Cake is my favorite food, it is my addition. Therefore I LIMIT when I bake it because I cannot leave it alone. Other peoples cake, i.e. bakery cake, or store bought cake cannot touch what I bake myself. I realize that sounds arrogant, but seriously ask anyone who has had one of my cakes. They cause sane people who are educated and aware of what all that white flour, sugar and FAT do to the human body, to regress to 8 years old when any amount of cake is never enough. Isn’t that right Dr. Greg? This man is wonderful physician who runs a clinic at Vanderbilt Children’s to help adolescents deal with our out of control food culture that has made many of them overweight and type II diabetic. I’ve seen him eat 3 pieces of my 7 hour coconut cake (that’s how long it takes to make it) at one sitting or actually one party.
Cake and (its quickie cheap counterpart) pie, have been the topic of serious discussion by serious writers at serious dinners on many occasions. One in particular that I remember took place in Nashville at a now closed restaurant called Allium (much great food and liquor) after a writers weekend meeting at MTSU which goes by the name of “The Loft” (a seriously great writing program started by Roy Burkhead and now continued by Karen Alea for folks who might want to become writers like me). At the restaurant my friend and the Director of “The Loft” at that time, Terry Price and I, Terry’s beautiful wife Sharon and one of the speaker/writers for the weekend Richard Goodman (brilliant man and writer) threw down and argued about which was better, cake or pie. This friends, was a half hour discussion. Ending with a challenge, a duel as it were. Terry and I were on the cake side, Sharon and Richard were on the pie side. And dear Terry said one of the most brilliant phrases I have heard to date.
“Cake is a long term love affair, pie is a one night stand.” Then he extrapolated. “Cake is Sophia Loren, pie is Gidget.” See…brilliant!
At that point someone ordered a gauntlet and threw it down. Bake off at Terry’s house using his brand new Persimmon colored Kitchen Aid mixer. I started insisting that everything be made from scratch, and that’s when Sharon indeed showed she has brains as well as beauty. She forfeited, in agreement with Richard. Then decided… I should just come up to sunny Springfield and with the winning cake team (me and Terry) and bake the winning cake. Smart Girl. At which point they would declare CAKE the winner.
Well, as y’all who follow along know, I published my coconut cake recipe the last time I blogged. And Dear Dr. Greg posted a wonderful comment on my Facebook page which I will attempt to quote here as I am not the cut and paste genius that most 7 year olds are.
Gregory Plemmons, “You posted your recipe? In one sense this is like Colonel Sanders and Coke Cola beneficently saying, “here…here is the recipe.” In another sense its really just handing out crack. Readers be forewarned: I have tasted of this creation. Cross over, children. All are welcome in the light.”
I would call that an endorsement, wouldn’t you?
So at this point I really am not that worried about other people taking over and making my coconut cake and handing it out like crack. Because did you seriously READ the recipe? Its not called a 7 hour coconut cake for nothing. Most people are not going to go to that kind of trouble. But if you ever do… call me and I’ll help you eat it.
As for reasons to eat cake…I recently heard of a quote, from a brilliant woman I never had the privilege of meeting. My dearest friend Nick Nichols, best boyfriend ever from Alabama or anywhere else for that matter, told me he had for years wanted his Mama’s Coconut cake recipe and she would never give it to him. She lived on Sand Mountain in Alabama, and he lives in Huntsville about 2 hours away. Whenever he would ask her for the recipe, she would tell him,”Son I won’t give you the recipe, but if you come spend the day with me I will bake you one.” Mrs. Nila Nichols Jones passed away a few weeks ago, quite suddenly. At the family gathering after the service while Nick was sitting with his cousins and family it occurred to him that he had missed his chance and he said, “Well, I guess I’ll never get Mama’s recipe for Coconut cake now.” His cousin Ann piped in and said, “Nick I have it, I’ve had it for years, everyone at my church has it too, we call it Nila’s Coconut cake.” Seems Miss Nila, strong Southern woman that she was, knew not only how to make a good coconut cake, but also knew a very good reason to bake and eat one.
Rest in Peace, Miss Nila. You honor Southern women everywhere.