As readers of this blog know, the song I sing is sometimes tinged with a plaintive tone of world-weariness. The regular sight of pajama-clad shoppers slurping artificial yogurt through plastic tubes brings a dull note of mourning to my lips. The demise of high-quality domestic cotton towels and man’s discomfort with cloth napkins strikes the B flat in my repertoire. Lastly and most discouraging, I have been unable to hire a high school lad known to my family to shovel for me, in spite of offering him TWENTY DOLLARS AN HOUR. As the Pretenders once sang in one of their lesser light songs, “that gets me down, it really gets me down.” (2:48)
I apologize for the long first world lament.
In an attempt to stem the tide of social malaise, I’ve embarked on the “cake a week” project. I make cakes and write about them. I invite friends to stop by and have a slice. I load up the atomic stainless steel cake carrier from another time and bring cake to the people! (Remind me to bring a couple of slices to Dot and Breezy.)
Cake. Remember? A baked good once made in home kitchens with flour, eggs, and sugar? Flour-covered hands wiped on aprons?
This week’s offering was a Buttermilk Spice Cake, taken from my mother’s old Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s simple to assemble and can be made in one bowl. I didn’t use any exotic spices like the ever-trendy cardamom. Just cinnamon and cloves.
This was the first cake I remember making “on my own” as a teenager. Maybe I made it for my father’s birthday.
I consulted my “Classic Cake” brochure for ideas on fillings and frosting.
Simple! Combine a jar of marmalade with a cup of mixed nuts for the filling and frost the whole darn thing with an orange butter cream concoction.
I delivered some to my parents and asked them for their opinion.
“Excellent,” said Herman.
“Yummy,” said Helen. “Scrumptious!”
“It’s really a party cake,” she added.
Mr. DeeHan stopped by for a slice. I don’t know if I’ve told readers this, but in addition to possessing a fix-it gene, Mr. DeeHan once ran a restaurant and is a foodie of sorts. His opinion on food matters!
He said the cake was a “delightful combination of orange, butter cream, and spice. Add a few more layers to create a memorable wedding cake.”
There’s still some cake left for those who might need to gird up their loins for this weekend’s Valentine Blizzard. For me, it’s the breakfast of shoveling champions.
I am fueled by cake.