Friday, September 05, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 34

Cook Something Luxurious

I didn’t have to venture too far from the writing desk for my author challenge this week. Only one floor down and into the Crabapple House kitchen where the apron, the eggs and the chocolate awaited. 

That’s right. Chocolate. And cherries. 

For years my signature sweet dish has been Black Forest Cake. Baked for the first time by me for my Beloved, back in the day when he was my darling fiance. 

He requested Black Forest Cake and I was not game to tell him I’d never, ever attempted one before. 

Finding the recipe was the easy part. Putting the cake together took ALL DAY LONG and by the end I’d tackled cake making steps way beyond the skills of a twenty-year-old-wife-to-be.

Fast forward 25 years, and I’m still making this deliciousness for my family. At least once a year. 

Why not more?

Probably because it takes ALL DAY LONG to put it together. Although I make less mess these days, and I’ve streamlined some of the steps and even short cut through others, it's still a labour of love.

Why was the author in me encouraged to Cook Something Luxurious?

Because according to 52 Dates for Writers, my "character’s relationships with food can evoke setting, bring an awareness of dominant and counter cultures to the fore, and betray their passions and anxieties."

I’m called to consider such questions as:

Who taught my characters to cook?

Who do they cook for?

What is this character’s earliest food memory? 

As I pulled the elements of my Black Forest Cake together, I thought about a scene where one of my rough Australian heroes teaches the pretty English heroine his way of making damper. She’s got her own well established ideas about dough making and this scene is just as much about the undercurrent of their attraction, as it is about getting bread on the table. 

Back to the luxurious Black Forest Cake. This week’s cake crowned our son’s 20th birthday party. It is, after all, a celebration cake. Not something you’d snack on every day. I’ve made it for Greek Easter, Christmas, baby dedications and to welcome special guests to Crabapple House. 

Black Forest Cake ~ Crabapple House

But nothing beats the memory of making it the first time with my Mum in her kitchen. The careful study of the recipe, the checking of measurements to get all steps right, and the final unveiling when my Beloved came to visit and I took him to the fridge to share what I’d made. For him. 

I’m going to share a recipe link here. It's almost like mine. (I like to add a luxurious ribbon of toasted almonds on extra cream which takes this cake to a whole other lever.) 

Because everyone needs a little luxury in the form of chocolate, cherries and cream. You can take your own short cuts and streamline the steps to suit your taste. 

But you will have to place each and every toasted almond sliver on your luxurious cake.... one by one. 

What's your speciality? Sweet or savoury?

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,