Blogging Misadventures, Or, A Monkish Break and Enter

We moved into our new home late last week, and this morning I made our first ‘proper’ breakfast here. The menu included freshly squeezed blood orange juice, which was so beautiful that we decided to head onto the back porch for a quick photo shoot.

Once the pictures were taken, Brent turned the doorknob to re-enter the house, but nothing happened. The door was locked. Fine time for us to realize the back door has some kind of auto-lock feature.

Of course, since we had just stepped onto the porch for a few minutes we didn’t take our keys with us. We also didn’t take our coats. Although the weather’s been unseasonably mild, it was still cold, it being February after all. At least I was dressed. Brent, on the other hand, was wearing only a robe. Yes, only.

Panic began to set in. What to do? We just moved in and I haven’t given any of the kids a key yet. The other doors were locked. We had no cell phones with us. Fortunately, I remembered that I had opened the bedroom window for some fresh air earlier in the morning. Thank goodness!

Dash to the garage for the ladder. No ladder (it’s still at the other house). Brent carried one of the patio chairs to the window instead, and stood wobbling on its spring-mounted seat to remove the screen. This involved some snapping noises and bending of the frame (a little damage seemed entirely worthwhile at that point). He then somehow managed to open the window, heave himself the rest of the distance to the window sill, and catapult himself into the bedroom. Did I mention he was wearing only a robe? Fortunately, he didn’t flash the neighbours or scrape anything vital on the concrete sill.

I had the presence of mind to grab the camera and record this misadventure for posterity. I think the photos turned out quite well, considering I was laughing uncontrollably.

It rather looks like a B&E being committed by Friar Tuck, don’t you think? And if a monk were going to break into my house, what better treasure to be seeking than this fine applesauce, spice, fruit and nut cake. A rather medieval and heavenly scented cake, good with a tankard of ale although we prefer coffee. Worth risking a few days in the stocks, I think.

Applesauce Spice Cake

I found this recipe in the Martha Stewart Cookbook a few years ago, and it’s become a favourite. Sometimes I bake it as cupcakes, and it makes a wonderfully portable snack. Either way, it’s fragrant with spices, and the cake itself is light despite all the fruit and nuts. I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe. Here is my adaptation.

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan. If making muffins, put 18 muffin cups into muffin trays.

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup applesauce, heated

Cream the butter, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and combine well.

Combine the flour and other dry ingredients and mix well.

Put the raisins, cranberries and walnuts in another bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of the flour mixture and toss to coat.

Add the flour to the butter mixture, and beat until incorporated. Stir in the applesauce, then add the fruit and nuts and stir until just combined.

Put the batter into the prepared cake pan, or distribute evenly among the muffin cups. Bake 55 minutes for the cake, 25 minutes for muffins. A cake tester will come out clean when done.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes or so, then turn out onto a rack to complete cooling.

This cake may be worth committing larceny for, but now that you have the recipe it’s probably a better idea to just make your own.


  1. Great sequence of photos! Glad he didn’t get hurt but, seeing his feet like that, ya know he just had to have tumbled into the room. I’ve made similar entrances but, thankfully, I’ve been fully dressed each time. Your apple spice cake sounds delicious! Say what you will about Martha, her recipes are really quite good.

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