Friday, February 12, 2010

Let Them Eat Bad Cake

Things are getting kind of stressful and bad again around Hangover Headquarters and no, I am not going to blog about it, because it's all just too fucking depressing for words. So I am stressed again! Whoo! That's cool though: it could be worse. Face it, unless you are actively lying face down in a ditch while zombies gnaw off your fingers and your children get eviscerated while your house burns down and your car insurance gets cancelled, plus you have a telemarketer on the phone, it can always be worse. And we are fortunately not in that situation - yet. We do all have a roof over our heads and health and all that good shit and, if we're not super picky, enough to eat. Or, we would have enough to eat if, driven by despair and madness, I hadn't decided to bake this cake last night.

A couple of years ago I decided to make a cake because it sounded weird and I became intrigued with the pure-D bizarre factors of the recipe. That was a Guinness cake and it was truly horrible - turns out that there's a damn good reason people don't generally mix Guinness into chocolate cake batter. Who knew? This cake is similar: it also sounds weird and has pure-D bizarro world ingredients. Rather than Guinness, it has olive oil in it. Olive oil! What's not to like? And fresh rosemary and pepper and, whoa, cheese, plus, naturally, a cup of sugar and a shit ton of lemon zest. Nifty, I thought, this is unique! This is a new thing! So I made it.

And it did make the kitchen smell heavenly for all the hour and forty minutes that I had it cooking because it turns out that the inside of this cake never cooks. No, never. Never cooks. But that's okay because you can eat off the ends and it actually tastes a lot like lemon pound cake. That is awesome and great right up to the point where you come to a disconcerting chunk of fresh rosemary or an even more disconcerting hunk of black pepper or, get this, the creme de la creme of disconcerting: a piece of rubbery burnt parmigiana cheese! That is not what you want to find lurking in your oily, uncooked lemon pound cake! So it was a total cake disaster. Actually, I am kind of glad, because not only did the house smell wonderful and I saved myself a lot of calories but I laughed hysterically for the first time in some days at the cake and, even funnier, the reactions of my children as they tried to eat it. Twisted, probably, but what the hell, I felt better.

I am down enough where I caught myself trying to come up with a mantra as I was running out for lunch today. Audrey told me how during the last but one snow emergency (hey! There's another one on for tonight! Just fucking shoot me now!) as she was driving home she kept thinking "I am a good, careful, competent driver who knows what she is doing and I can do this." I thought this was very clever of her and decided I should try it myself. Therefore, I started thinking to myself, "I can handle this, because I am a smart, competent, talented, attractive woman who . . . is obsessively fondling a dog biscuit in her coat pocket. Yeah, me!"

So the mantra didn't work. It doesn't matter, though, because in an attempt to lighten up the atmosphere a bit, I then read this uplifting and heart warming short story and then this light, delightful article on why things are the way they are. That is how I know that things can always get worse and, hey, probably will! I don't know about you, but as the snow falls again and a lawyer friend of mine says calmly that the local court system is completely and utterly broken beyond repair and real unemployment rises and grocery prices keep right on going up to the sky and the stock market falls and aging takes its inevitable toll, plus, adding insult to injury, it's fucking Valentines Day again, or, as I like to call it, National Make Single People Feel Even More Like Shit Than Usual Day - my least favorite holiday - I find this thought strangely calming.

Note: Those are not really cheerful articles, okay? But they are very good indeed.


Anonymous said...

Olive oil cakes seem to be all the rage. I haven't made one yet but I read the blog Orangette all the time, and came across her post about an olive oil cake immediately after reading yours. If you ever feel like trying again, the cake on her post from 2/14 looks pretty good! On another note, I'm single as well and I laughed out loud at your personal name for Valentine's Day. I couldn't agree more!! That was just what I needed!!

This Girl said...

Ditto on the dribbling snow storms.
Loved the heartwarming short story. Intense! Wowzers.