I’ve been on a reading frenzy lately…. In the last couple of months I have thumbed my way through so many books, and have to admit it’s quickly becoming my favorite thing to do. It’s weird… I almost mourn the end of a book once I finish reading it, and go through this stage of what am I gonna do now? I suppose I’m saying it’s weird cuz heaven knows I have a ton of work and know exactly what I’m gonna do now.
A few weeks ago the lovely folks over at Walmart asked if I would be interested in reading an advanced copy of Jodi Picoult’s new book “Leaving Time.” I read the summary of the book and thought “that sounds interesting, yeah send it over.”
“Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife, and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it’s been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment . . . or worse. Still Jenna–now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief–steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother’s desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother’s disappearance and the death of one of her mother’s co-workers. Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Leaving Time is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters”
The book arrived and I devoured it over the course of a few days. Let me tell you that description doesn’t even scratch the intensity surface of the story nor does it tell you that Jodi Picoult’s writing is near perfect. I was completely entwined in the characters and felt like I myself had become an elephant scientist. I learned so much about grief, patience, trusting your inner soul, and letting go. I highly recommend it to anybody in search of their next great read, and just wish there was more pages added to the story. I didn’t want it to end, because perhaps I wasn’t ready to let go.
In the book as the story unfolds I learned that when elephant keepers need to medicate an elephant they stick the medicine in the center of an apple and top it with peanut butter. When I was done reading the last page…. I couldn’t believe how amazing the end was. I got straight up off my couch and made this cake completely inspired by Leaving Time.
The book goes on sale tomorrow 10/14 and will be carried in all Walmart stores with a rollback that brings it to 40% off. I think you just found your new book.
Ingredients for Cajeta Apple Peanut Butter Cake:
- 1/2 – cup cajeta or dulce de leche
- 1 1/2 – honey crisp apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
- 1/3 – cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 – cup butter (room temp)
- 1/2 – cup smooth peanut butter
- 3/4 – cup brown sugar
- 3 – eggs
- 1 – teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 – cup flour
- 1 – teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 – teaspoon salt
- 3 – tablespoons whole milk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray a 9 inch glass pie dish with a non-stick baking spray.
- Pour cajeta into the base of the pie plate.
- Arrange apples in the cajeta then top with pecans. Set to the side.
- In a mixer cream butter, peanut butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.
- Add in eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Slowly add flour to peanut butter mixture. Mix until incorporated.
- Add in milk and mix until just combined.
- Pour peanut butter bater over cajeta apples.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate.
- Serve warm and enjoy!