So much fun this past week. My mom, aka Baba had visitors in from our home town. It's significant because when you're in your late 80's so many of the "friends" have either passed on or are in retirement facilities. To see the three "golden girls" as we've been calling them together and in action was nothing short of hysterical.
They all were catching up on the gossip since they were last together. Who's still alive, who died, who has Alzheimers and where everybody is. This banter went on literally for days. The best is that they're all really hard of hearing and although it's not too funny to poke fun at people with reduced hearing, here's a look at the conversation:
Baba: How was the flight?
R (friend #1): No...my pants aren't too tight.
H (friend #3): What are you talking about, the seats on the plane were terrific, there was lots of room.
Baba: nods and smiles as though she got her answer but in reality didn't hear a thing.
R : Giz, congratulations on your daughter's wedding. You must be so happy.
Giz: Thank you R, yes I'm very proud.
Baba: Why are you complaining, R isn't talking too loud.
You get the drift. A total alien conversation that they all enjoyed and laughed together like old times.
My brother and I planned a BBQ for the golden girls. Usually, I'm the one who brings dessert so I thought that bringing a coffee cake a) wouldn't upset any of their stomachs and b) didn't have sweet icing all over it.
I decided on one of Ina Garten's recipes - Sour Cream Coffee Cake.
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) at room-temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I reduced this to just over a cup)
3 extra large eggs at room-temperature (I used 4 large eggs)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)**
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
** If you don't have cake flour, you can substitute 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus 1/4 cup cornstarch.
For the Streusel
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4-5 minutes until light. Add the eggs, one at t time, then add the vanila and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.
Sor the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix the walnuts, if desired.
Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel-side up, onto a serving plate.
The recipe also calls for a glaze made by mixing 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 Tablespoons of real maple syrup adding drops of water to make the glazy runny and then drizzling over the cake with a fork or spoon. I didn't do this.
The end conversation when this was served was:
Baba: What a beautiful cake - but I don't eat sweets
R: Ok, I'll have your piece
H: I don't eat dessert but maybe just a little piece
...they raved about the cake and while they continued their chatting I cut it into individual servings, wrapped them all up and Baba took it home for "just a little something with tea".