Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Poetry Wars

I hadn't set out to do it, the day I broke one of the most basic rules of the sorority of sisterhood: do not play with another woman's husband.

Does it matter that she was there, laughing (out loud, literally) as she watched the whole affair unfold? I'll leave that to you to decide.

In fact, it started like any other lazy Sunday in late September. My boys would both be at dinner that night and I had a new experimental recipe on my mind, one to celebrate the upcoming official beginning of Halloween month October.




Pecan Crusted Chicken with Pumpkin Thyme Sauce, a Fall dinner of crispy baked chicken served with a savory seasonal sauce. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dinner

Pecan Crusted Chicken with Pumpkin Thyme Sauce

I decided to take a peek at facebook and that's where it all began.

"Wait", you're thinking, "it's October. You're supposed to post something Halloweeny, something creepy, something scary. What are you doing posting a confession?"

Creepy? Scary? I'm getting there. Bear with me.

Because what I saw on Facebook, the thing that precipitated this whole involvement? Well let me tell you friends, it was mighty scary.

My friend's husband had posted a picture. One, sadly, I cannot un-see. Now I can describe the picture, but it's best, if you want to truly understand how this all proceeded, that you see it yourself. Click HERE. Go ahead, I'll wait right here.

Did you see it? Guy standing in traffic with his bicycle and wearing a thong. Yes, just a thong. Well, a headband on top and socks and sneakers on the bottom but covering the whole rather voluminous middle? Just a thong.

See? I promised you scary.

Now I could have just laughed and moved on. Probably should have just laughed and moved on, but it turns out that not only had he shared the picture, but below it, Darrell (who is an author, btw, you can buy his book HERE) posted a poem:



He wore a thong outside that day,
he wore it to the beach.
When he walked in front of me,
his butt looked like a peach.
  
Many of you Most of you All of you normal people would still have laughed and moved on. But we all know I'm not a card carrying member of the "normal people" subset. Where yo might see a funny poem, I see a challenge. So I responded:

He wore a thong outside that day, 
he wore it to the beach.
When he walked in front of me, 
I couldn't help but screech.

He wore a thong outside that day,
it seems with no rebuke.
When he walked in front of me, 
I couldn't help but puke.

Poetry Wars, a war of words | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #humor #funny

Now had it ended there we would not be talking about my transgressions. But it seems Darrell and I agree on one thing, a challenge is a challenge. His turn:

His wife joined him in a thong also, 
I had to tell this tale.
His wife came with an ass my friends,
that was bigger than a whale.

Although I'd already broken one cardinal rule of sisterhood, there's a line and making fun of a woman's butt was not a place where I was going (either that or it just hit too close to home, one or the other). So although I did respond, I kept my eye on the prize (so to speak):

His wife saw him in a thong that day, 
and had to tell this tale,
"Didn't realize, in the light of day,
his butt was quite that pale."

But Darrell was not to be diverted:

He saw his wife in a thong that day,
he'd known that she was large.
He didn't know when he went to bed
he'd been sleeping with a barge.

Maybe he should have been diverted because it seems we'd gone too far. Duh, duh, daaaaa, the wife interjected:

This poem is fiction. My butt is not a barge. But . . . his is pale.

To which I had one final verbal tryst, a warning of sorts to my partner in crime:

When writing poems publicly, 
be clear of whom you don't speak.
Or I'm afraid your sleeping arrangements,
for tonight may be quite bleak. 

And from Darrell to his wife:

I was NOT talking about you!!!

Smart guy. Clearly wants to stay married.

PS: Thanks to Dawn and Darrell for a fun Sunday. And for giving me permission to share this story here on the blog.

PPS: Stay tuned, Poetry Wars, the Sequel (yes, there's a part two) is coming up on this blog next week.



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Pecan Crusted Chicken with Pumpkin Thyme Sauce
                                                              ©www.BakingInATornado.com


Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup flour
1 egg beaten with 3 TBSP water
1 stack (about 30 crackers) Ritz crackers
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 stick butter, melted

1 cup chicken broth
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1/3 cup orange preserves
1/4 tsp dried thyme
dash of nutmeg 

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13 casserole dish.
*Place the crackers and pecan pieces in a food processor to crush, then place on a plate.
*Cut each chicken breast into equal size pieces. I usually get 3 pieces per breast. You may choose to pound the chicken a little first to make the pieces more unified in thickness.
*Dip each chicken piece in flour, then in the egg wash, then press all sides into the pecan mix to coat.
*Place chicken pieces into casserole dish, drizzle the melted butter over the top.
*Bake for 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the crust is browned.

