Colleen recalled an old recipe that she had had a lot of fun with many years ago. It is called 30 day cake on the internet. It takes 50 if you have to make the starter. And so we embarked on a 50 day cake after our trip to Maine. We bought a crock. It was the container that triggered Colleen’s memory recipe. The mashed fruit was stirred once a day for…and finally we had a starter and two cakes worth of fruit. Fruit cake? Nope! Different! Good?! Hmmm, emphasis on good!!
And, of course, ya gotta have a friend. Friendship? After 50 days you have the fruit ingredients plus starter for future cakes. You share the starter and hence the term friendship. Lovely. It’s good to have friends.
Success does not depend upon the food. The food is the centerpiece. Does it matter. No. it is the people. It is family. It is gathering together after three long years of covid separation. We survived. Some had it. Twice. We were fortunate to have missed Covid. Safe? No. There is a positive number for new cases and deaths. But the risk? is at acceptable levels. All the old recipes were pulled. My turkey was made in our new oven which overcooked the bird in less time than we expected. No one complained. It was as though we were seeing long lost relatives. Mistakes were made. And everyone had an excellent time. No one went away hungry.
In the books
How much is enough? I never know. It’s not a competition. Photo op? How many shots do you take? This was my second time seeing Quinn. I won’t see Noa or Quinn for a while. They live far away. I shot throughout the day – about 7 hours. Colleen shot. Jules shot. Jeff shot with my camera. We got 2000 images. Do you think there was a good one? Sure! From a certain perspective the day was a success. A great success?! I think the moments will be more precious as time passes.
Well, I made a cake for Jules’ birthday. Lisa did too. See! See the difference! That’s a cake! It took Lisa three days to make it. Mine was a few hours work. See! I laugh. I never represented that I could bake. And I still don’t! The thought was what counts. And we blew out the candles…. Lisa was still at work. Yes, some of us do … work. And Noa is eating lasagna. She had to finish her dinner before cake. And, Quinn was asleep, in case you were wondering where she was at dinnertime. And the pose (Quinn’s) was composited to show a smiling baby. Hey! My cake was for real!! Ha ha. There’s cake. And then, there’s cake!
No cake for you
Birthday. It’s Jules belated (one day) birthday. Birthday cake! I made carrot cake. The bastards! The icing in a can only covers about half the cake. Why?!! So, we bought two (cans). Noa asked for cake all day long as soon as I brought it thru the door. Now! Dinner, dessert, birthday cake, the moment was upon us. Candles! Light the candles, blow them out, eat cake! Nope! Not happening! Sad, not really, Noa was told to eat/finish her dinner first. No tantrum. She ate dinner and then had cake. … all gone! What good discipline. Ya gotta admire modern parenting!
Iconic, it’s nearly the only picture of me from childhood. Where it is/went, again?, I do not know. My family was sparsely represented at our party; don’t ask. The cake was carrot – local baker – the decoration by Colleen’s daughters, merging city and country life… in DE? This was a successful coda to our wedding saga. Party? We delayed our wedding celebration – ah! the cake?! – until the summer when we had a gathering during the annual family vacation time.
Here to there
How’d I get here? In the absence of anything else, I shoot cat portraits. Simple. They pose?!? Nope. I put the camera in their face and point the lens straight at their eyes. It works.
Finally, a new oven! The old one – dead. Built-in obsolescence. Better one? It had to fit the hole of the old one. Pain!!! Major pain, supply chain issues, we snagged a clearance model at less than half price from retail. Lucky! You bet!! It clearly said on the box – in big black and white letters – the oven was too large for the hole – ¾ inches too large. Really!! So, it fit right into the hole of the old oven. Go figure.
And, within moments – carrot cake. I add (my mom did it) a cup of grated carrots; the cake rises…. And, a few days later… a sour cream apple walnut pie. We wasted no time in making up for lost time.
Pizza? Well, I gotta say, “Who doesn’t like pizza?” Gluten free crust. ??? Oh! Well, Colleen is also vegetarian (off and on), so, two pies – mine had sausage. It was a good pie! Yeah, it’s good to have an oven again.
One more step – to product. I spin – wool. We process. … ‘cause I don’t wash. The one and only time I washed, I felted. (If you don’t spin, the joke went right over your head.) Straight off the sheep, the fleece is polluted – grass, dirt, poop, etc. The fleece is opened up – picked. Then, it is washed, carded and prepared into bats, ready to spin. Spin, spun, it looks rather fine and refined, ready to go – cloth, shawl, scarf, and so forth. This would be here to there. Yarn!
It was an interesting birthday on many levels. My side of the family is far and wide. Colleen’s family has taken me under their wing. Word got out and the list of folks coming to dinner grew and grew. I got cards, gifts, and a slice of cake too large for me to eat alone. And, family shot me from all directions. And the pics were sent to my phone before the cake was eaten! It’s a first for me. The world has changed. It’s good right? Shhhhh… they still believe me when I say I am fast enough to press the camera shutter, and, be in the picture too!
4th of July – we had a BBQ one year and this was the cake we made and served. Someone brought their own Tonic Water. She left it behind in the fridge. Days later I came home late, ate dinner, pour myself a drink. I like to mix juice and fizz so I added a good measure of tonic. A few minutes later my face flushed. I asked the family if it was warm in the house. Not warm – drunk. I am intolerant of ETOH. I flush, get a headache, then fall asleep.
I have had this aversion since my first vodka screwdriver when I was a high school senior. We ate a greasy hamburger and went riding on the No. 7 train to Times Sq. As is our want we rode the last car and when the train jerked to its stop at the last station I promptly threw up and it floated under the engineer’s door. I am ashamed to say we ran.
Back to my story. Yup! That tonic was laced with gin. Our guest had mixed her own and brought it. No need to inform me. And of course, I found out. Luckily it was night and I slept off the effect before heading back to the OR the next morning. I shall ever suspect unaccounted food in my fridge.
It’s Not Bad
Jules did not make the cake because no one remembered her birthday. She made this in an inspired Martha Stewart moment. Six sticks of butter later – Voila! Looks good and I got to taste it too!
Yes, Susie Homemaker. Too funny. Good cake. She had a stand mixer. Wow. Me? Pillsbury, Betty Crocker all the way…