Bradley loves the color orange. Bradley is four. He's my grandson. His mom and dad have nicknamed him The Kraken. Yes, I'm biased. Yes, I do think he's the cutest, smartest, funniest kid around. His mom is wonderful about sharing the funnies he says on Facebook. Here's a sample of the most recent:
"Him: Momma, here's the deal, I been going round and round, and I decided I no need a rest period today. I going to do Jedi training in playroom instead. Good idea?
The cousins stripped off their clothes for a dip in the pool at Yaya's house. When it was time to get dressed, Elliott: Which underwear is mine? Bradley: I can tell. (Picks up one pair and takes a big wiff.) These are yours.
I made nearly identical lunches for The Kraken and The Siren. Both threw fits when I set their plates in front of them. Rather than throw a tantrum myself, I left the room to get a coke. When I returned both gremlins were silently chewing. The magical fix? . . . They switched lunches while I was out of the room.
The kraken: Mom, how does daddy poke people at work? Me: I don't know. You should ask daddy all questions regarding giving shots. I can answer anything else. The Kraken: What about thundercats? Me: Okay. All shot and thundercat questions to daddy. The rest to me. The Kraken: What about cars? . . . "
Needless to say, Kara's commentary provides both Connie and me with lots of entertainment. In fact, the only reason Connie ever looks at my Facebook is to see the latest Kara's written.
We made it to Columbus for Rosie's 2nd birthday but Bradley's celebration was in the middle of a week and we couldn't get there for his. Between my stepson David being on call several weekends (he's a pediatric anesthesiologist so if he gets called in he's gone for hours and hours) and their family vacation and our wacko schedule, we'd not seen them for a couple of months. It was time for Grampy and Grammy to pack the cooler and head to Columbus.
Shortly before our visit, I found an article in Food Network Magazine that had me giddy with anticipation. Directions for frosting colors. Orange was 90 drops of yellow and 33 of red. Bright orange, that is. There were probably 5-10 different shades of orange shown. The article also gave a recipe for white frosting so you've got a base from which to work. How cool is that???
I decided to make a cockeyed cake for two reasons. One, it's like making mud pies and Bradley could help. Two, I really don't like to bake so relying on a family favorite that's easy, moist and just chocolatey enough was a great plan. Cockeyed Cake has been my family's go-to cake for as long as I can remember. In fact, it's on page 92 of my I Hate to Cook Book. Even though there are several recipes in there that are go-to's for me, the book falls open to page 92.
End result? Bradley had an orange cake. We all had my favorite chocolate cake. Kara has a cheat sheet with tons of different colors for frosting. I do love being a Grammy!
1 1/2 c flour, sifted
3 T cocoa
1 t baking soda
1 c sugar
1/2 t salt
5 T cooking oil
1 T vinegar
1 t vanilla
1 c cold water
Preheat your oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients and dump them into a greased 9x9 cake pan. If you've got a phobia about washing dishes, you can mix the dry ingredients in the cake pan. Whatever. Then, make three wells in the dry ingredients. Pour the oil into one, the vinegar ino the second and the vanilla into the third.
Pour the cold water over everything and start mixing. Yes, you can also do all of that in a mixing bowl then pour it into the cake pan. Again, whatever you prefer. Once everything is mixed, pop the pan in the oven for thirty minutes. You can dust the cake with powdered sugar or frost it. You can make two and make a layer cake. Or double it and bake it in a 9x13 pan. Whatever you do, this is a fantastic cake!
adapted from the I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken