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School is officially in full swing. The elderly once again rule the matinee movie. The animals at the zoo are breathing a sigh of relief. And moms and dads everywhere are asking that age old question, "What to pack for lunch?"
Here's a trick from my baby-sitting days: pound cake. A big, buttery pound cake will stay moist and fresh for a good three days if not a week, providing a slew of breakfast, lunch, and/or after-school snacks for your wee one. I like this Chocolate Cherry version for its deep cocoa flavor and pops of fresh fruit.
If you can, I say take an hour and make this cake with your charge. It's easy to assemble and if you have a super awesome cherry pitter that rapid-fire pits cherries, they'll go absolutely wild and you can pat yourself on the back for having momentarily one-upped Yo Gabba Gabba.
Of course I used to make a version of this cake in the pre-pitter days with my own grandmother, and it was just as fun. Though in that case, I'd recommend you pit the cherries before inviting kids to join (unless the lesson of the day is patience.) Either way, they'll love the chocolate-chocolate feature of this cake: a cocoa-y crumb is filled with chocolate chips (I prefer dark, but feel free to switch to milk or even white.) Fresh cherries lighten the cake, but if there are none to be had, dried cherries can be substituted instead.
At the end of the week, when it's getting a little stale, make an extra special dessert by toasting two thin slices of cake and spreading a little vanilla or cream cheese frosting in between. Just don't do it right before bedtime.
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