Saturday, October 10, 2009
Now I am the kind of air traveller who cannot sleep a wink on a flight. Not a wink. But I also am that wierdo who can't watch movies on flights. No matter that some of the airlines have excellent in-flight entertainment.
Books - now that is an entirely different story. Nothing like a good book on a flight. So, when we went for our vacation last month, Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray seemed like the perfect book to keep me company on the 10 hr flight.
Bad Choice. Very bad choice. There you are, thousands of feet above sea level, with nothing but some (good) sandwiches and chips to eat, reading about a book that has some cake or the other on almost every page of the book. That is a very sad situation, is it not?
So, when you read this book, make sure that you have some cake squirelled away somewhere. You're going to want to eat some.
For Ruth, the protagonist of the novel, baking is the best way to relax and unwind. Living with a rebellious teeanged daughter and her sometimes cantankerous mother, it does seem that she needs a lot of cake to maintain her sanity. In this already chaotic household, things come to head a when her husband, Sam, is given the pink slip and her estranged father, left physically helpless after a fall, has to move in with them.
Under subtle encouragement from the father-in-law, Sam loses sight of the urgency to look for another job and instead tries to 'discover' himself. With the monetary situation starting to look grim, Ruth decides to turn her avocation into her means of livelihood.
I simply loved this book. Firstly, because I love baking and this book celebrates eating cake. "A slice of cake never made anyone fat."
And just like the icing makes cakes even sweeter, everything works out very nicely for Ruth making it a typical 'happily ever after' book - and I think that was precisely the reason I loved reading it. After all who wants anything but a easy-breezy read at the start of a vacation!
I just wished Ruth to be more like a normal woman - one who raves and rants - at least sometimes. She was just too accomodating all through the book!
The last few pages of the book are all cake recipes. Yes, I read them first and was wondering which one to make...till I read this:
"the cakes I made for my children, especially before they were old enough to ask me to tone it down a little, were tributes to the architectural abilities of frosting. Any mother who brought her child to our parties must have left our house shaking her head. Poor, bored woman, they must have thought. That was the height of my frosting phase. I made trains and pine trees, tracks that spelled out Happy Birthday, Wyatt. Ballerinas that pirouetted over Happy Birthday Camille. The bigger the sheet cake, the bigger the canvas. Mine were enormous."
That sounded terribly familiar. So, instead of baking anything, I will leave you with some cakes that I have baked:
The above 3 are the ones I made for my daughter's birthdays while the ones that follow were baked for some friends' daughters.
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!
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