“Why can’t you be like every other kid?”
“I don’t like cake, mom. Could I have a birthday pie?”
“I never heard… How about banana bread?”
What’s the deal with cake? It’s sweet, full of air, dissolves in your mouth with no satisfying crunch or chewiness. Yes it can be decorated to look pretty and that’s all fine and good but I’d rather have peach — or mince! — pie, or any pie.
“It’ll be fun! There’ll be cake!” I’ve heard that, too. What’s fun about cake?
I made a cake once that didn’t fit the description above. It had 13 eggs in it, about 1/2 ton butter, some sugar, melted chocolate and no flour whatsoever. It was also absurdly, ridiculously, out of this world, amazingly delicious. Mexican Tres Leches cake is also worth eating. It was the featured dessert at a reception/party for one of my marriages.
In preparing for Iceland I tried to read an Icelandic novel Under the Glacier by Haldor Laxness. In it, a young cleric is sent to the area of Snaefellsnes Glacier where Journey to the Center of the Earth is set, to find out what’s going on with the church there. He doesn’t get answers to his question, and he doesn’t get any decent food. He’s just offered an immense variety of cake. He was starving for protein or just normal ordinary food because he was a normal, ordinary guy not a Bishop. Somehow the people had the idea that Bishops didn’t eat dried fish, only cake.
So there I was in Iceland, in a restaurant, had a nice lunch and the waitress said, “Would you like dessert?” My friend asked what they had and the waitress said, “We have cake. You can see all our cake over there,” and she pointed to the counter near the entrance of the restaurant. That’s when I understood. I saw a cake that resembled THE flourless masterpiece I had once made and asked for that. Close, very close, but missing half a dozen eggs and 1/4 ton of butter. Also, I suspect it contained a tincture of flour. The airport, too, had a very ample supply of cake. I regret not taking any photos of cake in Iceland but Iceland was a long strange trip.
But, in Iceland, the category of “cake” includes pie. 🙂