Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sour Times

What a year it's been, and I'm only in three weeks deep. But thick into the split pea soup that life feels like when it gets all muddled, foggy, and lumpy. Perspective is a thing of the past, it went out with 2011. This used to be a breezy lighthearted food blog that actually posted recipes, now it's a sour true confessional.
It's times like these that I am grateful that no one I know really reads this thing. My computer is the confessional screen, behind which I am faceless and unknown. It all comes rushing out, and then it is lost in a galaxy of words and a universe of humanity and all the conditions associated with that. I'm in a wholly wretched mess that is turning my head upside down and my guts inside out. It will be OK because there is no other way it can be. But there will be a stain.

Serving as a suitable distraction is the news that the Kiddles school is closing in June. I can't express my sorrow over this without sounding dismally uncool and fatally unironic, so I won't even try, and will instead suffer the slings of sentimentality. This little school in it's tidy little building felt like home the minute I walked through it's door with a pre-K aged Samwich. The warmth and family feeling that filled it's halls was obvious to everyone who visited. And being associated with their school helped me to let go of some of the bitterness and corrosiveness that I felt about school and teachers, which was a hold-over from my school days when I was plonked into a school that didn't know what the hell to do with me, so they just threw me away (figuratively speaking ). I actually joined the PTA, something I definitely snorted at in my pre- kiddles school days. I helped run the yearly plant sale and organized the dinner dance one year (poorly, I freely admit). I loved this sweet little Jewish school that emphasized the importance of the Golden Rule and acceptance and appreciation of all difference types. And now it is over. My kids are going to go to a new and bigger school and will have to adjust, and this is the one good thing that comes out of it. Life is all about adaptation, they might as well learn this sooner than later.

And then there's the book. When I conceived this book I had definite notions and ideas of how it would be. Existing perfectly in my mind it was to contain everything I wanted to say through words and flavors and pictures. It didn't take me long to understand that everyone else working on the book (coauthor, editor, publishing co. at large) had their own definite ideas as well, and that sometimes I just have to suck it up, because after all, who am I? I'm an unknown girl with some good ideas. It takes more than good ideas to publish a book. I recently lost the round regarding the book title, and that burned a lot. I don't get to name the baby, I feel like it's starting out with the wrong name. Regardless of any disappointment, I can't give up on it. I've got to fight right through, take the kicks when I have no other choices, and push through whenever there is an opening.
And I have to be grateful. Always be grateful for what I've been given, good and bad because from it I am growing and learning and adapting and becoming the person I am meant to be.
I end this True Confessions post with a recipe for Lemon Cake, because nothing is just one way.

Lemon Yogurt Cake
(adapted from Marlene Sorosky)
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
juice from 2 large lemons (about 1/2 cup)
6 oz. greek yogurt, lemon flavor
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Lemon Yogurt Glaze
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon yogurt
1 tbsp. lemon juice

1. Grease a 12 cup bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and lemon yogurt.
3. In a smaller bowl stir together flour, aking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon rind. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
4. Spoon batter into bundt pan. Bake in oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
5. Cool for a few minutes and then invert onto baking rack to cool completely.
6. For glaze: in bowl sstir together sugar, yogurt, and lemon juice. Spoon glaze over top of cake allowing it to run down the sides.