On Saturday, the Frenchman and I are getting married. It’s happening. After so many months of scheming and dreaming, the event is now just two days away.
I’m a bit chicken-with-her-head-cut-off at the moment, but I wanted to stop into this space to say hello, I’m still here! And to share this strawberry-vanilla cake with you, which is perfect for right now. Avis sur levitra generique.
One more thing: here is our wedding reading, a passage I’ve long-appreciated for it’s honest approach to love and the life of a long term relationship.
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits – islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
–From Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The original version of this cake, Purple Plum Torte, was published by Marian Burros via Lois Levine, although I first heard about it from Amelia. It’s fabulous–just what you want in late summer–a winning combination of heady cinnamon and jammy plums.
In this version, late spring stood as inspiration. Every year, I look forward to the arrival of strawberries at the market in New York, and last week, my patience was rewarded. I switched plums for strawberries, and cinnamon for vanilla.
The cake is soft and squishy. The fruit falls into jammy puddles as it cooks. (It might look like there’s too much fruit when you first put the cake into the oven, but don’t worry; it will soon be enveloped by batter.) It lasts for a couple of days on the counter, and makes a good hostess gift or picnic contribution. Or, make one just for you, and eat it slowly, forkful by forkful.
If you don’t have vanilla powder, you can use 1 split vanilla bean. If you prefer not to, that’s also fine; the vanilla extract packs a vanilla punch already. Serves 8-10.
- 1 cup (125 grams) flour
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (200 grams) + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons/115 grams) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound (3 cups/454 grams) strawberries, hulled
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder/1 scraped bean
- Heat the oven to 350F/176C. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set the bowl aside. In a medium mixing bowl, cream with butter with the sugar using an electric mixer on medium speed; about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract, and mix to incorporate. Add the flour mix and stir just enough to combine.
- Move the batter into a greased 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan; smooth the batter. Placing them on their sides, evenly arrange the strawberries on top of the cake. Drizzle on the lemon juice; sprinkle on the sugar and vanilla powder (if using).
- Bake the cake until a knife comes out clean; about 50 minutes. Allow the cake to sit for 20-25 minutes before removing it from the springform pan. Covered in plastic wrap, the cake is good for up to 4 days.