Happy Wellness Wednesday, Friends! I started writing about wellness topics on Wednesdays, as I noted so many of my friends & creatives struggle with balance, as do I. Join me on my humble journey to wellness, picking fruit along the way, but also stopping to rest, once in a while.
I am mixing it up today, in honor of Apple Sauce Cake Day. Apparently, that’s a thing. Click here if you don’t believe me. So I decided to share another excerpt from my book Dee’s Dishes – a collection of stories and recipes. Here is a true story about apple sauce, followed by one of my favorite of my mom’s recipes: Applesauce Cake.
A Sticky Situation
My sweet young baby boy loved his applesauce when he was
a baby. I often would blend cooked carrots into his
applesauce, at home. Nana would make him applesauce from
scratch. After trick-or-treating, he proudly counted his shiny
wrapped candy bars, and then requested applesauce.
Normally, applesauce is not a bad thing! But, we once
experienced quite a sticky situation involving applesauce.
Whenever I hear Def Leppard’s song “Pour Some Sugar on
Me” this is what comes to mind.
My Dear Son was a man of few words when he was a toddler.
We had started calling him Mellow Man. He was
extraordinarily well-behaved, though, and a delight to take to
restaurants. Yeah I know; this is rare.
On this particular day in the Adventures of Mellow Man, I
brought him to lunch with our dear friend, his Auntie Rachel.
Although she’s not related, she grew up with my husband and
she’s the one who set us up, so we call her family. We were
dining at Bennigan’s, a delightful American restaurant chain
with tchotchkes on the walls. Like every other American
restaurant chain, right? This one has some pretty special
broccoli bites or something, as I recall. These were broccoli,
cheese, and bacon, battered, and deep-fried. (Right? I know,
my arteries just got scared, too.)
The two-year-old was seated happily in a wooden high chair,
pulled up to the table. We enjoyed lunch and conversation,
laughing as we do whenever we get together. We were
reminiscing about some of the fun we’ve had together, like the
time we went to all the Burger Kings in South San Jose for
“Free Fries Day.” And the time she screwed up the words in
the Alleluia verse so badly, she voluntarily removed herself
from the cantor podium with an imaginary hook and cane. Or
my wedding video, in which everyone else in the wedding
party said “Thank you for choosing me to be in your special day…”
and she said, “You’re welcome.” I hope everybody has a
special friend like this.
I had ordered apples instead of fries for his kiddie meal—as
apples are healthier, right? They came in a heated bowl with
raisins and sugar—it was more like pie filling. I took out the
apple slices, diced them some more, placed them on a clean
bread plate for my son, and gave him a spoon. He seemed
content, and we gals continued talking and digging into to our
Suddenly, I look over at my son, who is visibly discontent as
he is trying to wipe off the gooey apples from his hands. Quite
unsuccessfully, I might add. In fact, in his attempts to wipe the
goo off, he inadvertently had wiped sticky sugary apple-y goo
all over his hands, and up and down his arms, as well.
“Oh, My God!” I exclaimed. And then, to Rachel, “Can you
grab an arm?”
Rachel says he was all oiled up like a pro-wrestler. (I don’t
watch wrestling, so, whatever.) Seriously, he was glistening. It
took each of us two pre-moistened wipes and two napkins to
erase away the goo. Then we had to wrestle him out of the
high chair and to the bathroom sink. We were laughing
hysterically as Auntie Rachel held the toddler in front of her at
arms’ length while he, in turn, held his arms out in front of
him, like a little Frankenstein. We managed to get him to the
bathroom sink and she balanced the boy between herself and
the sink, while I scrubbed his little hands and arms with soap.
Pour some sugar on me.
This is one of my favorites of my mom’s recipes.
It’s delightfully sweet and unique.
2 cups flour
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ cups Applesauce
1 cup raisins (soaked in warm water and drained)
½ cup oil
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Dump dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Add one at a time without mixing, applesauce, raisins, oil
Mix well, then pour into well-greased angel food
or 13×9 pan
Bake in 350 oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Test with toothpick
(Cupcakes: only 20-25 mins)