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NaBloPoMo has a funny way of purging and transforming old ideas for posts that never made it to the other side. All of a sudden, everything becomes potential blogging material, even if it’s a cake that you made almost a year ago.

I originally intended to bake Mom’s Apple Cake from Deb Perelman’s new Smitten Kitchen cookbook sometime around her BookPeople signing. No, I wasn’t going to offer her a slice of her cake, but the idea was to include the cake in a post about the signing, similar to what I did with cookies and Joy the Baker’s signing. Well, Smitten Signing was posted sans cake on the last day of NaBloPoMo, so I baked it the following week.

During that week, I was playing with this group out in Kerrville, which is a couple hours west-ish of Austin. It’s a nice drive through the hill country that takes you directly through Fredericksburg, a small German town. My grandma lives there, so I thought it might be nice to stop by, with apple cake in tow, on the way to my gig.


There are 85 years between my grandma and my niece.

Grandma is now 89 years old and has been living alone since Grandpa died 23 years ago. Her house is the same one where my dad and uncles grew up, and the knick-knacks haven’t changed. She still sends birthday cards with stickers (usually cats – she knows her audience) all over the envelopes and, for some reason, consistently misspells my name as “Jesscia.” I feel like I’m making her out to sound like a batty old lady, but she really isn’t.


Not being much of a planner, I tried calling her just a few hours beforehand, but she must have been out. I was never able to reach her by the time I got to her house, so I just sat in my car for a little while in case she showed up. It was close to dinner time, so I figured she’d be back soon.

Well, sure enough, a giant pickup truck pulled up behind me, and out climbed my grandma. No, the truck wasn’t hers, nor was she driving it (though how rad would that have been?); she was with a couple who had brought her back from a visit.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever showed up at Grandma’s house without an immediate family member, especially unannounced, so you might imagine how surprised she was. It’s a good feeling when you can make someone’s day just by showing up, you know?


Anyway, I explained how her house was on the way and that I had tried calling, and oh yeah, here is some apple cake that I made. She was just thrilled and told me how she’d eat the cake with her coffee and freeze what she couldn’t finish.

Then my grandma took me out to dinner at Dairy Queen. How precious is that?

Here is the recipe again. Aside from halving it and baking it in a small bundt pan, I didn’t make any changes. It’s packed with apples and is super moist!


And that is how this cake finally made it to my blog, complete with a story that could have been summed up with, “I gave it to Grandma.” :)

P.S./PSA: National Bundt Day is November 15. Mary the Food Librarian is celebrating it again and encouraging others to join. I’m definitely planning to participate because NaBloPoMo.