Some days…

Most days are normal, mundane sort of days. And some days are not. Case in point: last Sunday night I went to bed early (I was completely wiped out and I’m not sure why, I just knew I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore so I went to sleep). And I was sleeping good too, that hard, dead to the world sleep that means you’re going to wake up completely rested. That kind of sleep is rare for me. I was awoken later that evening by Erik, shaking me, standing over me with a gun. I got up (cautiously, in case I had to fight him – he was holding a gun after all, and I have no compunction about taking him down. I’m bigger than him. I can totally take him.). He handed me a long stick and said “There’s a skunk in the trash can. You need to knock over the trash can with this and when he comes out I can shoot him.” My sleep addled brain didn’t question, didn’t say well why don’t you knock it over and let him skunk his skunk ass on out of here? I’m pretty sure he won’t stick around. Instead I just knocked the trash can over with the stick. I could hear its scrabbling little skunky feet running full speed. Erik’s gun goes off and wakes me up completely and immediately. I thought “It’s going to spray! Gotta get out of here!” I flung open the door and started to go inside. Cracker immediately pops out of the open door and goes running full tilt towards Erik, the gun and the skunk. I start yelling at the little bastard. I don’t know what about my yelling made Cracker finally stop and say to himself, “this bitch is serious. I better stop and go back inside.” But he stopped and let me grab him to haul him back in. By then Erik is also yelling because my yelling made him miss the damn skunk.  In the melee, the disgusting thing sprays and my house becomes filled with the most foul odor I have ever smelled. Words cannot describe how utterly disgusting this odor is. So Erik gets the bright idea to start a fire to try and help get rid of the smell. Except he does what he does every year when he starts a fire for the first time. He forgets to open the thingy in the fireplace that lets the smoke out. Smoke, lots of it, immediately fills the house. The smoke alarms start going off. All of them. This freaks Cracker out and he’s shaking and trying to climb all over me for comfort. Erik’s trying to get rid of the smoke without opening any windows. I’m thoroughly and utterly pissed off and just sitting on our bed trying to not breathe in smoke or smell any skunkiness. It’s not working. I don’t know how he managed to get the smoke to dissipate without opening windows but he did. And we spent the rest of the evening not sleeping very well, mostly because Cracker, still kind of afraid, kept climbing all over us in bed. (He has, for the record, done this for an entire week).The whole situation was the kind of thing that makes you question your life choices. How the hell did I get to this place right now where I just knocked over a trash can so my husband could shoot a skunk and now my house smells like smoke AND skunk? What the hell kind of karma is working on me right now? He has set traps for them all week (this is another new thing for me too: living in a family who just happen to have skunk traps available at all times.) He catches it, one day before work and the cats made it spray (again) by messing with it in its cage. I spent all day at work smelling like a skunk. On Saturday, he caught another one. It stunk too. My nose is ready to quit this bitch, honestly. Erik still has traps set, by the way. He won’t stop until he catches ALL THE SKUNKS IN THE WORLD.

So here’s this recipe that has nothing to do with the preceding story, but I thought I should tell you about it anyway because my life is incredibly weird sometimes and maybe that’s why I don’t think twice about giving myself treats.

Praline Cake Squares 
recipe from She Wears Many Hats

You Need:

For the cake:
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cocoa powder

For the icing:
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
6 Tablespoons evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans

Heat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9×13 pan. Set aside. Place the stick of butter in a pan with the cup of buttermilk. Heat (on low) just until the butter melts. Scrape this mixture into a mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer). Add in the 2 cups brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat together until everything is incorporated. Mix together the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Add this to the wet ingredients and mix together. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is cooked through. While the cake is baking, mix together the icing ingredients: cream the butter and brown sugar together, then stir in the evaporated milk. It will look lumpy and weird; that’s fine. Pour the icing onto the baked cake. Sprinkle the top evenly with pecans. Bake this about 5 minutes, until the icing is bubbly and the pecans are lightly browned (watch this carefully so you don’t burn your nuts). Let the whole thing cool slightly, then cut into squares.

it’s pretty amazing served warm straight from the pan 


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