Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Brosetta Stone

Recently my family and I were watching a video of a young man of our acquaintance introducing his "friend who is a girl but not a girlfriend" to his guy friends. From the banter and mild ribbing that took place, it was obvious that this lady friend had been previously discussed between them and they were here to check her out. As the guy friends were were leaving, one reached over and clapped the young man three times on the shoulder. The young man flushed and grinned.

My husband, ever the astute observer, paused the video and said, "He just got a 'Way to go!'"

My daughter and I both said, "What? What are you talking about?"

My husband said, "Didn't you see that shoulder clap? That was totally a 'way to go, man' shoulder clap. Didn't you see that?"

We played it again about 5 times in slo-mo. Yep, there it was - clap, clap, clap, flush, grin.

My daughter and I were stunned. All that slapping and grunting that guys do means something? We challenged my husband. "What if it had only been two claps?"

"Oh, that would have meant 'bummer, dude.'"

"And one clap?"

"That's either hi or goodbye."

I was amazed. I felt like I'd been handed the Rosetta Stone of guy speak! What could I do with this powerful information? Should I, armed with a discreet video camera, go to football games and locker rooms to study these wild yet gentle creatures in their natural habitat? Perhaps I could open peace talks between the sexes, acting as translator. Or maybe I could figure out how to communicate effectively with my husband, resulting in the toilet seat being left down at night.

With great power comes great responsibility. I must ponder this and figure out the best way to wield my knowledge. And while I'm pondering, I'll eat cake.

This cake doesn't take any figuring out. It's simple to make and even simpler to eat. And with apples and a streusel topping, it says delicious in all known languages, including guy speak.

Country Apple Cake
- adapted from Muffins and Other Morning Bakes by Linda Collister

7 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2-3 Tbsp milk
1-1/2 cups thickly sliced tart eating apples (I used organic Fuji)

1/2 cup raw sugar
6-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Grease a 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 - 2-1/2-inch loaf pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper.

2- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

3- Add the eggs slowly, then add the vanilla.

4- Sift or sieve the flour, salt, and baking powder over the mixture. Add 2 Tbsp of milk and stir just till combined. The batter should be a soft mixture that just drops from the spoon. If it's too dry, add an additional Tbsp of milk.

5- Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Arrange the apple slices in an even layer over the top.

6- Place all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. (This can also be done in a food processor.) Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples, then press down gently.

7- Bake for about 1 hour until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

8- Let cool in the pan until lukewarm, then serve warm from the pan or cool completely on a wire rack. Eat within 3 days. When thoroughly cooled, the cake can be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Now we're on to the male species Lynn. What we do know is that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. They are so predicatable.

Peabody said...

Spend some time in a male locker room and you will learn lots of decoding.
That topping on that cake looks like I could eat it with a spoon.

Adam said...

Though I can neither confirm nor deny the validity of your husbands statements, please inform him that he's no longer invited to the meetings :)....

unless he brings this apple cake....

and some coffee... :)

Shannon Riley said...

This looks so good! :D

Barbara said...

I'm going to be keeping a close eye on shoulder claps from now on, Lynn. What fascinating information. I wonder what else is going on we haven't a clue about?

I'm loving the crumble topping...I'd eat that first.

Elle said...

Yes, but what does the pat on the butt mean during a game?
Beautiful cake and better than a clap on the shoulder...any number of times.

grace said...

HA! brosetta stone! you are too clever. thanks for sharing what you've discovered about man-speak--i'm still almost completely at a loss. :)

Bruce Craig said...

@Elle - Do you ever notice that when guys pat each other on the butt they do it one of two ways: Back of hand flick and the palm-to-cheek pat. The flick is usually "Get out there and do a good job." Or just "Get out of here." In a friendly guy to guy fashion. The palm to butt pat MUST but firm to show manliness and is usually reserved for a much higher level of "WAY to GO!!" Never EVER do it lightly.

hobby baker Kelly said...

Lol, that's great! I adore apple cake and it's been way too long since I made it. I must remedy that situation. (I made your heavenly Heavenly Blondies again yesterday for one of my Easter treats, they are SO good.)