I have a friend whom I love dearly. There were times when I wondered how we became friends, and stayed friends, because we are just so… different.
I’m a planner, she’s spontaneous.
I’m formal, she’s casual.
I’m kinda strict, she’s more laid-back.
I remember details, she doesn’t care much about that stuff.
I love to bake, she doesn’t.
When I teach a baking class, she talks about play dates. (But she did come to the class!)
I’m a drill sergeant, she’s… What’s the opposite of drill sergeant?
There’s more, but you got the picture, no?!
These differences used to drive me nuts. We had a few misunderstandings in the past. Sometimes I took it personally and even got upset although I know she didn’t do anything intentionally.
It’s been about 4 years since we first met.
Looking back, I realize how much influence this friendship had/has on me. It sure made me change.
It wasn’t easy, I struggled, (I still do), and I can be a little stubborn, but I do like a challenge (Isn’t that a nicer way to put it than saying “stubborn”?) and I don’t give up on good people easily.
I have loosened up a bit.
I relaxed a bit.
I don’t feel like I need to be perfect with everyone, everywhere, all the time anymore. Phew, how tiring is being perfect all the time, right?!
I even allow myself to be late from time to time (But only with people who are late themselves, since arriving on time is not important to them.)
I’m not so tense before guests arrive, I don’t care as much anymore if everything is in shipshape and ready on time (as long as I am dressed appropriately enough).
I work hard on being more spontaneous… Oh, now there’s a little contradiction right there in that phrase, isn’t it?! Hmm, well, that one might take a while…
We spent some time at her house this past week. The kids played, we talked, she baked!, we had dinner. I love that although she dislikes baking, she made a cake. From scratch! And I love how my kids feel free to ask her for a snack or a drink, even open the fridge and take food out without asking for permission and it makes her happy. She likes it that way. I don’t know a lot of people who are like that. She’s special.
Every time I ask her to join me when I’m baking, she becomes terrified. When I suggest making whipped cream together, she heads to the door, recalling there’s an errand she need to do. She keeps insisting making those cakes where you dump all the ingredients together and mix them with a spoon.
You just cannot dump everything into a bowl and hope for a fluffy cake. There is one tiny thing that makes a whole lot of difference between a heavy cake and a fluffy cake. (Are you with me?) It’s 5 minutes of beating or whisking, butter with sugar or eggs and sugar. That’s all, my friend, and dear readers. So, I challenge you, do it, beat it, or whisk it.
There’s noting better than home-made cakes and cookies to make the house smell great. And a fluffy cake is even better.
Some house keeping:
1. Valentine’s Day: Send me a photo with something red if you would like to participate, and get some link love to your blog, by Wednesday, to be included in a Valentine’s Day post.
2. Cake collection. Linda from The boreka diary made this awesome chocolate espresso cake that has a rich, dark, intense chocolate flavor, and wanted to share it with me and you.
Easy maple nut’s cake
This is a recipe from my aunt Ettie. She probably got it from a neighbor who cut it out of some shiny women’s magazine. I got the ingredients’ list from her with very general instructions. I added a few details for those who need them – I need them too. But really, this is really easy. Just beat it.
For a 9.5 inch (24 cm) cake pan
- For the cake:
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 200 ml sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup oil (canola)
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cup self-rising flour
- For the topping:
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 handful walnuts, chopped (lightly toasted for 5-7 minutes in a 350 F oven)
- 1-2 handful chocolate chips, or chunks, optional
- 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9.5 inch springform pan cake.
Beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Lower the mixer speed to low, add each ingredient slowly. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Spread the toppings on top of the batter, besides the maple.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Take the cake out of the oven and while it is hot, drizzle the maple syrup on top. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then release from the pan and let cool to room temperature.