Wrapping up Christmas

By Diana Shaw

December 21, 2013

Have you been good this year? I think I have been, if I can get a pass on the sin of gluttony. I don’t understand why food tastes so good if we’re not meant to keep eating. I guess it’s another of life’s little mysteries.

I’m not quite ready for Christmas, but I never am. I’ve learned it will come with or without my permission. We’ll enjoy the season and each other’s company, as we always do, even if I don’t get everything done well beforehand.

There’s a lot to be grateful for this year. My children are healthy, after a major scare earlier in the year. All our grandchildren are growing tall or am I actually that short? I have to look up to talk to a fair number of them.

Carl and I are taking care of ourselves and Jackson. We’re doing fine and both are grateful for a pretty healthy old pup. Jackson’s cancer has been declared in remission. He has a lot of his energy back at the ripe old age of 13. One of his joys is eating fresh snow. He’s certainly happy this year. But then, it doesn’t take a lot to make him happy. He could teach classes on enjoying life.

We look forward to having Ingrid, Gary, Garrison and Ethan here for a week. They haven’t visited for a while, at least, not all together. They will join all the family who can be here for Christmas dinner.

There will be 16 of us around two tables for Christmas dinner. That should give Jackson a run for his money, keeping the floors clean in between. I’d be willing to bet none of this special dessert will hit the floor.



3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 flavorful red apples

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon sugar

Turn oven to 375 degrees to preheat.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until very light, 5 to 6 minutes. Gradually beat in sugars.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Fold into the egg and sugar mixture, carefully using cut and fold motion with a rubber spatula.

Peel apples, then core, cut into eighths, and slice crosswise into very thin slices. Fold apples and chopped nuts into batter. Divide between two 9 inch cake pans lined with waxed paper, greased and floured.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until cake springs back when touched with a finger and is nicely browned. Cool 10 minutes in pans on rack, then loosen edges with a spatula and turn layers out to cool thoroughly.

Using cream whipped with sugar, spread between layers and on top. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

Serves eight to 10.

Whatever you have planned for Christmas, I hope it will be a happy time. I wish you and yours all the joyous celebration you can stand. Be kind to each other.