The thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat.



For those old enough to remember ABC’s Wide World of Sports,  you certainly know that this is not an original quote 🙂   but it is one that came to mind last evening..   My original attempt at using the oven in our camper was minimally successful – the cake burned a bit on the bottom, but we salvaged it ..  second attempt was much better..    the third attempt was the masterpiece 🙂  .. I am still recalling that  shortcake!   I could not wait to cut into that!

So what happened last night?  Well,  I wanted to try a favorite recipe passed down from my grandmother..  she called it poor dutchman’s cake..   ( which, as a kid, I always got confused and called  poor man’s dutch cake)   But, what ever the name, I have a vivid memory of walking into their apartment  one day and immediately smelling the cakes which she had just pulled from the oven.. they were sitting on a table in the hall, cooling..  did she know what she was doing?  did she understand that she was creating a memory that would last 50 years and beyond?   I am beginning to think so 🙂   As I get older, I have begun to realize that one of the most precious things that we can pass on to our kids  ( no grandkids here yet 🙂  )   is a series of fond memories…

But, I am losing focus!  The recipe makes two cakes which I typically put in pie plates..   But I don’t have any pie plates in the  camper, so I opted to use the 9 by 13 inch baking dish instead.. PDC-failure #1 I should have listened to my wife..  she said ” that looks like a lot of batter for that dish”..   she was right…  half an hour later when I opened the oven door, I found, instead of a cake just about ready to come out,  a liquid mess,, overflowing the dish..   The optimist inside of me said.. maybe it needs 10 more minutes 🙂    After 20 more minutes,  it was apparent that the cake was going to be a flop.. I had to face my wife and hear.. ” I told you so”  maybe not quite in those words, but the message was clear 🙂    An attempt to save some face was successful as I pointed out that around the edges the cake was done..  we took the dish out to the picnic table and shared what we could salvage…   we both enjoyed the dessert .. and smiled..  and harmony was restored to the Thatcher household …

4 comments on “The thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat.

  1. I’ve got similar memories with my grandmother’s peach cobbler! We have a trick for salvaging cakes that don’t work out, though you’d probably have to get a little resourceful to make this work in a tiny kitchen. If the cake bakes all the way through but then falls apart, you can just use the crumbles. If, like yours, it doesn’t bake all the way through, first cut out the parts that are baked, and put it back in the oven until the rest is cooked, repeating as necessary. Once you’ve got a bunch of chunks of cooked cake, you crumble them up in a bowl and then mix them with a simple custard of egg and milk (the proportion isn’t too important), and maybe some extras like chocolate chips. Pour all of that into a baking dish (or two), bake for 20-40 minutes at 350ish until set, and you’ll have a wonderful bread pudding-type dessert, and nothing wasted.

  2. marymaryone says:

    Reminds me of the time my husband baked a ladybug cake for our daughter’s first birthday. He forgot to add either the baking powder or baking soda. Although the cake was beautiful, we couldn’t get a knife through it 🙂 We were able to cut off small pieces around the edges, so we could still celebrate her birthday.

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