I had a little thought today. Part of what I love about baking is that it's so often tied to a Big Occasion. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, Mothers Day — they require cakes. The moment demands it.
I am not a great froster. But congratulazioni anyway!
My thought was this: Whipping up lemon cupcakes and an owl-themed cake for a graduation party is fun — it beats the heck out of washing the dishes to come — but it's also kitchen time that's like active anticipation. Cracking eggs and zesting lemons become ways of proclaiming, my friend is smart and accomplished and we're going to celebrate her with all this sugar! Also: moms are terrific!
The other magical part of dessert-making happens when there is no big to-do in sight. When it's a weekday and we want something sweet.
So this one time, Melissa and I were making broccoli slaw with buttermilk dressing and something else I can't remember now for dinner, and she said this thing. She said, "Hey, you have leftover buttermilk. And sugar and butter. Why don't we make a cake for dessert?"
And then, get this: we did!
Now, I know there's plenty of time after work for cakes to be baked and enjoyed soon after. But even so, I always plan out my baking. I know in the morning what I'll be doing later and look forward to it all day. I never simply have the thought of making a cake, then have ingredients combined in the next five minutes. Doing so was a revelation. This is just one more part of Melissa's diploma-worthy genius.