Birthday Cake

I don’t like cake.

Hate… is a strong word. Hating food items (aside from cilantro) seems like a waste of energy. Plus, I do like frosting. And I can be open-minded towards cupcakes, which are like little cake babies.

Okay, truth be told, I won’t often pass up a piece of cake if it’s offered. It’s usually for a festive occasion, and that would make me a party pooper right? (This logic is the reason I will never be called svelte.)

But for my own birthday, I decided to go cake-less. I planned to make a bread pudding.

A student mentioned that her mom had made a pear cranberry bread pudding, and I thought that sounded delightful. I found  a couple of recipes, picked up a couple of ingredients, and thought I could make this a cute little baking post. I’d have a step-by-step, with pictures, and a finished product so amazing that you’d wish you could taste through your computer screen.

Before the storm

Not sure what I was thinking on that one.

I am just not a here-is-the-recipe-book-and-my-arsenal-of-measuring-cups-and-spoons type of girl. My bread pudding went more like this:

Collect some of the ingredients. Leave others to remember later.

Start chopping bread. Stop to put music on. Return to start slicing pears. Remember that I was chopping bread. Go back to bread.

Stop with the bread again, to put butter in the hot sauté pan for the pears. Return to bread.

Stop to open a bottle of wine and pour a glass.

Decide chopping is annoying and finish tearing the bread.

Get the pears into the butter with (an amount?) of cinnamon and nutmeg. Add cranberries and cook for a bit.

Spoon the bread, fruit, and spices into two pans- as I have decided to take a large bread pudding to school tomorrow and make a small one for myself, so that I don’t have to rename this post “In which I make and consume an entire bread pudding by myself.”

Realize I don’t have any walnuts. Decide to add almonds instead. To my pan only. In case it was a bad choice.

Mix eggs and cream, and vanilla, and a bit more cinnamon, and pour over the two pans.

Bake for 45 minutes, then in ten minute increments until finished.

Realize partway through baking, that I have forgotten to add any sugar to recipe.

Wonder if I should actually take any to school, since hearing “Who the hell made scrambled eggs with pears and cranberries?” would be embarrassing.

Remember that I was also going to make a bourbon sauce.

Begin feeling daunted by bourbon sauce.

Seriously consider just drinking the bourbon.

Decide to cut my losses, turn the stove off, put the ‘sauce’ away, add a little Haagen-Dazs to my slice, and call it good.


Not quite what Id envisioned.

If I do take the other pan to the school potluck tomorrow… It will probably be accompanied by a disclaimer explaining the potential flaws. Or I’ll bring a bottle of syrup and tell everyone it is a family-sized french toast.

There may be a reason I like cooking better than baking. I need to be able to take artistic liberties. And I may subconsciously rebel against things with too many numbers.


~ by Lindsey on November 11, 2010.

5 Responses to “Birthday Cake”

  1. Actually hilarious.

  2. Cilantro is evil in herb form.

    I’m going cake-less this year, too. Chocolate and caramel tart instead. Not sure how to sink a candle into a chocolate shell, but that is an adventure for another day.

  3. I too don’t like cilantro…..

    I loved your account of making a birthday pear bread pudding! So honest and with every mishap included – I feel if professional food writers were honest, they’d say it like this too!
    I can’t remember how I came across your blog – let’s just put it to happenstance.

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