Saturday, November 1, 2014

It was the 75th birthday of my friend that lost her daughter in spring.  My friend that is caring for her affairs now that she is ill and indisposed, texted me to come for a lunch and to bring cake.  Naturally I wanted the cake to be lovely and special.  I started baking it around 7:00pm, after a long and stressful day.  Everything that could go wrong with the cake started going wrong immediately.  I have baked hundreds of cakes in my life, each one more or less perfect, but this one was a complete disaster in every way.  I bake in copper, because it give a good crust, but apparently the shining nature of the copper makes my new, fancy oven heat unevenly.  The cake blew up on one side and was flat and raw on the other.  One side was burned.  I had to cut it down considerable to get it to even out.  I'd made two small heart molds too, which I thought would be for my children, but after hacking the bunt cake apart, I needed them to make enough cake to present.  There then became the issue of how to serve a long, low assembly of cakes, that are different shapes.  I mixed up a chocolate ganache that I also have made a thousand times, only to discover that when we moved the kitchen back in, after the remodel, that my mother had filled my powdered sugar canister with coconut, accidentally, so my frosting was all lumpy and gross looking.  I hid that by throwing some shredded coconut over the entire thing and dusting it with shaved dark chocolate.  The next day I bought some obscenely overpriced berries and dolled the whole thing up with some herbs from the garden.  I also baked a second cake, a polenta cake that is very unusual and well received, by most folks, which I thought could distract from the freaky chocolate cake.  I was running late, and had to turn it out, while still oven hot, which resulted in it sticking badly.  I molded the pieces back together, doused it in cherry preserves and covered the mess with more of the berries, and tarragon.  Both cakes were graciously received by all, and sadly, the guest of honor couldn't really eat, because Parkinson's disease spoils your digestion and swallowing.  I tragedy for this lady, who has been a fabulous cook her whole life.

Freyja and Rolf made pizza on Thursday. They also carved a LOT of pumpkins.  I did absolutely nothing to contribute to the whole affair, other than lay out a mise en place with all of the ingredients (mostly to avoid Rolf digging through the cupboards and making a huge mess, which he is inclined toward, when cooking).

Mark persists in keeping the horrible beard, which is literally eclipsing me in this photo- it's that big! We got off rather easy for Halloween this year, as Freyja spent the night with a friend, who also designed their matching zombie twin costumes. I did a short volunteer shift at the place I sometimes work on Friday nights, with exploited and vulnerable women and girls.  We turned off the porch light at 8:00, because we are lazy and wicked and our dog pees on the floor every time a child comes to the door to trick or treat. We holed up in the kitchen watching "Deadwood" and waiting for Maxwell to return from a music show.

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