Tree blossoms. The yards are blanketed in them.
And the rhododendrons - they are late coming to spring's party - but they are here. They're pretty fleeting. One swirl of the Minnesota winds and they scatter. But everything is fleeting, isn't it? The days I thought I would never be able to walk through my home without stepping on a lego or a miniature racing car - are gone. A blip in our history.
And now one of the culprits of my "toy-carpeted home" is in China - for his work in plant pathology.. And his partner in crime is getting ready to go to Mexico - for her work in audiology. I received an e-mail from China today:
"I tried duck blood soup because I am adventurous. It was pretty good! And I took a photo because I am my mother's son."
I saved the photo. Yeah - I saved the entire e-mail. We scatter. But we don't go as far as we think.
I could make an analogy about cake - you bake it and it's fleeting. It's true but not important. What's important is you bake it and you savor. And if you're kind you share.
And if you're smart - you'll make this - for a homecoming, for a picnic or just because it's Thursday. Which is partly why I made it. It was Thursday and the day called for cake. Husband-person was working late again and I got it in my head that he needed to come home to cake. And so he did. And a good one. Just sweet enough (because I am not saccharine - just sweet enough).
I love how olive oil cakes crust on the top and then give way to delicate, melty crumbs. Yin and yang, crunch and smooth, yesterday and today. If I add some Orange Blossom Water - I could declare this an Orange Blossom Cake!
Orange Olive Oil Cake
from the blog: Where Women Cook
Nonstick spray with flour
4-5 naval oranges (or shhh ...1-1/2 cups orange juice) - 3 zested and 4-5 juiced
3-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-3/4 teaspoons - Kosher salt (or shhh ... table salt)
5 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups mild extra-virgin olive oil
confectioner's sugar for dusting (I didn't dust - I frequently don't dust)
Position rack in middle of oven. Remove upper rack. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan or tube pan with spray. Really coat it! Don't be shy. This is a sticky batter.
Zest 3 oranges. Squeeze the juice of 4 oranges. If you don't have 1-1/2 cups of orange juice, juice another one. (Or shhh ... add orange juice).
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl (and set aside).
In the bowl of a stand mixer (use paddle attachment) or with a handheld mixer and a la-r-g-e bowl, beat the eggs for one minute.
With mixer on, slowly pour in sugar and beat until well-combined - about 3 minutes. You should have thick, pale yellow ribbons.
On low speed, alternate adding the flour and the olive oil - starting and ending with the flour.
Pour in orange juice and zest and beat until well combined - just 10-15 seconds really.
Pour into prepared pan and cook for 1 to 1-1/4 hours - until a tester comes out almost dry - a few moist crumbs are fine. Mine took 65 minutes. If the top is browning too much, cover with a little foil. Mine did brown a lot. I didn't cover it - I like it. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Turn the pan upside down and flip and cool on rack. You can cool over night - just cover and let it sit. We ate it after 45 minutes!
Before serving dust with confectioner's sugar. Or not.
This would also be good with berries and cream. Or orange curd. Or lemon curd. Or tangerines... or - yes oranges.
Or toasted the next day for breakfast. Or dolloped with creme fraiche... it's a canvas. And it's pretty tasty on its own.
I am learning the secret of cooking with Luce. He passes out fifteen minutes after eating.
That's when you do your prep.
Or you open a window.
And let him sit.
I still don't have the secret as to how to let a pie cool without a paw indentation in it (yes - it's covered with something). I really need kryptonite to cover my food. And that photo above is apropos of nothing. I just love those double-jointed back legs! I hope they're not fleeting.