Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine Foxes' Pound Cake

The only thing I put in the children's Valentine surprise box today, was a copy of Clyde Watson's chaotically charming, Valentine Foxes, a story about four young (I'm thinking five and under) foxes, "helping" their mother get ready for a special Valentine's dinner for their father. My children were delighted with the story of "children" even more active than themselves - although in their toddler through preschool years, they certainly could have given the little foxes a run for their money.

I loved that stage, but I'm so glad to be through it.

T (age 14) volunteered to make the applesauce pound cake, from the recipe at the back of the book (the reason the book was the only thing in the box).

While he's not as in love with clean-up as his younger sisters, he is able to read and follow a recipe much better than the foxes from the story. He did a great job, until it came to the pan.

The recipe called for a 9-inch heart-shaped pan, or a 6-cup loaf pan. We don't have a heart-shaped pan, so we Googled to see if our 8.5 x 4.5 in. loaf pan would be big enough. According to the sites we checked, a 6-cup loaf pan is the same as an 8.5 x 4.5 in. pan. However, we realized about 20 minutes into the baking, with smoke pouring from the oven, it was not a big enough pan for the cake.

Apparently, this is not going to be our year for success with picture book, Valentine's cake recipes.

Still, it could have been worse - I could have been poor Mother Fox, with a baby crying in the high chair, and children redecorating the living room with glittery, gluey, Valentine supplies, while I tried to clean up the mess and get supper on. If you're currently in that stage, it does get easier.

Especially, if you have a self cleaning oven, and a carton of whipped cream in the refrigerator. Love covers a multitude of sins - whipped cream covers up a pieced together cake.

Despite being slightly disheveled, the cake did taste "light and extra sweet and absolutely wonderful", just as the book promised.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Amy@Diapeepees said...

So very cute. Love that a 14 year old can still take something valuable from a little old book like that. But hey, even I get a lot from children's stories -- esp. when they're explaining science concepts that I never quite understood...The cake came out beautifully, btw. You must have some very talented decorators.

Debbie said...

I remember that book, though I forgot there is a recipe in the back. Love how the cake turned out.

Eddie said...

Nice save on the cake!

I'll have to remember the whipped-topping-and-fruit trick! We have a lot of cake-related fails around here, although they always taste good anyway.

Phyllis said...

Wow! You really made that cake beautiful! I am afraid that I am not that talented! I have never heard of a light pound cake before. I like the way your family loves to do things for each other. So sweet.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Phylis - I know, when I read "light" in the book, I added my own aside of "strange for a pound cake". And, when I brought the cake to the table, I said - "Ours certainly doesn't feel light!" But, when we tasted it - I had to admit, there was a definite lightness to the flavor.

Ticia said...

To my mind any cake that has strawberries on it is an instant hit.

There are times I wonder if it'll ever get calmer. I woke up this morning to a fort being built in our entryway using every dining room table chair they could scrounge.

Amber said...

I love this post. I often have a screaming one-year-old in a high chair while I'm trying alternately to get dinner on and toss him snacks :) And the older little ones absolutely destroyed their bedroom by stringing socks, clothes, blankets and books EVERYWHERE. It was a fun hour.

Sparklee said...

I think the cake is gorgeous with or without the "camouflage" because it was made with love! And it sounds absolutely delicious!

Now I'm in the mood for cake... :-)

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is a sweet story in every sense of the world. After all, cake looked quite presentable - apparently there is nothing that cannot be fixed by either catsup or whipping cream (not at the same time!)

Carolyn A said...

Just tried to make that cake from the book recipe tonight. Turned out as soup in the middle. I swear I followed the directions exactly and the oven is heating correctly. I thought the 40 minute cooking time was too short.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Carolyn - Ours was done in the middle - but the pan was such a disaster we couldn't get it out in one piece. I hope you saved yours in the end - the flavor is good :)

annamarie411 said...

I know I am way behind here.. but tomorrow is my birthday and I used to have that book and recipe as a child and I sooooooooo want to make the cake again for my 22nd birthday.. could you please please email me the recipe?

Also, I was homeschooled all the way through.. he is lucky you are doing such a great job teaching him all the important things he wouldn't learn in public school.. girls love men who can bake :-)