Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Flooding: Today we won't just talk about service, we will go out and do it.







The text came early Sunday Morning from our Church Bishop.  Church services were cancelled.  Overnight the river had overflown and flooded about 15 homes in our community.  Our beloved Bishop said , "Today we are not going to just talk about service, we are going to go out and serve. "  He instructed us to go help our community members in need.
 
So my daughter and I donned our rain boots and came armed with shovels and buckets.  These boots were so essential; everyone should have a pair.  Many came with just tennis shoes. 
 
 
 
We got to the scene and soon realized that there wasn't enough work yet.  The heavy equipment hadn't come on scene yet.  They needed to suck out water out of the homes and yards, before we could get in there to haul away things.  There were lakes in front of and in back of their homes and lakes inside their homes.  Thirty sheep were lost in the floods.  Another 30 homes in our general community were flooded.  A trailer park was flooded and people were evacuated by boats.
 
So we went home and baked for several hours.  We knew that people would be hungry.  We made about 10 dozen cookies.
 
 
When we got back to the scene, the road was blocked off, so that the heavy equipment could do their work.  All of the labor and machinery was donated, and people were happy to be of assistance.
 
 
We mainly hauled away wrecked items. We hauled away sheetrock and insulation.   We sandbagged.  People were there trying to save what they could and were washing off items.  Mostly, if it was in their basements, it was a total loss --- photos, genealogy, wedding dresses.  One of the men I knew (our LDS Stake Patriarch) had his home flooded and he was going around with a smile.  I told him how sorry I was, and he replied, "It is just things, but I wish I had flood insurance."
 
 
The young were there to help as well as the old. 
 
 
There was no waiting around for the government to help.  It was just neighbors helping their neighbors.  Women from the community brought food, as well as the Red Cross.
 
 
The news agency from 2 hours north came to report.  This is my daughter to the right and a family friend.
 
 
 
 
People worked and worked and even worked when it began to hail and rain again.
 
 
 
 
I could have taken pictures that showed the devastation more clearly, but out of respect for their loss, I didn't.
 
This is the community that I have lived in for the past seven years.  I cried when I moved here and I will cry when I will leave in two weeks.  I am moving to a much larger community where I will miss this kind of community spirit.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Apple Spice Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

 


Fall is officially  here now.  Perhaps you are like our family in the fall.  Every year we make several stops to the same apple farmer.  It just wouldn't be fall unless we were able to buy apples from this farmer.  He sells early apples called A-Connies, very similar to Johnathan apples.  We are on our third box!  My youngest says they taste like sunshine. These apples inspired her to take to the kitchen to make an apple cake.  She topped it with a simple salted caramel frosting that is perfectly suited for this lovely cake. 
 
APPLE SPICE CAKE

From Tessa Huff, The Cake Blog
 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups all -purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3 medium apples, peeled and chopped
 
Directions:  Prepare three (eight-inch) round baking pans and set aside.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place butter and mix on medium-high.  Add sugar and mix together until mixture is light and fluffy.  With the mixture on low, gradually add in eggs and vanilla extract.  Starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternate by adding in the dry ingredients and milk.  Stir in the chopped apples to combine.  Pour  batter into prepared baking pans and bake until done about 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool on baking rack.  Make Salted Caramel (see below) and frost cake.  Talley had additional cake mixture, so she baked a little cake and then crumbled the cake on top for a nice, warm look.
 
SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING

She adapted this  cheater version for this Salted Caramel Frosting from Sally's Baking Addiction Blog.  
 
1/2 cup ( 1 stick)  salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar -- She used three. 
    
                             Add brown sugar, and half and half to a medium mixing bowl.  Then add salt and confectioner's sugar, little by little to achieve desired consistency.   Mix until well combined. 

 
This frosting tastes great on these Samoa Cookies.





Thank you for dropping by my Couch. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Birthday to Tatianna!





 Happy Birthday to my daughter Tatianna today.  She is 18!  She came into this world in a spectacular way 18 years ago and these cupcakes commemorate that special event!!  So I guess you can guess that she wasn't born in a hospital.  Yes, she was born on a lawn en route to the hospital. 
 
 
So this year her sister, Talley, made "Babies on a Lawn" cupcakes to celebrate her birthday.  Her birth announcement read "On a moonlit night, under the stars so bright, Tatianna Larsen was delivered on a lawn, Oh what a sight!"
 
 
 
Happy Birthday Tati!  Life with you has been a grand adventure!

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