The Fox at Dawn


6.5.19 Cake
June 5, 2019, 10:02 am
Filed under: Art of the Day | Tags: ,

How to Eat My Mother’s Caramel Cake:

Let the whole cake sit in front of you for an hour while you pretend it isn’t there

Or at least that you don’t care that it’s there.

Pretend the candles refer to a variety of ketchup.

Sneak a crumb of icing when no one is looking.

Light the ridiculous candles and sing.

Because there are only three of you, sing too at the top of your lungs.

Cut yourself the smallest slice, too small to be of any notice,

Certainly too small to be called a serving.

Press your fingertip into the crumbs that fell off the slice,

Let the taste spread through your mouth.

Use your fingers to break off a real bite, careful to take some of the caramel frosting.

Put it in your mouth. Sigh. 

Let all the memories of eating this cake in years past come flooding back

Like a movie montage.

Break off another piece, make sure you get more of the frosting.

Let the frosting break over your tongue in wonder. 

Sigh again.

Eat the rest of it as quickly as you can.

Drink some water.

Now that the appetizer is over,

Cut yourself a real slice.

Use a fork now,

Marvel how the simple combination of flour, eggs, sugar and butter

Can taste so very differently from cake to cake.

From bite to bite, judiciously divide that frosting.

Reflect how you are not even a frosting person,

How you scrape it off those poor cousins, the grocery store sheet cakes.

Admit to yourself that you’d slap away the hand of even your own child

If they were to try to take that best bite, 

the one that holds the motherlode of frosting-

That T-shaped intersection between top and bottom layer and the outside.

Let that bite sit last on your plate as you write this account.

Then take a deep breath, eat it.

Close your eyes, say a prayer: 

Long life to Nonna. May there be many more cakes.

Calculate how soon you might justify coming back for another slice.


1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

I love that cake! So jealous!

Comment by Marguerite Crawford




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