Smitten Saturdays: Mom’s Apple Cake


I get so frustrated when my students don’t follow instructions. They get failing grades on their essays and assignments because they didn’t read the assignment description all the way through, or were confused and didn’t ask for help or clarification. I know it’s part of learning how to be a grownup, falling on your face and learning from your mistakes, but I want them to succeed just as much as they do, so it bums me out when that first, most important step is overlooked.

And really, so much in life depends on following instructions. Assembling an IKEA dresser. Inserting a central line in the ER. Filing a brief in federal court. Preventing pregnancy.

Read the directions. That information is on the syllabus. The key to success often starts with following instructions.

So it really chaps my royal hiney when I don’t follow (or in this case, misread and misinterpret) instructions, as I did for this first installment of Smitten Saturdays. I ran headlong into making Mom’s Apple Cake (p. 239 in the cookbook) without contemplating the difference between a tube pan and a bundt pan. (You know where this is going, right?)

You see, when you use a tube pan as the recipe indicates, the cook time as written will probably work for you. And when it comes time to remove the cake from the pan, you get something gorgeous. When you use a bundt pan, the cook time is a lot longer, your cake cooks unevenly, and it looks like this after you try to wrestle it from the pan:

Beautiful, no? No. But it’s tasty and my house smelled incroyable while it was baking, like crunching leaves and crisp fall wind and apple cider (never mind that it was nearly 90 degrees here yesterday). I’ve already had a generous hunk of it for breakfast, and every time my husband walks past the wreckage of the cake, he pinches off a bite and makes yummy noises.

How did your first Smitten Saturday go?

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