My original plan, one I thought rather clever, was to wait until my husband died, then paint our bedroom (it would be my bedroom then, actually, may he rest in peace) pale pink. I had the color all picked out after I saw it in a magazine (“Perfection” by Valspar and never, ever, pick a color this way). I couldn’t do it while he was living because I am not that bad of a wife. But then my plain-talking SIL told me that my bedroom was too spacious for that color and a smaller space would work better. Plus my husband appeared healthy. Ah! I had just the thing: our guest room.
This 8 by 6 foot space, which answers variously to The Cuddle Cave and The Scream Closet, (after a visit from my SIL’s little darlings) is a wee room that was truncated before our time in a 1980’s remodel that gave the house a staircase and an upper half-story. Sure, it’s tiny, but as I often point out to guests, a family of four slept in it once. A couple of them were under the bed, but hey, this isn’t the Radisson.
Anyway, my husband left for a work trip and I waved goodbye with one hand and pried the lid off “Perfection” with the other. Then I set to, slapping pink on the walls of The Cuddle Cave.
I have learned many things this week and here’s one: when it comes to pink, you can’t go pale enough. I maybe didn’t go pale enough. I should know that any color I settle on must promptly be diluted with 4 gallons of white. I had hoped for the barest suggestion of pink, a mere scintilla. I didn’t want friends to walk in and get slapped in the face with pink, but rather to be suffused with a curious, long-forgotten oneness with all things, a floating bliss. Yes, I speak of a return to the womb, one with a fantastic, embroidered duvet cover that was 75% off. Once the paint was on, I felt that if our guest room was a womb, then the love child of I Dream of Genie and My Little Pony was gestating there.
Eaters, (relax, I will get to the food part in a minute) in truth I am only the most tentative lover of pink. If you go one shade too pink you feel as though you are trapped inside a Pepto-Bismol bottle. As the mother of two daughters I have, over the years, made attempts to stem the tied of pink that is always rising in a house of females. But I have also weakened at times, like I do with donuts and movies featuring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy as a wacky crime-fighting duo, because we all secretly crave our own sweet destruction. And yet, the guest room is growing on me and grow it must. Painting is so much work that I am determined to like the color. Nay! to love the color! I love it! I love it already!
Less may be more with pink paint but never – no never – with pink cake. I’ve said it before: more is more. Everyone, in their secret heart, longs for pink cake (as I have mentioned, this includes Lord Voldemort [completely safe to say his name now]). If you dropped Michelle Obama – also safe to say her name – in a room with pink cake, she would put on sweat pants with a stretchy waistband and go at it with two forks flying. It’s that pretty and delicious.
Ombre cakes are very trendy right now; you can’t take a stroll through cyberspace without tripping over one. I am astounded at some of the multicolored cakes I encountered, virtually (I wish I could have encountered them person-to-cake). And only click on that link to erotic cake wonderland, and this one as well, if you do not plan to come back and scoff at my humble first attempt.
I happily returned to an old favorite recipe of mine, the Williams Sonoma Coconut Lime Cake. I used lemon instead of lime and I made the seven minute frosting – my mother’s favorite – but without the coconut. I added 2 drops of pink neon food coloring to the first layer and increased it to 5 with the second and 7 with the third; I know that sounds arbitrary, (why not 1, 2 and 3 drops?) but it’s not a science (or only a science in that it’s hard to replicate results). This cake was served at my second baby shower, so I have sentimental feelings about it. There is a picture of me, eight months along, cutting into the cake and looking quite pink-cheeked in a maternity top that was groaning at the seams. You can hear the threads straining. I encourage you to try this recipe for a special occasion; it is not an everyday cake, even for me.
I cut out a generous wedge for my girls, took a sliver (then another) for myself and sent the massive remainder to work with my husband. Was I sad to see it go? Sure, there’s a grieving process, but I couldn’t have this beauty lounging around the fridge, blushing and batting her eyes at me. I plan to make chocolate mousse later this week so I needed to clear the decks.
I am hesitant to recommend pink paint, but I can unequivocally recommend this pink cake. Any suggestions for a name?