Inspired by a post by Clarissa on American eating habits, and my upcoming birthday (For which, I will be dining at a French restaurant and baking this cake for myself) I decided to share a story that illustrates why I usually wait until I know a person really well before I offer to cook something for them, or take my own stuff to a social function.
This involves a housemate’s upcoming birthday. I was the only one who cooked from scratch in the house, the housemate with the birthday lived off of english muffins and tortillas covered in mexican cheese microwaved for 4 minutes, and my other housemate had never made any food that didn’t come from a box. The first morning after I’d completely moved in, I made pancakes out of some flour, malt, lemon, and ricotta cheese (my favourite breakfast besides eggs benedict) and housemate 2 walked in on me in utter shock, admitting that she didn’t know you could make pancakes from scratch (She’s 30) I offered her some, but she said it was too unhealthy for her, and so she went out to McDonalds to buy an egg McMuffin for breakfast. I didn’t take it personally, but I have long held a personal grudge against the late Dr. Atkins for incidents of that nature.
Housemate 1 had a birthday coming up, and so both housemate 2 and I decided to bake him something, not consulting each other and realizing we each had planned to do so. For my contribution, I made a pink lady cake. It was summer, strawberries were in season, I got them at the Farmer’s Market for super cheap, and I had milk, cream, and butter from a recent trip to Lifeline Farms. I went to work, and by the end, I had a beautiful cake, rich and buttery, with the perfect amount of sweetness.
My housemate used a Betty Crocker mix of cherry cake (I think the little flecks in there were supposed to be cherry, but I suspect it was globs of dried red dye #4) and a pink pillsbury frosting which tasted like sweetened liquid styrofoam. Can you guess which cake housemate 1 liked better?
I ended up taking the barely touched cake to a later function, where it was a big hit to the point where I had people crying tears asking me for the recipe, so my ego regained its buoyancy. However, it got another punch to it when someone at the party told me that he was “overjoyed” to find out that I cooked, because “Women these days don’t know a spatula from their own ass”, which turned into a rant against feminism while I stuffed my face with cake to keep myself from yelling at him.
This feminist bakes, and loves to do so. But she will only bake for you if you can appreciate her delicious desserts without chalking up her ability to do so on her femininity, or turning a cake into a soapbox. My confections are much easier to swallow without washing it down with patriarchal bullshit.