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APRICOT UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE, AND LET ME JUST SAY THIS ABOUT THAT

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So, you know. Paula Deen. I’m fascinated by the outpourings on her Facebook page and the Food Network page, which fall largely into one of two categories:

  • Everyone has said something at some point in their lives that they regret so you’re all a bunch of hypocrites

and

  • Black people say it so you’re all a bunch of hypocrites

which is at once both interesting and pathetic. Words have consequences, no matter who says it. It doesn’t matter if someone else said it.  The inherent racism in blaming black people for Paula Deen saying a horrible word takes a leap of logic that I don’t follow. There are very, very few comments saying I am extremely disappointed in Paula Deen and her abysmal attempts to “apologize.” I suppose that is because racism is still very much alive and well in America and the people who adore her and her Godawful cooking don’t really see what the problem is because, you know, she apologized.

(I’m gonna go out on a limb – not a very long limb, actually – and take a wild guess that the people making these comments did not vote for Obama, but hey, they’re not racists.)

The thing is, she doesn’t really get it. She doesn’t get how terribly offensive the things she says are, or how appalling her actions and defenses are. She doesn’t get how offensive the actions of her family re: pornography at work, dirty jokes at work are.  (For the record, I have no problems with porn or dirty jokes, but NOT at work.) She doesn’t  grasp the awful thinking behind the concept of hiring black people to dress as slaves at a wedding. She apparently believes that slaves were family. (In some cases, they actually were family, since some plantation owners took female slaves as their mistresses, and their wives were expected to ignore the babies that resulted.) She blamed her age for her words. News flash: other people born in 1947 include David Bowie,  Melanie Safka, Rob Reiner, Elton John, Barry Melton, Salman Rushdie, Meredith Baxter, Arlo Guthrie, Carlos Santana, Bob Weir, and Hillary Clinton.

In a few years she’ll be a trivia question, as has happened to a number of people who once were among the famous, and they themselves stepped boldly off that cliff into oblivion.

Where was I? Oh yeah. Cake.

My husband got a visit from the Dark Angel of High Cholesterol, so we have dramatically changed our eating habits. Rather than go on Lipitor, we are trying to control it through diet. I bought a ton of dried beans, grains, etc. and put them in nicely labeled jars where we can see what we have. The butter dish has been empty for a week; the mayonnaise sits unopened in the refrigerator. So far, so good.

The other day we invited some neighbors over for brunch. I saw a recipe for Apricot Upside-Down cake in Placer County Real Food and wanted to make that, but mindful of the amount of butter, I asked on another forum for help in cutting down the butter. While I didn’t get a definitive answer, I got enough to be able to wing it. The results were very good. I also accidentally cut down on the amount of sugar topping: I made the recipe without my glasses, and mistook 3/4 cup for 1/4 cup. The syrupy topping you get with a normal upside-down cake was minimalized, but it really didn’t need all that sugar.

APRICOT UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 apricots
  • 1-3/4 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375.

Lightly butter a deep cast-iron skillet. Place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom and butter it. Sprinkle honey & sugar on the parchment. Place pan on burner and heat until the butter is melted and the honey-sugar is warmed. Smear it around on the parchment paper. Cut apricots in half, remove the pits, and place them, cut-side down, on top of the honey-sugar. Set the pan aside.

Combine dry ingredients and set aside.

Beat butter, oil, and yogurt together.  Slowly beat in sugar and continue to beat until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is smooth. Beat in egg whites and extracts until all is incorporated.

Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined. Pour batter over apricots and bake at 375 for 40 to 45 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

Remove skillet from oven. Immediately invert the cake by placing a large plate on top of the skillet and holding firmly in place. Flip the skillet and plate, letting the cake drop onto the plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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One response »

  1. We took a fly-and-rent-a-car trip through the deep south. At a restaurant I picked up one of those throw-away newspapers in the entryway. (good way to learn about the people in a “foreign country”) There was an article written by a guy who said that the war did a disservice to the Negro. …said they used to know their place, but now they didn’t know where they belonged and therefore they didn’t belong anywhere. This was in 2007! They still call the Civil war the “Yankee Aggression.” The Deep South is another world. If you go, take your passport. Oh, yes. Racism is alive and well in the US.

    Reply

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