I couldn’t be happier right this minute as I’ve missed blogging for nearly two weeks now. Thank you to all my faithful followers and newcomers for sticking with me. Between the Thanksgiving holiday, a house full of company, adoring hubby’s 60th birthday, and missing shot glasses I couldn’t find a moment to write. I hope that you had as much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving day as I did. It was crazy around The Orange Bee, crazy good. Lots of family and friends traveled from near and far to spend the holiday with my family in Texas. It is always an honor to me when folks choose to come and eat, drink and make merry in my home.
It’s the making merry part that created “The Case of the Missing Shot Glasses”. Around my house it is tradition to toast with shots of tequila before a special occasion and often times, for no occasion other than the delight of the shot itself. We like expensive, pure agave tequila, with a slice of lime on the side. Some souls like salt, others decline. Anyhoo, it was just before the bird was carved that someone said, “don’t we need a shot?”. Now a man wielding a carving knife probably does not need a shot, but it’s tradition. LuLu pulled the amber bottle with the cool wooden topped cork out of the freezer (we like our tequila cold), and my man Dan went for the shot glasses on the bar. Three shot glasses awaited use but where were the other 15 or so shot glasses we own? Flat missing! I quickly opened a couple of doors and drawers, my mind racing, trying to recall where on earth I had put all the other shot glasses. I had not a clue, and I felt the pressure to produce shot glasses. Fortunately I have a few delicate ones that I keep in a china cabinet. I headed for those and was able to fill the need. Shots were poured round, toasts were made, laughter filled the room and about half of us present knocked back a Thanksgiving shot. Now, time to carve the bird and fill our bellies with roast turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, Uncle Ray’s oyster dressing, cornbread dressing, giblet gravy, Donna’s pecan topped sweet potatoes, Mom’s spicy and sweet cranberry relish, Virginia’s fruit salad, cauliflower in delicate cheese sauce, steamed fresh green beans and of course yeast rolls. Pretty traditional, not soooo healthy, but we wouldn’t have Thanksgiving any other way.
Now with pre-turkey shots, wine with and I might add, before dinner, exhaustion setting in from preparing the meal and a birthday to celebrate still, I couldn’t figure out where I’d stored ALL those shot glasses, until today. This morning as I pulled out a nifty little cabinet in a corner of my kitchen, where we keep all the coffee and hot chocolate, I discovered them hiding under bags of Starbucks. “Ahhhhh, I laughed out loud, here they are!” My man Dan laughed with me and we made a mental note for the next time we look to make merry with shots of tequila. We won’t soon forget the hiding place of those little glasses nor the merriment, laughter and thankfulness shared over the past week.
This is a long post, isn’t it? I’ll get to the recipe here in a minute, but I just wanted to record the story of the missing shot glasses, on the chance that their whereabouts should escape me in the future. This year we not only celebrated Thanksgiving day on Thursday the 24th of November; we also celebrated a BIG birthday for my adoring husband. He turned 60 on that very day. We celebrated with gifts, balloons, more merriment and his one and only request at every birthday, German Chocolate Cake, made from scratch by me and accompanied by a birthday kiss.
If you’ve followed my blog for anytime you might call to mind one Italian Creme Cake, made for LuLu’s 24th (https://theorangebee.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/cake-champagne/), one Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, on Miss T’s 17th (https://theorangebee.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/laughtergood/) and one Cheesecake, made for an early birthday celebration for Miss T (https://theorangebee.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/cheese-please/). Well my man Dan always gets his German Chocolate Cake, even on a Thanksgiving day/birthday.
If I didn’t love him so much I’d beg off baking this cake as it is more labor intensive than many cakes he could choose. I’ll share the recipe I used this year and tell you it might be the best one I’ve EVER made for him, and believe me I’ve made many! This one was featured in the October issue of Southern Living and I copied it verbatim. There was no chance to photograph it on day one, nor two, but with only two slices left I shot this pic for posting purposes. The photo really doesn’t do it justice but the recipe is a keeper and so is my adoring, funny, caring, awesome, handsome old man.
Mama’s German Chocolate Cake
- Parchment paper
- 2 (4-oz.) packages sweet chocolate baking bars*
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Coconut-Pecan Frosting
- Garnish: chocolate-dipped toasted pecan halves
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 3 (9-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and lightly grease paper.
- 2. Microwave chocolate baking bars and 1/2 cup water in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring once halfway through.
- 3. Combine flour and next 2 ingredients in a medium bowl.
- 4. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low-speed just until blended after each addition.
- 5. Beat egg whites at high-speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- 6. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cake layers to loosen from sides of pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; discard parchment paper. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.
- Note: We tested with Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate Bar.
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
- 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes).
- 2. Meanwhile, cook evaporated milk, sugar, butter, and egg yolks in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring constantly, 12 to 14 minutes or until mixture becomes a light caramel color, is bubbling, and reaches a pudding-like thickness.
- 3. Remove pan from heat; stir in coconut, vanilla, and pecans. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until cooled and spreading consistency.