Ferry Lines and Black Friday {our first Thanksgiving on the Island}

Wednesday afternoon I baked a cake. A beautiful cranberry upside down cake.


Thursday morning we headed out for Thanksgiving with both families at Matt’s aunt rosemary’s home. We had a pretty short ferry line, but still managed to barely sneak on as the last car on the 11:55 route. Good thing we drive a mini! A bigger car would not have been allowed. Driving through the West Seattle ferry waiting area was a different story altogether…a line of cars that was at least a 3 boat wait!

We made our way through holiday Seattle traffic and arrived to a house full of people and love and amazing smells. We laughed and ate (Matt’s homemade cheese and my cake were major hits!) and played a round of 9 hole.

On the way home there was almost no traffic and we easily made our ferry…and for the second time that day were stunned at the line on the other side. Remember all those cars lined up to come out to Vashon? Well there was about a mile’s worth lined up ready to come OFF that night!

We had early morning Black Friday plans. Now I am not one to stand in line for “great” deals, personally I wish the shopping spree day did n

ot exist, but there is a local hardware store that carries a coveted garden tool, and was giving one away at 6:15am: a Vashon broadfork. Yep, the Mother Earth News and Grit magazine touted traditional man-powered tiller is made on OUR island and we wanted one. With a steep price tag, we were eager to get in the drawing. We pulled up around 6 and waiting for our name to be called. With only 10-15 other people in the store we had pretty good odds! But sadly it was not meant to be. We ended up giving in and buying one anyway and came home to drop me off and send Matt off to work. I was home in bed by 6:30! Gotta love small island life J

We are so looking forward to a weekend at home. We have our Christmas tree to put up, and half the presents are already wrapped. Cleaning, limbing trees, tearing out blackberries, relaxing and catching up on homework and sleep sounds wonderful! There is so much to be thankful for!

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

(adapted from Simply Recipes)

The rum adds extra lightness to the cake. With this amount you will not taste it. Next time I am going to try doubling the rum to get more rum cake flavor.



  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dark Cruzan rum
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen whole cranberries


  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp (plus more for buttering the pan)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup dark Cruzan rum


1 Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch diameter cake pan.

2 In a small saucepan, place the 1/4 cup of butter and the 3/4 cups of packed brown sugar. On medium high heat, stir the sugar as the butter melts. Once the butter is melted and mixed in well with the sugar, stop stirring and let the mixture simmer for 15 seconds or so.

3 Pour the brown sugar butter mixture into the prepared cake pan. Spread the cranberries on top of the sugar butter mixture.

4 Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl vigorously whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.

5 In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until light. Add the sugar and beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and orange zest.

6 Mix a third of the dry ingredients into the mixture. Beat in half of the sour cream. Mix in another third of the dry ingredients.  Mix in the remaining sour cream. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients and then the milk and rum.

7 Pour batter over the cranberries in the cake pan, and smooth the surface. Place in the preheated oven and lower the heat from 350°F to 325°F. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 55 minutes to an hour. Cool cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the inside rim of the cake pan to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Then turn the cake out onto a platter.


3 thoughts on “Ferry Lines and Black Friday {our first Thanksgiving on the Island}

  1. The cake looks and sounds delicious! I’ll be trying that next week – thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂 That’s funny about your Black Friday adventure. Stinks you didn’t win but at least you still came home with the coveted tool. We braved shopping Black Friday only once and that was enough.

  2. Pingback: Sticky Sweet and Tart: Cranberry Orange Cake | Moose & Turtle on Vashon

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