Ernest asked for a lemon flavored cake. The rest was up to us.
Frank used the 1-2-3-4 recipe on the Swansdown cake flour box, with the exception that he whipped the egg whites and folded them in, as was described in a similar Joy of Cooking recipe. He also added the zest of two lemons, and the juice of one, for the requested lemon flavor. The cake came out denser than we expected but was still moist and delicious.
The Lemon Frosting recipe was from my 1972 Joy of Cooking. Powdered sugar, butter, lemon juice and lemon zest.
We jazzed it up with raspberry filling: 1 package fresh raspberries, some water, 1/4 cup sugar, cook and mash berries. Mix some cornstarch with a bit of water, stir in, cook until thickened. Cool.
The Handy crew liked it a lot.
The raspberry candle holders were my idea. So easy! Ernest said, "There better be 18 candles!" There were.
The original purpose of this post was to show Homer on sentry duty, waiting patiently for his dinner.
But then I noticed how absolutely disgusting my kick plates were. Truthfully, I don't look down there all that much. They really should have been made of black material. When Handy built them, he only had white melamine. When he built the bathroom cabinets, I made sure he got some black!
So I spent much of my day lying on my back on the floor scrubbing the kick plates. And then I scrubbed the floor, because a couple days ago we had given Homer some medicine and instead of swallowing, he ran through the house dribbling white spots all over the floor. And now I think I'll go scrub myself, because house cleaning is a dirty sweaty workout.
OK, if this is a real Ferrari, it's worth millions. (You can bet Handy did some extensive internet research on this one.) Who in their right mind would put a multi-million dollar car on a trailer by the side of the freeway?
That middle of the night crash that jars you out of a hard-fought sleep. Burglars, your mind thinks. Intruders. Space invaders. As consciousness returns, you realize it was the metallic clatter of a Tiny-toppled cat food bowl. But since the noise didn't rouse any other human household members, you snuggle back into your cocoon and try try try to get back asleep again. You have a rare success. The crunch of kibble underfoot becomes someone else's morning discovery.
Later that morning, the thundercats, Fifi and Tiny, are busy tearing up and down the stairs, running laps around the couch, teasing the curtains behind the TV.
Homer wonders why they are so busy. He takes his leisurely morning security patrol around the premises, then settles in near the coffee cup for the first of many morning naps.
UPDATE: Thank you, Common Household Mom, for this:
I recently read an article about a couple naming their baby after the car in which she was born. I had a laugh over that, because my mother always told me that if I had been a boy, I would have been named after my parents' car. Not Bug or Beetle or Volkie but Craig, after the car's license plate letters which she said was KRG.
But when I came across these old pictures and saw a different plate on them, I thought perhaps that was a tall tale she was telling me. However, thanks to a Facebook thread from my father's cousin, I found that California regularly issued cars new plates until 1963. So her story holds up, after all.
Here's the car's story, from my dad's autobiography:
of my friends suggested that if we wanted a small car, we should check out the
VW beetle. The salesman handed
us the key to his personal VW and told us to bring it back in a couple of
hours. We took the car and wrung it
out. It was fun and agile through town,
but slow when we drove up Highway 24 through the Orinda tunnel. The best it could do up the hill was 45 mph
in third gear. That was disappointing
but it was another story entirely when we turned off the freeway right after
the tunnel. We went up Fish Ranch Road,
and then along Grizzly Peak Boulevard.
Wow. I had never driven a car
that handled so well. We were passing
all the American cars.
we bought the Beetle, we checked other small cars. There was no Renault dealer in the area. The Morris Minor dealer took us for a ten
block ride, but didn’t offer to let us drive.
The Austin dealer took us on a very sedate drive, then let me drive it
the last few blocks back to the shop. I
could have insisted on doing more driving, but after even these short rides we
could see they were both stodgy, and neither measured up to the VW.
Nash Metropolitan had just been advertised, so we went to the Nash showroom in
Richmond. They had a display model on
the floor - minus the engine - if you can believe that. It was ugly, too. The salesman didn’t have a
car to test drive, but he offered to take our order for a car. You can guess what our answer was.
went back to Berkey-Lee Volkswagen and put in our order for a beige car with a
sun-roof. It cost roughly a dollar a
pound, about $1600 for 1600 pounds of car.
We financed it through the Credit Union and waited
impatiently for it to arrive. VWs were
shipped from Germany on a boat that unloaded in San Francisco. I heard the salesman briefing someone on where to
go to take delivery. Cars were shipped
with empty gas tanks. He told the driver
to board the boat, put the car in neutral and coast down the ramp to a gas
station on the nearest corner, then put in a gallon of gas, enough to get the
car back to Berkeley. Berkey-Lee was a
no frills operation.
car we ordered was advertised to have twenty-four horsepower. One of the best things about the VW is that
they didn’t have to come out with a cosmetic change for a new model every
year. Improvements weren’t announced
with the hoopla of a new model. A very
nice improvement was that our car was one of the first with thirty horsepower, a
very nice improvement. This was thirty
DIN horsepower. A few years later VW started
advertising SAE horsepower: 30 DIN was the same as 36 SAE!
VW was the hit of the day when I drove it to work. I gave demonstration rides at noon for
days. It was a fun car to drive, and
cheap to buy and operate, but it did lack certain amenities. There was no gas
gauge. Instead the gas tank had a
one-gallon dimple in the bottom. When
the motor stopped for lack of gas, there was a foot-operated lever to switch
the gas line to the very bottom of the dimple.
Then you had thirty-some miles to find gas. There was no air conditioning, not with only
30 horsepower to drive the car.
could pack an amazing amount of stuff in the car. With only two in the car, you could take out
the rear seat and seat-back. The
passenger seat was also easily removable.
With the sunroof open, quite bulky things fit in the car, including
Christmas trees and ladders.
in the summer of 1954 we took our first long trip in the VW, driving and
camping along the coast north to Olympic National Park and then taking the
ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria on Vancouver Island. More than fifty years later they are still
using the same ferry, the Coho, on this line.
All along the way, ours was the first VW people had seen. Every place we stopped, people clustered
around us to inspect the car. We had to
(were eager to?) open both the front trunk and the rear engine compartment. It was the right choice for us, fun to drive
the 1950's the typical American car had a soft suspension that made it quiver
like a bowl of Jello. To negotiate a
sharp turn in the mountains, the driver had to slow almost to a stop. Once around the turn, though, his overpowered
car accelerated much faster than the VW could.
It seemed to be a point of pride for the driver of a big car not to use
a pull-out to let a little VW go by. I
developed a rather dicey passing technique that worked, or I wouldn’t be here
writing this. I am not recommending
it. Not only was the VW faster in the
bends than American cars, it also had superior braking. I would hang back a little, then accelerate
as the next bend loomed. When the driver
ahead hit his brakes, I made my decision. If the road ahead was clear, I had
enough speed to pass. If a car was
coming from the opposite direction, I could brake and drop behind again. I never had any close calls doing this, but
then I never met a VW driver coming from the opposite direction and using the
same technique. I probably made a lot
of enemies with this technique. One time I passed a hot car coming down out
of the southern part of the Sierra Nevada.
We were about ten miles out on the flat when the car I had passed came
roaring by. We were doing 65 mph, and he
was doing well over ninety.