It’s days like today when I think about my dad the most.
We were never short on anything to talk about but the weather, that’s one thing we could chat about for hours. With the thunderstorms rolling through the area one after the other, I think about how we would have been on the phone right now chatting about the radar. He’d tell me the weather man is full of crap (as usual) and how it’s never going to get warm. I’d be asking him how long before the garden dries out and when I should get it tilled. He’d tell me it’s too early and that I should wait until May to start looking for tomato plants.
God I miss him so much. It hasn’t even been a full month since he died and I already feel like it’s been years.
I try every day to forget, to move on but there are days like today when missing my dad is unavoidable. As much as I’d like to bury my face in my pillow and miss him, I know it’s not healthy. So I turned to baking. I can’t say why but baking always makes me feel better and it’s a much needed distraction.
Despite the fact that it’s the middle of April, it’s pretty darn chilly out. Turning on the oven for a skillet cake is the perfect rainy day distraction.
If nothing else, there will be many more days ahead for me to cry in my pillow. Today, I’ll just eat cake with the people I love here and now.
- ⅓ cup butter
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 7 pineapple rings
- 13 maraschino cherries
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon coconut extract
- 1-1/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ½ cup whole milk
- Preheat the oven to 365 degrees F.
- To make the topping: Melt the butter over medium heat in a 10-1/2 inch cast iron skillet. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and stir. Remove from heat.
- Space the pineapple rings over the brown sugar mixture. Place a cherry in the center of each ring and around the edge of the skillet.
- To make the cake: Beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add and beat in the egg, salt, baking powder, vanilla, and coconut flavor.
- Add the flour alternately with the milk, mixing at medium speed and beginning and ending with the flour just until smooth.
- Carefully spread the cake batter over the pineapple rings in an even layer. Some of the cherries will poke through, that’s not a problem.
- Bake the cake in the skillet for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Place a cake plate over the top of the skillet and flip over. Allow the cake to fall out of the skillet and onto the cake plate. Remove the skillet and serve warm.