March 23, 2011

cake therapy

Donald loved these hours himself, mostly because they seemed to dispel the oppression that stood unlifted over those years of his mother's life--and was there any reason why a lonely boy should rebel against the feeling of security that he found in the kitchen on a stormy night? She taught him how to make cookies and muffins and banana bread and, finally, a Lady Baltimore cake. It was sometimes after eleven o'clock when their work was done.
--"The Wrysons," John Cheever
Oh yes, it's true — baking is therapeutic. It makes you feel productive — and it can be extremely comforting to follow a formula that is more than likely to lead to a satisfying result, when life is either unpredictably spinning out of control or falling short of your expectations.

Lady Baltimore cake sounds delicious — it's made with lots of egg whites. It also has an interesting history, and perhaps literary origins! I also read somewhere that "Lord Baltimore" is a yellow version of this cake, made with egg yolks.

P.S. If you're plum out of eggs but in dire need of a little baking therapy, please click here to find a recipe for moist, eggless carrot cake, which I dedicate to Carson McCullers. :)

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