If you like it, it’s because I put a ring on it.

Well, here it is…. Valentine’s Day. Remember when we were kids in elementary school and we had to get Valentines for every kid in the class, even those you didn’t like? Then when we got older it got a little more serious and you could send a rose to someone you liked, or that was your secret crush, in high school. I think it was a fundraiser for the cheerleading squad or something. But then you get to a point that you celebrate being single on Valentine’s Day. I think it’s as much a right of passage as having a Valentine.

But then a day comes along that Valentine’s takes on a whole new meaning. It’s not a giddy, giggly meaning, but a bit of a serious one, a grown up one. A meaning that shows you glimpses of what you will be doing in a few weeks, a few years, and even a few decades. And more importantly, who you will be doing it with. You see places you will go, meals you will enjoy together, the house you are going to buy, the cars you will test drive, and the porch you are going to sit on and wave at the neighbors as they go by. You don’t see it as clearly as that, but you know it’s all there. That is when you know what the meaning of having a Valentine is. It’s way more than buying a card. It’s promising more than either of you could ever imagine.

As the saying goes… “You better put a ring on it!” But, if you are not quite that serious yet, maybe you would rather just put some rings on this.

Heart’s A Fire Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I got some moonshine cherries from Old Forge Distillery, which they call Pineapple Upside Down Cake because they’re soaking in pineapple moonshine, and I thought why not take a traditional southern cake and add a little heat to the sweet. You don’t have to use moonshine cherries if you’d rather not, you can just use regular maraschino cherries. I also used Old Mill Flour in it, as I do for most of my baking. It helps that I get an employee discount too!

Ingredients:

1/2 stick butter

2/3 cup light brown sugar

9 pineapple rings

Old Forge Distillery Moonshine cherries (or Maraschino cherries)

1 1/2 cup Old Mill Plain Flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Melt butter in a 10.25 inch cast iron skillet or 8×8 square pan. Sprinkle brown sugar in pan. Lay pineapple rings in desired pattern and place a cherry in center of each ring. 

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. 

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add buttermilk and mix well. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until well blended and smooth. 

Carefully pour batter, which will be thicker than most cake batters, over pineapples and cherries. 

Bake at 350* for 40-45 min or until done in center and edges brown. 

Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes to begin to cool a bit. Place a platter over pan, invert it, and leave for a couple of minutes for juices to drip down. 

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The Appalachian Tale

Memories, recipes, and Tales of an Appalachian Boy.

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