Tuesday, September 13, 2005

4 egg cake

It's nice to be totally, inarguably successful sometimes. Most succeses have bittersweet elements to them because of the sacrifices that it took to get there or because someone else lost in order for one to win. Also, lots of succeses are considered successful only from one point of view. Winners writing history and all of that. We've so glorified the underdog story and been exposed to so many after-school specials that it's an almost knee-jerk response that when someone loses the game, we still find success in how hard they worked. None of that's bad. I love ambiguity. However, I also love pure, unadulturated glory.

Yesterday, I brought dessert to the going-away party for Gabe that was perfect. And everyone said so. And they said it with their mouths full of cake and ecstasy in their eyes.

My mom's 4 egg cake is a family favorite. It epitomizes the word, "tasty." 4 eggs, 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon (I always use more) of vanilla. Add a cup of heated milk that a quarter stick of butter has been melted into and you have one fine cake after it's been cooked.

Actually, the obstacle in the rising action of baking was that I was going to bake the cake at the hostess's house but after we put it in the warm oven, it did nothing. Every time I checked the cake, the oven actually seemed cooler. To our dismay, we were out of propane: both tanks were empty. However, Fabrice jiggled some wires, shook some tanks and saved the day. Like all plot complications, this one seemed to add to the perfection of the ultimate climax because the extended time just sitting in a slightly warm over seemed to eliminate the usually somewhat sticky section in the center of the cake that usually doesn't get quite done normally.

But, lest you think I simply put some ingredients together and trusted fate to make them perfect, I must add that there were strawberries involved. Looking like they were posing for a cooking magazine, these were strawberries that I myself picked at Rhonda's farm while I was helping Faith with the harvest. I took them home and sliced them. Then, I poured about a half of a cup of sugar over them and let those little garnet gems macerate because, as the Murphys say, "God didn't make a fruit that a little sugar couldn't improve." I bought a quart of organic half-and-half to simply pour on top of the cake and the strawberries and their syrup. Who needs to whip it when the cake just soaks it in like a sponge? It was perfect.

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