Siri is having a farmer's market exchange that sounds like loads of fun. Check it out and sign up to exchange lots of local stuff from your favorite farmer's market. Sadly, I can't afford the outrageously-priced local veggies sold at farmers markets here but I betcha I can find something to fill a box that won't decompose by the time it reaches its recipient.
Friends came over for a dinner of strawberry margaritas, mojitos, and handmade pizza and they left behind this cool paper shopping bag -- a grocery store had stacks of them decorated by local school kids. Best school art project ever.
Applesause cake! With caramel frosting! In my new-to-me blue baking dish, scored yesterday at a thrift shop.
Two friends and I spent a marvelous day in Anchorage yesterday. We garage sailed first thing in the morning at an annual neighborhood garage sale that draws droves of bargain hunters each year. They bring in port-a-potties, each of which has a line a mile long! There were so many cars trying to get into the neighborhood that we parked a half-mile away and hiked in. We were patting each other on the backs over that smart move until I found a traveling sprinkler that I've had my eye on for quite some time. Good news: it cost a fraction of what I'd pay in a store for a new one. Bad news: it weighs a ton (cast iron will do that). I carried it till my vertebrae began to crowd together and I was an inch shorter, then I swore I'd buy the next thing I saw that rolled -- a wagon, a stroller, a suitcase. That's when I spotted the hand truck. Awesome.
We carted around all our scores on it -- an old orange wooden chair, a blender for making smoothies at work, a french press, some books (including a very old instructional manual called something like the Well-Bred Young Lady in Society -- now there's a blog waiting to happen because who couldn't use advice warning that a young man might invite you to the opera and then try to whisk you away from your chaperone?), and oh, so many other things.
We also stopped by the dump and got cheap composter bins being offered by the city.
I think the most interesting part of three women going garage sailing happens at the end of the trip when you stop to drop each woman off and her husband comes out to help unload garage sale scores from the bed of the pickup. They're a critical lot, those husbands. A sample exchange:
Husband: "Please tell me you didn't pay $5 for a rickety old orange chair?"
Wife: long pause and eye roll, then, "Okay. I didn't pay $5 for a rickety old orange chair."
She did, you know she did.
And we also stopped by Barnes and Noble for the bathroom and the bargain books. One of my purchases was a book I've always meant to buy -- Best Recipes from the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars (love the back of the box recipes!), which brings me to the applesauce cake with caramel frosting pictured above. What's not to love about a moist and spicy sheet cake? Especially after a long day of shoppin' fun. On the couch. Feet up. Doors open to let in a little breeze. The late evening shine shining on the leafy trees outside. Heavenly.
Actually the book calls these Applesauce Bars and refers to them as cookies and makes them in a shallow jelly roll pan. So, cake or bar, it's your choice.
Original recipe from Stokely-Van Camp
Makes a 10 x 15 inch sheet cake
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1/4 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t allspice
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1/2 c water
2 c apple sauce
1/2 c chopped nuts
1 c raisins
1/4 c butter
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
3 T milk
1 1/2 c or so powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 15 x 10 inch baking dish. Combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Add shortening, water, applesauce, and egg. Beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Fold in nuts and raisins. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
Make frosting: melt butter in a saucepan then add brown sugar and boil gently for one minute. Cool slightly then stir in milk. Gradually add powdered sugar until it's a nice spreading consistency. Frost cake -- it's okay to frost it while it's still warm. Dig in.