“Baking the Alphabet” started a couple of months ago for me. It wouldn’t necessarily seem like it, seeing that I am only on “C.” But it has to be the perfect recipe, you see. And it has to be in alphabetical order. Meaning this: the ebelskivers I made in March cannot count towards “E.” That was not my next letter. And it has to have the potential to be amazing. I can’t create an alphabet of boring bakes. C cannot be chocolate chip cookies. It can’t be cobbler. Both delicious, don’t get me wrong. But neither of those have ever knocked my socks off.
“Cake?” I hear your questioning tone. The simple title “Cake” lacks panache. It does not elicit “spectacular” right out of the gate. When I sent the picture to my sister-in-law, she literally texted me: It’s beautiful! What do you call it?
Not “Just Cake.” That would be a “J.” It’s Cake.
There is a book written by a rather remarkable man named Charlie Mackesy. His wide-reaching contributions to society are both admirable and altruistic in nature. The story he tells (along with the wonderful illustrations) is one that stops you in your tracks and makes you reflect on all that is good and decent in our world. If you haven’t heard of it, please exit this post immediately and find a copy. You’ll thank me.
The book is called The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse. Within the pages of the book, you quickly begin to identify the world around you through the eyes of these four characters. A boy who is longing for home. A horse who hides his wings because they make others jealous. A fox who snarls at first but then reveals that he feels inadequate. And an inquisitive little mole whose insightful questions renew your sense of self. The mole reminds us that the greatest illusion on earth is that life should be perfect. And much of his time is spent on a hopeful quest…for more Cake.
This is why I’ve elected to call my creation “Cake.” It’s for the mole in the story who constantly reminds me that my own greatest discovery in life is that I am enough as I am.
Cheers to the mole! Some of the simplest things in the world turn out to be the most beautiful after all.
Note: Entertainingly, this post was one bake away from being called “B is for Boy Bait” which would have quite possibly called attention to my page in ways that I might not otherwise invite! I found the recipe on one of my favorite sites: Once Upon a Chef. You’ve heard me mention the classically trained chef now stay at home mom. My “A” bake came from her site as well. Yikes…maybe I better branch out. Anyway, turns out that she has little boys, and her Blueberry Coffeecake (aka Boy Bait) apparently lures her boys back to the table for more and more and more. For the record, it had the same effect in my own home, and is totally worth every calorie: click here for the ‘Boy Bait’ recipe.