This weekend I am finally going to go visit my sister, Heather, in Santa Cruz. She’s only lived there for 2 years and I’ve been exactly...well never.
I’m also going to see this girl. And meet her husband. I feel like her husband and I will bond over the Muppets, and she will secretly plot my death or worse, never speak to me again. Which, if I were a crier outside of movies, would make me cry.
But back to Heather. She’s two years younger than me and clearly inherited my mom’s artistic talent*, of which I got none. Sure, I may be a compulsive doodler, but I will never produce a self portrait that comes even close to resembling me. Or a human being for that matter.
In going with her artistic side, she actually has a sense of style. Until jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops become a “style”, I have none. I keep waiting for Stacy and Clinton to show up, but they haven’t...yet.
In a nutshell, now that my sister doesn’t live across the hall from me, and is no longer stealing my things, I like her. A lot. And she apparently cares about my comfort and such because she is surrendering her bed to me and sleeping on the couch.
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
You know what else shows love? The fact that I made her favorite cake awhile ago...then ate all of it without her. I like to think she was here in spirit.
Technically, I don’t know if this is her favorite cake. It is however, the only cake I remember her ever making from scratch. She spent one birthday not at all happy with me because I dared to make her birthday cake (yellow cake, chocolate frosting) completely from scratch.
Now that I’m thinking about it, I honestly don’t even know if she remembers this cake. But I do. Because it comes to us from the South, Atlanta to be specific. And while “it was definitely NOT the charming beacon of the South I expected” there was one restaurant that stood out. The Horseradish Grill. 10 years later, and I can still tell you what I ordered...grilled bacon wrapped trout and Oatmeal Spice Cake. The ban on smoking didn't hurt the restaurant at all in my eyes. (I have never smoked, and I live in a state that has banned smoking in restaurants since I was 7...I do not like smoking sections, because even in the non-smoking you still get a side of tobacco laden air with your food).
But this cake. Oh, this was fantastical. And easy. It is the pinnacle of the everyday cake category, but if you wanted to dress it up for company, caramel or cinnamon ice cream never hurt anyone. And it has oats so its clearly suitable for breakfast...right? RIGHT?
The brown sugar coconut pecan topping doesn’t hurt. Unless you take a bite of it when it is just out from the broiler. Then it will hurt. Like hell. So maybe let it cool for a few minutes.
I’m linking to the original recipe here because I think its perfect and decidedly vague like any old family recipe should be. For a touch of clarity, I will suggest that you use a 9”x13” cake pan, and make sure it is broiler safe. Sometimes I add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to the top after its trip under the broiler. I also add a sprinkle of salt to German Chocolate Cake because I think it tends to be too sweet. If you find you have that same problem, you’ll probably like some salt here too.