It was Justin’s birthday, and I wanted to make him a cake.
There is a reason why he is the baker, and I am more of a cook. Cooking is improvisational. You can measure things by flavor and scent. You can stir it and try it and season it and try it again. Baking is quite a bit more precise. I’m not super good at measuring. Ok, I will come clean. I don’t measure anything. Justin is much more careful in the kitchen.
I was confident going into the carrot cake project that I could pull it off. I would just discipline myself to measure carefully. I learned to do it once.
I can bake things; I am capable. I make really good scones.
I have baked things. I have made cake and bread and pizza dough and cookies.
I set out to make a two-layer carrot cake with a recipe from What to Bake and How to Bake It, our favorite baking book at home. I opted to (wimp out) use store-bought frosting, so I wouldn’t be as overwhelmed by steps.
Right off the hop, I had a problem. The recipe offers the option of toasting the pecans before adding them, and I thought, “I can toast pecans,” and dutifully put them on a tray in the oven. Well, they burned.
These were pecans once.
Fine, I thought. I’ll leave the pecans out. No big deal. I mixed the dry ingredients, and then went to work with the wet ingredients.
We had no eggs. Since I am a good and kind wife, I woke early on Justin’s birthday and made him breakfast. And I used up the eggs needed for the cake. It needs 3 eggs.
Without a car available to run to the store and with my nerves beginning to frazzle, I decided it twas time for reinforcements. When Mel, who is a much better baker and much calmer, offered to help, I naturally said yes.
We went to the store and bought eggs and more pecans, which Mel expertly toasted. The cake was baked without incident, and I even managed to frost it so it looked pretty. Eventually, we even got to eat it. Delicious.
So tasty! Those toasted nuts were the best.
I remember now why I don’t bake, but maybe if I keep trying I’ll get better…