Friday, July 13, 2007

Pound Cake with Whole Wheat Flour

Nature Deficit Disorder
Not so long ago the biggest worry Parents had over the summer was to keep kids from getting too much sun on their heads. Summer was for lazing in the sun exploring the interesting things around the house and looking in nook and cranies or if you were like most kids the exploration happened at your grandparents house where all semblance of rules or regulations were thrown to the wind. Meals times were for special foods that you craved for. Bolt! Clap! Thunder.... Well I was day dreaming there for a while or maybe it was the sound from DDs computer game. What parents worry about today is that kids these days are having less and less of unstructured time. No spontaneous games or role playing so much so that kids left in the playground to play by themselves or not able to do so, they need rules and regulations. Well I won't go on and on, this topic is HOT as it is.

What as parents can we do keep to bring this deficit down? My favorite season to work on it is during the summer. There is no excuse of bad weather to keep cooped indoors in front of the many electronic equipments we can't live without. Though DD suggested the idea of summer camp, I begged my mother to come and stay with us for the summer so DDs can have a relaxing, carefree time without worrying about too many planned activities. What this has done to their time is,

They wake up at their own covenience, eat a slow breakfast, take long walks, catch some butterflies, with a fish net they fished from the basement, figure out if the butterfly will survive if it is kept in a closed box and should the holes for them to breathe be big or small. This amazingly keeps them occupied for hours together which no video game has the power to do. Rarely have I heard the the oh so familiar whine "I am bored". Eat a relaxing lunch, laze around in the afternoon and then some bicycling in the evening followed by catching lightning bugs as the sun goes down, do some research about the creatures living under rocks, though all of the activities do not happen on the same day it keeps them occupied for most of the day. Being outdoors so much makes them notice things, I was delighted when I heard DD analyze the different colors of purple found in nature, as luck would have it purple is her favorite color and even if I buy flower bulbs of differnt colors and shades they are the only ones that bloom and recently she happened to see a brinjal flower. But this fun is different then the ones we had, we roamed around the whole village just stepping into the house during meal times.

A crow cawing on a bright sunny morning and usually happens when I am driving out to work, brings on a longing for those summer days of my childhood in my grandparents' house and a guilt that DDs don't get to have that experience of swimming in the rivers, swimming in wells, fishing in the ponds, climbing on mango trees and being bitten by ants. Sometimes the trees we climbed on and the wells we jumped into belonged to people who did not want us there and we got chased by these angry people with a stick in hand which was a game in itself. I have no recollection of ever being caught by these angry people though.

With my mom here, DH's aunt visiting us for this week and DD's friend here during the day we have a full house and it is such a joy and this is what I miss the most about India the PEOPLE.

I was listening to the Diane Rehm show on WAMU when I heard author Richard Louv talk about his book Last Child in the Woods and it struck a chord but that was a long time ago but what brought about this bout of introspection was the news of Lady Bird Johnson and reading and about her tireless work for conservation and love of wild flowers.

Some Veggie Flower Pictures

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Pound Cake
If you are still interested in the Pound Cake here is the recipe. I tried it with Whole Wheat Flour and used Maple Syrup for half of the sugar. But for the slighty rougher texture I like this cake better than the one with the all purpose flour. The Maple Syrup gave the cake a lovely aroma, next time around probably add 1 Cup of Maple Syrup and only about 1/4 Cup Sugar.

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1. 2 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Pasry Flour
2. 2 Sticks of Butter (8 oz)
3. 4 Eggs
4. 3/4 Cup Sugar
5. 3/4 Cup Maple Syrup
6. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
7. 2 Tbsp slight Coarse powdered Almonds

1. Butter a Cake pan on the sides and heat the oven to 350F
Using an electric beater
2.Beat the Eggs so this increases in volume by a third
3. In a separate bowl,beat the butter and add in the sugar
4. Start adding the flour a little by little and when it starts to get dry start adding the eggs in between the flour additions
5. Add the Maple Syrup and Vanilla
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
7.Bake in the preheated oven for 40 miunutes or till a fork inserted comes out clean.

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Serve with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.

I will catch you all next week. Enjoy your Summer.


  1. Never seen pound cake served with icecream. I serve mine with whipped cream ;).

    You are right. What we miss abt not being in India is people. A child gets raised by an extended family there, so they get to move more with people. But one drawback to that is the boundary to yr personal space gets trodden over by having so many people around you. It has its +ves and -ves to it!

