HAVE YOU BAKED YOUR LIFE CAKE?

If your dream is to bake the perfect cake, start mixing the batter. It may take many attempts to get it perfect and you may fail several times. Sometimes, those failures teach you lessons about preparing before actually baking. Sometimes you get anxious and even overly excited and not give the cake time to properly bake or even cool off after the cake is pulled from the oven. So many factors come into play and some may or may be out of your control. But once in a while, the prep work is exact, measurements are precise, oven bakes properly, and you wait the proper amount of time to put the icing on it. You step back and look at the dream come true cake…..Wow! It was worth all of the attempts, trials, practicing, and finally, the goal has been met! Side note for all life participants….This is how life works! Keep trying as you may be on the last failure before you bake the perfect life cake. The lady Leah Chase who was famous for her pound cake (which the one I baked from her recipe is shown here) has passed away, but her recipe lives on.

 Leah Chase’s Butter Cake
Makes 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled but soft to the touch
1 pound powdered sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
2 2/3 cups cake flour, sifted once after measuring
1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
Place a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch tube pan with vegetable shortening or soft butter, and dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour and set the pan aside. (If the eggs are straight from the refrigerator, place them in a large bowl of warm water to come to room temperature).

Cut the sticks of butter into 6 to 8 tablespoons each, and place all the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high until the butter is in one mass, 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Drape a kitchen towel over the top of the mixer so you don’t get showered with sugar. Start on low speed and blend the sugar to incorporate. Then increase the speed to medium and let the mixture beat until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Crack one egg at a time and add to the butter mixture, beating on medium-low until blended. Add another egg, beating again, and stop the machine after every two eggs are added, and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

With the machine off, add the flour to the mixture. Add salt, if desired. Mix on low speed to incorporate the flour, 30 seconds. