Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Not So Empty Nest

My empty nest is crowded.

I mean, leave it to me to do the whole “empty nest” thing completely wrong.

Not So Empty Nest - Baking In A Tornado

I’ve been bitching and moaning about my anticipated empty nest since last May. I think everyone on the planet knows by now that my younger son, PurDude, had narrowed his college acceptance choices down to 2, Georgia Tech and Purdue, both 600 to 900 miles away. If you haven’t read this blog lately you can still probably guess from the name I use for him what his final choice was .

My older son, College Boy, is a sophomore this year. College Boy attended our state university’s main campus last year and would come home once every 4 to 6 weeks, mostly to clean out my pantry, but I got my share of hugs and kisses in while he was here. I’ve gotta say that I enjoyed this arrangement, it was a monthly trade-off I was happy to make.

I was actually happy that PurDude would be attending a week long Boiler Gold Rush program for freshmen. As much as I would have loved having another week with him, what a great idea to be at school a week early with other freshmen involved in fun activities, learning the campus, getting his room set up the way he wants it and getting to know his roommate.

It also allowed me to go from 2 sons here to just one before school started for College Boy one week later. You know, ease into the whole “empty nest” thing.

I had just started to adjust to seeing so many of PurDude’s belongings gone from my house. I still hadn’t made any headway in expecting to hear him come in the garage door. And then the week was gone in a flash and school was starting for College Boy.

But he didn’t leave.

Ummm. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure that’s not how this whole “empty nest” thing is supposed to work. I’m almost positive that food is supposed to stop disappearing in the middle of the night, messes should stop showing up on every surface, music would not be playing at 1:00 am, my car would be returned to my possession, cell phones would no longer go off at 2:00 am. I could even walk around in my underwear and go to the bathroom with the door open.

That’s how it works, right? Where did I go wrong with my expectations?


Caramel Apple Angel Cake - Baking In A Tornado
Caramel Apple Angel Cake
Caramel Apple Angel Cake - Baking In A Tornado


No, College Boy didn’t drop out of school.

He did decide that he didn’t like living in the city where the university’s main campus is. There’s a campus in our city, about 1/2 hour from where we live and he transferred there. Many of his friends went back to the main campus but many also transferred as well.

When the transfer discussion came up, College Boy said that he wanted to move into a house with friends. We told him that since he doesn’t have a car and probably never will since his vocabulary doesn’t extend to the word “saving”, we felt he should live on campus for a semester and show that he can manage his finances. After that we’d help him with off campus housing.

The other definition College Boy has a problem with is the word “deadline”. He thinks it’s more of a “guideline”. It rarely is.

He had to go to orientation, meet with an Advisor, sign up for housing, and order his books. He made it to the last Orientation session only due to my hucking (Jewish for nagging). He finally signed up for housing 3 weeks before school started, saw an Advisor 2 weeks before school started and ordered his books 4 days before the first day. Apparently I need to take a refresher course in hucking. I wonder if they offer one on the campus College Boy will be attending, I can ride in with him. In my car. Because it seems that they put a hold on your account until you see an Advisor. Meaning that his housing request did not go in until his courses were chosen and by then the dorms were full.

I’m sorry, full? Noooooooooo. There must be space somewhere. A broom closet maybe? The laundry room? Maybe I need to start hucking the housing office.

College Boy’s friends won’t be moving into a house until around October. If he wants to join them I won’t be paying for it and I’m not sure he can afford it. You remember I just told you about that whole saving issue. So for now he’ll be living in my not-s0-empty nest, driving my  . . . well, should be mine  . . . car, and I’ll be peeing with the door closed a little longer.

Karma is, in fact, a bitch. All that whining and complaining about my upcoming empty nest that I put out there in the universe?
I take it back.
Please?
Baking In A Tornado

Caramel Apple Angel Cake
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com
 
Printable Recipe
 
Ingredients:
1/2 stick butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
OPT: ¼ cup Cinnamon Bun Vodka
 
1 Angel Food Cake, store bought or home made
8 apples, cored and sliced
2 TBSP stick butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
OPT: ½ cup chopped walnuts or toffee bits
 
Directions:
*Whisk ½ stick of butter with ¾ cup of brown sugar and the salt in a medium sized pot over medium heat until the brown sugar is melted and the mixture is smooth. Wisk in ¼ cup of heavy cream and continue whisking while it comes to a boil. Allow to boil for 3 minutes undisturbed. Remove from heat.
*Carefully whisk in the vodka and the rest of the heavy cream. Allow to cool for 45 minutes.
*Melt 2 TBSP of butter in a pan on the stove on medium heat. Add the apples, 1/4 cup brown sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook and stir until apples have softened. Set aside to cool.
*Cut the angle cake in thirds horizontally. The easiest way is to turn the cake on its side, insert the knife just to the center, cut and turn the cake. Use the hand holding the cake to hold it together so the piece you’re cutting doesn’t break off. Once bottom third is cut through, remove carefully, place on your serving plate, and cut what’s left of the cake in half the same way.
*Drizzle about 6 TBSP of the caramel sauce over the bottom layer. Spoon about half of the apple mixture over the cake and fill into the center. Drizzle with about 4 TBSP more of caramel sauce.
*Place the middle piece of the cake over the bottom one. Repeat as you did with the bottom layer. Save a little of the apple mixture for filling in the center once you put the top layer on.
*Add the top layer of cake. Fill the center with whatever’s left of the apple mixture. Drizzle with the rest of the caramel sauce. Sprinkle with walnuts and/or toffee bits.
*Store in refrigerator.

