Monday, February 12, 2007

Woodstove Cooking: Cabin Carrot Cake

Here is another version of my wood stovetop Cabin Cake. I have a small floating garden at my cabin (keeps critters away) and one of my crops is carrots. The picture to the left is from early summer. Believe it or not, this year’s crop lasted until February with this final bountiful picking of carrots. When carrots are this plentiful, I substitute carrots for apples in my Cabin Cake recipe and top it with cream cheese frosting. Yum!!

Cabin Carrot Cake

¼ cup raisins
¾ cup grated carrots
2 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cloves or allspice
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup water

Heat ingredients together in a pan until melted and the raisins plump. Cool slightly.

1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) if desired

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and add the wet mixture. Stir until blended. Add pecans (if desired). Pour into a greased and floured 8X4” loaf pan and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees in a conventional oven. In my wood stovetop oven it takes about one hour. When a toothpick comes out clean, it is done.

Cream Cheese Frosting

¼ cup butter (or margarine) softened
4 oz. cream cheese softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Blend butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and whip by hand until smooth. Mix in vanilla. There is more than enough frosting, but Wayne never complains. – Margy

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Power of Mother Nature

Thanks to a sunny day, Wayne and I got a long awaited quad ride. Our friend John's quad was still in the shop (his carport), so we went on our own. John has been our guide to the back country since we came to Powell River. His suggestion for today's solo was Khartoum Lake.

We've been to Khartoum several times. The first was by kayak up Lois Lake, through the Lois River and into Khartoum Lake. That trip we camped at the Forest Service campsite. We used the same campsite for the book launch party for Up the Main, the second book in Coastal BC Stories series. Friends came by car, truck and quad for a lakeside fire and BBQ.

Large trees snapped like matchsticks.
Today's trip was a different kind of experience. This winter brought devastating storms to Coastal British Columbia. Our quad ride up Stillwater Main and Third Lake Road to Khartoum Lake was through a path of destruction. High winds snapped and uprooted huge second growth trees. Sections of the roadway looked as if they had been logged, but the ravaged stumps told a different story.

Washed out bridge covered in rocks.
The bridge near the Khartoum Lake campsite was washed out. The approaches were gone and the center packed with huge boulders and logs. Imagine the power that caused it. Runoff from heavy rains must have been blocked upstream.

When the water was released, the river's level raised, washing out the bridge and scouring trees in its path.

Tree bark stripped by the raging river.

Sometimes, when we are sheltered in our city homes, we forget the true power of nature. A trip just off the beaten path can be an awakening experience. -- Margy