Life gets in the way. I sat down this morning to write a post about angel food cake, surely the lightest and fluffiest of topics. Along the way, a few things intervened, including a health insurance crisis, the resulting flurry of income calculation and making of physical appointments, and a general discussion of the terrors of freelancing and health care. Life is uncertain right now, the future is murky, and the career is complicated. Many wonderful opportunities are presenting themselves, to me and to those I love, but the last few months have been hard for a lot of us, juggling priorities and dreams and growing domestic urges, and seeking the holy grail of the job with benefits, then doubting whether we want it at all.
In such an uncertain climate (see what I did there, that nod to climate change?), it's unsurprising that I and many others turn to the stove for comfort. My cousin Michelle, already an excellent cook, has suddenly emerged as another obsessive baker, driven by employment worries and the the allure of precise measurements, detailed instructions, and instant-gratification achievement. From the far shore of that madness, head over heels in cake and sourdough, I flash her the welcome salute, the recognition of one madman to another. I lob the ritual doughnut at her head. She's already made a beef pot pie I'm dying to try, and I don't even cook beef.
I stay in some nights. I make light and fluffy angel food cake.
tweed cake disaster until the cake was already flying high. In the end, it didn't fall, although I think I could have baked it for a minute or two longer, as it was a bit damp. I halved the recipe, so it didn't rise over the pan as Rose intimates it might, but it reached a satisfying height. Rose also casually mentioned a slicing trick that blew my mind--instead of pressing down with a knife, which flattens the cake, she suggested separating slices using two forks back to back. This isn't the neatest technique (at least not yet), but it gives me great pleasure by a: working, and b: reminding me of english muffins with their fork split. Things that remind me of english muffins make me smile.