Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy To Know You And Here's The Cake To Prove It

This past sunday evening my good friend, Kenzo, got married. It was a lovely and traditional affair, the kind of celebration that makes you feel warm, sentimental, and hopeful. I've been friends with Kenzo since college, all the way through our post-collegiate City days. Often times she was a co-conspirator, sometimes a foil, always a true pal. We wiled away many a dingy City day in her apartment on the Upper East Side, watching cheesey TV, drinking Diet Coke, and chain smoking (it was a long time ago). And huge blocks of time were occupied speaking on the phone hatching plans or unravelling our stories for one another.
I was very much looking forward to her wedding as I knew it would be a reunion of sorts. I was excited about seeing people from ye olde college days, as well as my newly sprung NYC days. After the beautiful ceremony in the elegant synagogue, we enjoyed cocktail hour which doubled for me as "This Is Your Life" Early Adulthood Edition. And the greatest thing about it? Everyone was exactly as I remembered them. I was so happy to meet their partners, view pictures of their offspring, hear about their lives. Goodwill deluged me all evening long, and the fruity cocktails didn't hurt one bit either. While chatting with them I was returned to the former moments when they were all a part of my life, whether peripherally or centrally, and I hold onto the bittersweetness of those moments. I was so young and so dumb and so insecure-but also completely free to live as selfishly and irresponsibly as I wished. I felt so grateful for knowing each of these interesting and fantastic people during this time.
Tomorrow night is book group. Book group is also a gathering of old friends- new old friends who I've spent my early Mommy days with. Eventually this too will pass, and I will reflect longingly on these moments. I will remember it with sweet sadness, how quickly it flew away. Growing older and moving on is inevitable. All I ask for is the foresight and wisdom to appreciate it while immersed in it.
I baked a warm and homey coffee cake for the occasion. Coffee cake goes perfectly with friendship and conversation. While I was preparing it I thought of the book club ladies and
how wonderful each one is, and how grateful I am to know them during these special moments in my life.

Friendship Coffee Cake
Mix together 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1 1/2 sticks of softened butter, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract until fluffy. Add 2 eggs one at a time until a batter forms. In a separate bowl mix 2 c flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, and 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Add flour mixture in parts to batter, alternating with 1 c. thick greek yogurt (I used 2%) beating after each addition until smooth and thick. Scrape the beans of half a vanilla pod into the batter, mix well.
In a small bowl mix 1/2 c. chopped pecans, 1/3 c. brown sugar, and scant tsp. of nutmeg. Pour half of the batter into a greased bundt pan, sprinkle pecan mix on top. Spoon and smooth out the rest of the batter on top of pecan layer, and then sprinkle rest of pecans on top. Bake at 350F for about an hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

Post Script: The cake was served last night to general approval. However, Daz, my most honest and constructive critic- is decidedly not a nutmeg fan. I suggested that if she was to make the cake she simply substitute the nutmeg for cinnamon.

1 comment:

Dances with Corgis said...

Hi there!

I stumbled upon your blog via the spiced caramel apple upside down cake recipe on chowhound, and have to say I LOVE your writing and style.

I'm a former NYC'er as well and wanted to say hello.

I'll let you know how that cake comes out.