The drive up California's Route 1 was as wonderful as it looked. There was just one problem. Before leaving LA, we sweet talked the guys at our hotel into helping us put the top down on our rental Wrangler...but we never learned how to put the top back up. Which meant that come blazing sun, cold winds or pouring rain, we were those crazy girls still driving a convertible. Most of the time this wasn't a big deal--I donned a hat in Malibu to protect my sunburned nose, we turned on the heat near Morro Bay to combat the 40 degree temperature drop, and the rain, thankfully, never materialized. The only issue came when we wanted to stop and explore one of the cute little coastal towns...and had to leave our luggage unprotected in the back seat. Given that it took two of us the better part of twenty minutes to jam said luggage into the back seat in the first place, we toted our valuables in our purses and decided that if anyone really wanted our clothing and toiletries that badly, they were welcome to them. (Provided that they could make off with them without causing a scene that is. We drew a crowd of no fewer than five amused vacationers as we struggled to hoist our suitcases back into the Jeep on day two). Still, because we were basically offering our belongings for the taking each time we made a stop, venturing further than shouting distance from the car was a decision that had to be weighed carefully.
Even so, we didn't think twice about our mid-afternoon snack break at the Big Sur Bakery. In fact, we practically sprinted from the parking lot into the bakery, where we planted ourselves on bar stools and ordered coffee, tea and pastries galore. And where, keeping with tradition, I purchased a cookbook. A cookbook that contained an apple cake that was perfect for Rosh Hashanah. The cake is heavily spiced with nutmeg and vanilla bean, while the caramel apple topping is as rich and sweet as any frosting. It was a welcome addition to our holiday table, but is simple enough to serve as an everyday cake as well. Or, you know, as a snack on a road trip when you're trapped in the car because you don't know how to put the top back up.
Apple Upside-Down Cake