Spring Fever

I think of myself as having a Lenten personality, but once Easter arrives, I remember how much I enjoy it. I came home from a run on Saturday to find my daughters dying not only eggs, but their socks and underwear. Easter fills us all with a longing to bust out, roll in the grass, dig in the dirt, and dip-dye our unders. This year, we were blessed with surprise sunshine on Easter and two (TWO!) babies at our family gathering. If my grandnieces can’t attend next year, we will have to hire a beribboned lamb and bunny duo, because those little girls provided just the right amount of adorable new life.

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Sometime in early March, there was a clear spell, and I experienced a frenzy of gardening. One day, I spent hours going back and forth to the garden supply store with my friend Kirstin. She has a trailer; now that is a handy accessory every woman should own. We hauled compost and unloaded it. We hauled dirt/gravel and unloaded it. Well, Kirstin unloaded it, and I tried to stay clear of her shovel. During one of the shoveling intervals, we ended up at her house, where I had left my car, and more importantly, where she had left a warm cake sitting expectantly on her stove.

This carrot ginger tea cake is from Sunset magazine, March 2016. I am not as adventurous with cakes as I should be, given everything; it had been awhile since I tasted or baked a new cake. I tend to stick with what works, because I hate to disappoint anyone. I hate to disappointment myself, I mean.

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This cake is like wanting to go out for Thai food, but wishing your local Thai place had decent desserts, BUT WAIT! Now they do!  And the whole shebang, (meal plus dessert) is in one package topped with a zesty lime glaze. This cake has gingery bite and citrusy pow. I doubled the recipe for my family’s Easter gathering in order to make a bundt cake, the shape I always asked for when I was a kid.

Kirstin had done all the legwork – and shoveling – for me, so I adopted all her recipe changes. She reduced the sugar by  1/3 (I would call that reduction a necessary one). She used orange juice in place of carrot, (brilliant! more citrus!) and she replaced a third of the flour with almond flour (not necessary, but I loved the texture).

At Easter, the people I least expected to like this, did. That includes my nephew, who I suspect of subsisting for entire weeks on blue slushies. It was an Easter miracle. Just when you settle into Lent and it becomes the new normal, Easter says, guess what? You’re not dead. Hopeful new life is popping up all around you, so stop making that same old chocolate cake and start tie-dying your skivvies, or you are missing out.

marycake

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