A walk in the woods

Just across the Vltava river from my house is a hill with Celtic ruins. A train track runs its rusty course along the foot of the little mountain and bikers and hikers pilgrim to the stop for the beautiful view of Zbraslav and the surrounding valleys. Early this spring I made the trip myself, armed with a camera, my Bible, and a picnic lunch. Even getting lost halfway up – because, of course I got lost – was a pleasant enough adventure and I came off the hill with a clearer mind, a fuller stomach and a lighter heart.



Fever Bake

I was deliriously exhausted after a weekend-long illness and decided to make pineapple upside down cake. Because, of course.

Jared lent emotional support and read all the Czech labels for me. What a friend.

Here is the actual recipe because only part of the dribble I managed to scrape into a cake made it into the footage.


1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained

2 tablespoons chopped pecans(optional)

1 1/2 cups biscuit baking mix

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt butter in a 9-inch baking pan in the preheating oven. Remove pan.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter.
  4. Arrange pineapple chunks in a single layer over the butter and brown sugar, then sprinkle with pecans; set aside.
  5. Beat biscuit baking mix, white sugar, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and egg together in a large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
  6. Increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating until batter is smooth, about 4 minutes more.
  7. Slowly pour batter over the pineapple mixture.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  9. Run a paring knife between the cake and the edge of the pan to loosen cake. Cover the cake pan with a plate, and invert it to flip the cake out of the pan and onto the plate. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.