Hey, you! What's up?
Let's talk family today! Did you know that I have 4 sisters-in-law? Yeah, I do. And surprisingly not one of them has made my life miserable. So that cliché can go down the sink, if you know what I mean. Same goes with my mother-in-law, she was always great with me. At one point, I naturally started calling her "Mama" even before the Husband and I were officially married.
Anyways, it just so happens that one of my sister-in-law, the one and only youngest sister of my Husband, recently sent me a message to have the recipe of my special French Apple Cake. Truthfully, I don't even remember when I made it for her. Or did I even bake her some? The last time I saw her was during our 2016 Qatar trip (click here for the post). Was it then??
So, I figured I would give her the link to the post and that's when I noticed that it wasn't even on here. In fact, it was still in the old old old blog that I used to have in the past.
Unfortunately, this is where my joyful and cheerful tone ends because what I'm about to post dates back from 2012. Just about the time my father's health problems were detected. The beginning of that God-awful year of hospital roundtrips and emotional baggage.
You ready? Here ya go!
Dinner at Six Thirty - October 18, 2012.
He was deep in thought, sitting alone at the dining table. I passed by, looked at Dad, said nothing, and went back to the kitchen. I decided to come back and say something to him - a joke perhaps or words of encouragement. I stopped myself. He was still in deep thought. I saw the pain in his face, in his eyes, in his expression. I knew what he was thinking; I had the same thoughts earlier.
Why him? Why now? Why Dad? We've had a difficult year - being separated, the pressure of starting all over, losing my mother-in-law. Why this? And why now? Why?
The cardiologist found something wrong with one of Dad's heart valve. He will need a surgery. He cannot exert any efforts for the meantime. I am down with pure sadness. When is this rollercoaster ride ever gonna end? I was just about to taste the sweetness of being reunited with my husband and my daughter. I am less stressed about MR's travel, although I will be 100% stress-free the moment I see them at the airport. And now, I have this to start stressing about. I just want to have some peace, just for a little while.
I lost my mother when I was 16 years old after a long battle of 8 years. 8 years of cancer. As a young girl, I had friends, school, play time, but I also had hospitals, doctor's offices, nursing my mom, operations. When I saw my mom take her final breath, I didn't know how I felt. Sure I felt sad, but there was a strange feeling of relief I think. I've cried so many times in 8 years, that it seemed I couldn't shed anymore tears. My mother was finally at peace after losing her battle.
At 26 years old, I am not ready to lose my Dad. He's my pillar. I could be making a big deal out of something I shouldn't, but it could turn out good, just as it could the other way. Dad has always been against surgery. I don't think he can bypass this one though. The cardiologist wanted him to come in the clinic as soon as possible to do a bilan. We're gonna ask a second opinion. TH's Dad was operated 6 years ago in Metz and they say his doctor was professional and competent. We will try to reach him by next week. Perhaps, he has good news to share with us. Miracles do happen.
The weather outside was surprisingly sunny, but we were gloomy. As soon as the check-up was finished, I insisted we drive up to see my sister at her shop. I broke down and told her the news. She was as shocked as I was. She said seeking a second opinion was a good idea and we would take care of that next week.
An Apple Cake, that's what we need, I told myself as soon as we got home. Coincidentally, my brother-in-law's mom had just shared her special recipe a couple of days ago and I was so looking forward to make! I just never thought I would make it on a sad day like today.
Gateau aux Pommes / French Apple Cake
1tbsp baking powder
1 sachet vanilla sugar
1/2 glass of oil (I use sunflower oil)
a pinch of salt
3-4 apples (depends on the size) - I like the Golden and Royal Gala variety
50 grams butter + 2 tbsps sugar (for the caramel)
1. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees Celsius. 2. In a mixing bowl, add the sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar, oil, and salt.
3. Whisk everything together well.
4. Peel and cube the apples.
5. Add the cubed apples to the bowl.
6. Transfer the lot to a buttered baking pan.
7. Baked for 20 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.
8. In the meantime, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the sugar. Mix well.
9. When the cake has baked for 20 minutes, pour the butter-sugar mixture on top of the cake.
10. Continue to bake for 25-30 minutes or until your cake is cooked through. Let it cool and enjoy!
Of course, the addition of butter means more calories, but it makes such a difference! Through the years, I've been getting great compliments from this cake and no mention of calories!! 😂😂 It is super moist and delicious - in fact, this is now the Husband's favorite cake!!