Apple Pound Cake by Chef Nathaniel

Both grandsons, David and Nathaniel, had a special day off while their mother was here. David chose to swim at waterfalls with her. What would be special for the younger son? We made several suggestions without making him jump up and down with glee. Would he want to visit some town to wander down Main Street? How about visiting a few antique stores? He didn’t reject any idea and was willing to go along with whatever was decided. I finally realized that he stated his first choice a few days before. He wanted to bake something special on his day off. He baked the apple pound cake in the morning and brought it out to the porch to put it on the cake plate. He might have needed more space than the kitchen afforded. I thought it was great, because if there were crumbs, we’d brush them to the floor where they’d fall through the cracks.

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He is used to the demands of my camera and willingly posed with his mother and Grandpa. He asked if we had dessert plates, already aware of presentation of a special dish. He knew where the good china was, and I brought out the sterling silver forks. He even lit candles for the occasion. The table was beautifully prepared, though we were not. Next time he might ask us to dress for dinner. Easy for him to say, since he owns a white tux.

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For the final flourish, Nathaniel drizzled crème fraiche over the slices of cake. He pronounced the French words as a chef would, and David used the American pronunciation. The rest of us just provided simple hums and grunts of praise.

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Later that afternoon we wandered through an antique store that we pass on the way to town. I was surprised that the inside was not junky like the outside. After a leisurely walk through the whole place (felt like 10 acres), Nathaniel poured over the vinyl records and bought a small stack of them. I think he was satisfied with the time spent with his mother.

Years from now, when Nathaniel is a well-known pastry chef, a reporter will ask what special person inspired him to cook. Was it his mother? No, but she can boil water without burning it. Was it a grandmother? No again, and here is the picture to prove it. She baked a cake that came out of the oven laughing at her.

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49 thoughts on “Apple Pound Cake by Chef Nathaniel

  1. Your cake is still prettier than anything I could bake Anne. I made slice-and-bake cookies and burnt them black. You didn’t even have to slice them, they were pre-scored. It was a family joke for years that my grandmother made a lemon pie with lemon so rubbery it could have been taken off the pastry and bounced against the wall. Nathan is already an accomplished pastry chef. I think of Roland Richter and his pastries that I told you about and had thought I could hook him up by e-mail or even phone with Nathaniel, then discovered his restaurant was closed. He had been a pastry chef at a big hotel downtown (Detroit) for years before leaving to open his German restaurant.

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    1. Yes, I remember your writing about Roland Richter. I laughed at your burned cookies, because John’s mother never made cookies without burning them. His father loved the burned ones, but that might have been self-defense.

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      1. Ha ha – I could not comprehend how I could burn them so bad, and not only that, they were pre-shaped and scored, so you just peeled them off and put them on the cookie sheet. All my cookies came out all misshapen. Never again. My one and only time baking cookies.

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  2. Each time Nathaniel visits, he enthralls us with his creations- that are as good as those presented by a TV show host or in a cookery book. I can only drool at them- and even looking at them is so satisfactory, Anne.
    Antique shop walking- are things expensive in antique shops, Anne ? I have read in books they are. I am glad he got some vinyl records. I think you are a woman after my own heart with the crumbs that fall off the table, Anne.
    Susie

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    1. I felt the prices were too high at the shop we went to. The same types of items would go for a fraction of the price at a thrift store. It was fun to look at everything, though. I’m old enough that things they might call antiques were part of my childhood.

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      1. Oh, that is funny- things they labelled might be things you were familiar with when you were younger- I would never have thought of it that way. But the visit to the antique shop would surely bring back memories for all. The “good old days” perhaps ?
        Susie

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      2. The small metal lunch boxes were the type our children carried to school. There were wooden rolling pins that had seen better days and priced higher than brand new ones. We saw several sleds. I didn’t look at the prices, but we have the one John’s mother used as a child. Our children had it out in the snow in NY, and I think the grandsons used it here one day. Scarred kitchen equipment didn’t appeal to me. There was even a set of speakers that had been in a drive-in movie place! The speakers would have been lifted from a stand and hung on your car window while you watched the movie on a huge screen. I saw jewelry that I wouldn’t be interested in and didn’t look at the prices. It would be fun to wander through a place like that with you.

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      3. Oh Anne ! I am such a rambler- I would love to explore history with you too- you could tell me stories and I would laugh. Once I went to Jordan, on a mountain overlooking the Lake of Galilee and on the other side overlooking the Golan Heights- there a couple of laborers were digging and they came running to us- we were the only tourists there and they offered us old coins-they looked so old and even to my uneducated eye, they looked ancient- and they offered them for a few dollars- at that time they were very expensive to me but now it seemed they were dirt cheap and sometimes I wish I had bought them- I might have had some old Roman coins- who knows ?

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  3. Another culinary success for Nathaniel Anne. I know you’ve had your successes too so this one was just a minor blip.
    I look at Nathaniel’s height compared to his mother and can see he didn’t inherit that height from her.He must really stand out in college as the tallest pastry chef.
    I’ve never met a family more willing to oblige whoever holds the camera, perfect subjects.
    xxx Hugs all round Anne xxx

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    1. Our son is the most camera-shy of our relatives. I caught him in a group setting and will probably write about it in a few days. It will be interesting to see if there are other tall culinary students at college.

      xxx Tall Hugs xxx

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    1. We like having the photos immediately — remember when you had to wait for film to be developed? Not only dark room — dark ages! We also exercise our archives regularly by having a screen saver set for a slide show.

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      1. True, ok leave them! 😁 BTW I think my word “laughing” to describe your cake was an Autocorrect abomination, but I can’t remember what I’d intended to say! Lol. Just ignore me!

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