*Just before the chicken is ready, whisk together the chicken broth, minced garlic, pumpkin, preserves, thyme and nutmeg in a small pot. Heat to boiling over medium high heat and boil, whisking, for 2 minutes. Serve beside or drizzled over the chicken.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A True Horror Story: Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.


Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I'm using: glow ~ fall ~ river ~ hit
They were submitted by Jules of The Bergham Chronicles.

                          
I'm from Massachusetts, for those of you who don't already know. Every time I looked at these words, preparing to write my post, all I could see was Fall River, the name of a town in Massachusetts. I couldn't think of those words separately, perhaps because, coincidentally, they were submitted together and in the same order as the name of the town.

Or maybe it's Halloween I have on my mind. Because, it just so happens, that glow and hit work right into the most famous story that comes out of the city of Fall River. Glow, as in ghost. And hit, as in strike.

Fall River is the city where a young girl lived with her sister Emma, father Andrew step-mother Abby and maid Bridget Sullivan. The house where they lived is now suspected of being haunted. As in most haunting stories, it's the scene of a horrible tragedy. But the story starts somewhere else, with a bit of a different cast, some of whom made it to this home, some who did not.

The little girl was born in 1860 to her parents, Andrew and Sarah. They had 3 daughters, Emma, their first, was born in 1851. Their second daughter Alice was born in 1856. By the time their youngest was born (9 years after their first), in the initial tragedy of this story, Alice had died at the age of one from what was then called Dropsy on the Brain but is now known as Hydrocephalus. Just a few short years after the little girl was born, in the second tragedy of this story, their mother died at the age of 39 of uterine congestion (no idea) and spinal disease.

Two years later, dad Andrew remarried a woman named Abby. Emma was 14. Her little sister not quite 5. The family, well off financially, moved to their new home 9 years after Andrew married Abby. It's said that the girls did not like their step-mother, not calling her Mom or even Abby, but "Mrs.", and believing she and her family were conspiring to get Andrew's money.  

In fact, they were so comfortable they had a maid living on the third floor. Bridget, originally from Ireland, was responsible for the dusting, sweeping, laundry and all of the cooking.


On the day of the final tragedy, in 1892, Emma (41 and still living at home) was out of town, and Bridget (who had been living with them for 2 years at this point) was in her room when the younger daughter (not so young any more but at 32 also still living with her parents) cried out. She had found her father dead in the parlor. It's unclear as to whether it was Bridget or the police who then found Abby dead in her room. 

Four months later, the deceased couple's youngest daughter was indicted for their murder. Six months later, with the support of her older sister, she stood trial and was acquitted of the charges in June of 1893. Ordeal over, the sisters sold the family home and, having inherited from their father, purchased another home in Fall River where they lived comfortably for many years.

The family home where the murders occurred is now a bed and breakfast. Where you can sleep in the room where Abby was murdered, and quite possibly see the glow of ghosts late into the night.

Bridget, after being forced to testify but really having nothing of substance to contribute, disappeared after the trial. Rumor had it that she returned, at least temporarily, to Ireland, possibly funded by the sisters. The next we have any inkling of her was 12 years later in 1905 when she married at the age of 35 in Montana (where she had family). It's believed she never again spoke of the sisters or the tragedy. 

And what became of the girls? They lived quite comfortably together in Fall River for many years. This home too may have been comfortable but it also was not a happy home. Although acquitted, the younger sister was thought of as guilty by most of the townspeople and basically shunned by the community. It didn't help that in 1897 she was accused of shoplifting. And in 1905 Emma moved out and, according to legend, never spoke to her sister again. She died in New Hampshire in June of 1927, coincidentally just 9 days after her little sister died in Fall River.

You know who I'm talking about by now, don't you? Heard the story? Perhaps even spoken about it yourself:

Lizzy Borden took an axe,
gave her mother forty whacks. 
When she saw what she had done,
gave her father forty-one. 

Anyone want to go sleep in her bedroom?

Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #Halloween

PS: I always share a new recipe in my posts, but today I just couldn't pass up sharing one I posted a few years ago, my Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake. It may not be a new recipe, but I'm technically sharing a recipe so let's not split hairs (so to speak), shall we?
Follow the link to the original post to find the recipe.


Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:
                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Team Pumpkin: October Poetry

This month our poetry group picked the theme Pumpkins. Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe it's a gift because today's my birthday, but I'm pretty happy to have my (rhyming) say about pumpkins. They take quite a beating right about now. Not so much because people don't love them, probably because bloggers and websites pluck them way too early, starting to post pumpkin recipes in the summer and keeping it up steadily straight through October.



The Monthly Poetry Group, poems by multiple bloggers based on a theme. This month's theme, Pumpkins. | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #poem #poetry


Not me. I have a hard fast rule, all things Halloween, including pumpkin recipes don't start until October 1st. But then, well, all bets are off. 


 Team Pumpkin

Little seed so small and brown,
planted in the Spring. 
Burrow deep into the ground,
happiness you'll bring.

In the patch grow big and round,
green to gold to ripe.
Soon the kids will be farm bound,
October's favorite hype.

Corn maze, cocoa, a hay ride,
caramel apples too.
Picking and choosing with utmost pride,
ends in holding you.

Jack-O-Lantern you'll become.
And recipes, a slew.
I'll be making more than some,
pies and cake and stew.


Pepita Harvest Bars are an interpretation of the classic seven layer bars incorporating all of the flavors of the Fall Season. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert
Pepita Harvest Bars


Oh, I've heard it, the boo-hoo,
complain and whine and groan. 
"Too many recipes, too soon too".
Please! Quit your insufferable moan.

'Cause on my blog . . .

For one month out of every year,
I'm sorry happy to publicly say, 
I'm "team pumpkin" and to be clear,
and that's (more than) OK.


Before you go, click on these links to more poetry from some of my friends:
Dawn of Cognitive Script shares Pumpkins.
Diane of On the Border shares Pumpkin Time
Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares 4 Little Pumpkins.


Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics





Pepita Harvest Bars       
                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/2 packages Chips Ahoy Thins Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
3/4 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup cranraisins
1 cup Pepitas, roasted and shelled
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:
*Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Mix the cookie crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan.
*Sprinkle the prepared crust with the white chocolate chips followed by the quick oats, then the cranraisins and last the Pepitas. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over the top.
*Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until the top is bubbling and has browned. Remove from oven. 
*Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edges. Cool completely before cutting.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Spider in his Web Cake: Spooky and Fun Blog With Friends

Today’s post is the next in our series of Blog With Friends theme collaborations. Each month a group  of bloggers get together and each publish a project based on a theme. What I love about this partnership is that it’s not bloggers with similar interests or strengths but a diverse group coming up with a variety of posts. In any given month we may have a recipe, sewing tutorial, crafts projects, book review and/or a technology post all related to the theme of the month.


Blog With Friends, a monthly project based blogging collaboration | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


This month's theme is Spooky and Fun.

There will be individual project pictures and links to what everyone else has to offer at the end of my post, but here’s a peek at what we all came up with:


Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post based on a theme, Spooky and Fun | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


I made a Spider in his Web Cake.


Spider in his Web Cake: cake, a web and a spider peeking through. Yup, it’s October! | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #Halloween #cake

Spider in his Web Cake


What? Spooky and Fun as a theme? I'm there. Of course I'm always there for these Blog With Friends posts. And now that I think of it, I'm always there with the spooky and fun recipes throughout the month of October. But nothing makes me smile like interpreting Halloween themes into recipes. It's the challenge, but it's also just the pure fun of playing with food. Literally. 

Today's recipe is really less of a recipe and more of a decoration tutorial. It's versatile, so make this any way you want. I chose to make a chocolate cake and frosting, white bark or candy melt spider web and a Golden Oreo spider. You could also make a white or vanilla cake with light frosting and make the spider web from chocolate and use a chocolate Oreo. 

You also can make your cake from scratch, like I did for my Jolt of Coffee Chocolate Cake or enhance a boxed mix like I did for my Cookie Frosted Cake. The same holds true for frosting, make it from scratch like I did for my Peanut Butter Cup Squares, or enhance canned frosting as I did on my Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake.

Either way, start with a frosted cake. 


Since I chose chocolate, my decorations will be in white. First, make the "spider web". Measure the bottom of your cake pan and, using a marker on a piece of parchment paper, draw a circle about the same size.

Web template for Spider in his Web Cake: cake, a web and a spider peeking through. Yup, it’s October! | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #Halloween #cake


Once the marker is dry, turn the parchment upside down on a flat surface. You can see the circle from the top now. Melt 1 ounce of white candy melts or vanilla bark and close into a sandwich bag. Snip a small piece of the bag from the corner and pipe the bark around the circle you drew on the parchment paper. Next pipe lines from the inside to the outside, then in waves around the inside of the circle. This does not have to be precise. Using a paper towel, completely wipe off about a 2 inch square hole in your web. This is where you'll later place one of the spiders. Carefully place the web in the refrigerator to set.

