March 28.  would have been my Mom’s 71st birthday, sadly she died almost four years ago, a vibrant 67, too young, and it wasn’t any easy death.  Frankly, cancer really pisses me off…But, death offers lessons if we can see beyond our anger and grief.  Of course, life is finite,but we tend not to understand that until someone close passes, the lesson is, life happens everyday.  The internet and Facebook are filled with platitudes on how we should live life to the fullest, but the thing is, it has to come from within, and it’s the little things, moments that we are surrounded by, that really do make the difference in a life well lived.  We shouldn’t dwell on death, but celebrate life every single day, to quote a friend, Mark Hatt,  “love unconditionally, don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself, laugh everyday, and always do the right thing.”

I believe in celebrations, isn’t there always something to be happy or grateful for?

So, every year, I make a cake to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.  This year, I made a pineapple upside down cake, which was the first cake that I ever made as a child (it wasn’t very good, bitter, probably too much baking powder) but everyone ate it anyway. My Mother owned two cookbooks; The Canadian Five Roses cookbook and the more exotic, Better Homes and Gardens with the red and white checked hard cover 5 ring binder.  I love both of them as a curious kid, bit I salivated over the Better Homes cookbook, and its colour pictures. This was the first cookbook that I ever cooked from.

Yesterday while on my weekly tour of the thrift shops looking for cookbooks and other treasures, I came across a little pamphlet published in 1997, West Oxford U.C.W, Dessert Recipes. The first page i flipped to had this easy recipe for pineapple upside down cake, I had planned to make a more challenging cake, but I knew that it was my Mom telling me to “slow down and not to too much.”   This always made me laugh as my mom had the energy of ten people. I bought the pineapple, and made the cake.  Happy Birthday Mom! xo

Upside Down Cake or Pudding submitted by Elizabeth Heeney

4 tsp. of margarine (I used butter) and then blended with 1 cup brown sugar.  Press in bottom of cake pan (I used a 9 X 9″)

Place fruit arranged on top. She says that you can use either pineapple or apple slices, I used fresh pineapple rings, cut in half.

Blend following for cake:

1/4 cup margarine (again I used butter, always butter)

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup milk or fruit juice (for a moist cake use milk)

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. baking powder.

Pour this on top of fruit and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  To serve, let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn upside on plate.  Serve either hot or cold.

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