Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring has...sprung?

Yeah, except not really at all. I think it's in the mid-40s with high winds today. I thought March was supposed to go out like lamb? Maybe it's not ready for that yesterday.

I had the crappiest afternoon yesterday. It was my dad's birthday and I was baking his birthday cake - a special recipe that his mom (who died over 20 years ago) used to make all the time. I might be the only one of my siblings with strong memories of her and her cakes. Last time I made this cake I totally screwed it up - the recipe says use 10 tablespoons of milk. I used 10 ounces. That's about twice as much. It never solidified.

Yesterday, I was pouring in the vanilla from my huge Sam's Club vanilla bottle. I never measure vanilla (I rarely measure most things, nor do I time anything. It's done when it's done. Drives Tom and my sister, who want to recreate my recipes, absolutely crazy. They both need to see exact measurements - no pinches, dashes, little bit of, to taste for them. Cook it until it's done is insane. But our oven cooks faster than most recipes say, so it really is true.

Okay, back to the vanilla. I needed two teaspoons, which I'm perfectly capable of eyeballing. Except that damned Sam's Club vanilla tipped on me and poured in about half a cup instead. And my cake leaked through the tube pan and into the bottom of my oven and never set up. I was so irritated, mostly with myself. I started completely over. And then it looked like the second cake wasn't going to rise and I was really upset. I was about to cry. My sister said she'd stop at the grocery store and buy one, but I was still upset.

But I let it bake and it finally did rise and the frosting worked out and tasted just like my grandmother's. I even put the extra on a Melmac saucer like she did. I still miss her. I was nine when she died. She was the kind of grandma who heard you say you liked something in February and remembered for your birthday in July.

And my dad had a happy birthday with all of his kids and grandkids (he's up to five, soon to be six).

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