Web for Spider in his Web Cake: cake, a web and a spider peeking through. Yup, it’s October! | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #Halloween #cake


Meanwhile, place 5 small dabs of the remaining melted bark onto one end of an Oreo. Stick candy eyes (or mini M&Ms) onto the cookie. Set aside to set. Cut two 1 inch pieces and two 2 inch pieces of the pull 'n peel candy ropes to use for spider legs. In the same way, make a full spider using the remaining oreos, eyes and candy ropes.

Spider for Spider in his Web Cake: cake, a web and a spider peeking through. Yup, it’s October! | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #Halloween #cake


Then assemble. Carefully, using a large spatula, place the spider web onto the cake. Gently push the "spider" into the cake at an angle where the hole is. Place one short "leg" and one longer one on either side of the spider so it looks like it's crawling out of the cake. Press the second spider into the side of the cake.

Spider in his Web Cake: cake, a web and a spider peeking through. Yup, it’s October! | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #Halloween #cake



As always, any time you make one of my recipes, feel free to post a picture of it to my Baking In A Tornado Facebook Page. I'd love to see it!


Be sure to visit all of this month's other Blog With Friends projects:

Spatulas on Parade shares the recipe for her edible Cat Litter Dessert.
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Spooky and Fun | Cat Litter Dessert by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog shares her DIY Paint Pour Pumpkin project.

Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Spooky and Fun | Paint Pour Pumpkin by Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com

Lydia of Cluttered Genius shares her DIY Canvas Art project. 
Blog With Friends, a multi-blogger project based post incorporating a theme, Spooky and Fun | DIY Canvas Art by Lydia of Cluttered Genius | Featured on www.BakingInATornado.com


Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics





Spider in his Web Cake
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
1 frosted two layer cake
2 oz white candy melts or vanilla bark
3 Golden Oreos
7 candy eyes (can substitute mini M&Ms) 
1 pull 'n peel candy rope

NOTE: You can bake a cake from scratch, like I did for my Jolt of Coffee Chocolate Cake. Recipe HERE.
Or you can enhance a boxed mix like I did for my Cookie Frosted Cake. Recipe HERE
The same holds for frosting. You can make it from scratch as I used for my Peanut Butter Cup Squares. Recipe HERE.
Or you can enhanced canned frosting as I used on my Raspberry Swirl Halloween Cake. Recipe HERE.

Directions:
*Measure the bottom of your cake pan and, using a marker on a piece of parchment paper, make a circle about the same size.
*Once the marker is dry, turn the parchment upside down on a flat surface. You can see the circle from the top now. Melt 1 ounce of white candy melts or vanilla bark and close into a sandwich bag. 
*Snip a small piece of the bag from the corner and pipe the bark around the circle you drew on the parchment paper. Next pipe lines from the inside to the outside, then in waves around the inside of the circle. This does not have to be precise.
*Using a paper towel, completely wipe off about a 2 inch square hole in your web. This is where you'll later place the spider. Carefully place the web in the refrigerator to set.
*Meanwhile, place 5 small dabs of the melted bark onto one end of an Oreo. Stick candy eyes (or mini M&Ms) onto the cookie. Set aside to set. Attach 2 eyes to one of the remaining Oreos.
*Cut two 1 inch pieces and ten 2 inch pieces of the pull 'n peel candy ropes to use for spider legs. 
*To assemble, carefully, using a large spatula, place the spider web onto the cake. Gently push the "spider" with 5 eyes into the cake at an angle where the hole is. Place one short "leg" and one longer one on either side of the spider so it looks like it's crawling out of the cake. Press the second spider into the side of the cake.



Friday, October 5, 2018

Did I Do That?: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 7 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


My subject is: What is the spookiest thing that has ever happened to you?
It was submitted by: Rabia of The Lieber Family.


Let me start by saying that spooky is different things to different people. For most it's creepy, scary. To me it's the unexplained. Not like when my kids would eat a dinner I thought they'd refuse or the sweet rolls would disappear yet no one ate them.


Apple Pumpkin Sweet Rolls, a favorite breakfast treat with added seasonal flavors. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

Apple Pecan Sweet Rolls

Apple Pumpkin Sweet Rolls, a favorite breakfast treat with added seasonal flavors. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #breakfast

ready to roll up



More like an episode of Twilight Zone or Unsolved Mysteries.

