltochickenville.blogspot.com/2010/01/bee-bim-bop.html

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Aimee - Thanks, I don't think we have read that one.

Ticia said...

Any time you have to fight your husband off with a broom is a good indication a recipe is a success!

I wish my library had these books.

Raising a Happy Child said...

Love the story of the twice-baked cake. Sounds like a pretty delicious recipe!

UrbanFarmer said...

I laughed out loud! I enjoy reading your posts! They are always creative and real.

sbswtp said...

I just wanted to let you know that I am featuring this post on Whatcha Making Wedensdays this week :-)

Beeker said...

We love Cranberry Thanksgiving. Didn't know they had Cranberry Valentine. Can't wait to get that book and read it to the kids and of course make the cake!