see note (and a giveaway!)

Up there you see the finale to BDN 2012, in the form of my husband's birthday pies. Festive, right? For once, pie was my ally. I'll tell you how I made them later on in the week. For the moment, they are just helping me out by setting the party mood.

It's cake week.  Cake and presents.  Does that sound like a party?  I hope so.  The R&P is 100 posts old today, and even though I know a blog giveaway can end shamefully, with only four entries and a serious re-examination of one's direction in life, I am willing to take the risk.  I know who they are, and I like those four people very much.

I will come right out and tell you myself (so no one has to point it out) that today's post is re-hashing a recipe from two months ago, but I do have good reasons for this shameless re-broadcast: one, I told you then it was supposed to be made with rhubarb, which at that time was just a glimmer in springtime's eye, and now I have rhubarb galore to make it with; and two, it is one of those CHECK. ME. OUT. recipes that are simple to whip up and yet make you feel like a million dollars.  Or a hundred, anyways.

When you tip this bad boy out of its pan, odds are you will be greeted with a beautiful sight, and you'll feel pretty pleased with yourself.  Even if part of it sticks to the pan, it's easy to patch it together to make it presentable, and it will still taste just as good, especially with a masking glob of vanilla ice cream.  I once agreed to make 8 of these for a bake-sale at our kindergarten, and it's a testament both to my undiagnosed ADD and the merits of the recipe that each time I made it (occasions separated in time by mere hours), I forgot to add something (something different each time), and every time I got cake.

What more can a recipe offer, other than an auto-pilot setting?

If you'd like to open your mailbox next week and find a care package of treats and gizmos, leave a comment here, describing something you've made that makes you feel swift and jiggy. Something that gives you that little butt-waggly "HA!  Guess who made that: ME!" feeling.  Maybe you made it up and maybe you got the recipe somewhere; maybe you've made it once and maybe you make it every week--I am not fussy.  U.N.-designated observers will ensure the selection process is totally random from all (four) entries received by Friday, June 1 at midnight, and the Big News will be posted Monday.  Suspense!  Intrigue!  Cake!  What a week.

rhubarb upside-down cake

  • 4 T butter
  • scant 2 cups 1/4" slices rhubarb (from about 4 stalks)
  • 4-5 T brown sugar
  • 1 ½  c all-purpose flour (a GF substitute works fine)
  • ¼  c golden flax meal
  • 1 ½  t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • ½ c buttermilk
  • ¼ c milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2t vanilla
  • 1 stick butter, very soft
  • ¾ c sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a cast iron skillet, melt the 4T butter until foamy.  Sprinkle the brown sugar as evenly as possible over the butter and continue to heat until it is mostly melted (not all of it will be).  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle the rhubarb slices evenly over this mixture--you should have one flat layer covering all of the sugar.  Don't stir.

It is ideal if all the dairy and eggs are at room temperature here, though as long as the butter is soft, it will all work out fine. Put all the remaining ingredients in a bowl (a kitchen aid/stand mixer is ideal).  Mix on low speed until everything is combined, then mix at medium high speed until the batter is uniformly fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Glop the batter over the rhubarb mixture and gently even out, trying not to disturb the rhubarb layer.  Bake until cake tests done in center (30 min or so).  Cool in pan, then loosen sides with a butter knife and invert onto a serving plate. Re-affix anything that came loose/stayed behind in the pan.