Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Bites and the Amazing Cookie Sheets

Christmas day began with Pumpkin Spice Cake: a delicious, not-so-sweet, cake with cream cheese icing. Originally, hubby was begging for Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I insisted. No cookies. Cake. 

Normally, this batter is just dumped in a 9x13 dish and cut up into squares, but the last time I did that I found out how important cake size is to my crew. See, I cut the last half of the cake into 9 pieces. Trying to divide 9 pieces of cake by 4 people, well - it was not a pretty picture. I took a lot of flak for doing that. 

So, anyway, I got smart. For Christmas, I would make little baby cupcakes out of the batter. It took longer, but I figured I'd be safe from the wrath of those that consume. No one could complain about how I cut up the cake this time. They could just fuss about having to unwrap the little suckers, but I was okay with that. My plan was fool proof and the day was looking promising...

I was thoroughly enjoying our holiday mini-vacation puttering about in a North Georgia cabin. The low clouds were promising a Christmas morning snow in the mountains, A Christmas Story played to the tune of raucous laughter in the living room, and the mixer was humming My Favorite Cake in the kitchen. A couple hours later, I had 80 perfect little cakes cooling on the counter.

I heard the wind whistle around the cabin and looked up to find snow blowing furiously outside the window. Giggles bubbled up from within and I ran to the deck, squealing with delight. All my life, it seems snow has eluded me. If I were staying with my mom in the south, it would snow up north at my dads. If I were up north, it would snow in the south. Go figure. Then my husband and I moved to Montana. The snow had no choice but to visit me there and I loved it. Alas, we came back south and the elusive snow game has continued. But, for this Christmas, I would have snow.

I left the kitchen to take a few pictures of the snow, then came back to find 75 little cakes and my husband just leaving the kitchen. I chased him down to give him a tongue lashing, but there he was, with one cake left in his hand, two in his mouth, and the goofiest grin on his face I'd ever seen. I let him get away with nothing more than a stern look. Besides, I didn't have time to squabble over a few missing cakes; it was time to make the icing.

I pulled out the frosting knife and began the process of icing the 75, no - wait, 68 little cakes. Hmmm... The kids came through a moment ago, but I didn't notice them nicking any. Now, how did they do that? Anyway, as I iced, I was really wishing for my cake decorating stuff so I could just pipe a dollop of icing on each cake and be done. Oh well. There was an easy remedy for that frustration: decrease the surplus population... gulp. That leaves 65 little cakes to ice. What? The guys weren't looking.

Speaking of the guys, they had been gone awhile... I walked outside to find the car gone, and tire tracks heading off up the drive. As I trekked up the driveway, I noticed that the flakes of snow had become fat and heavy, and there was a good 2" of snow under my, now wet, tennis shoes. This is what I found when I rounded the corner.

Hubby had gotten concerned about the amount of snow that was accumulating and wanted to move the car up to the main road before it got any deeper. But the car was stuck for the moment, and at the rate the snow was falling... A quick check of the weather confirmed the suspicion; the next day's high was only going to be 30 (our intended departure date), the day after that was only gonna get to 28, and the snow was still falling fast. By the time this was over with, we'd be encased a little ice cocoon. Apparently, we were not leaving any time soon.

There was the problem of the car, however. According to the men-folk, it couldn't stay wedged on the side of the hill. I wasn't entirely sure why not, as I figured we couldn't leaved till everything thawed out anyway and by that time, we could just drive right on out. Besides, what's so bad about being snowed in?? Well, besides the fact that we only brought enough food for 2 days instead of the 4 it would take to thaw out. Oh, and the fact that hubby had to be to work on Monday... Drat. Okay, maybe we should try to get the car back up the hill.

The guys started to clear the snow from in front of the tires with sticks, as there were no shovels around. I watched for a moment, and then, being the baker that I am, went and grabbed up a couple cookie sheets from the cabin. I carried them up the hill, all the while hoping my cousin would understand the demolition of her bake ware.

All bent over like hunchbacks, we cleared paths for the tires with the cookie sheets, while the kids went back and forth to the cabin for gravel. We then stood by as my husband tried to get the car back on the driveway. I couldn't watch, nor could I stand to go back to the cabin, so I hid behind the tree and listened. The sound of tires on gravel on ice on asphalt is atrocious. Positively atrocious... He managed to get the car back on the driveway and up the hill near the very top, where it gets the steepest, and then the car began to slide back down the drive way. The sudden dead silence was worse than the atrocious sound of gravel and ice. I peeked out from the tree and the car was gone. I half slid, half walked back down the drive. Though I hadn't heard any bushes or trees crashing, I had to inspect the steep side of the driveway. No car there. Whew.

Hubby was back at the cabin, all safe and sound. Nibbling on Pumpkin Cake. While my heart's about to fall out of my chest, the man is eating cake.

The next morning, he took the oldest boy hiking down the mountain into town. Plans were to get enough food to last the four days, but lo and behold, he found snow shovels. They brought back a shovel and some deicer along with the food. The boys spent the rest of the morning shoveling a quarter of a mile worth of hills out to the main road and loving every minute of it.

By afternoon, temps had risen above freezing, the asphalt part of the driveway was clear of ice, and the car was packed. We just had to make it around a couple of hairpin turns on the main road that was still covered with ice, but hey - we could get out the driveway! Needless to say, I didn't breathe or speak until we got to town where the roads were clear...

After we were safely on the way home, I called and explained to my cousin how we traded a snow shovel for her cookie sheets. She just laughed for a solid 5 minutes. Guess there was no reason to worry about that part.

Naturally, the guys thought it was the best Christmas ever. And on the way home, they even said those cakes were better than chocolate chip cookies. Find the recipe here.



  1. Wow! What an adventure! And yet another reason I couldn't live where it snows. *gulp*

    I have goodies "magically disappear" when I bake. Odd that... :O)

  2. Usually I'm the one eating the goodies before they're frosted. Sounds like a fun holiday! Although I get my share of snow where I live and usually chase the sunshine.

  3. We took the kids to Hiawassee one Christmas. Stayed in a cute little cabin with a Murphy bed in the front room. Went to Helen Christmas Day,thought we'd never find a place to eat that was open! Thought we were going to have to have those hot dog and Coke deals at the gas station for out Christmas meal!LOL!
    Finally found a little place, had a good hot meal and now we have great memories. But my kids said NEVER AGAIN would we leave home for CHRISTMAS !!
    WIsh it would have snowed then.
    Glad your Christmas was so white !