Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Anti-Freeze is a Pretty Green Color

Antifreeze is a pretty green color. However, it's considerably less attractive when it's unexpectedly in massive quantities on the pavement under and around your parked car.

Greg and I went to Skaets after work today and when we came out there was a river of green under and behind my car. I thought, "hmmm... was that there when I went in?" A quick turn of the key, and seeing the "Low Coolant" warning on the dashboard, told me that it was from my car.

Oddly enough, late this afternoon I had called to make an appointment for an oil change. Surprisingly, they could get me in tomorrow. How convenient, huh?

I had some bottled water in the trunk of the car that I had bought two winters ago to make sure I always had water with me when on the road. I had thought about tossing it because it had been in the plastic so long. But, tonight it went into the radiator instead. We drove the few blocks to the repair shop, with the heat going, which wasn't a problem tonight because heat was welcome.  (If your car starts to overheat, run the heater - winter or summer - it draws air over everything and cools it off a bit.) The car never even got near being hot, and we were still trailing a stream of water, tinted green, by the time we got there.

Terry, so often the rescuer, drove down and got us and took us back to Greg's. My van was there because he had used it to get some plywood. I'm fortunate I have another vehicle I can drive while mine is being repaired. Obviously, they hadn't planned on it being anything this complex. But, of course, it could be something very simple. We'll see. I left Jason a note on the dashboard.

Life is full of surprises!

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Creative Sisterhood

Tonight was Creative Sisterhood and it was a wonderful evening. All six of us were here and it was amazing to have the circle full and to share with each other on a meaningful level. Fabulous.

Of course, I shared my collage tonight. The only person in Creative Sisterhood that was at the retreat is Teresa so it was new to everyone else. It's good to get perspective from people who haven't been involved in the process. I know the group gave me some insights.

I made a new cake tonight. Yum! I have been working on a cookbook of recipes from Creative Sisterhood gatherings and realized as I was doing it that I cook a lot of chocolate things. I intended to do something different tonight. But, next thing I knew, the chocolate was melting with the butter on top of the stove and... well... the rest is history.

I had requests for the recipe so said I'd just post it. Frankly, the cake was pretty ordinary, but the frosting was amazing. I think this is the best frosting I've ever eaten. I changed the recipe, so I'm giving you my version here.

Chocolate Cake and Frosting

3 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 Tablespoon baking soda
        (yes, Tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sour cream
1 1/3 cups boiling water

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and blend in vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Then add sour cream and mix. Add water and mix. Batter will be a little thin - not runny, but a little thin.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. This makes three layers.


1/2 cup butter or margarine
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
5 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

I made a double batch of icing and I do have some left, but I'm giving you the "normal" amount. What is printed here is NOT doubled. I generally want about 1 1/2 of a batch of icing so I almost always make a double batch.

For frosting melt butter and chocolate on top of stove over medium heat. Cool slightly while you mix sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Add melted mixture to sugar mixture and whip.

This frosting is fluffy and rich, but not overly sweet. If you want it sweeter you could use less unsweetened chocolate and more semisweet. The original recipe called for equal amounts but I thought that would be too sweet.

And, by the way, if you want those pretty swirls on your cake, use the back of a teaspoon. I was showing that to Virginia and Martha tonight. I frost it normal, so it's all covered, then I make the swirls out of the frosting that's on the cake.
If you want the sides really smooth, use a cake decorators trick and dip your knife or spatula in hot water first, then twirl the cake with the knife up against it and it was "melt" the frosting into a smooth side. I do swirls all over mine. I prefer that homemade look.
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