Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cakes and Kate

I made two cakes today, a lemon cake with lemon frosting and tiny little squares of candied lemon peel on top. Just before the customer came to pick it up, I opened the box to check on it and saw three splits on the top and even though I don't gasp, I exclaimed and lifted it carefully out of the box and proceeded to patch it, shaking my head, wondering what had happened because except for the time I forgot the sugar in a cake long ago and it came out like a pancake and the other time when I grabbed the box of baking soda instead of baking powder and tasted its tinny witness only hours later (blaming Trader Joe's and their packaging, making the soda look like powder in a round container instead of a square), I have made few mistakes in the cake itself. Patched, it looked fine and I sent it on its way. While the frosting for the second cake was whirring in the bowl -- ten minutes and sometimes twenty -- I opened The New Yorker and began to read Kate Walbert's (a writer whom I met in NYC several years ago when I had actual lunch with her and some friends at my dear friend Jane's house, and I was in awe of her presence as I always am, writers my heroes and especially this one) new short story M&M World, so good that I stood, reading it as if I were on a subway, the whirring in my ears, instead of a roar, I stopped the machine and dipped a finger in, licked the sweet to check and then turned a page.


  1. as she read she heard her salt potatoes boiling over and leapt from her chair to find her stove covered with a diaphanous layer of salt water and her heart filled filled filled with envy of womanly writers and lemon frosting

  2. We have the same mixer, the same glasses to drink from. I guess I need to read that New Yorker now. Love you, dear.

  3. Is that story in the latest New Yorker? I'm only asking because I bought it about a week ago, read it and binned it. Then, yesterday I bought the mag again thinking that it was the 20th June edition, not realising that it was the same one I'd just chucked away (yes, silly me).

    That's a yummy cake you've got there. By the way, you don't want to hear my stories about the cakes I've made. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  4. You are so neat and organized even when you are baking (and reading and blogging and taking pictures simultaneously :)

  5. Not multi-tasking .... Multi-thinking.

    I hate that baking soda taste!

  6. Yeah, my kitchen would be under siege if I tried to do what you do.



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