One advantage to the days I work at home is the option to close up my laptop and head out for more baking chocolate when the girls – intent on chocolate cake – run shy of this crucial ingredient. The kids used an amount of chocolate that amazed me. A confirmed Michael Pollan fan, I refused to buy corn syrup, so they googled a substitute option.

All that sunny afternoon, the girls were busy with flour and chat, serving me the leftover coffee they brewed – so strong  I winced.

Skeptical? Yeah. But at least I was silent.

I made my recipe-less part of the meal, using what I found at hand: onions, kale, parsley, and sage in the garden, sausage, tomatoes from the neighbor: a decent, passable stew.

But the kids? Their cake rose both light and rich. A delicacy I’ve never accomplished – and the kids sweetly teased me so.

Here’s the opening lines from Hayden Carruth’s wonderful “Birthday Cake” poem:

For breakfast I have eaten the last of your birthday cake that you
had left uneaten for five days
and would have left five more before throwing it away.


2 thoughts on “Skepticism

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