In the meantime I began volunteering for a local animal shelter, Hope Animal Shelter. It's our only no-kill shelter here in Tucson and I'm pleased to be able to work with them to find homes for all these great dogs. They have many dogs who would have no hope at all were they delivered to the humane society, ASPCA or county animal shelter. These dogs can make great companions for people - they just need a second chance at life. I had the pleasure of spending Wednesday afternoon at an adoption event handling Trixie. Trixie is a 5-year-old poodle mix (I think Maltiepoo.) She was pretty energetic when she arrived with another volunteer but within the hour she was sitting calmly at my feet and walking nicely on the leash. She'll make a great companion for someone. She does have a cataract and needs eye medicine a few times a week and for that the local county animal shelter was going to kill her. Luckily, the good folks at Hope got her and now she'll be able to find a great home!
Finally, early today I got a chance to get in a little baking. I decided to revisit an old southern classic - the 7-Up Cake. This cake uses lemon-lime soda to partially create its lift and also impart the flavor. This is a very simple recipe and I remember having it as a kid.
I took the basic recipe and added just a few touches to it. I added just a bit of soda to help the carbonation give it more lift and I added some lemon juice to give just a bit more flavor. I also added in some vanilla - something that some recipes for this used and some didn't. The result is a great little cake with a nice lemon and lime flavor that isn't overwhelming. It has a fairly delicate crumb and remains moderately moist. It's not a dense and moist as a pound cake but not as dry and airy as an angel food cake. The perfect middle road!
I used a loaf pan for this cake but a bundt pan works just as well although cooking times may vary so if you use a bundt pan make sure you begin checking at about the 50 minute mark.
Oh, I also use Sierra Mist Natural for this cake. When this recipe was orginally developed back in the 50's sugar was used to sweeten soft drinks. In the 1970's high fructose corn syrup began making its obnoxious presence known. By the 1980's the Corn Refiner's Association had managed to ruin most beverages (and many foods) with their product. Rather than using a beverage that is full of HFCS, I went with Sierra Mist Natural which is flavored with regular sugar (just as you would use in a cake... you'd never sweeten your cake with corn syrup!)