  2. What a beautiful post, ISG. I can picture your daughters free-roaming and how nice that your family can be there to share in it all, your mom et al. We used to chase fireflies too, though we swam in the ocean and my nostalgia is brought on by a foghorn, these were the things we did at my nana's.

    You really brought back some memories, thank you.

    Flowers are lovely, and maple syrup pound cake looks so appealing with its golden brown hue, and of course the ice cream :)

    I hope you all enjoy a wonderful vacation!

  3. Ooh I love pound cake and this recipe wit whole wheat flour is very tempting. Thanks and it was good to read abt your kid's summer activities.

  4. That was such a lovely post ISG!!! I could almost picture it in front of my eyes. :D

    Pound cake with whole wheat soundss very healthy indeed...... and what better to go with ice-cream :)

  5. what a lovely post this is.

  6. Those lazy hazy crazy days of summer of is amazing how creative children can be with unstructured time. Now even 'unstructured' must be structured into their 'routines'!

    The village 'camp' sounds so much fun!

  7. Wheat flour cake sounds awesome with a distinct taste ,Love cakes with a difference,a reason for me to try, I'm sure to try this version soon:)

  8. I always loved POund cake but hesitate to make bcos of the multiple Eggs.Looks great,with Ice Cream mouthwatering.
    Have a great weekend Indo.Hugs to you friend:)

  9. My hats off to all parents, you all definitely have some interesting times and what I admire is the ability to adjust, compromise and go with the flow in this maddening world while at the same time staying true to yourselves.

  10. Thats a nice post Indo. Really nice read abt ur daughters roaming around with fish nets and bottles catching butterflies and fireflies...
    pound with ice cream is some thing which I have to try ..
    have a great vacation.

  11. Please please post this on DMC. Exactly my thoughts about summer camp and how kids loose the essence of summer vacation with all the camps out there.
    I get pretty worried thinking about how to gift my daughter the real summer vacations once she starts going to public school. So much so that i was thinking of shifting to academia to get some kind of summer breaks for myself too

  12. Suganya, Pound Cake with ice cream has been fav combo for a long time almost like cake ice cream but with a fresher taste.

    In my opinion atleast, this desire for personal space and privacy is so over rated. I much prefer the personal contacts though overt at times as opposed to your neighbor not caring if you are alive or dead.

    But the people contacts has taught most of us who grew up in India a whole lot, people skills, negotiation skills, tolerance and accepatance of practises that are different from your own, can go on an on. These have consciously or subconsciously helped me as an outsider in this country.

    Linda, I am glad the post brought some good memories for you, nothing comes close to having folks around. We did have a great vacation though it was too short. DH had to get back to work.

    Laavanya do give it a try, you will not go back to bleached flour ever.

    Coffee, nothing like cake and icecream.

    Bee, thanks, Maple Syrup in Cake was thanks to your article on Sugar.

    Anita, I miss the village camp too ;) Now, it is not the same, Cauvery river has become so polluted that my mom warns the kids several times before they step inside for a swim. The farmers around have severe water problems and I feel sad everytime I visit there or just that I am older and can understand what is going on.

    Lera give it a shot, you will like it

    Cynthia thanks. We can only try and hope.

    Prema, they have so much fun.

    Sandeepa I will post on DMC. That might be a great idea. Give it some serious thought. I only wish we could get atleast a month off during summer a la France. That thought crossed my mind too but I was thinking more of Elementary Education and was kicking myself for doing my Masters in Computer Science where a degree in Education would have given me a lot more options.

  13. Pound cake with whole wheat.....So different....wating to try it out....

  14. pound with wheat flour is so inviting ..& served with icecream wow.!!

  15. what a beautiful post ISG...

  16. It is a beautiful post.
    I miss so many things about India. I liked the healthy version of pound cake.

  17. Wow! I too, always eat cake with ice cream... I think they bring out the best in each other. This is the first time I'm seeing a wholewheat cake, and that too with maple syrup! :) sounds yummmm!

    gotta try it.. I have all the ingredients except running short on maple syrup. Will try it and let you know.

    The summer vacation sounds fun! Sometimes I wish we lived far away from grandma's place so that it would have been more fun going to her place for vacation. We practically lived there 2-3 hrs everyday, till mom came home.


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