Today is the last day of 2nd grade in my world. Right. Now, as my architect friend said, I'm old. Old enough to be the mother of a 3rd grader, which in her words was the line when memory and real thoughts began to form.
Seriously, I'm trying hard to be cool. Trying. Hard. The thing is he's getting older, I'm getting older, and it's great. The kid-let manages to say the right things, at all the right times. Sweet, funny, gross (oh the things I could share), vibrant, and happy. He seems so very happy.
I watched Juno last night and sobbed into the back of my son's head. Saying things like, "I could never give you away." and he, all sage like, saying back, "You will someday. You'll have to."
Zen master 7 year old.
In any event, when life gets rough, complicated, or just plain life like - make cake. Everyone loves cake.
From the SF Chronicle
- 3 cups sifted (300 grams) cake flour
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- -- Grilled fruit (optional; see Note)
Before baking: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350° (or 325° if the pan has a dark finish). Lightly coat a 10-by-3 inch Bundt pan with butter or nonstick spray, then flour it, tapping out the excess flour. Or, butter and flour a 10-by-4 1/4 inch tube pan with or without a removable bottom. Have all of the ingredients at room temperature.
To make the cake: Sift together the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it is lighter in color, clings to the sides of the bowl and has a satiny appearance, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the sugar in a steady stream, then stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Resume beating at medium speed until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 2 to 4 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. On the lowest speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture alternately with the half the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix after each addition until incorporated, then stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Detach the paddle and bowl from the mixer, and tap the paddle against the side of the bowl to free the excess batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the orange and lemon zests and lemon juice. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with the spatula.
Bake the cake until a round wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
Tilt and rotate the pan while gently tapping it on a counter to release the cake sides. Invert a wire rack on top of the cake, invert the cake onto it, and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely.
If serving the cake within 24 hours, place under a cake dome or wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. For longer storage, wrap with plastic then aluminum foil, label with the contents and date, and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, remove the foil and leave at room temperature for about 3 hours.
Remember, when in doubt eat the cake, drink the wine, in the end it's all 2nd grade and up.