Have Your Cake

One of my dearest friends has a funny story about cake.  When she shared this story with me, she did not offer many details.  I have added some from my own imagination, and I hope she will forgive me that.  I love this story because it is a tale of expectation, of love language, of newlyweds, and, of course, of cake.  red velvet cake

My friend and her husband have now been married almost 25 years, comfortable with each other in a way you can’t really appreciate in your hormone-addled 20s.  When they arrived home from their honeymoon in mid-September, I suspect they were both giddy and exhausted.  Waking on a crisp Saturday morning to an apartment full of wedding gifts to be unwrapped, acknowledged, and put away, I can only guess that the groom began to brew a pot of coffee, while his bride began to stack like-sized boxes of china and crystal.  Surely they must have sat down together on their sofa or perhaps at their small table to sip their coffee and open some thick and promising envelopes.

It was in this moment, that the groom, a young man but not an innocent, asked brightly, “What kind of cake are you going to make today?”IMG_2807

My friend, somewhat bewildered by this question, no doubt gestured at the chaos around them, and answered, “I’m not baking a cake today.”

To which her husband, now equally puzzled, replied, “Well, it’s Saturday.”

“Yessss—?”

“My mom bakes a cake every Saturday.  She always has.”IMG_2948

“Ohh." I think it might have taken a moment for this to sink in, sharing this memory with her beloved of twenty-five years’ of Saturday cakes.  Butter and eggs coming to room temperature on the kitchen counter.  The fragrance of vanilla wafting.  Beaters and spoons to lick.  She said simply, “I’m not baking a cake today.”  And that was that.

The Mister and I shared a birthday dinner with this couple a few weeks ago when they were in town visiting the groom’s parents, now close to 80.  I couldn’t resist.  “So, does your mom still bake a cake every Saturday?”  And the reply was, “Absolutely.  Today it was lemon.”



“Really.  Even though it’s just the two of them?”

“Yes, indeed.  She makes the cake, and then they give most of it away to neighbors.  They save enough so that my dad can have a small slice for breakfast each morning until the next Saturday.”

I’m not sure why I love this story so much.  I suppose it reminds  me of my paternal grandmother, who also baked every Saturday, although she was more of a pie-making gal.  I also love that my friend knew that although she would make many delicious cakes, she would not make one every Saturday.  And, I love that she didn’t question either the veracity of his story or the sanity of her mother-in-law.  And, finally, the groom, who must have surely loved those Saturday made from scratch treats, just let. it. go. —and that kind of freedom and release is truly sweet.  You might say that it's the icing on the cake.heart_chocolate_cake

       A bowl of vegetables with someone you love
      is better than steak with someone you hate.
                                                                --Proverbs 15:17
What’s your favorite cake?

13 comments:

  1. Such a sweet story. We have some funny cake memories in our home... like the one where our beloved golden retriever jumped up and cleanly at one half of the rich chocolate cake with buttercream frosting. It was as though a knife had cut it. Frosting on his whiskers gave it away!!. It was such a delicious cake, we made the cut a little deeper, and enjoyed the rest!!!

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  2. What a FANTASTIC story! I can just imagine the look on her face when he asked her that!!! Hysterical and sweet!!!

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  3. Ha! It's a good thing he didnt insist on Saturday cake as he might've been told to enjoy his Saturday visits with his mother!

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  4. DOTR loves German chocolate cake and J3 loves Hummingbird cake. Others in the household have not shared any strong preferences, and I actually like pie much better than cake (but I love German chocolate cake frosting!)

    I remember getting a chuckle out of the name of a recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook c.1986--got it for a wedding gift and it's invaluable for figuring out how to make basic stuff. One recipe in the cake section was called "Busy Day Cake". Umm, like if you were busy, you were gonna make a cake anyway??? I'm sure this recipe, or at least this moniker, is long gone from later editions! I guess that 1980's edition still had a few holdovers from the olden days when Mom made dessert every night.

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  5. ...I think this Saturday I will bake a cake...a carrot cake... his favorite.

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  6. I LOVE this sweet story! I guess if I started that now, my hubby and kids would love it. Too bad I don't bake! :)

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  7. I love this! Such a reminder that food is love. No matter what you make and how often you make it. I usually (though not every week) bake on Sundays. During the school year it is so I can pack a homemade dessert in andrew's lunch during the week. in the sumer it is all together too hot to turn the oven on too much, but this week i had requests for pumpkin bread and my boys along with a couple friends managed to polish off an entire loaf in one sitting as a snack. I love stories and memories related to food, and I hope I'm creating many with my children for them to look back one day too. xo, Tessa

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  8. I’ve just stumbled upon your lovely blog. I look forward to popping by again for some more inspiration! I'm just new into blogging this year & have put together a daily blog on design, fashion, food, travel and anything pretty.
    http://scrapbook-melissah.blogspot.com/ and
    http://coastal-style.blogspot.com/ for everything chic and coastal

    I had a lot of fun putting them together maybe you would like to check them out if you have a spare minute.
    x
    Melissah

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  9. I love this story! Pardon the pun, but it's so sweet! So true what Tessa said..."a reminder that food is love."

    annie

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  10. When I was growing up in Memphis, my father made pancakes every Saturday morning for my brothers and me - from scratch - and included other father's and kids from our neighborhood. My mother slept in. Once he finished the pancake brigade - he began to bake his weekly cake. Always from scratch - always 3 layers. We loved to lick the bowls and beaters! I think he baked 3-layer cakes because there were 3 of us kids and we each got our own wax paper with crumbs to lick when he removed the cake layers from the pans! He was famous for his Milky Way Cake. My favorite was the Japanese Fruit Cake made only in the winter with fresh coconut (not the typical "fruit cake"). He died 35 yrs. ago when I was 19. To this day, almost every Saturday I make the same pancakes. And, I finally mastered his German Chocalate cake, Milky Way cake and a Caramel Cake. Thanks to my Dad, I am a cake snob and for the most part, will not eat desserts that are not made from scratch! To think that I used to beg for a grocery store cake on my birthday...

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  11. I love this story. Why not bake a few more cakes for the memories. However, only if one wants to, not to fill in for "mama". LOVED your tomato sandwich recipe as well. Unfortunately, only the cherry tomatoes have become ripe enough out her in the PNW, our summer has only just begun. Love your blog, this is the first time I've heard of it. Keep up the good work!

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