• So Easy A Blogger Could Do It

    So you come home with 20 pounds of apples in a bag. No need to panic, I am here to tell you what to do. In about an hour or two you could be eating the best apple cake you have ever tried in your life. In fact, it so good that you will try to eat it all while declining tempting offers to exchange some of the cake for money and/or sexual favors. The cake is called “Sharlotka” and yes, there will be people who will tell you that this is not the right way to make it. Tell them to go f make their own Sharlotka, because this is the one and only way to make it and they don’t know what they are talking about. I would also like to warn “the creative types” not to post here with comments like “I added a pinch of salt to the recipe, some chicken, vegetables and a pie crust and now it’s a chicken pot pie”. I will ban you from this blog without regret.

    For this recipe you will need a baking dish with flat bottom, some apples, 6 eggs, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of flour. That’s it.

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    Peel, core and slice the apples. If you are a lady, cut the apples into uniform cubes of about 1/4 inches. If you are a gentleman, reach for your favorite (apple-peeling) tool-device.

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    This machine cores, peels and slices the apples in one smooth motion. There is no excuse for not having it. Women and small children love it. Hack processed apples into smaller pieces. Peeled apples may brown after sitting on the counter. If you care, you can sprinkle them with lemon juice; I personally don’t care – it’s a cake,not a painting.

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    Place the apples into your baking dish. Here I clearly went overboard, peeling them was so much fun (unless you are a lady) that I went through a few too many. Don’t worry, you can never over-apple the apple cake.

    Now proceed to separate the yolks from the whites. Whipping egg whites is easier if they are cold and no particles of yolks were accidentally mixed in. However, I did just that (not on purpose) and everything turned out OK. If you are an older person like me you would remember that back in the day we whipped egg whites with a whisk.  It was tedious, boring and exhausting process. Fancy households had mechanical egg beaters, still a hassle and lots of cranking. Then came electric mixers and only here my dream to own a stand mixer finally came true. If you have one, place egg whites in the bowl and slowly raise the speed to “high”. If you don’t have the right equipment you can use any of the lesser tools.

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    You will need to attain stiff peaks (not my stripper name) but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Slowly add sugar and continue whipping. The foam will become shiny and you will not be able to feel sugar crunch on your teeth. This may take 5 minutes or so. P1020193

    Add egg yolks and whip some more.

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    Add flour and get it to blend in, no one likes unbaked chunks of flour in the cake, you won’t get any points for a crappy product. Pour the mixture on top of the apples and spread it evenly.

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    In a 350F preheated oven it goes for an hour. Leave it alone.

    In the meantime you still have your apple peeler out and plenty more apples to use. Add a small amount of apple juice, Sprite, water of other tasty liquid to a sauce pan and place it on the medium-low heat. Peel and slice as many apples as will fit.

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    Pour some honey on top. Do not go crazy with it unless you like it too sweet.

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    Cover and cook on medium low until apples look and feel soft.

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    Use potato masher to make some apple sauce of the desired consistency.

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    Let it cool, it really burns when hot.
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    Now get the cake out of the oven. Test it by sticking a toothpick in the middle, if it comes out clean, you are done.

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    After the cake cools, get your favorite bottle of Homewood Hooch from the fridge and enjoy the cake.

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    And this (to quote John McCain), “my friends”, is how you bake “Sharlotka”.

    Update: My blogger friend Johnna made her own gluten-free version.

  • Remember the 80’s?

    Every time I go to the library to look at women spin some microfilm, I am always enthralled with the simple details of daily life – ads, job section, headlines – the things I routinely overlook in today’s newspaper paint a captivating picture of the recent and not so recent past.

    I didn’t live here in the 80’s, so it’s even more interesting to me, but I am sure for many of you some of these random clips of the Kansas City Star from July 19th, 1981 may feel nostalgic, curious or funny. It’s amazing how much has changed in 30 years and, at the same time, many things are still the same.

    Some headlines may still be recognizable…

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  • Old Photos: Back To The Future Of the KCMSD

    I usually stay out of the KCMO school-related topics, but when I read about another time-wasting event, I remembered a few old photos I bookmarked some time ago that fit the occasion. The year is 1950:

    Pre-election Parade for the Kansas City tax vote (1950)

    Pre-election Parade for the Kansas City tax vote.© Time Inc. Lisa Larsen

    Pre-election Parade for Kansas City tax vote.© Time Inc. Lisa Larsen

    Pre-election Parade for Kansas City tax vote. (1950)

    Pre-election Parade for Kansas City tax vote. (1950).© Time Inc. Lisa Larsen

    Five dollar prize if you find Dan on one of these trucks.

    More 1950 elections.

  • Rogers, AR Spits On Funk’s Front Porch

    Being my own awesome tipster I took this picture of the billboard recently placed around 17th and Jefferson facing the southbound traffic on the I-35.

    Not only this billboard is in direct view of the few coveted Kansas City visitors who are probably attending one of the “bored meetings”; Mayor Funky himself can probably see it from his vantage point high atop the City Hall. City of Rogers, AR is poaching guests straight from the Funk’s Front Porch.

    It’s not unusual to see signs like this on the highways but they are mostly located in the middle of nowhere so a person may be convinced to visit a city down the road. But as any tipster with a map knows – Rogers is not on I-35; in fact I-35 doesn’t even pass through Arkansas.

    The fact that this billboard wasn’t burned down to the ground by the few remaining employees of the Kansas City Convention and Visitor Bureau shows a complete ineffectiveness of the Funky Administration and is probably somehow racist, but I am still working on this part.

    Visit Rogers, it’s only 218 miles away on a different highway!

  • Behind The Iron Curtain: Outdoor Propaganda In The USSR

    I wrote previously the propaganda surrounding the Soviet people at all the usual and unusual places. People nostalgically musing about the “olden days” when there was practically no outdoor advertisement in the USSR, forget about all the hammers and sickles, red banners, communist party slogans and whatever else was supposed to inspire us to keep building, fulfilling, laboring and rejoicing.
    A recently posted set of photos taken by a Western tourist in the 1984 USSR has some great examples of the ubiquitous outdoor propaganda in Moscow and Leningrad. I added some translations to the photos that needed explanation and I recommend you take a minute to flip through the rest of the set in the slide-show at the end of this post.


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