March 6th, 2010

auntie: Robin

Love

The world that is my kitchen is vast and contains multitudes. I have made plum cake, pear cake, lemon cake, caramel cake, turtle cake, spice cake, ginger cake, Guinness gingerbread in cake form, at least three kinds of apple cake, and more chocolate cakes than you can shake a stick at, to say nothing of cheesecake, shortcake, shortbread, pie, crisp, cookies, scones, and the like.

Tonight is a first for me. It breaks a barrier not only for my own kitchen but for my use of other people's kitchens as well.

Tonight I got down the red-and-white checkered cookbook we only have so I can argue with it, and I opened it to the first page in the "Cake" section, and I made the basic recipe for yellow cake. And I did not fix it. Not even once. I did not add just a little of this. I did not throw in some of that. No nutmeg, no orange zest, no dried sour cherries, no hazelnut liqueur, no nothing. There is in my oven right this very moment plain old--"classic," if you will--yellow cake.

(No uranium was harmed in the baking of this cake.)

You see, there's my godson. And he has asked for lo these multitudes of castle cakes. Chocolate. Lemon. And vanilla.

Until tonight, I did not see the point in plain yellow cake. Now the point is very clear: Robin wants it, and I am a firm believer that if the boy wants it and it's a reasonable thing to want and he asks nicely, I will do it for him. He should know that. Because he is the best Rob I know and I love him more than bacon, as they say in some kindergarten parts of Soviet Canuckistan. And the world is full of times when you want something perfectly reasonable and cannot have it, and even at seven he already knows that all too well.

But when you ask your godmother for cake, it is not one of those times.

Even when it is not your birthday.

Even if the cake you want is plain yellow cake and does not fit with your godmother's culinary pretensions.

Well. At least it will have the best chocolate frosting a plain old yellow cake ever had. (He wanted chocolate. If he had wanted plain buttercream, I would have acquiesced without a murmur. Love is like that.)