Sunday, February 06, 2011
I think I may have found my calling. I made a coconut cake today - yes, of course from scratch - and I wasn't even snowed in. It is as yummy as I hoped. I wish my high school Home Ec teacher could see me, not that she would know who I was as I nearly always cut her class except for the time I discovered a package of shredded coconut in her cupboard, and sat in the back scarfing it from the box while she demonstrated something in which I had no interest up front.
Flip was helpful, as always. He ate two large pieces, and when I mentioned my Home Ec teacher, he said, chewing, "She's dead." Oh. Thanks for reminding me that most of the generation that raised me is gone.
I was slow to develop any domestic abilities, so it was a great surprise to discover that I actually enjoyed cooking, and also eating. Growing up, I didn't even qualify as a picky eater as I hated everything. My parents considered mealtime an opportune captive audience, and often reviewed and reprimanded me for whatever crimes I had committed that day. It was impossible to eat on demand, especially since they told me often how ungrateful I was when other children were starving in Europe. I sincerely wished they would take all that liver and cauliflower and send it to them, but nobody asked what I thought.
My high school also attempted to instill the housewifely art of sewing, to which end we all made flannel nightgowns. I managed to sew mine closed across the bottom and had to smuggle it home so my mother could undo the stitches. My mother was a talented seamstress, which was not always an advantage. We would walk through high end department stores together, and whenever I admired something, she would say, "I could make it for less." Except she rarely did. It was just code for leading me out of temptation with her purse intact. She did, however, make me a wonderful prom gown in my senior year, an ice blue satin strapless number, tightly fitted in all the right places, and I was elected Christmas Prom Queen in that gown. I do not have her talent, although I bought a sewing machine several years ago, determined to unlock its mysteries. And if I didn't have an endless supply of books, or my computer, I surely would have done so by now.
Flip just strolled by with another huge hunk of cake. I won't have to worry about it getting stale. I remarked that "man cannot live by cake alone," but he may prove me wrong.