Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably. — C.S. Lewis
There is something magical about reading. Somehow our brains can translate a collection of words on a page into a message for our bodies – to desire, to mourn, to crave, to celebrate. If the book you’re reading has you firmly in its grasp, all of your senses open up to receive the world. Suddenly, the autumn breeze smells twice as sweet, and that cake on your fork practically hums with flavour before it even reaches your mouth.
Last week our clan of bakers took this delicious combination of food and literature to a whole new level, by eating cakes in the library. This was our first ever meetup at the library, and to provide additional inspiration, our librarians welcomed us with a grand display of foodie fiction.
As usual, we told our own tales of our baking adventures before diving in, and there are three moments I would like to highlight for their hilarity. While overall our group’s chatter liberally disturbed the normally hushed atmosphere of the library, there were a few moments of calm into which a sentence or story seemed to echo…echo…echo…
1. Carmen’s Gingerbread Cake, inspired by Hansel and Gretel. Most of know Carmen as the baking goddess at Good Omens Coffee House, and my, can she bake a perfectly even, beautiful cake. My version would have been slanted an burnt on one side with the crusts cut off. As gorgeous as Carmen’s cake was, it was apparently missing an ingredient. “The top was supposed to be brushed with rum, but I drank it.” We all agreed that this was a perfectly sensible thing to do.
2. Wendy’s Chocolate Pie. Inspired by the best seller and now popular movie The Help, this chocolate pie paid homage to Minny and the chocolate pie she bakes for the über bitch, Hilly Holbrook. Since she had brought along the printout of the scene from the film, we insisted she act it out, complete with southern accent. The words “Eat my shit” rang through the library as I’m sure they never have before. Wendy’s secret ingredient was simply to add booze to the whipped cream, which was much more palatable than Minny’s original version.
3. Kim’s mysterious Dundee Cake. Following Kim’s dramatic explanation behind the inspiration for her cake, I think there may be a slight bump in sales of Graham Greene’s 1943 novel The Ministry of Fear. Imagine us gathered in a circle, slowing leaning in further and further as Kim relays the tale of the Dundee Cake at the county fair, and the man who is told by a fortune teller to guess a particular weight of the cake in order to win it. Little does he know…Dun Dun Duuuun! Twist! Gasp! We had to eat extra cake just to steady ourselves.
Recipes and more baking club adventures to follow, as we also outdid ourselves this week for the 2nd Annual Great Summerland Cookie Swap. So much deliciousness, so little time…