Not so long ago I read a book called The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Rose can taste the emotions of those cooking and baking. Curse or Charm? Hmmm...I often bake when I have something to work out. Lately, I have been on a cake baking binge which is hilarious given that I am also attending Weight Watchers!
Tonight we have book club. One of our former members moved to Alabama and as it was not feasible for us to travel...we are reviewing the book she selected, Before Women Had Wings by Connie Mae Fowler AND I baked her recipe for a Mississippi Mud Cake. It is OH SO DECADENT! My rationale, apart from honoring a friend, is that this book is so raw and tragic yet compelling that we DESERVE chocolate.
In between episodes of Top Chef, Just Desserts...I prepared Chaos in the Kitchen's Chicken Salad and Trish's Mississippi Mud Cake and Kerry's Orange Balls. My darling husband tried one of the orange balls, sighed and as he sat in the living room said to me, "I hear those orange balls calling me " He is my biggest fan!
I have realized that I am a FOODIE. I love cookbooks, cooking shows, fine dining and experimenting in my own kitchen. Offering up something fabulous to friends and family says, YOU matter...I care...I love you.
Sometimes we prepare a meal or bake a cake because that is what we do as a kindness in times of trouble or grief or stress or even a new birth.
Baking is a little like magic and I like a little bit of magic in my days. When asked why she always baked with the window open, Julia said "I am calling to someone" (paraphrased from The Girl Who Chased the Moon) Serendipitously, (cue Twilight Zone music) the Hummingbird Cake was baked and pink hair extensions attached prior to reading that magical book and Eric made a version of Mississippi Mud Cake on Just Desserts while I was frosting mine. How is that for Woo Woo? What special treat beckons your friends and family?
MISSISSIPPI MUD CAKE
1 1/2 c. flour
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 (3 1/2 oz.) can flaked coconut
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
Grease and flour 9x13 pan and set aside. Mix flour and cocoa together; set aside. Beat butter for 30 seconds to soften. Add sugar and vanilla, beating until fluffy. Add eggs. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in pecans and coconut. Turn mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. While cake is still hot, spread with marshmallow creme. Cool completely and add icing.
MISSISSIPPI MUD ICING:
1/2 c. butter
4 c. sifted powdered sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Salon Bella is doing pink hair extensions and ribbons for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. My daughter and I now have pink hair. I am digging it and thinking this may be a new trend for me! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A hair extension and a ribbon is a very small thing done with a heart full of love and honor for our friends who have/had breast cancer. Ladies...early detection is the key! Please, please feel your boobies and get a mammogram.
As many of my friends know I have a love for the arts (of every sort) I was visiting my granddaughter's dance class on Thursday and there amidst the wee dancers was one teeny, tiny girl with natural, beautiful talent. Sadly, her parents are unable to afford dance lessons for her or her sister. I am pondering a solution to this...maybe a little chat with the studio's owner will provide a way to enable talented children an opportunity to participate. After my hair appointment on Saturday, I had the VW Beetle washed at the Palmetto Dance Center's car wash to support the dancers' competitions. It was heartwarming to see even the youngest student washing cars to earn money. I think most things are appreciated more when they are earned.
After the car washing, it was a trip to the local grocery store. Spending what seemed like a small fortune...I returned home to bake a Hummingbird Cake for our church Boy Scout Bake Sale. I encouraged my darling husband to purchase the cake from the bake sale for our family get together on Sunday thus contributing to the boy scouts, my ego and Sunday dinner! It was a delightful, busy weekend filled with service, fun and family!
Here is my lunch today...EVERYONE is out of the office and I am here with Hummingbird Cake!!! I am counting it as a fruit...it has lots of bananas and pineapple in it...that is my story and I AM sticking to it.
I first heard about Hummingbird Cake from the lovely Christina. Apparently it is one of Southern Living's most requested recipes of all time. It is definitely scrumptious! What is there not to love about a cake full of goodness with cream cheese frosting? The recipe can be foundhere.
So my pretties, have a lovely day...enjoy the beautiful weather...celebrate if you have the day off...you know what? Just celebrate!!!