I tend to be right brained. Analytical, methodical, super organized. I have a need for things to make sense. Even if there isn't proof, a definitive answer, if at least there's a plausible theory, I can live with that. I'm not completely satisfied, but I have the ability to trust that there is a logical answer.

I love to read and my favorite genre is mystery. I frequently don't read to be challenged but to be amused. But I'm not a push over, if I don't like a book, I'll stop mid-read and start another book. And nothing makes me close a book like the unbelievable. If the protagonist constantly gets into trouble then miraculously has the police arrive to save him/her in the nick of time, it ruins it for me and I move on. If the killer kills all of his victims immediately but miraculously captures the protagonist but doesn't kill him/her and he/she is then miraculously saved? Nope, not for me.

So although I've, like everyone else, had some pretty scary spooky things happen to me, and they are admittedly pretty high on the spooky scale, they don't hit the top. Like the time I was walking across campus late at night and thought I heard rustling in the bushes along the way. I had taken a bus from home which dropped me far from my dorm and, when spooked while walking home, held on to my (felt like) 100 pound suitcase and scurried up that hill like someone had set Dracula loose and put a tracking device on me.

There was the time I saw signs from "beyond". I wrote about it in a piece I called Janet Knows. And though I don't know what I believe about that, whether Janet was really "speaking" to me, I do know in my heart of hearts that there are also logical explanations for each of those circumstances that I took as signs. So no, even that does not say "spooky" to me. Possibly because spooky has a negative connotation and "hearing" from Janet actually made me smile.

For me, as I said, the spookiest things are those that I cannot reconcile. They tend to come in groups because just one instance can easily be explained as a coincidence. Like when I just happened to look at a Secret Subject Swap post from 2 years ago and although I didn't remember this at all, it turns out that the prompt I received was Boo! Tell us the scariest thing that has ever happened to you! And it was from Rabia. Not spooky, just a strange coincidence. A cluster of them, though, they are my idea of spooky.

Back in 2007 my Red Sox were playing the Yankees. You may not follow baseball but everyone must know this is an ages long rivalry. Bad enough they were losing 3 - 0, but they were losing at home. I was not amused. It was the third inning, we had 2 outs and no base runners when Manny Ramirez came to bat. "Come on, Manny, home run" I yelled at the TV. And that's just what he did. Next up was J. D. Drew and I said, out loud "we need another home run, J. D." And that's just what he did. Mike Lowell came to the plate. "You too, Mike. Home run." And that's just what he did. OK, this is getting weird. Is it me? Is it coincidence? One more time just to see. As Jason Varitek walked to the plate I said to my family "This is getting spooky. There can't be that many coincidences, am I really doing this? Let's see. You too, Jason, home run". And that's just what he did.

"Come on", you're thinking, "your off-hand remark to Ramirez, who couldn't hear you anyway, didn't start this and your continued calls for home runs didn't keep this going". And yes, I concede that this all COULD have been a coincidence, but all that kept running through my head was Steve Urkel, in his nasal voice saying "Did I do that?"

Did I?

Either way, let me tell you, that was mighty spooky.

What says "spooky" to you?

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:


Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics






Apple Pumpkin Sweet Rolls
                                                                          ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Ingredients:
1 (1#) frozen bread dough
3/4 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 small apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup powdered sugar
3 TBSP apple cider
1/2 tsp apple pie spice

Directions:
*Grease a piece of plastic wrap, wrap the dough completely and thaw in refrigerator overnight.
*Grease a 9 X 13 metal pan.
*Flour your counter and roll out the dough to about a 12 X 17 rectangle.
*Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, pureed pumpkin and the pumpkin pie spice. Spread over the dough, leaving about 1/2 inch borders. Sprinkle with the chopped apples, then the pecans.
*Barely fold in the short sides then roll up from one long side to the other, as tightly as you can, so you have about a 16 inch long rope. Cut into 16 pieces and place in the prepared pan, center of the pieces facing up. Cover the pan with a warm moist cloth and place in a warm dry place. Allow to rise for at least 4 hours and up to 7 hours.
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the rolls for 15 - 17 minutes.
*While the rolls are baking, mix together the powdered sugar, apple cider and apple pie spice. 
*Remove rolls from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, drizzle with the topping and serve.



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

When Support Divides

I always told my kids that if you want to help someone, it's about what they need and when they need it. It's not about what's easiest for you to do at a time when it's most convenient for you. I want to say right upfront that I know that. And I'll get back to it.

