Currant Caramel Cream Cake

Currant Cream Cake
Please note that I refrained from titling this post “currantly.” Hold your applause, though. Since I mentioned it, I obviously thought about it.

Currently, my patience is lacking. I’ve started shaking in my chair, due to lack of inspiration, I guess. I’ve suffered; others have probably suffered. I’ve been a little too honest, a bit less nice, and a lot sarcastic.

But pluckin’ currants, or what I like to call, spiny little devils—now that’s a lesson in patience. That will slap the sarcasm right out of you. When faced with small 1/2-pint boxes of rubies and pearls and branches, I usually feel helpless before I start, like my fingers will be too weak for the task. Pulling out each thin stem feels a bit like plucking an eyebrow; the stem resists, releasing from the thick skin of the tiny, seed-filled berries with an inaudible pop. It usually comes out clean and whole but sometimes, it will leave behind a tiny fragment of itself. The process can be pleasant, though. Each of my plucks feels prodding and deliberate. It calms my nerves. I plucked the currants for this cake alone at 10pm in my 85-degree mid–heat wave kitchen, which I had lit dimly. I resisted the urge to play music or to check emails while plucking. I focused on just plucking. With each branch, I got faster and better; my plucks became cleaner and more graceful.

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Sugar & Whimsy

lemon meringue…cake

Lemon Meringue Pie

I’ll never forget my first (and last) trip to Disney World. Does anyone? Walt Disney World — a child’s dream, the most whimsical place on earth, the meringue topping on the above cake. The place where kids can be kids and adults can soak up the magic of satisfying the wittle apple(s) of their eye.

And I have no desire to go again.

I spent the months preceding the trip — and this was when I was in elementary school, mind you — hitting the books, charting a path, mapping the hours, and planning, down to the minute, which soul-sucking line we’d need to wait in to get to every stop on my list. There were very small time slots allotted to bathroom breaks and sustenance catchers (let’s face it, there is no real “dining” in Orlando).

Was it worth it? Did I have fun? Was the alarming authoritarian schedule barked by the 10-year-old general worth it? Well I got to every single scheduled ride (without throwing up), parade (the festival of lights was decent), and attraction except for one: Pirates of the Caribbean, a Disney classic. I’d call it a success.

But did I cherish any of the moments and look back on them as a time that brought me closer to my family?

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