Monday, October 29, 2007

Barefoot In The Kitchen



I'm at the library. I'm as uninspired to comment as I have been to write lately. But I have an hour. So what to do? Crazy idea strikes---blog! Huh? What's that? I think I've forgotten how....

Florida has been grey of late. The orchid above is the only spot of cheer I see when I look outside. I've been in a funk. Which only proves that if I ever tell you that, after a while, even sunshine gets old, I'm lying through my teeth.

Today is my F-I L's birthday. Eighty Five. And holding. What do you get for a man who's eighty five and has every thing he needs? I usually bake him a cake. Because he has a sweet tooth. But everything is measured against the Hungarian pastries and delicacies he remembers from his youth in the old country. Sometimes I want to scream "But you don't live in Hungary any more!" His particular part of the Ukraine was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so as a child he learned Hungarian. Then it was taken over by Czechoslovakia, so he learned to speak Czech. And even though he loves America and has had a good life here, more and more ,as he older and older gets, he pines to be with his "own people." To die among them. And I understand. You can feel very isolated in this country. Children scatter. Curmudgeons get restless in too early retirement.....and go off and rectify the situation.

So even though he makes me crazy, is the grand daddy of all male chauvinists, and eyes me with suspicion because I dare to argue with him, when his birthday rolls around, I bake him a cake.

This year's effort is at home, cooling on the kitchen counter. It looks inelegant in its nakedness. The recipe said it would take thirty minutes to make. Hah! Only if your name is Emeril and you have a fleet of lackeys standing by to grind the nuts, measure the flour, whip the egg whites into a froth, beat the daylights out of the egg yokes in another bowl, then delicately fold it all together and pour it into the waiting pans, greased and parchment papered by yet another lackey. In a word, it took me all bloody morning. And the entire baking time was eaten up with the cleanup.

So when they kick me out of here, I'm off home to melt the chocolate. Which has to be combined with an obscene amount of confectioner's sugar, some strong coffee saved from this morning, some coffee liqueur,and a few teaspoons of vanilla extract. This will be the dress the finished cake will wear to cover its present nakedness. But before the dress goes on some heavy cream has to be whipped into submission and laced with some instant coffee granules and plastered between the four layers I will have when I cut each layer into two thinner layers.......Oh lordy! I don't know how I get myself into these pickles.

When I go for the nightly visit I will not want to be hearing "But it's not like the cakes we had at home when I was growing up....." Of course I wouldn't hear that until he'd at least tried it. Neither do I want to hear in a few days that it upset his delicate stomach and he had to go to the doctor.....

Since he can be charming, and was well brought up by his mama in the old country, he'll probably say "Thank you" very graciously and I'll say "You're welcome." Then we'll all have a slice and with a little luck no one will keel over clutching their throat and I'll be off the hook for another year.

13 comments:

riseoutofme said...

Hallelujah!

She has arisen from the doldrums!

Praise the Lord!

I KNOW I would just LOVE that cake.

Why don't you come over and show me how to make it?

meggie said...

That cake does sound awfully delicious, & fussy to make!!
I hope the Senior OC enjoys it.
My FIL was rather dominated by the MIL & he was a quiet little 'dear', really.

daysgoby said...

I have relatives like that.

Sounds yummy, really...

If I promise not to talk about the old country can I have a piece?

tracey petersen said...

IN a word, it sounds like a work of art!
I hope the sunshine warms you very soon.

Liz said...

It does sound like a work of art. Picture? The orchid looks beautiful. You have a great eye.

jkhenson said...

The orchid looks wonderful. The cake sounds absolutely delicious! And we've missed you, Molly. :)

Tanya Brown said...

I have a solution for this vexing situation.

I will hop on a plane and don a mask. Just as you are about to present this beautiful, decadent work of edible art to your father-in-law, I'll spring through a window, grab it away, and carry it off to parts unknown.

You will have fulfilled your obligation where FIL is concerned.

FIL will have something to complain about other than receiving a lovely cake which, gosh darn it, isn't quite like the ones he used to get in the old country.

And me? I'll be having a private party in a hotel room, just me and the beeyootiful cake.

Lanne said...

Laughing I like Tanya Brown's comment.. and her idea.. except i think you should run back to the hotel and share in the cake too.

Good on you for being so kind.. and you know... it probably does mean the world to him. :)

ENjoying your blog.. I have bookmarked so I shall be able to return. :)

Suse said...

I'd eat your cake any day Molly.

(The orchid is kinda pretty too).

Ali Honey said...

Molly do it......I'm speaking from experience..... in years to come you will be glad you made the effort. You never know when it will be his last birthday.

I would up stage him and announce "I know it's not as good you were used to, but it's the best I can do." ( then he won't be able to say it....he may agree ...but ignore it...we all know it is a yummy cake!

Molly said...

I should stand on a street corner holding a sign saying "Will blog for comments!" Hadn't realised how much I'd missed all your comments in my inbox....Of course I do this for my own satisfaction, but I love the connection with all of you. Hadn't expected more than the diehard family members to drop by after such a dry spell, but there you were! I guess I'm hooked again. We'd better wear our loosest clothes Tanya, 'cause if we demolish it just between the two of us we'll be putting on a few pounds........

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Molly, if the old coot doesn't like it, I will happily eat his piece instead. It sounds wonderful!

And you are a real dear to make him one every year, even though he is not properly grateful.

Mmmm, mocha buttercream icing. My favorite. Mmmmmm.

sMC said...

could you maybe find a box with Made in Hungary on... and save it for the next birthday, failing that print out a text in VERY VERY LARGE letters Made in Hungary for you or something like that. Ummmm do you think Sons take after their Fathers....just a thought to amuse you.