Monday, June 22, 2009


I don't cook a lot, but there are a few (chocolate) items that generally turn out well. My chocolate chip cookies and my Christmas time fudge approach legendary status among family and friends. I can throw down chocolate chip cookies in my sleep. My fudge is the perfect gift for the client who already has everything money can buy.

Then there is my chocolate cinnamon sheet cake, my husband's favorite. It's made from scratch with a cooked icing as well. Nothing complicated, just not out of a box. For years it was a staple dessert for family celebrations and dinner with friends. Not so much anymore.

Sometime starting about ten years ago, things just began to go wrong. That's about when my kids hit middle school and the household activity level ratcheted up. That's about when I started having to use my adding machine to add two plus three. That's about when somebody cursed my chocolate cinnamon cake.

The family joke became "What did Mom do to the cake this time?"

I have made the cake without baking soda - it's flat. I have made it without vanilla - it's tasteless. I have made it without cinnamon - it's boring. I have made it without eggs - it's a disaster. I've made it with too little or too much cocoa or milk. These ingredients are measured in tablespoons (four or six) and I either lose count (no adding machine in the kitchen) or I mistake the spoon which holds one and a half tablespoons for the correct single tablespoon.

I have undercooked the icing - it's runny. And trust me, you can't save it by just adding more powdered sugar. I've overcooked the icing - it's so thick you can't cut if with a knife, much less spread it or enjoyably eat it.

The last few times I've studied the recipe, crossed my fingers and it's been okay. On Sunday, breathing a little easier, I made the chocolate cinnamon cake for the father of my children. It's the least I can do for the man who puts up with our knuckleheads. Unfortunately, something distracted me during the icing preparation. The butter cooked down before I added the other ingredients, but I didn't think that would make a difference. Evidently it did. The icing turned out rather runny with not quite the right flavor. I'm blaming it on the dog.

Sigh. Cursed again.


Sherry said...

I think your baked beans also rate right at the top!

sfc said...

OK - I'm officially hooked on your blog. This one did it. Too funny - and unfortunate proof that we are related!