34 comments:

  1. I can't help but think of you as the Angel of Death By Sugar. Imean, what a way to go!

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  2. ROFLOL!! LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!!! Now it will be much easier to find those silver linings in the empty nest cloud. <3 <3 <3

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  3. Karma is hilarious in that not-really-hilarious-but-you-laugh-to-be-polite kind of way. I don't know whether to offer condolences or a place to run away to. Your nest will be empty soon (hopefully) and you may commence peeing with the door open (I hope). I don't know about you but the Caramel Apple Angle Cake might just soothe me through this trying time. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Well, if I get to choose, I'll take you up on that "place to run away to" thing.

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  4. Oh NO! Talk about a mama face slap! I guess the old "be careful what you wish for" thing is true. No silence (or food) in the house for you :(

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  5. Girl! Do I feel ya? YES. After having an empty nest for 2 years, my middle son is back. Yep, no more showering with the door open, walking around in my see through gown, peeing with the door open.
    Back to being the "proper" mom, baking like a mad woman but enjoying it!!
    All too soon, college will be over, he'll have a wife, job, career that takes him half way across the country and you'll be wishing you saw him on more than just Christmas.
    In the meantime, eat cake! And what a cake! My dh is a BIG fan of angel food, hope he doesn't read todays post ;)

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    Replies
    1. Don't worry, the apples make the whole cake healthy!

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  6. Oh Karen! Well maybe look at it as a training period...okay that's lame trying to help here. It sounds like our four kids are alot alike. I can't get my oldest one to get his shit together and my youngest usually has her's more together than I do. It's hard to parent to different types of kids because one is so totally different than the other! Good luck and this recipe looks like it's going to be one of my favorites to date!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it sounds like our four kids are very much alike. I think I'll drink to that!

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  7. I know exactly how you feel! Mine have never ventured from home, much to my dismay, have opted to live at home while attending school. I look forward to having an empty nest!

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    Replies
    1. Well, I didn't ever expect to be saying this at this time but it appears I'm looking forward to having an empty nest too.

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  8. Oh my goodness - the twists and turns of the empty nest! Hey, that would be a good soap opera. If nothing else, our kids sure do keep us on our toes. Darn, now I'm going to have to get in line for the Caramel Apple Angel Cake.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, sometimes I do think I'm living in a soap opera. Or reality tv. Only no one's paying me to go through all of this.

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  9. LOL. I hear you. One day I'm maybe we should have one more...then I have to spend 15 minutes in the car alone with three kids...and I'm asking hubby how soon his appointment is...

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    Replies
    1. LOL, nothing like kids to cure us of our desire to have more kids!

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  10. That is how life goes sometimes. I am still waiting to have an empty nest. I guess life goes on.

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    Replies
    1. I guess it does. We'll just have to wait and see what's next.

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  11. Don't you think it's it funny how, as soon as you accept the idea of something, get used to it & even reach to the point of looking forward to it, the rug just gets pulled out from under you?

    Nah, I don't think it's funny either.

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    Replies
    1. Apparently learning to adjust is NOT in my best interest. AGAIN!

      Delete
  12. You could always do what I did ... leave the college age kid(s) with the husband and move to another state. But then there's that whole divorce thing ... nah ... guess that won't work for you. ;-)

    Just eat cake. It's so much cheaper and what a cake it is!

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    Replies
    1. I would LOVE to go back home. But no such luck!

      Delete
  13. Geez, now THAT's a surprising turn!!
    Deadline, guideline, basically the same thing, right? Didn't he have a job all summer long, he showed incredible work ethics getting up at the crack of dawn - where did the money go?
    So I take it, the baking will go on, business as usual ;-) Read you later, K!

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    Replies
    1. No, he has the money but it's only enough for a few month's rent. He doesn't have furniture or a car. He'll need money for electric, cable, food, . . .

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  14. Might try this with blueberries

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a great plan, hope you let me know how it goes.

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  15. Sorry if I missed this somewhere, what type of apples do you use with this recipe?

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    Replies
    1. No, you didn't miss it, I left it out. Many people have favorite flavors or textures in apples, so I left it for them to decide.
      I like a crispier apple with a little bit of a tartness so I used Braeburns.

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    2. Ok great. Thank you!!

      Delete

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