Carrot cake celebration...

My youngest son turned 5...just in time for the fall soccer signups at the local Lochsloy field. As he and I approached the sign up table, a friend came running and said, "A friend of mine from high school days is coaching....sign him up to play on her team, since my son is on it too!" Our sons were good friends so I thought, "Why not?" We were directed to the corner of the field where this coach was rounding up her team and I was introduced to Mari Lee. 

Have you ever met someone, had even a brief conversation, and thought to yourself, "Wow! Her name totally fits her!" Well, that's what I thought that day, meeting and watching this bubbly, smiling, energetic young mom direct these active 5 year old boys as they learned soccer drills. Her son and my son became friends, and so did Mari Lee and I. We found we shared much in common...our faith, a love for outdoor activities, and both our families had two sons . Our boys played on the same teams for six years before my son switched from soccer to football....that's a lot of time spent together at soccer games and soccer tournaments! 

After one tournament, the Apple Cup in Wenatchee, we all stopped at their small cabin in the mountains on the way home. My husband has always loved eastern Washington due to fond memories of fishing with his father there....the only times they ever really connected. About six months later, we bought a lot nearby and built a cabin. Our sons all had many fun times drifting the river and swimming at "the Rock" in the summer; building snow forts and snowboard jumps in the winter. Our families played games, shared meals, took walks, skied, and boated together. We eventually went on several family vacations together...one being one of those truly "bonding" camping trips where almost everything that could go wrong, did! We've both sold our cabins now but the happy memories remain. 

Our friendship has continued over the years and we've prayed each other through some deep sorrows and joys. What a treasure...an unexpected gift from a soccer field...her friendship has been to me! She had a birthday recently but was traveling out of the country so we made a date to meet for dinner tonight. I decided to make her a little birthday cake on a whim and went to one of my favorite recipes....good old fashioned Carrot cake...a recipe my mother in law gave me. I love this recipe because the cake is always moist, dense, has nuts and coconut, and no raisins...sorry, just not a fan of raisins in carrot cake! Happy belated birthday, dear friend!

 Ingredients...

Ingredients...

 Cake batter ready to go in pans...

Cake batter ready to go in pans...

 Cake layers baked...yes, they always are quite dark!

Cake layers baked...yes, they always are quite dark!

 Finished...my cake layers were still a tiny bit warm so the icing is wanting to slide off...a quick plunge in the freezer stopped it....sigh...I should know better! Not the prettiest cake...but it was delicious!

Finished...my cake layers were still a tiny bit warm so the icing is wanting to slide off...a quick plunge in the freezer stopped it....sigh...I should know better! Not the prettiest cake...but it was delicious!

Carrot Cake

2 cups flour                                                

2 cups sugar                                              

2 tsp soda

1 tsp salt 

3 eggs

1 cup oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 small can crushed pineapple with juice

2 cups grated carrots

1 cup coconut

1 cup nuts

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients, add eggs and liquid ingredients, then add pineapple, carrots, coconut, nuts, and cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes in a greased pan (9 X 13 works well).

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz cream cheese

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)

3 cups confectioners sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Mix all well and frost cooled cake.