Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Angel Food

Something happened Sunday morning that got me to thinking about many things.  The first was some memories of my Mom.  I'll elaborate in a minute about that.  It also got me to thinking about how naive
children can be.  And, lastly about how little things that happen in childhood can have such an impact on
a child.  Totally unbeknownst to all the adults around......

Up early on Sunday, as I began to bake an angel food cake, suddenly, the memories of my mother doing this very thing flooded my memory.  Many details - how she had to break thirteen eggs, then separate the yolk from the white part because you only used the white part in the cake.  Imagine trying to do that thirteen times.  I bet it took fifteen or sixteen eggs to accomplish the first part of this endeavor.  Back in those days, "mumblesomething" years ago, there was no such thing as cake mixes.  Everything was made from scratch.

The fun part of these memories is that Mom only made angel food cake if it was a really special event, like someone's birthday.  It was a rare treat.  Therefore, I guess I watched intently at least ten times, if not more in my life.  At the end, after the cake is mixed and baked, it needs to be inverted on a coke bottle or some kind of a glass bottle that will fit in the hole of the center of the pan.  Back in those days that was not a problem.  Today it is a problem as I discovered since I had NO glass bottle and had to rig up a
totally different system.  I do remember, vividly, the time Mother went to flip the cake over onto the bottle and the whole thing, somehow, came flying out of the pan!  Oh what a mess.  To this day, I have no idea how Mom managed to recapture or rebuild the cake or what, however, we did have Angel food cake that next day.

The other memories that came flooding in as I thought about angel food was Sister Barbara.  So help me, that was her name!  She was the nun in my third grade class at St. Henry's in Chicago.  I even remember the day that changed my life forever.  Sister Barbara was talking to another nun about what she ate for breakfast and she said that she had had Cheerios for breakfast.  It stopped me dead in my tracks.  Real food?  What?
Truly it was a momentous event. 

Rushing home that afternoon, I confronted my Mom about what had happened that day.  In shock and awe, I shared with her the whole episode.  She probably was trying hard not to burst out laughing.  My whole life I had thought that nuns and priests, did not eat human food.  How naive...........Today it certainly occurs to me that children are not as naive as we were in my generation. 

It was the generation when TV had just begun and the only shows that I remember were nothing educational.

That day where I learned that nuns and priests did not eat angel food marked a day that my naivete took a hit and it is still imprinted in my psyche as the day that reality caused me to start questioning many things.

ALL these thoughts went through my brain on early Sunday morning while I was baking a birthday cake for Matilda for her ninth birthday. The frosting is whip cream with food coloring so it is her favorite color, pink.  The little girl on the cake is about seventy years old!  It was used on my cake and then on the cakes of my daughters and granddaughters any time I made the cake.

Here's a photo of us singing Happy Birthday to Mati.  Notice Sebastian with the maracas adding a little musicality to the song.

Life is definitely an adventure, isn't it?


Charles said...

I triple love this...angel food cake with whipped cream icing was my favorite...haven't had it since mom died 25 years ago...thanks dear lady for a vey special memory much needed...xoxo

Babs said...

Wow Charles, what a coincidence! I'm happy to have sparked something to provide a
special memory!

You cannot get angel food cake mix in this area - nor have I ever seen an angel food cake pan, so I brought the pan 16 years ago from Texas and I buy the cake mix when I make my annual shopping excursion to Houston!

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Happy birthday Matilda! The cake looks delicious. Precious moments and wonderful memories are being created. I miss that kitchen!

Babs said...

Thanks Peter! I saw your blog and it looked like where you pet sat was pretty darn cold and snowy. It has been a fabulously mild winter here this year! The kitchen misses you too. Ha.

Scott said...

Looks like a great birthday party. What a nice tradition of using the little girl as decoration on all those other cakes. Growing up, my favorite birthday cake was Angel Food with frosting and strawberries. Mom did not disappoint.

Babs said...

Scott, I'm beginning to think that angel food cake was a tradition back in the day! ha. I never hear about it or see it served any more..still one of my favorites. Now with a cake mix, it literally takes 3 minutes to mix it, put it in the pan and bake it. Voila. You had a GOOD Mom, Scott.

Kerry said...

Hi Babs,
I think I tried to contact you once through your blog. Forgive me if you answered (or didn't because you didn't want to). I wondered if you could email me regarding a search I am conducting. Thanks!

Babs said...

Hi Kerry - I receive messages from so many people that I don't know if I have ever heard from you before, but I always respond to comments, always. Even with 30,000
readers a month, I always respond.

What kind of search are you conducting?

Thanks for stopping by the blog.