Thursday, June 11, 2015

At Last

Yesterday was exactly three month since my cataract surgery on the second eye and a day past 16 weeks since the first cataract surgery. During those 16 weeks I couldn't really drive due to double vision, which is usually corrected with glasses. At first it was because I was healing from the surgeries, so no glasses could be ordered. It takes a little while for the eyes to get to the point where the eye doctor will write a prescription. I had figured on about three weeks for the glasses to be produced but instead they had to be sent back a number of times, so it ended up being 9 weeks on top of all those weeks of healing! Poor Sweetie had a lot of extra driving to do, even though I curtailed my social schedule a lot on optional visits and events.

At last the glasses I tried on this Monday were correct. Not perfect, but correct enough for driving and general wear. Not as good on the close work, but I have readers and, frankly, couldn't imaging sending them back again. The optometrist was probably even more upset than I was and did a terrific job of nagging the lab, but apparently the lab had new people who messed up, trouble with machines breaking and terrible quality control. The optometrist has switched now to a new lab for their current and future orders, thank heavens.

So here they are. They look exactly like my old ones. The new frames I picked out were part of the production problem, so the gave me, no charge, frames like my old ones, plus my old frame to keep (which is unusable because we messed up the screw area when we removed one of the lenses after the first surgery so I could use them for the other eye. Sorry if that doesn't make sense, but trust me, it's all good.

To celebrate I went to lunch and a movie with my good friend Barbara. Saw a sweet flick called 'I'll See You In My Dreams' about friendship, love, loss and karaoke. On the way home I though about all the lovely berries and apricots in the kitchen and decided to see if I could adapt the 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake to a vanilla cake with fruit. A surprise for Sweetie for dessert, right?

First I helped him with fitting and securing the second new post of the front porch, then watered a couple of plants in the garden which were wilting in the heat despite the overnight and early morning light rain (rain in unusual for us), and checked out the color of the stain I'll use on the whole porch once the new section is installed. The new stuff will replace the 30 year old deck that has led to the old front porch since before we moved in. The joists underneath are dry rotted here and there, too, so it will probably be some time in July before all that stain goes on.

Finally I was able to get in the bake center and make the cake. Amazing how quickly it all went together. I diced an apricot and some strawberries into a small dice and added a handful of blueberries to the mix, then measured and stirred the dry ingredients and sprinkled some of that over the fruit and tossed it a bit. In another bowl I whisked together egg, oil and milk then added a splash of vanilla. The fruit was tossed into the dry ingredients, the wet mixture went on top of that and it was all stirred together with a fork. That batter went into a Pyrex bowl which I had buttered lightly. The bowl went into the microwave (on high) for five minutes.

That's it! Turned it out to cool, added sliced strawberries when it was time to serve and added scoops of vanilla soy ice cream to the bowl at the last minute. Delicious! You couldn't really taste the apricot because the blueberries and strawberries were more dominant flavors. The cake was a moist sponge and went perfectly with the fresh berries and ice cream. I'm going to try this again with other flavors. Sweetie had two servings, so I know 'he who doesn't like cake' will eat it anyway...and enjoy it.

5 Minute Apricot Berry Mug Cake
A variation of a recipe from Don Fulton
Serves 1-2

(I doubled the recipe and cooked it in a Pyrex bowl big enough that the mixture didn't go over the sides, although it did reach the top edge during baking...then settled down to about an inch below the edge)

4 tablespoons self-rising flour

4 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon orange zest

dash ground nutmeg

dash salt

1/2 apricot, diced small

1/4 cup strawberries, washed and diced small

1/4 cup blueberries, washed and picked over for debris

1 egg

3 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons oil

a small splash of vanilla extract

1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Sprinkle some of the dry ingredients over the fruit and toss lightly. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix together in another bowl the egg, the milk and oil and mix well. Add the vanilla extract, and mix again. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix well. Pour the batter into a lightly buttered large mug.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). (If doubling the recipe as I did, use a larger container and cook for 5 minutes on high.) The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous). And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from apricot berry cake at any time of the day or night!

I served the cake in bowls with lots of sliced fresh strawberries and a small scoop of ice cream, but the cake all by itself is delicious! 
The photo suffers from being taken at night, but I wanted you to see the inside to see how moist and spongy it is.


tanita✿davis said...

My dear, I went to the eye doctor last December and there was fiddling around with my glasses scrip until MAY. MAY!!! I do feel your pain, and am glad you're back to seeing properly.

I haven't been confident enough to try mug cakes; they always look slightly soggy, but I have a load of fairly tasteless store-bought (should've waited for the Farmer's Market) blueberries so need to do something with them. May have them in pancakes this weekend, too. Hm...

Elle said...

Tanita, I can't imagine not driving from December through May...hope that you still could. There seems to be an epidemic of poor glasses creation since I know others who have had trouble. The labs seem to be challenged. Hope they improved soon. It really messes up lives.

Guess I should be grateful that we have eyeglasses and I'm not forced to sit by the hearth and knit or something. Or I could paint like Monet did when his eyesight failed. Still, with computers being ever more essential in our lives, glasses are essential, too.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

HooRay for "at last". Healing is slow enough without extra help from labs messing up.
At least the berry cake worked.
You really had the go round with your eyes and the labs, Pat. Here's to smoother sailing now.