We are getting totally SOCKED IN.  I love it!!!  There is nothing more peaceful than waking up to a quiet, relentless snowfall…

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I spend a majority of my mornings like this.. roaring fire, cats, writing in my warm ‘flippies’.  I LOVE MY MORNINGS!!!

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Little Tilla gets it… hanging out in the window sill… It’s just so peaceful.  *swoon*

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Which brings me to our treat of the day.  Hummingbird Cake!   

A buddy I work with is from one of the islands in Guam and he LOVES banana. Our breakfast guys make a banana bread french toast and he’s always taking a nibble here and there. “Oh God, Mendi, this is soooo good. Do you make a banana cake?” 

“Oh yeah, honey. I make a Hummingbird Cake!”

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“What’s that?”- asks EVERYONE.  Poor Hummingbird Cake, always the bridesmaid. 

Hummingbird Cake is a cake made with banana, pineapple, pecans and coconut.  A southern staple, it would probably place third as a contestant in a Cakes of The South beauty pageant. What makes this cake perfect for winter is that it is dense and hearty like a carrot cake, putting meat on your bones after a good ski, but it’s also tropical and will feel like a much needed vacation from the cold!

But hold onto to your ski poles… Because while Hummingbird Cake is a southern staple, it actually has its roots in Jamaica-mon!  It was a cake named after Jamaica’s national bird, the ‘Doctor Bird,’ and according to Wikipedia, was exported off of the island in 1979 “with other local Jamaican recipes in media press kits sent to the USA. The marketing was aimed at American consumers to get them to come to the island. As printed in the March 29, 1979 issue of the Kingston Daily Gleaner.”  THANK YOU JAMAICA!

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The first recipe was printed by Southern Living (sorry Better Homes & Gardens, they got the jump on ya) and won the Kentucky ‘Best Cake Award’ at the state fair that year.  Who can blame them?! The best part?  It is an oil based cake so you pretty much get to throw all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk them together!  Easy peasy!

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The recipe I have always used, I found in Saveur.  However, the old recipe was replaced with a newer version to include coconut.  So my adaptation is a cross between both recipes.  Also, knowing that it has a history of being tropical, rather than Southern, I include a little lime juice and rum in my cream cheese frosting now. Hee hee hee… 

Enjoy!!! “Stay warm and tropical, my friends”… xoxo

 

Hummingbird Cake
Serves 10
A moist tropical cake with banana, pineapple, coconut and pecans, covered in a fluffy key lime, rum cream cheese frosting.
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INGREDIENTS
  1. 3 c. + 3 T. flour
  2. 1 T. cinnamon
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 c. chopped pecans
  6. 1 c. sugar
  7. 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
  8. 3 eggs, beaten
  9. 8 oz. crushed pineapple
  10. 6 overly ripe mashed bananas (about 2 3/4 c.)
  11. 1 1/4 c. oil
  12. 2 tsp vanilla
  13. 1 c. sweetened coconut
  14. 1/2 tsp almond extract
INGREDIENTS FOR FROSTING
  1. 2- 8oz. pkgs cream cheese
  2. 8 T. unsalted butter
  3. 6 c. powdered sugar
  4. 1 tsp vanilla
  5. 2 T. dark rum (to taste)
  6. 1 T. key lime juice (to taste)
FOR GARNISH (optional)
  1. toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  2. 1 c. toasted pecans.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease 3- 9 inch cake pans (10 inch pans work too)
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients and combine thoroughly.
  3. Distribute evenly into 3 pans and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool completely.
TO MAKE FROSTING
  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Add rum and key lime juice to taste.
Notes
  1. **If you have extra banana or pineapple left over in your can, feel free to use it between layers!
  2. **Add powdered sugar to cream cheese and butter slowly or your kitchen will look like a cocaine factory.
  3. **Have extra rum on hand because #Thursday
Adapted from Saveur
Adapted from Saveur
MandiCrocker https://mandicrocker.com/

In honor of the Super Bowl, I’d like to take you all to a different kind of ‘sporting event.’  A few weeks ago, Lliam and I had the chance to drive over to Conconully, Washington to attend their infamous annual Outhouse Races.  That’s right, outhouse races. For a quarter of a century, they’ve been putting outhouses on skis and racing them down a slick road.  It’s insaaaanity.