I almost posted this on my Facebook page yesterday, but then I realized that by doing so, I'd be complicit in the same behavior I'm objecting to. So I decided to have my say here, on my own little space in the blogosphere.

The "black out" movement on Facebook this past weekend was about support. Even more, it was about solidarity. Or it was supposed to be. It turned into quite the opposite. I was in the kitchen baking when I started getting pings indicating that I had private messages informing me of the movement. I can't tell you how much I wish I had just stayed there, baked on and avoided the whole debacle.


Whipped Pumpkin Poke Cake, a moist white cake studded with pumpkin whipped cream. Perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving, easy enough to make any day. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Whipped Pumpkin Poke Cake

But I didn't. And In case you are lucky enough not to know, I'll explain as best I can. I don't know how it started, but word went around privately that there would be a show of unity among women wishing to make a quiet and peaceful stance against the abuse that so many of us have suffered. The way it would be done would be that for one day we would black out our Facebook profile picture. There was some talk about staying off the platform altogether, but the point was to show what it would be like without women, have men wonder where we are. I don't know about that part, to tell you the truth. I thought most of the men I know would probably not notice (I was wrong, many did). The bottom line, however, was to bring awareness to violence against women. Whether I agreed with all of the rationalization or not, I got the meaning. A form of peaceful protest.

I don't often join in these kinds of things. I wasn't going to participate in this one either. But after a week of heartbreaking disrespect towards victims and blatant attempts to shut many of them up, of watching in horror the way that those who are supposed to represent us have gone on and on about the harm done to the accused while not only ignoring the trauma of the victims, but trying everything they can to block an investigation, I rethought this one. I would change my Facebook profile picture to black for one day. Not as any kind of lesson to men, but as a statement to women that at this particular time in our politics and in our society, I know that what is happening is wrong.

Back to where I started. Yes, anyone, including many of us who went black and many who didn't, have the right to decide in what way we choose to be supported, what things feel like support to us. But that's more of a private thing. In public there is no way to identify, discuss, come to a consensus with every woman who'd been victimized in order to agree on a time and a place and a way to show solidarity. So someone, out of compassion by the way, chose the "black out". It may not have been what every traumatized victim would have chosen, I get that.

But someone came up with this idea and many of us felt it was a way to engage. And what did we get for it? Those of us who participated who had been victims ourselves and those who did not have personal experiences but wanted to make a stand? We got called out in public. 

Going black raises a dark cloud. When Support Divides | Graphic property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #women #support


I started seeing some, and then more and more memes and comments and posts criticizing the black out. I have to tell you that I was shocked. We were insulted and guilted and bullied and shamed. We were told that our black profile picture is dehumanizing, that we are advocating shutting up instead of speaking out. 


This wasn't supposed to be in place of public support. This wasn't supposed to be instead of using our voices. This wasn't supposed to be a way to dehumanize anyone. It was, plain and simple, a show of unity. In sharp contrast to screaming at senators on television, this was supposed to be a quiet, peaceful act of love. 

By disparaging the movement at the exact same time and in the exact same place, an act of unity was transformed into division. Instead of joining together, women were attacking each other. In-fighting, that's what it turned into. What, in the end, it brought out in us as women, as a community, as human beings? Of that I am ashamed.

I did not take the black out box down from my profile. I was saddened and disillusioned, not for me but for all of us. 

If we meet support with criticism, how do we ever effect change? If we can't appreciate those who stand in our corner, no matter how or where or why, we are the ones silencing voices, diminishing our own stand, bolstering those who victimize with impunity. 

If we reject an outstretched hand, we are breaking the very bonds we desperately need to strengthen. And we all lose.


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Whipped Pumpkin Poke Cake        
                                    ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 box white cake mix
1 box white chocolate pudding mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 can pureed pumpkin

OPT: 1 1/2 tsp powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan.
*Beat cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, sour cream, and vegetable oil for 2 minutes.
*Pour into prepared pan.
*Bake according to cake package directions, until center springs back to the touch.
*Cool completely. Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, poke about 40 holes into but not all the way through the cooled cake.
*Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Beat in 3/4 cup powdered sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Continue beating until stiff peaks hold, then beat in the pureed pumpkin. Pipe this whipped pumpkin into the holes in the cake, then use the rest to frost the top.
*OPT: Mix together 1 1/2 tsp powdered sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the cake.
*Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting and serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.