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We had a cat here at our little cottage in the woods (okay, it’s just our yard that has lots of trees. And woods might be stretching it a bit). A beautiful, soft, gray girl cat. For about two whole days. Technically, it was my sister Tessa’s (child number 8 of us 10) cat. She naively took in the cat her senior year of college without completely thinking through what the end result would be when she eventually graduated. Graduation weekend came and she had yet to find a home for the cat, even though she had faithfully tried. College kids are just not inclined to commit to a cat (smart, I’m thinking!).
So, that cat came home (did I tell you that Tessa is moving to Stillwater near Lanet and I? Yay!) with her. And because she was moving in with Lanet that has a nasty allergy to cats, it lived in our cottage garage for about 2 days. Only 2 days because 1 – We are renting and hadn’t gotten approval for a cat. 2 – I don’t want a cat, it doesn’t fit with our less-is-more lifestyle (we take trips to the animal shelter when the kids are yearning for petting, or borrow a neighbor’s for a bit). 3 – I have minor allergies to cats-they make me sneezy and weepy.
All very good reasons, I think.
Katie’s friend’s family graciously took in the cat. True, she’s hard to resist with that soft fur and big eyes. But still, I think it’s awfully kind. And gosh darn, the only way I could think to say Thank You for such a thoughtful gesture was baking them a cake. Right?!? Doesn’t a homemade cake say Thank You in the best possible way? Truly not enough, I understand. But it’s something, at least.
I baked up my One-Bowl dairy-free Banana cake and homemade penuche frosting (NOT dairy-free…fair warning, I just eat around it.) the night we were heading over to drop the cat off. It was moist, flavorful, and just the right amount of sweetness.
Then my family “helpfully” pointed out how very messy that choice of cake would be to deliver (that penuche frosting is a bit on the “rustic” side-code for messy). They said “you wouldn’t want them to get the impression you aren’t professional”. They said “maybe you should make something better another time”.
That’s what my family is. Completely selfish.
That cake was delicious. My family ate it up gladly. And I am making Honey Almond Lemon Bars this weekend as a replacement for the lovely family that took in the cat. No, rephrase that… my family is helping me make Honey Almond Lemon bars this weekend. I think that’s more than fair. You ate my cake, you make my bars.
And never again am I listening to my family when they try to tell me I’ve made a poor choice in cakes. I should know better. I’m a cake queen. Not a professional, by any means. I leave that to my lovely friend Amy. But I CAN make a mean home-cook cake. The kind Grandma used to make.
And I don’t hear anyone complaining. No siree.
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 2 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey or use sugar, if you like
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup mashed banana about two
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup almond milk "buttermilk" add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to unsweetened almond milk and let sit for 15 minutes to curdle
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix eggs, sugar, honey, and banana together in large mixing bowl.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix well.
- Add the almond milk, shortening, and vanilla.
- Mix well but do not over mix.
- Pour batter into a greased 9x13in pan or 2 greased 9x9in round pans.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 beaten egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Melt the butter on medium heat.
- Add the brown sugar, egg yolks, and water.
- Bring to gentle boil, stirring often.
- After the mixture reaches a gentle boil remove from heat and stir in the almond milk.
- Cool a bit and then beat in the powdered sugar.
- Add more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is desired.
- Cool and frost.