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Crevolyn Wiley: Reading, traveling can take you to new places near and far
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I have a plaque on my nightstand that says, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

These words resonated deep in my heart as books and travel are two of my favorite things. I always have a book in progress. I love classics, political thrillers, biographies, beach novels and, of course, cookbooks.

I read cookbooks like a textbook, making notes in the margins, plastering them with sticky notes and putting references for future cooking in a document on my computer. OK, I might have a little problem.

Since I am an avid reader, I also own a Kindle. I use it primarily for traveling, since my husband doesn’t take to kindly to toting 10 pounds of books in the luggage. I guess that makes sense.

But nothing will ever replace a real book with pages you can hold in your hands. I love the smell, feel and sound of pages turning. And don’t get me started on the wonders of a book store. I can spend hours perusing the aisles, savoring the ambiance of all those volumes. I think I might be a book nerd. 

The parallel between books and travel is something I can definitely get my head around. I have been full of wanderlust as long as I can remember. My parents would load us up in the woody wagon and take off for weeks on road trips during the summer.

One summer we drove more than 8,000 miles, exploring the country. That’s a lot of hours in the backseat of a station wagon. But my daddy was so laid back, if we saw something off the beaten path we wanted to explore, we stopped.

My dad always encouraged me to see all I could see. There are truly many pages in this great big world.

So when we had children of our own, Darrell and I decided experiences were more important than things. We wanted our children to be exposed to as much beauty and culture of their surroundings as possible. We made sure they could navigate the Atlanta airport by themselves, because I guarantee you, if you make it there, you can make it anywhere.

When Emily reached age 13, we gave her a budget and asked her to plan a trip, doing all the research for transportation, lodging and excursions. She did such a good job she became the official trip planner for our family.

Several years ago we were in Key West, home of some seriously good key lime anything. I decided then and there key lime pie can transition into a cake without missing a beat. This has been a family favorite ever since.

I guess the moral of this story is nothing beats a good book and a good location. That good location can be your own back porch with a piece of Key lime cake.

 

Key lime cake with cream cheese icing

For the cake:

* 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

* ½ teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon baking powder

* 5 eggs

* 3/4 cup lime juice

* 1 teaspoon lemon extract

* 2 cups all-purpose flour

* ½ teaspoon baking soda

* 1 (3-ounce) package lime gelatin

* 1 ½ cup vegetable oil

* ½ teaspoon vanilla

Cake drizzle ingredients:

* 2/3 cup lime juice

* 2/3 cup powdered sugar

For cream cheese icing:

* 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

* 1 stick butter

* 1 box powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease with butter 3 (8-inch) cake pans or 1 (9-by-13-inch) pan.

Put all cake ingredients in a large bowl and blend at low speed until moist. Beat 2-4 minutes at medium speed.

Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake for 30-40 minutes.

For drizzle, mix 2/3 cup lime juice and 2/3 cup powdered sugar.

When cake comes out of the oven and is still warm, prick all over with toothpick. Pour lime juice mixture over cake.

When cake is cool, frost with cream.

For cheese Icing, mix cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar. Blend well and spread on cake.

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at crevolyn.wiley@jandjfoods.com.

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