"COURAGE...is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." John Wayne

Mar 17, 2018

Pound Cake Reflections

I’m looking at a postcard of the Alamo which I finally got around to filling in the night before last for my Aunt and Uncle in San Jose. Since Mom and Aunt Barbara passed away, Aunt Cathy has stepped in as a surrogate. (L-R siblings Barbara, Adrienne (Mom), Julian Pritchard; wife Catherine, 1994)

My trip’s costs are mounting, so the more spots I stay for free, the better. After all, I am self-contained. But internet and phone receptions are generally lousy, at least where I’ve been driving, so I've been stopping at RV parks infrequently. I was running low on fresh water and needed full hookups to charge all the electronics, so rather than continue to the next rest spot last night I sprung for an RV park.

I turned on my forgotten home phone, only to discover a number of messages left over the past 7 days. Two of them were from Aunt Cathy, earlier in the week. My Uncle was in the hospital and she wasn’t feeling too well herself. She sounded weak and implored me to call, which I vowed to do as soon as I finished the messagesAnother message was from Sis, yesterday morning,

“You need to call home. It’s important.”

And another from a second cousin,

“Call me. It’s important.” Important is just another word for tragedy, have you noticed?

Aunt Catherine passed away in her sleep sometime Thursday night. This interesting woman, born in Marseille to Greek parents, was visiting relatives in San Francisco while a college student in France, fell for my Mother’s brother in uniform, and spent the next 55 years married to the man they all called, Jules.

My first trip abroad was to West Berlin after graduating high school in 1973. Uncle Julian and Aunt Cathy were stationed there, and so I spent my senior year waitressing in Friendly’s Ice Cream Parlor to save for the trip. During that summer I watched Aunt Cathy concoct her French dishes as easily as most people scramble eggs.

I successfully prepared her recipes for Coquille St. Jacques and Sauté Sec, maybe only one time when I was very young; but her recipe which tops my chart is a cake she prepared that Summer of Bundt pans.

Full of apples, coconut and nuts; moist and not-too-sweet; THIS I’ve baked throughout my life since it’s so easy.  A couple years ago I was able to send it back to Aunt Cathy when she either lost her recipe or her memory of it. So, in her honor, here's a cake from the 1970's which I've also made into over-sized muffins and individual mini-cakes. Give it a try; you won’t be sorry.

Catherine Pritchard's Apple Pound Cake

Beat the following together in a large bowl:
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups Wesson Oil
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla flavoring

In a separate bowl, mix together:
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Add to the first mixture.

Mix the following:
3 cups diced apples, peeled
1 cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped
1 cup coconut flakes
Add to the other ingredients.

Pour into greased and floured Bundt, or tube pan.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour 20 minutes.

And remember what they say…bake it with LOVE!

Thank you, Aunt C. We’ll all miss you.

Mar 15, 2018

Venting in California

We’re currently sitting in a rest area on I-5 in California, in what sounds like the middle of a sleet storm. No heat except the gas stove. The furnace is not hooked up for several reasons, and the portable gas heater I picked up in Oregon was left with friends in Texas, since it scared me to use it.

I’m not complaining; just explaining. People want to read about my interesting road adventures; well, what’s often entertaining to you is a pain in the como-se-llama to me, at least at the time.

Mar 12, 2018

My Routes Have No Access

I’d forgotten that at least once during a road trip you’re likely to kick yourself for a bad direction decision, and I’ve had mine pretty much out of the gate.

I never should have left I-10 for Pecos. From there the road to Carlsbad turned into a migraine, complete with Brontosaurus-size trucks, potholes rivaling only New York State and pebbles just waiting to nick your windshield. I tried getting off early but the side road was worse, and damned if I wasn’t heading back to El Paso.

Too late to do much else. After filling the tank at a generic station in Nowhere-land the sign said No Services for 150 miles. My tank is 17 gallons and I’ve never accurately gauged my mileage, because I haven’t wanted to compare my estimated 10 mpg to the 12-15 of other Warrior drivers. But I was never put to the test.

I pulled over early because headwinds kept me in one place. There was no cell phone or Internet reception and hardly anyone on the road to begin with. Better wait until morning when the winds should be lighter.

Mar 8, 2018

It's Called 'Tacking'

I've been driving for two days and I'm still in Texas. I don't know what else to say.

I left Austin and took a nice secondary road through the Texas Hill Country. If you're a wine buff you'll think you died and went to heaven; one wine-tasting vineyard after another. Smack dab in the middle of Texas, imagine!

290W dropped me on to I-10 heading for El Paso; but as I drove and drove through what only appears to be nothing-land, I quickly tired of the Interstate and battling broadside winds.

So I veered from my track and headed in a diagonal direction to Pecos (pronounced Pay-cos, I was corrected right away). Never been, and I've been to El Paso more than once.  From here it's any woman's guess; after all, as long as I head West I'll eventually hit water.
Original gourd art designs Copyright 2018 Andrea Jansen Designs. Please write for permission.