Friday, 23 March 2012

One Year of Inappropriate Personal Disclosure. And a Foodie Friday to boot.

Has it really been a whole year that I’ve been spilling my guts to you about the most intimate aspects of my life? You now know as much about me as my husband, except for that thing that makes me say “Um, I don’t think so”.
I want to thank you, really, for reading this stuff. I get such a kick out of humiliating my mother and it’s great that I have a receptive audience. It also keeps me off the streets.
Nah, we all know it’s a constant state of heightened anxiety that keeps me off the streets.
But you get what I mean.
So, it being one year anniversary of My Complete Lack of Boundaries, and also Foodie Friday, I thought I’d make a it a birthday cake.
This is no ordinary cake. This cake was served at the wedding of the Rev. Chancellor and Mary Teeter, my great-grandparents, on July 6, 1885. I have never made it before. It is labour intensive.
My Great Grandmother, Mary Zimmerman, was not a real looker, but she was a fine lady. 

Kinda looks a little like the Wicked Witch of the West. With a flower.

When she consented to marry a Methodist minister she let her pierced ears grow in, as it was just NOT ON for a minister’s wife to have pierced ears. 
Pierced ears? Never. Tattoos, ok.

She had four children and moved house every couple of years to new little towns where Great Grand-pappy Chancellor would take up preaching to unpierced Methodist congregations across Canada. 

How did he get bearded and bald so fast? And why does my Great-Aunt Betha look like a tiny monkey in a dress?

Ruffled collars for ALL!

So here’s the cake. My mom says that preparing the coconut is a lof of work but that it’s so pretty and tasty that it’s worth the effort. Jury’s out on that one.

Makes 2 - 8” layers. One and a half times the recipe makes 3 layers.
Preheat oven to 325. Have racks in centre of oven with enough room on the lower rack to allow for cake to rise if you need to use two racks.
Melt together and cool:
1.5 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 heaping Tablespoon butter
1 C white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 C milk
1.5 C flour
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
Beat all ingredients well for 5 minutes
Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla
Bake in cake pans (I lightly buttered and powdered with unsweetened cocoa powder for easier removal) for 25 minutes. Remove pans and cool completely.
Drain a fresh coconut, being sure that the juice is not sour (if the juice is sour than the coconut is no good). 

Pierce coconut in one of the "eyes". Best to use a Philly's mug for draining.

See the drips? See the bits of husk? Impossible to avoid, dammit.

Hammer lightly around the middle of the coconut intil it breaks in half. 

After much hammering, the coconut reveals it's glory

This takes a little time, it’s not instant, just so as you know. 

With a large, sharp-edged spoon, and using almost the whole nut, scoop out round flakes of coconut. Avoid getting any of the husk in the white flakes. Put the flakes on paper towels to dry the oil. Use empty coconut shells to make horsey clop-clop sounds.

Not fluffy round flakes. Look like potato peelings. Not pretty.

This can be prepared ahead, and stored for several days in a plastic bag in the fridge, along with the paper towels to keep absorbing the oil.
In top of a double boiler, place:
2 egg whites 
1/4 C light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon creat of tartar
1/3 C boiling water
1 C white sugar
pinch salt
Beat over boiling water with hand mixer for 5-7 minutes until icing retains a clean cut with a knife. Fold in 1 teaspoon vanilla. This provides enough icing for 2 or 3 layers of a 8” layer cake.

Probably could have got a bit more fluffed up, but the bowl couldn't accommodate any more and the frosting was spattering everywhere. Seven minute frosting is hard to just wipe up after it's hardened a bit - just a fyi. Sigh.

Some of the coconut flakes can be mixed together with a portion of the icing to make a filling between layers. Ice cake with frosting and place coconut flakes all over top and sides, as much as it will hold.
Layers with icing in between

Iced cake! Happy Birthday to Blog!

Cake interior.

Brian's piece o' cake.

Ok, so the coconut part of this cake, for me, was a disaster - you can see that I didn’t put the coconut on the cake. I didn’t have my Grandma Reid’s magic sharp coconut scraping spoon, so I tried using a knife and a vegetable peeler, but I just ended up with thick grey slabs of coconut dotted with chunks of coconut husk. So, today’s version is sans coconut. Next time I make this, and I will make this again because Brian tells me - “Cake. Cake is good”, I will buy unsweetened flaked coconut from a health food store where the flakes might be bigger and there might be fewer sulphites used. 

So, once again, thanks for reading my blog. I hope I can keep it up for another year. I might run out of ideas and start repeating myself, which is ok, because I'm old and forgetful.




  1. Thank you for your blog. Keep it up, I like reading it. You always keep me smile and I love your recipes

    hugs and kisses from germany,

  2. Congratulations on your blog anniversary ELpoo!
    As Michael says, it's super-fun to read!
    And the cake, you know how I feel about that, YUMMI!

    In sweatpants, kisses,

  3. It's been fun stalking... I mean "reading" you.

  4. I enjoy reading. Recipe and pictures, they are awesome.


  5. Happy blogoversary, Elpoo! Yay!!! You have an adorable blog. Glad I found it. :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment.

  6. thank you for the continued laughs, elpoo. you are the wind beneath my wings for sure.

    jules xo

  7. Wow, I didn't realize that your blog was still a yearling when I started reading it... Congrats!

    In belated celebration, I will listen to Cinderellen tonight for the first time (finally checked my mailbox today, and there it was) while I contemplate the mysteries of coconut flakes and beruffled monkey children.

    Thanks for sticking it out long enough for me to have wandered by -- I'm very much enjoying following along!