Most of my kids are not home from college yet. Jeff's graduating next week, Kellie wants to be "Independent Playtime Duck" and stay in her college apartment and wait tables through the summer, Shannon is still embroiled in Law School finals (Tax Law today!), and Cass discovered on Thursday night that her car had no brakes. Jeff brought her the 2 hours back to WVU to wait until tomorrow or Wednesday, when the parts for her car arrive and it gets fixed.
So, yesterday morning, I got up to find this:
A chrysanthemum plant from Patrick, cards made by Mark and Ryan, bouquets of buttercups and violets picked by Mark and Thor, and a poem written by Mark. It was setting up to be a fine day.
About 1PM, I decided I needed a coffee cake, so I made one. Around 2, the kids started calling, about one per hour. It was a good day indeed.
Then, around 7, Patrick came dancing into my kitchen with his quilt on his head. Or so I thought, until I told him to get out of my kitchen, and he appeared at the passthrough, and announced that he wasn't in the kitchen. So I told Mark to take the sofa pillow and Patrick's quilt off his head, and off came the quilt, with Dan announcing that he didn't have a pillow on his head.
Now, how wonderful is that? My son decided on Saturday night that he'd surprise me for Mother's Day and drive up from Charlotte for a couple of weeks' visit! Of course, I told him he probably just came for the roast chicken.
I never announced my birthdays, Mother's Day or any other holidays on which I might receive gifts or attention when my kids were growing up. I felt that they shouldn't feel obligated to do anything for me. Unless a mother is a total screwup, her children automatically love her. But the fact that my children WANT to call me a couple of times a month just to chat, make a point to call me on "my" holidays, and one drove TEN HOURS to come home to see me, says I did something right, because they seem to even LIKE me!
I think what I did right is things like this coffee cake. If you want a breakfast that goes together in a few minutes, cooks in under a half hour, and uses only one pie pan, one measuring cup and one fork for mixing, this is for you!
ONE DISH CARAMEL TOPPED COFFEE CAKE
9" pie plate, sprayed
1-3/4 cups flour
2 envelopes or 2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter
3/4 cups very warm water (about 120F)
Do not preheat your oven! Spray the pie plate. Stir together the dry ingredients with your fork. Melt the butter in your measuring cup and pour it into the dry ingredients. Add the water, stir until it forms a dough, and spread it out evenly in the pie plate. Next, make the caramel topping:
1/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Pour the corn syrup in your measuring cup. Add the butter, and microwave until the butter melts. Stir in the brown sugar. Sprinkle the pecans over the rising cake dough, pour the caramel over the cake, pouring more over the center than the edges. It will run to cover the cake evenly.
Place the cake in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 350F and set the timer for 25 minutes. When it's done, top with a glaze made of 1 cup confectioner's sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and about 1 tbsp heavy cream. Enjoy, and revel in the fact that you've only dirtied one fork and one measuring cup to make this delight!