Full of hope and faith

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I often write about hope and faith. This is a very inspirational blog but I like to be subtle. My upbeat messages are embedded in the posts and it may take special glasses to read it. Some examples of my abundant faith are:

  • In blogging about stupid drivers, I believe some will see themselves and mend their ways. I hope that this will happen to make my life easier.
  • Beauty products! No one has more hope than I do that the latest serum or snake oil will firm my skin and erase my wrinkles. I am always willing to share my triumphs (if I ever have any) along with my defeats (so many that I could overflow my allotted WordPress storage if I wrote them all down).
  • Hair! No one loves beautiful hair more than I do. Every time I go to my hair stylist (they are stylists, not hair dressers) I ask for extensions to make my hair long and flowing with subtle highlights. My designer rolls her eyes and placates me with, “your hair is beautiful the way it is.” We all know that is malarkey to keep me quiet until the end of my appointment when she can get me out of the salon (that’s salon not shop).
  • Beautiful shoes! I am always convinced that a new designer will design shoes that are both sexy and comfortable. I have a closet full to prove my faith. Alas, so far none have met that goal but I have kept many Goodwill stores stocked with stylish shoes.

None of this is what I am writing about today. I also believe I can recreate those beautiful recipes pictured in magazines. They are in full glorious color. The food looks so luscious and healthy. They tell me it’s simple to make and my family will love it. Easy peasy.

Yet I never learn. Isn’t there a saying that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome is the definition of stupidity?

This past weekend turned out to be a cooking adventure. We had a couple of parties/picnics to go to so it was a wonderful opportunity to try out some of those beautifully pictured recipes.

One was a pineapple upside down cake with a cheesecake layer. It sounded fairly easy since it was based on a cake mix. I had to buy a lot of stuff because I don’t stock pineapples, maraschino cherries and cream cheese. No problem, we have stores.

There was nothing too weird about the ingredients — no special extracts that cost $20 a pint or spices that have to be imported from alien planets. We are good to go.

Indeed it was easy to put together except you didn’t need all the cake mix. Now why would you create a recipe to use half a box of cake mix? I can’t buy 9 ounce cake mixes in my area.

The directions said to put the batter in a spring form pan which I did. What it didn’t say was that the butter and brown sugar layer at the bottom with the pineapples would leak through the pan and coat the bottom of the oven.

The oven would then fill with smoke, stink up the kitchen with a burning sugar mixture and threaten to set off smoke alarms which in turn would bring out the entire fire department. Did they not test this recipe using equipment us normal folks would have?

There is a happy ending here. The cake was fine. You couldn’t tell that I just about ruined my oven. If I make it again, I will put the batter in a rectangular glass baking dish with parchment paper at the bottom and double the cream cheese layer so I can use the entire cake mix and the whole can of pineapple.

This isn’t the first recipe that didn’t work out as written but I continue to have faith and try new things. Is that the definition of stupidity or is that just faith? Perhaps they can use me as a tester. I am tough on recipes!

25 thoughts on “Full of hope and faith

  1. I’m still smiling because, when I made my first pineapple upside down cake, it DID drain all over the bottom of my oven…and hardened there! Kind of took the fun out of serving it, even though it tasted good.

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    • I scrapped most of it out because I had to use the oven (and it really stank) for something else but I still need to clean it. I just hate using the auto clean during the summer. Heats up the kitchen.

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    • Don’t you hate that! And those easy-peazy recipes that have exotic ingredients that cost a fortune and you use only once. I tried to replicate Greek gyros once and decided it was easier to go out and buy one.

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  2. I am happy to know I am not the only faithful cook who gets frustrated with bad instructions — “don’t they test this out?” Argh!

    I’ve saved many a-recipe from the brink of the disaster by my own experience and not the gall-darnded directions that accompanied them!

    On the flip side, there’s no such thing as a bad pineapple-upside-down cake 🙂

    MJ

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  3. My mom made pineapple upside down cake in a square brownie pan or a round cake pan. No way for the brown sugar to leak out.

    And once she inverted it onto a serving plate, it looked gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing your triumphs and your tribulations with us. We learn from YOUR mistakes. 😛

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    • That is normally how we make it. The cheesecake layer threw me off and I always try to follow directions the first time. That’s probably where I went wrong. I did like the cheesecake in it. It made it somehow lighter and moister but not so sweet. The concept was good. The follow through sucked.

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  4. Einstein once said “utter stupidity is repeating the same procedures over and over and expecting different results. Does that fit in this case!!!
    Tom

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  5. Oh Kate-another LOL post! No one inspires me more than you do with your uplifting messages of hope and faith. And if there’s one thing I learned from my mom, it’s to keep the bottom rack of the oven covered in aluminum foil for occasions such as this. Aluminum foil is in fact the answer to all kitchen messes. You ball it up and toss it when you’re done. Just don’t tell my green-minded hubby…

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    • My oven instruction book tells me not to do that but my intuition tells me I should. I thought about putting this on a cookie sheet but was more concerned that the brown sugar/butter mix wouldn’t carmelize properly and it would be gritty. Your secret is safe with me. Most husbands NEVER go into the oven.

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