Cakes and Desserts – Better Than Anything Cake

In 1994, we lived through what is known as the Northridge earthquake. My husband was doing his vicarage (internship) in the L.A. area, and in the early morning hours of Martin Luther King Day, the quake rumbled under our little house, shaking us from sleep. It sounded like a freight train thundering right toward us.


Our phone rang, and Scott’s supervising pastor told us to check the gas line to make sure it was okay, which is was. The epicenter of the quake was not all that close to us, but still the dishes had rattled in the cupboards, and books and magazines had fallen off bookshelves. We were pretty shaken up–literally.

The next morning, I was getting ready for my sub for the week since we’d be heading off to Fort Wayne for a conference. I was teaching sixth grade, and had to run off a test at the school in Alhambra where I was teaching. I was afraid to be by myself at the school, but went anyhow. Sure enough, during the hour or so I was there, an aftershock hit. I dove underneath a desk, and waited it out. It didn’t last long, and right afterward, I rushed outside, and made sure nothing was above me. There I assembled the tests and stapled them.

It’s a strange feeling being unsure of the ground underneath you, and wondering if the building around you could come crashing down at any moment. I was on pins and needles all the rest of that day.

On Tuesday morning, we headed to LAX and got on our plane. When the plane lifted from the tarmac, all my fears and anxieties from the earthquake melted away. We were finally airborne–away from the possibility of the earth shifting underneath my feet. No more worrisome gravity, holding me to a shaking earth. No more tremors to give me panic attacks. It was wondrous. Maybe that’s why I’ve never really had a fear of flying.

This has been a sad week in our family. We had to put down our beloved Lucy, our golden retriever. I’m not ready yet to say much about it because it hurts too darn much. But as I was thinking about being airborne, I also think of Lucy now free from all of her fears and pain. No more thunderstorms or fire crackers to scare her. No more arthritis to cripple her legs. No more slippery floors to make her fall. No more kitties to steal her breakfast. And those are all very good things.

Better Than Anything Cake
This recipe starts with a devil’s food cake mix. I didn’t want a ton of cake, so I only made 1/3 of the recipe. After that, you poke the cake with a wooden spoon and dump on a can of sweetened condensed milk.

Then add caramel sauce. Then add cool whip. Then throw on more caramel syrup and top it all off with butterfinger bars. Sheesh. It’s like a diabetic coma waiting to happen. But a delicious diabetic coma! I only tried a couple of spoonfuls, but Jacob taste-tested it, and said it was quite wonderful.

You’ll notice that I used chocolate sauce instead of caramel. Here’s why: the door of my refrigerator is so incredibly full of condiments! I don’t know if that’s because of this cooking project, which has required me to buy various condiments, which I’ve used once and then stowed away. But I figured chocolate sauce couldn’t be all bad anyway. Although you’ll see from the photo that this is not Hershey’s–much to the chagrin of my men.

And here’s the finished product! It’s not exactly beautiful, but man…it is definitely better than anything!


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