The joys of adult children: Carrot cake

The Avett Brothers, February Seven


The Avett Brothers, No Hard Feelings

I wish they lived down the block, but I’ll take what I have: two wonderful adult kids, an extraordinary daughter and son-in-law, five granddaughters, one grandson, one grand daughter-in-law, and, dun da da dun, one great granddaughter—all on the Eastcoast.

I just returned from a whirlwind family visit—drives through the Tennessee and South Carolina hills (they call them mountains), delicious meals that someone else made, cozy, comfortable guest rooms, shopping in vintage stores, thrift stores, fancy stuff stores, lunches in tiny Berea, Kentucky and Greer, South Carolina, night walks in downtown Knoxville, Mexican food at Babaloo, morning coffee with my favorite people, Syd’s famous cinnamon rolls, soft doggie ear rubs with Louie, Lucy, and Layla, football games, and…thanks to Ronnie, a rousing surprise: an evening Avett Brothers concert for the whole family.


The concert goers gather at the UT campus before the event.


Noodle Nirvana, Berea, Kentucky


Aunt Katie with Jane


Grandpa Ronnie with Jane


Downtown Knoxville

My dears also threw me an official, present-opening, carrot cake-eating, candle-blowing birthday party. All in all, it was a best-ever week with the ones I love. They gave up their time, let me have their too-cool, kookaburra drink bottle, drove to see me, told me their best adventures, showed me their latest kitchen improvements, fluffed my pillow, made my morning coffee, gave me a portable white-noise machine and a warm quilted shirt, took me on a guided tour of their new factory, dropped me off at my departure gate, introduced me to their boss, made me cinnamon rolls, cooked dinner for me, and made me miss them even more. 

Bob got sprung from his Sacramento project, so a week after I returned from the East Coast, here we are at the airport, ready to go home. I’ll miss the sunny weather and our 11th floor view, but will be so glad to be home again.

Sound Food Carrot Cake 

  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 c. oil 
  • 1 c. brown sugar 
  • 1 c. white sugar 
  • 2 c. flour 
  • 2 tsp. baking soda 
  • 2 tsp. baking powder 
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. nutmeg 
  • 3 c. grated carrots 
  • 1 c. walnuts 

Beat eggs until lemon colored in large bowl. Add oil, brown sugar, white sugar.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices together in separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in large bowl. Mix in carrots and walnuts.

Pour batter into one 9×11 or three 9” greased and floured cake pans. Bake 40 minutes in preheated 325° oven. Cool before frosting.

 Cream Cheese Frosting 

  • 1⁄2 c. butter, softened 
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 # box powdered sugar 
  • 1 Tb. vanilla 

Beat butter and cream cheese together. Add vanilla.

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6 Responses to The joys of adult children: Carrot cake

  1. Beth says:

    What a wonderful birthday gift from your loving family. Precious times!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow what a sweet and wonderful celebration of family and so comfortable for everyone! Joyous faces on sweet loving souls, what a great birthday week for you Marla, you do deserve such honoring, we are happy for you and sweetie to be back at home❤️🌹🌈 wondering how the concert was couldn’t imagine anything less than fabulous, I am jealous a bit that I wan’t there too 😘

  3. Kathy says:

    Your family visit sounds like a dream! You sound so happy! I want to be there lol! Glad you got to go and happy you will be coming home. The carrot cake sounds delicious!!! See you soon!

  4. Ginny says:

    I’m finding that it’s even better when they get married and have children as there are more of them to love.

  5. Bridget says:

    So loved having you come to our “neck of the woods” on the “wrong coast”! We enjoyed every minute of your visit. Love you, Mom!

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