Today's piece is an imitation of the writing style of Augusten Burroughs. Specifically from his book "This is How".
While it can be done many ways, and by many different recipes.
The best way to bake a cake has to be done by hand.
Without the crutch of boxed mixes and jarred frostings to taste just like any other cake. It must be made starting at the base, and built up.
And of course, it cannot be done without first preheating your oven to approximately 350 degrees. No more and no less.
You next must grease the baking pan.
You can try to grease with PAM or any knock off grocery store brand of fake butter spray But none taste quite the same and quite as delicate as the grease of sun yellow butter baked into the top crust of your creation.
The mixing of the ingredients is a crucial step any cake maker is aware of. Even the cake makers who use boxed cakes and frosting they scrape from the bottom of a red-lidded jar.
As with the rest of the cake, fresh eggs and Mexican vanilla do it best.
Measure out each spoonful as if it were crucial to the mere survival of those eating the cake. As if your job is not just to create a cake, but to create a chemistry.
Exact and perfect. Clean and careful.
Stir gently, only until each part has turned into a homogenous batter where no ingredient can be told from another.
Together and no different from the next.
Fill the pan with your batter. Take pride in the way you pour the mix into its’ bed and smooth the top so it all remains even and un-crevassed.
Bake until it’s puffed up crown appears peeking over the edge of the silver pan.
And its rim is a golden brown.
The kind of golden brown where you know it is done correctly.
The kind where your mother would be proud of you, and your grandmother would pat your head and speak encouraging words to you.
Whisk a glaze from sugar and milk. When the glaze is as creamy and together as the batter the cake was born from, you are done.
Spread the topping on the smiling face of your cake.
If it drips off the sides that is alright.
Gravity is uncontrollable. And in that way, so is the cake and how it will look in finality.
Cut into the cake sweetly and in doing so taste its sweetness. Share with friends and they will share themselves with you.
Because cake is meant for celebration. And there is no shame in celebration.
And next time Susan will bake the cake and you will bring the entre, so you only have to get it right this once.