cooking on vacation is all about improvisation

posted on: Monday, September 13, 2010

Our tiny rental has a tiny kitchen with a tiny stove and even tinier oven. It took four people yesterday to light up the gas oven. I was determined to make a cake even if it has to be mixed by hand in a metal cooking pan with very few ingredients.

I bought a cake mix and improvised with the ingredients so I could give it more flavor. I used the Dona Benta cake mix. Dona Benta is the Brazilian version of Betty Crocker. Coincidence that both starts with a the letter B? I think not. I mean, I don't know but both mixes are probable the exact same so hopefully this recipe will work for my American readers as well.

The mix calls for three eggs and 3/4 cup cold milk. I substituted the cold milk for 1/2 cup strawberry yogurt and 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk. I don't have a measuring cup so I just poured one yogurt caontainer in the mix and measured the sweetened condensed milk in the empty yogurt container. I figured it was 1/2 a cup. Cake mixes are forgiving so if it's a little more or a little less than actually 3/4 cup it will turn out fine. The real difficulty was getting the yogurt cups away from baby Maria. Did I mention that we brought very little toys? She drags these things around the house as if they were race cars. I'm amazed at how few things we actually need to have fun.

Anyway, I baked for 30 minutes at medium heat and after it cooled off I drizzled some more yogurt and sweetened condensed milk on top. It was such a hassle to get the oven to work I wanted to maximize my efforts by making it as sweet as possible. Heck, if we're having dessert than we're having DESSERT.

I was happy with the results. 
We'll possibly make it again on Friday for baby Maria's first birthday.

We're also improvising on the feeding front. No high chair means feeding baby Maria on the stairs. She sits for about 10 seconds and then crawls away leaving crumbs all over the floor. I don't really mind since the place we're staying in is so tiny it takes about just as long for me to sweep the floor.

Hooray for vacations.

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