Cakes and Desserts – Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

The Way Out
Well, my climbing expedition sort of morphed into a series of hikes, up near Glenwood Springs, Colo. I loved the hike to Mushroom Rock. The next day, I hiked Red Mountain, a beautiful spot, just west of Glenwood.

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It’s a long hike on the way up, about 5.7 miles. I didn’t do the whole thing because it was already late in the day and the skies were looking ominous. Also, I was alone and kept hearing scurrying noises in the bushes. I am sure they were just chipmunks, but the sign posted near the trail warned of other wildlife too. So I went running/walking for awhile and then decided to head back. Jacob and I could have climbed a 14er closer to Denver, but (a) he was sore from his hiking/biking/running, (b) we were both sunburned and feeling whiny, and (c) my hiking boots were digging into my right ankle, so I think I need to get that sorted out before going on a more serious hike, and (d) we figured out we’d have to get up around 4 a.m. so we could make it to the parking lot no later than 6 a.m. My other thought is that I need to drop my remaining pounds and continue training for the next year, and maybe next summer we’ll hit it hard.

However, today I ran a 10:30 mile–even at this high altitude. So I was happy about that. Yes, I know it’s still sort of wimpy, but hey, it’s where I am today.

We drove down from the mountains on Thursday, through the rain and hail, around twisty and windy turns, past runaway truck ramps, and through tunnels. Needless to say, we were feeling a little queasy by the time we made it to Denver.

I’ve driven for a lot of years and one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes the only way through a cloudburst or a snowstorm is through. Eventually, you’ll get to the other side. The first storm we ran into was short-lived. After a couple of miles of heavy downpour, we were quickly on the other side, even spotting some blue sky. The second downpour started just east of the Eisenhower tunnel. This didn’t let up for several downhill miles. But the only way out was through.

The same is true in life, isn’t it? When we experience a loss or an illness or strained relationship, sometimes the only thing to do is go on. When we left our dear pup Lucy at the vet’s office last week, our sweet dog who to the very last was trying to make me feel better, the only thing to do was to get the in car, with her empty collar and leash wadded in my hand. The next thing was to get out of the car and go into the house and feed the cats and get dinner started and do all the things that needed to be done on a normal day. The only thing to do was the next thing that needed doing.

And by God’s grace, we’re given friends and family and people who give us hugs and support us and make everything seem much better. And that is a very good thing.

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Cinnamon Chocolate Cake
I first had this cake a number of years ago, when I first got acquainted with Scott’s family. This was the cake his parents would make for him for his birthday. The frosting makes a lot so Jody, Scott’s mom always suggested that you use the extra as fudge. She suggests putting it on a small plate in the frig to harden.

I’m baking this recipe in Denver, and we have to follow high-altitude directions since we’re above 3,500 feet here. I found this guide from Betty Crocker to help. Apparently when you’re at a high altitude, pressure is lower, so baking takes longer. Also, liquids evaporate faster, so a little extra is needed; last, gases expand more so dough rises faster. So I’ll make a few adjustments and see how it comes out.

Here are all of the ingredients. It’s fun to cook in someone else’s kitchen–even if it is one I’ve cooked in before (my mom’s)!

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The cocoa, butter, and crisco have to boil on the oven, so here it is, boiling away.

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And here is the cake, out of the oven.

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And here it is, all ready to go!

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While we were roaming around Golden, Colo. on Friday afternoon, we saw a big herd of elk. We always see a lot of elk when we’re in the mountains, especially near Rocky Mountain National Park, but to see a herd so close to Denver was a surprise.

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6 responses

  1. “The only thing to do was the next thing that needed doing.” šŸ˜¦
    Wiser words have never been spoken, but sometimes the words can’t really fully describe the weight of the feelings behind them. It reminds me of a literary character named Bob who said, “First one foot, then the other.”

  2. Love all the photos as always, but the one of Lucy is simply super! What a great companion she was for all of us. I can’t escape remembering her, and I always will, non-stop. Bless both of you

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