Dashboard Dining, Episode III -- 
Iffn I'd known you was comin'...

...I'da thrown a cake in the car.

Prior episodes of Dashboard Dining elicited various requests for desserty-type items, and being a pathetic addict myself, I was half-inclined to agree. When I looked up today's weather report to find that we only had 117 degrees forecasted, I was only too ready to give up the slated mushroom-and-onion beef dinner and fixate on sugar instead.

The only boxed-mix thing in the house was pancake mix, but I soon ascertained that since it had buttermilk and eggs already dehydrated in it, it would probably serve quite well. A quick top-cupboard search yielded the remaining ingredients for:

Car-Cooked Pecan Streusel Coffeecake

Assemble in work area: pancake mix, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter, pecans.

Streusel: Put 1/2 C brown sugar, 1/4 C flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon together in a bowl. Chop pecans, and add about 2 Tb. chopped to the streusel ingredients; toss together with fork. Melt 3 or 4 Tb butter, and add to dry ingredients a bit at a time, until streusel makes big crumbly bits. Taste. Taste again. Decide that you probably need a BIG spoon to take a good enough taste. Quit before you have nothing left to put on the damn cake, and set aside.

Cake: In a bowl, combine 1 C pancake mix, 2 Tb. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 2 Tb melted butter. Add about 1/2 C water, just enough to get a coffeecake batter consistency -- wet, but you have to spread it a bit. Work quickly, as batter begins to increase in volume as soon as it all gets wet.

Spread batter in small pyrex pan prepped with cooking spray, and sprinkle streusel on top.

Place pan immediately on dashboard of your nearest FPOGE.

Back up enough to admire entire panoramic view of FPOGE with cake on dashboard. Once you've widened your adoring gaze, notice that there are many strangers standing about, most likely because the house for sale next door is having a realtor's Open House. Note how strangers seem to be staring bemusedly at the FPOGE, then at you.

In just a quarter hour, the cake rises nicely:

The nice thing about car cooking is that the cake doesn't get temperamental if you nap off and forget about it for an hour, although it does get sulky when cloud cover comes rolling in before a thunderstorm.

Et voilá, the finished product:

Regular, or decaf? Cream and sugar?

The Dashboard Egg and Car-Cooked Chicken En Papillote just weren't enough -- 
you know I had to do one blowout
final edition of Dashboard Dining.


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