Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Make Me Bake

Glass Cake Dome

Spring cleaning has come just a tad early this year. There is no fine green haze of tender leaf buds tipping my borough of trees yet, and hardly a thick and rubbery stem pushing up from now friable soil to splash a frilly head of pastel flower. March is straddled and struggling between two seasons and as nondescript as a zoo without a lion or lamb. This, of course, will change, and typically at a moment's notice. I refuse to miss one second of it, vigilant at the window, scanning for a sign of sweet, new life that will compel me to seize the day, to grab my camera and go. So it is now that I am organizing my space in anticipation of abandoning it: bending, lifting, crawling and hauling to dust and stylize a home that has been suffering a benign neglect over the gray dormancy of the last few months. It is backbreaking work, none so straining to the spine as the collection of my cookbooks. There are well over a hundred of them now, and hunting them down, scuttling under bed, tables and chairs in an ungainly limbo dance before dragging them back to their proper, sturdy shelves has been a bit of an ordeal.

You'd think I'd be able to bask in the reflection of all those slick book jackets lined up in crisp military formation, but I have a greater task at hand. And this is where I need your help. I am scheduled to bake for a literary-minded food-blogging event by April 4. I've long ago selected the author, the novel, the character, and the scene, but I am paralyzed to fix my focus on a flavor. My cookbooks are no help at all, because they are too many. It will be a grand cake, in keeping with the occasion of the story, but outside of the general style, the choices are staggering. I have painfully narrowed them down to three: nut, fruit or chocolate, and have fashioned a ballot box in the sidebar of this blog for you to vote your personal favorite, available through March 27. I would be very much obliged to you if you weight in on this sweetly important issue and will be keenly motivated by the result. I hope you will enjoy the interactive play as much as I already am in gleeful anticipation. You could even look at it this way: this is probably the only time you will ever be able to make me do anything. Seize the day.


  1. That's a stunning cake tray. And oh, if only my place suffered mere "benign neglect"!!

    I voted--chocolate--but the results came up for one vote only, for fruit. A glitch in the system?

  2. As spring is almost there i would have said fruit cake, but then i am addicted to chcolate, so guess i will say chocolate one.
    will go and vote.

  3. Oooo, I'm eager to know which book you're choosing! As soon as I can get my hubby around, I'll have my entry for the event photographed, as it will take two people to effectively record the dish. :)

  4. Spring is here in Texas, bright & happy:-)
    I voted.. I love fruit cakes, but i love innumerable bites of nut in a cake & also the aroma like of almond.. I saw I was the only one for nuts so far:-)

  5. I voted nuts too. Can't wait to see the result!

  6. chocolate, anytime!! irrespective of the season!1

  7. I'm doing my own bit of cleaning out here too.
    And for someone who loves chocolate like I do, there is no choice (what are the fruit and nuts doing on that poll?), just a decision. I just voted.:)

  8. I chose nuts since I go nuts for nuts :)

  9. Chocolate. Always chocolate. And maybe, jut maybe if I had a pretty cake plate like that, I might bake too.

  10. Hey Susan

    Looking forward to the cake and more than that to know about the author & novel you picked

    And thanks for the lovely round up

  11. I too am in suspense as to which book you've chosen! How thrilling!

  12. Ricki - Thanks. I manually made the adjustment to the ballot box. Your choco vote has been duly counted.

    Happy Cook - I knew when I posted the choices that there was likely only one clear winner. : ]

    Ruhama - Hi, how are you? Good to see you. I had planned on this post for the Winter Novel Food edition, but missed the deadline. Now I *must* write, bake and post. : D

    Hello, Soma! Texas sounds lovely now. And still we are waiting here for spring to officially arrive. Raining cats and cats at the moment.

    Simona - Thanks for your vote. I look forward to it, too.

    Superchef - You and a zillion others on the planet. : }

    Aw, shucks, Aparna...I was only trying to level the playing field. ; D And I do genuinely like nuts and fruit.

    Hi, Snooky! Your vote is tabulated. Thanks!

    Thanks, Pam. I'm beginning to collect too much glass and porcelain. Glad you like that cake stand.

    Sandeepa - Glad you could join the MLLA8 round-up. I picked a classic novel. It probably won't be a surprise to anyone who studied English lit in school.

    Hi, Astra! So good to see you!

  13. The idea of baking a cake always makes me horribly indecisive too - so many delicious possibilities. I'll go and cast my vote now!