Thank you for your patience. It's been almost 2000 miles, 2 campsites, one motel, and one hilltop lodge since I last posted. In addition, I've waded through 6 quarts of blueberries, several sausages, firepit cooking, infinite pancakes, and another several quarts of blackberries, not to mention 9+ cake layers and gallons of frosting.
But to mention cake and frosting for a moment. Last week was Stacey and Avi's beautiful wedding, and I was, as I've mentioned, lucky enough to make the cake. In fact, I was lucky enough to spend a whole week at the strange and lovely lodge where they were married, with twenty other truly great people, and to slowly make the cake right at the house over several days, interspersed with wonderful dinners by other great cooks, good swimming, bonfires, and starry nights.It was a long and busy week, and I couldn't possibly go into it all--the lobsters, the dodgy disco barn, the blond babies and buttermilk pancakes, giant challah, the terrifying stuffed animals, including the fluffy doll bunny with a human face...the drunken caretaker...The only thing I need to say about all that is that twenty good friends and acquaintances in one house for one week could be a nightmare if you are a person like me, and I have only the best to say about all the people, new friends and old, who made it a memorable joy instead.This is a food blog, though, so what you need to know is that the 'Inn,' although somewhat decrepit, boasted a full professional kitchen, with miles of surfaces, cabinets of glassware and tools, and two stoves, one a six burner professional (my new love), and one a strange glossy yuppie number with a stovetop griddle attachment. The yuppie stove made the pancakes (filled with tiny wild blueberries that Matt and I got to pick with rakes and run through the winnower--another story for another time), but the big black monster with the powerful oven made the cakes.Actually, everyone made the cakes. I mean, I actually mixed the butter and sugar, but I had a kitchen full of good advisors, zesters, cheerleaders, and hand holders.Here are some photos from the early steps--I baked over a few days, while others woke up or sat around the bonfires. Some of the cakes came out with a few more tunnels than I could have hoped, but all tasted excellent, and each and every one was wrapped and frozen in one of two freezers (the other held ice cream and vodka) over the course of three days. Nine layers in all--three 10 inch, three 8 inch, three 6 inch.
Final prep before assembly included the making of the fillings--lemon curd and pastry cream. These were so good that almost no one could keep their fingers out, but luckily there were plenty of cake scraps to dip.I count it extremely dangerous that I have learned exactly how easy it takes to make lemon curd.
Next up: Assembly and presentation.