Bake Your Cake and Eat the Whole Damn Thing

eat it all

Taped to my dresser mirror is my horoscope that I clipped out of a newspaper many, many years ago.  It reads:  LIBRA (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22):  My first demand is that you weed out the wishy-washy wishes and lukewarm longings that keep you distracted from your burning desires.  My second demand is that you refuse to think that anyone else knows better than you what dreams will keep your life energy humming with maximum efficiency and beauty.  Now please repeat the following assertions about 20 times:  “I know exactly what I want.  I know exactly what I don’t want.  I know exactly what I kind of want but I won’t waste my time on it any more because it sidetracks me from working on what I really really want.” 

Back then, I didn’t understand it fully.  When I clipped the paper, I was coming out of a long, dramatic relationship so I knew I didn’t want that anymore, but as for the “really, really” wanting part of my life, I was pretty much clueless.

Things are a little different now.  There is something quite magical about this time in my thirties.  A sense of strength and confidence I never had before.  A place that speaks of trust and comfort and well-being, even on the shitty days.  A sense of myself that was always just a little elusive before now.  A self that stood on shaky knees; questionable, insecure and seeking confirmation.  But now, though they might click from time to time, my knees are strong.  And I’m starting to ask for what I want.

Sure, there are LOTS of shitty days.  Lots of times when it’d simply be nice to have someone….anyone….around.  But then my smart, 30-something-self chimes in and reminds me:  we don’t settle anymore.  Not for love, or for money, or respect, or integrity.  Not for nuthin’.

This, by no way, implies a sense of rigidity or an inability to compromise.  But if we refuse to see the neon signs that life flashes in our direction; if we refuse to learn from those lessons as a method of self-definition and growth, then don’t we just become stuck?  Stagnant, blind, and maybe….a little bit dumb?

Over the years, each relationship, boyfriend, lover or fling has taught me a little bit more about what I want out of a man and a partner.  Fun and spontaneous=IN!  Dark, depressed, and uninspired=OUT!  Certainly, there have been many a man who have taught me LOTS about what I don’t want.  My well-trained eyes can spot the red flags with a more radar-like efficiency, and to tell the truth:  I just don’t have time for the bullshit anymore.

Each crappy job has pushed me to ask more from the way I make my money.  To demand passion and heart; travel, inspiring people and adventure as well as stability.

Each city I’ve lived in has shown me what I want from my community, my quality of life and the people that I surround myself with.  No more harsh winters for a while, mmmkay??

And like a piece of clay that starts off as a shapeless lump, time passes and you pat, you mold, you roll, add, make a pinch pot and smoosh until your life becomes something that YOU designed.  Something that you love.  Something that is worth living each and every damn day.

For why drink just a glass of wine when you could share the bottle?

There are some of you out there who have been dying for one more slice of my cake.  So, to all of you hungry and beautiful lip smackers, this recipe is for you.  ENJOY!

 Apricot/Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
½ cup brandy (optional)
½ cup buttermilk:  I make my own.  1 tsp white vinegar mixed with ½ cup whole milk.  Let sit 5 mins.
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
3 cups shredded carrot
1 cup chopped dried apricots
2½ tsp. cinnamon
2½ tsp. allspice (but to be honest, I just dump in both these spices until it tastes good)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Simmer apricots in the brandy with 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. allspice until apricots are soft and brandy is mostly evaporated. (You can also just use water)

Blend eggs, oil and sugar until pale yellow.  Add carrots.

Separately, mix dry ingredients.    Add dry ingredients to wet in three additions, adding half the buttermilk in between each addition.  Add apricots.  Divide batter into the two cake pans and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

FROSTING

One and a half blocks of cream cheese.  Room temperature
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter.  Room temperature
Approximately 3 cups powdered sugar.

Blend butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until the consistency is to your lip smackin’ liking!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lee Anne
    Jul 27, 2013 @ 10:38:52

    Lovely! Love your honesty.

    Reply

  2. Mary Lynn
    Jul 27, 2013 @ 15:23:44

    For why drink just a glass of wine when you could share the bottle?
    ………………just one more reason to love your words! xoxo

    Reply

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