Saturday, February 1, 2014

Let them eat cake

The week before this week kind of sucked.  There was stupidity from multiple sources re: the quilt block swap group (I will spare you any more detail, I promise), a gentle but building panic from newly crafted adults just learning they are average when 6 months ago they were the smartest people they knew (for them this is one of the most difficult things that will ever happen, for us it is the week before midterms) & what has come to be run-of-the-mill behavior from members of our extended family (still doesn't make it fun, just means the bar is set really, really low...& we still have to lower it occasionally).  Like I said:  sucked.

& by last Sunday I had kind of had it.  I was so deflated I blew off all my Sunday stuff.  I didn't go to my usual house of worship (the library).  I drank my coffee without cream or sweetener because I could not face the grocery store.  I didn't get gas (yes, I get gas just once a week) or even leave the house for any reason except to do the bare minimum of outside chores, which mostly means feeding & watering.  I just sat & stared at the tv...which was not even on.  You read that right.  In my defense it is a flat screen & it nicely reflects the bird feeders so it is the same thing as looking out the window, except when I move the birds cannot see it. 

At some point, I picked up one of the books that had been recommended & I had dutifully checked out (yes, I go to the library more than once a week).  It changed my whole day.  The book is All Cakes Considered by Melissa Gray.  I more or less just planned to look at the pictures, but within the first dozen pages I started rattling around the cupboards.  I didn't own a tube pan (I do now!), so I followed the directions (I usually do, actually.  Mostly.  Sometimes) & halved the recipe & the cooking time & squeaked by with my 4-mini-loaf pan.

Since I was in the kitchen anyhow, I mixed up a batch of unseasoned bread crumbs & Turkish blend, set some chicken breast strips to effectively marinate in a two beaten eggs & boiled & mashed the potatoes that had been sitting on the counter since...I'm actually not sure when.  The timing worked so the potatoes could sit in a warm oven after the cake came out.  By the time the first loaf pan was empty, it was time for dinner.

You might think that two people who had just shoveled down 1/8th of a pound cake could not then put away breaded & fried (in very little oil, I swear) chicken, A LOT of mashed potatoes with the rest of the sour cream (most of it went into the cake) & steamed pole beans (we aren't savages) but you would be wrong.  One of even had seconds on the mashed potatoes (OKay, it was me).  Then we had more cake.  We would have had all the cake but I put away the smallest loaf (it came out the prettiest, honest) to take to W*****. 

A has been walking around since saying it is the best angel food cake he has ever had.  To clarify, it wasn't an angel food cake, it was a pound cake, the first recipe in the book.  To further clarify, he spent a certain portion of his childhood in the bakery/restaurant his uncle managed for the Selinger family for decades.  In short, he has an intimate familiarity with really good cakes & we have the dental bills to prove it, he just doesn't always pull the right word.

On Monday, I bought a tube cake pan.  & my own copy of All Cakes Considered

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