While I tend to think of my life in Mazama as written straight from the pages of Northern Exposure, Conconully really deserves the nod.  Another town of 200, their community is even more remote and woodsy.  We get the Seattle hikers, bikers and rock climbers. They get all of the rural hunters and fishers.  #respect    

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I wrote about my experience in The Methow Valley News as part of my weekly column that you can read here, but I wanted to relive the nail biting, hilarious glory through photos that paint a better picture. 

For starters, this is ‘Solo Cup.’  Solo Cup has performed previously in Conconully.  Many of the teams come back year after year for continual glory. Who wouldn’t?!

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This collection of yahoos called their outhouse ‘Skidmark,’ a bold yet simple design that ‘left a mark’ on the attending public.  

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When we arrived, we heard the announcer’s voice booming through the streets, “Up next, the Krap-a-nator and Hooooooly Crapper!”  He also calls for the Omak Stampede so this shiz is LEGIT. 

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Each team heads up to the starting line…  There is a rider inside and two pushers that run down the raceway.  And there are a series of races!  Or heats, or… you know, I’m not really certain their is a ‘technical term’ for any of this.  

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 The Carlton Stoolbus.  LOVE IT!!!
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This outhouse was designed by Beneficial In Home Care. Looks like old folks to me! 

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There is a heat for men, women, children, teens, family and seniors.  Pictured here is ‘Daisy Deuce.’ Where ma ladies at?  On the shitter… 

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The ‘Holy Crapper’ in action.  It was a brutally cold day out and yet the streets were lined with families enjoying this wondrous, nonsensical frivolity.  I think I was out of my body most of the day.  I couldn’t believe this was real!  It was like a confusing dream… I mean, there’s skiing and shitting. This takes multitasking to a whole new level!
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Look at his guy… There’s so much joy to be found in poop!  Who knew?!

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These are folks from The Sage Shop, Omak’s premiere retailer of hash.   And by ‘premiere’ I mean, probably the only one. 

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Carlton Stool Bus won People’s Choice for their outhouse. Can you blame them?  Look how happy their little pooper is in the window!!!

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The day was ridden with good clean family poop jokes.  There was an outhouse from The Omak Chronicle there, “flushing out the news since 1889.”  When I tried to joke about starting a group from our paper called The Methow Valley NewsPooper, my editor deleted it from my column. I have no idea why.  This is serious business. 

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American patriotism!!  I think these ladies were my favorite actually.

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You don’t want to disappoint Uncle Sam!

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So, this is when shit gets REAL.  After all the heats, there is also THE BUCKET RACE.  

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The pushers literally put a bucket on their head and race down the road with only the voice of the rider to guide them. THEY WEAR BUCKETS AND RACE.  THEY ARE BLIND.  RUNNING DOWN ICE.  

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Hay bales were obliterated, fences knocked down… Outhouses flipped over.  It was dangerous and painful.  Lliam could NOT stop laughing.  

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The final race of the day is the Obstacle Race.  The hay bales are lined up like a barrier across the road.  The team has to race to each line of hay bales, pick up their outhouse and carry it to the other side and continue racing.  Many totally CHEATED and just plowed through the bales unable to slow down.  I’m still angry at this unsportsmanlike conduct. 

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Miss Omak Stampede , Michaela Allen, was there to hand out prizes!  If you won that day you got a little wooden outhouse.  That is what you won. Huge honor. 

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This was the rider for the Beneficial In Home Care.  She even stuffed the junk in her trunk. She was AWESOME!  

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Anyway, folks, if you ever find yourself in Washington next January, Conconully’s shit show is where it’s at! You won’t want to miss it!  It really is the absolute BEST of small town fun!!! We had a blast.  🙂

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