I just HAVE to share with you this new recipe!  It has quite a story, so here goes!

A few months ago, I rolled my van!  It was an experience that I never want to repeat, and hope that I don't.  What happened was tragic to me right at the moment it happened, more than any reason (though there was nothing good about it), because I was on my way to a very nice weekend away with my family that we all had been looking forward to.  I had my dogs in my packed van, was going to pick up my middle school daughter, drop the dogs at our kennel, and meet up with my college age daughter (who attends college 6 hrs. away) and my husband and 2 sons (who were hunting in the mountains) in a city in central WA.  Wenatchee is half-way between us and our daughter, and our guys were nearby there.  Us girls were planning on going to Leavenworth, a Bavarian village in the mountains, to window-shop while the guys hunted.  Anyway, the dogs were worked up as it had been awhile since they had gone riding.  One dog kept jumping into the front seat where she is not supposed to be!  I was very upset with her, and had already made her to go to the back once.  She was trying to jump to the front again, when I put out my hand to stop her.  At that point, the road has a slight curve to the left, and I got my right wheel off the wet pavement (no shoulder), and there was 6 in. between the pavement and a ditch there (confirmed later).  I remember being angry and yanking on the steering wheel to pull it back on the road, but couldn't do so and I rolled it into the ditch and ended up being upside down and watched the shattered windshield fall like a curtain!  Right away the van filled with smoke, which I didn't realize was from the airbags.  That got me moving to the back and out the side door quickly to get us out.  I was going about 45 mi./hr. and didn't have a front-end impact, so it seemed a bit like a "gentle" roll, if that were possible!  My seat belt and airbags protected me, and I only had bruises from the airbags and steering wheel on my arms.  I did get a 1 in. cut on the head, which gave them concern and therefore required a trip to the hospital. I was shook up (the dogs too, which seemed uninjured) but thought I was ok.  Then the task of figuring out, in my state of shock, what to do about the dogs and my daughter waiting for me at school.  The cop ended up taking my dogs to the kennel for me, and my friend Donna went to pick up my daughter. 

So, here's where the recipe comes in!  My friend took my daughter to her home, where she had several people there helping with grape harvest and processing grape juice.  Then she went to find my van and see what she could do to help.  She gathered up as much stuff as she could (horrified to see my laptop case on the road as she pulled up!) and took it back to her place.  She also saw a hatchet laying behind the passenger seat, which really upset her!  We didn't realize we had not removed our hatchet from camping from the back compartment of the van.  It didn't stay there.  It flew!  YIKES!  Zip-tie stuff to the seat frames, friends!!  Everything goes airborne in a roll-over!  In the jumble of upturned grocery bags, etc., there was a freshly-washed bag of apples.  The zip-loc bag had held (good advertising!) and they were still inside.  James L., one of those helping at her house, took my daughter under his wing and they made "Car Crash Apple Cake," otherwise known as "Raw Apple Cake."  This has become a joke around here... because it's kind of like making lemon bars out of lemons!  Something sweet came of a truly bitter experience.  As it was much better than it could have been, we decided we will accept it.  It was a bad experience, yes, but I lived through it, our guys lived through the crazy ride out of the mountains to get to the hospital (not knowing how bad the head injury was), and I was really not injured very badly.  My boss said "...you must have had an angel watching over you!"  I feel that way too!  I appreciate everyone who helped us that day!  It renewed my belief in true friendship!!

So, this cake is truly fabulous!  The night of my accident, after my sweet substitute mom, Ruth, drove me home from the hospital (no room in the truck) and kindly washed my hair for me, my friend Donna brought over some of that Car Crash Apple Cake!  After a hit on the head, I wasn't sure if it was just my imagination or the thought that I was alive that made the cake sweet, but I confirmed it when I made it later that it was truly awesome!  I made it with white flour and white sugar the first time... just to be sure I could end up with a good product, but tonight I made it with brown sugar and spelt flour!!!  Wow... it worked!  I saw online that you can substitute spelt for white flour in a reduced amount (3/4 C spelt is the equivalent to 1 C flour).  It was sooo tasty and I felt much better eating it, just knowing that I was following my diet!! 

Raw Apple Cake

(from James L. 2010)

4 C raw apple, cut into chunks
2 C sugar  (can substitute brown sugar)
½ C cooking oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 C nuts, chopped
2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour  (can substitute 1 1/2 C spelt flour)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp ground cloves (opt.)
1 tsp salt

In one bowl, place apples in and mix with the sugar. Add oil and stir thoroughly. Stir into this the nuts, beaten eggs and vanilla. In a second bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Blend dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, alternating while stirring. Use either an ungreased 9x13” baking dish or a spring form pan with a center tube (parchment paper helps). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cake will pull away from the sides near the finish time. Use a toothpick to check for doneness. Enjoy! YUMMY!

Here's some info. about spelt:  http://nutrition.about.com/od/grainsandcereals/p/spelt.htm

My wish for you is that the best thing that happened to you last year is the worst thing that happens to you this year!  HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011!!!