It seems that UAL has buckled to the, admittedly muffled, cries of fliers who are forced to sit next to the morbidly obese. You know the ones, those passengers who reserve the middle seat and then spread out, Jabba-the-Hut-Like, to engulf half of the seats on either side of them.
Well out of chaos comes opportunity. Yours truly has decided to start a new business. The Frequent Airline Travelers Seating Organization, FATSO, is now available to service the needs of the plus sized traveler.
At FATSO Flyers we will have a fleet of appropriate sized aircraft, specifically designed for your comfort and convenience. A series of military grade hoists will whisk you to your seats. Once there you'll be greeted by our specially trained in-flight staff, who will assist you in closing our custom designed heavy-duty nylon and burlap seat belt extenders. In flight, you'll be served a delicious meal along with appropriate entertainment, all free from the complaints and gasping for air you find on a typical commercial flight.
Of course, if we're kicking off a new venture then we need an appropriate recipe. What better than a little bit of cake? This recipe is for a single loaf appropriate for serving 8 people, not to worry, on FATSO Air we won't be serving something so meager. But for all you skinny types out there, please enjoy...
from Olive Magazine, March 2009
2 medium-large oranges
1/3 cup water
6 ounces sugar
6 ounces unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing the baking pan
6 ounces flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 ounces powdered sugar
Peel the rind from the oranges using a potato peeler. Cut the strips into thin shreds.
Finely grate the rind of the lemon and set aside.
Juice the lemon and oranges together into a medium bowl, removing any seeds.
Reserve 1 tablespoon of the combined juices and set aside. Transfer the remaining juice along with the orange zest shreds to a small pan. Add 1/3 cup of water to the mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until well softened.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
After 30 minutes, add 2 ounces of the sugar to the liquid and boil for an additional 5 minutes. Reduce until about 2 TBSP remain and the liquid is syrupy.
Scoop out about 1/3 of the orange shreds and reserve.
Transfer the remaining syrup and shreds to a small bowl and allow to cool.
Spray a loaf pan with Pam or butter well.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar, butter, flour, eggs, baking powder, and lemon zest. Mix until well combined. Fold in the orange syrup mixture.
Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake for 35 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minute, then remove from the pan and allow to completely cool on a rack.
While the cake cools, prepare the icing. Blend the remaining citrus juice (1 TBSP) with the powdered sugar until smooth. Add more sugar if needed so that the glaze is pourable but not too thin. Put a piece of waxed paper under the rack and drizzle the cake with the icing. Scatter the reserved orange rind across the top of the loaf and dust with additional powdered sugar.
Ta Da! OK, you're right, like all desserts, it's an involved pain in the rear-end. But it's a tasty pain. I will admit to hating rind, candied or otherwise, in cakes. If I would change anything in this recipe it would be to grate instead of peel the orange ring. But SSSal tells me that that would complicate the "candying" process. I just think she doesn't want to do it.
Alright crablings I'm off to find funding for my new airline. I dream of the day when you'll all look up to see a massive airplane blotting out the sun, thinking, "Look at the size of that FATSO". Until then, just remember, you can do it, you can cook.