“Hey, Stein?” Nancy asked. "You had a birthday this past week. Did the lovely and talented Cheryl DeGroot bake you a birthday cake?"
After explaining what a fraught and reckless project that would be, I admitted that I had made my own birthday cake. It was not round, had no layers or candles, but it was gooo-ood!
I'd been browsing around on the blog, the Smitten Kitchen and saw Deb Perelman’s recipe for Cannoli Pound Cake.
She didn't make it for a birthday, she just had some leftover ricotta. It's called Cannoli Pound Cake because it shares ingredients with the Italian pastry – ricotta, pistachios, chocolate chips. The recipe was dead easy and came out amazingly flavorful and moist - even more so the next day.
If I were to tweak it for my own taste, next time I'd cut back on the chocolate chips and add more pistachios.
After just a few slices over two days, both DeGroot and I realized that keeping it at home would add 10 pounds to our combined weight.
So I brought it in to the station, where my co-workers fell upon it from a great height.
Ten minutes later nothing remained but a few scorched crumbs.
Nancy thinks she might try it, though she admits she's just not much of a cake baker.
"Mac has been berating me for the past 20 years for not making him a birthday cake. I'm just not much of a cake baker.”
"Because you're not interested, or you can't make them come out right?" I teased.
Forthright as always, Leson confirmed, "Mostly because I'm just not interested."
One cake she does love to bake is Tom Douglas' Rosemary Cake With Lemon Glaze. And for good reason - I've made it, too - and it's wonderful.
All this talk about cake has got me remembering Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook and his gleefully sinister cake song in the 1956 live TV production of Peter Pan.
Yes, 1956 - I've been having these birthdays for a looooong time…
"But how will I eat my cake if my head is over there and my hands are over here?" -- Marie Antoinette