Every time I use my little metric food scale (actually, it does ounces too, but most of what I make wants metric), I think loving thoughts of Ana who gave it to me as a gift when I was floundering about in the kitchen after Rebecca moved into her own place, leaving me pretty helpless – cooking wise. On a recent day, Ana was coming to watch movies and knit. I decided to make an almond cake from a David Lebovitz recipe. I used the scale extensively to measure out the almonds, sugar, butter, and flour, and then ground the almonds up my 35 year-old Cuisinart food processor, a gift from my darling daddy. To make almond paste, the almonds needed to be mixed with sugar syrup, cooked to the softball stage. Unlike my mother, I am incapable of doing this without a candy thermometer. The thermometer I used was a gift from John, my gardener. While working on this project, I wore an apron, which was about the same age as the food processor. It was made for me by my then neighbor Mita Markland, long gone to her heavenly reward. When the cake was ready for baking, I put the springform pan on a cookie sheet given to me by Tom. While I was working, I thought of all these people and how lucky and grateful I was to have known them. I fretted because, although Rebecca has given me many cooking items as gifts, I didn’t seem to have used one on this cake. However, I finally realized that she had given me a Japanese knife, and I had used this when cutting the almond paste in half. Additionally, she gave me lots of advice about actually making the almond paste which I had never done before. She advised me to use the recipe in “Joy of Cooking,” so I did. It was delicious, as was the cake. I’m calling this cake a Friendship Cake, because so many of my friends helped make it. Hmmm, I think I will have a piece right now.
3 hours ago