Do you get along with your in laws?
Many people don’t, from what I’m told. My one friend has such a precarious relationship with his in laws that he got married in Las Vegas, which is quite a distance from NJ, so that his in laws wouldn’t come. And then there are movies like Meet The Parents which really play up the strife between parents and their grown child’s significant others.
Rachel and I get along quite well with each other’s family. Her parents are quite lovely, and I consider myself lucky to have such a good relationship with her Dad.
We live in an old home, built in the 1920′s. In many ways its a real fixer upper. Not quite as bad as the house Carl and Ellie buy in the movie UP (a movie which always makes me almost choke up in the beginning. I’m man enough to admit that…Go watch it and you’ll understand why!) – but a fixer upper none the less. When we first got married I just barely knew how to use a hammer and nail; hey I grew up in the ‘burbs! But Rachel’s Dad, a scientist by day and DIY’er by night, has helped change that.
Our first project together was remodeling the kitchen. Always best to start with the small projects right? I learned how to block out walls, hang sheet rock, tile, run electrical, do plumbing, and more. Not bad for a kid who couldn’t hammer a nail without smashing his finger a dozen times.
When we learned Baby Boy was on the way I decided to build his nursery. I don’t mean paint some walls and put up some decorations. I mean I tore the old half-finished bedroom down to the studs and rebuilt the room, ran electrical, built a closet, installed lights, etc.! But I didn’t do it by myself. Sometimes well into the night, my father in law would be in that soon-to-be nursery hanging sheet rock with me, spackling in 120 degree heat, or running electric. We spent a lot of time working together in that room, sometimes in that silence that is not awkward when people are comfortable around each other, sometimes talking either serious or silly topics. And we finished the room just in time for Baby Boy’s arrival. Not a day to spare, Baby Boy was born the day after I finished staining and sealing the molding.
I made this cake for my father in laws birthday earlier this month. He loves almond cake. I remembered him going back for multiple pieces of the box made stuff last Christmas. So I thought he would enjoy one that was home made. He also likes fresh berries so I threw some raspberries and blackberries in too. He loved this cake and had multiple servings (which he griped about eating too much of, as he enjoyed another slice).
Recipe: Berry Delicious Almond Cake
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
- Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and almond extract.
- Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange half of the raspberries and half of the blackberries on top of batter. Set aside remaining berries. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over berries.
- Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 55 minutes. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve with Cool Whip and remaining berries. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.
Cooking time: 55 minute(s)
Adapted from Martha Stewart