Sunday, May 3, 2020

Wonderland-y Topsy-Turvy Cake

“She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, ‘Which way? Which way?’, holding her hand on top of her head to feel which way it was growing; and she was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size. To be sure, this is what generally happens when one eats cake; but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.”-― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass
It rained quite a bit last week. As I am a consummate worrier, it's always a relief to me to see rain this time of year. I've seen enough dry summers and smoky forest fire seasons to be the sort of person who welcomes rain whenever it comes. During a short dry spell, we went out for a walk at a nearby trail and sat for a while. I relished the sound of the full creek rushing by:


There nothing quite like rain to make things grow. You can water and water and water your plants from a hose all you like, but it's always the rain that triggers the miraculous blooms of spring. This thing lives in my yard, and I have no idea what it is, but it seems to be the first big bloomer of the garden. Spring is truly here:


Spring blooms always bring about hope. I walked past this display one day.  The sign reads, "These are Canadian Liberator Tulips. They were planted by my class in recognition of our Canadian Veteran's involvement in the liberations of the Netherlands 75 years ago. Thank you for your service." Earlier in the day, there was a sign asking folks to leave them alone so that her class could come by and take photos next to it and write what it meant to them. It felt nice to know that even in such a strange time, folks were thinking about what it was like in a time that was probably just as fearful, but we managed to get through that time alright:


The grey days made me want more colourful things in the house. I made this awesome Buddha bowl for lunch one day. I sat and looked at it for a few minutes before digging in. It's nice to eat pretty things:


And the other night, we had this Roasted Cauliflower, Lentil and Spinach Curry for dinner. I never used to be a fan of cauliflower. I have been known to call for the "cancellation of cauliflower" because it is so bland, but I could barely keep my hands off the roasted cauliflower while I was waiting for the curry to thicken. I am enjoying the taste of cauliflower. This means the world truly is a bit upside-down:


Today, the sun came out for a while so Seymour went out to peruse his kingdom:


This morning, I decided to make a sponge cake in honour of my friend's birthday. She lives in Alberta. I know, she didn't get a piece, but more on that later... It's an orange sponge cake with berry jam in the middle. I laughed when I took the layers out of the oven because they are anything but level. I think the oven must be sitting on a tilt or something. It looks like a cake straight out of Alice in Wonderland:


I tried to even it out by putting the thicker edge next to the thinner ones, but it still cracks me up:


I made it for a video tea party with my friend which we planned to have today, except she got called away to a last-minute meeting with her boss. I planned to wear a jaunty hat and toast to her birthday and all that, but at least we got a quickie five-minute chat where I could at least show her what I made. She bought bakery scones and jam, so at least she gets to enjoy something of a treat today. Seymour wore a tie and joined me for the call, but he only stayed long enough for a bit of cake. He's more of a coffee guy, I guess:


Meanwhile, I had a bit of a stall with my current knitting project last week. I was cruising along, working on the second-to-last chart, thinking to myself, "Man, I'll be finished this in no time." And that, as we know, is always a jinx, because about five minutes later I found an extra double-yarn over that didn't belong there. I thought I could just let it drop and fudge my way through it, but then I found another one... and another one... and another one... which meant that I had no choice but to go back and fix them.

And that's when I, like Alice, fell through the proverbial rabbit hole.

Even with a lifeline woven in, ripping back eight rows of lace knitting full of double yarn overs is the worst surgery you can do on your knitting. It took me TWO AND A HALF DAYS to get it back in order, hours and hours hunched over muttering to myself, hoping against hope that I was putting the stitches in all of the right places... After it was all back together, it spent another day in the naughty corner. It's all back on track, but I have been finding errors regularly for the last few rows. It's gonna be a long stretch with this one:


It's stuff like this that makes cake so important. The world is still a strange, upside-down, Wonderland-y sort of place at the moment, but the simple act of being able to eat a cake without incident sorta makes things normal again... even for a while. And even when it's a crooked, topsy-turvy cake.

Time to think about some dinner now. Have a good, safe week!

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