Monday, February 18, 2008

Time Flies, Part II

Happy President's Day! I am sure our forefathers would be pleased to know that we set aside a day to sleep in, and go to furniture sales in their honor. My mom always whips up something with cherries in it to celebrate the day-if I was really ambitious I would do the same. Perhaps I will just put a maraschino cherry in a glass of coke and raise a toast to George and Abe.

Yesterday I was making a Chocolate Coke Cake and Charlie was helping me. He really does like to cook, when he is in the mood. I asked him to grab a stick of butter from the fridge, and he said "You know, I have always had a thing for butter". It took me a moment, then I remembered what he was talking about.

Back before preschool days, I used to care for Owen Hoeft on Thursday mornings. They were our next door neighbors (still greatly missed!), and he and Charlie were born only 4 months apart, and were great buddies. They loved getting together-playing in the sandbox in the summer, the snow in the winter, or in Charlie's well stocked room when it was too cold to be outside.

One day Joelle had come to pick him up, and we were enjoying a cup of tea in the living room. Just catching up, sharing mom stories, and getting advice on how to deal with whatever our boys were going through at the time. We heard lots of stifled giggling coming from Charlie's room, otherwise it was too quiet. You remember that non-sound, when you know there is trouble brewing....

I walked down the hallway and peeked into the room, all I could see were two shapes under the blankets of Charlie's race car bed, and more giggles. I whipped back the covers, and there they sat, with greasy beaming smiles. They had been eating a stick of butter. In his bed. Amongst the sheets. I had to choke back my own laugh (I could see a cookie, or a candy bar, but a STICK OF BUTTER????) so that I could discipline them and deal with the mess.

And so the love affair with butter began. I have no idea why, but Charlie just really likes butter. During that same year, I found him under the coffee table with a stick of butter, another time under the dining room table (at least he didn't eat it in his bed again...). I guess now that he is 10, he no longer feels compelled to eat the stick, and can just enjoy it on his mashed potatoes. Or in his chocolate cake:

Chocolate Coke Cake (recipe courtesy of my mom)

Preheat oven to 350, grease a square cake pan.
In a bowl, combine 1 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, and 1/2 tsp baking soda.
In the microwave, or on the stove, melt together:
1/2 c. butter (yup, a whole stick)
1/2 c. Coke (you must use the real thing)
1/4 c. mini marshmallows
2 Tbsp. cocoa (I used Ghiradelli unsweetened)
Add this melty concoction to the dry ingredients, and whisk together.
Stir in:
1/4 c. buttermilk and 1 beaten egg
Combine until smooth and pour in the pan, bake for 30 min. or so.
For the frosting, melt:
1/4 c. butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 Tbsp. Coke
Add this mixture to 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar. Whisk together to get rid of the lumps, and pour over the warm cake. You can throw in some toasted pecans or other nuts into the frosting before you put it on the cake, if you so wish.
Best served with a giant scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

With a cherry on top!

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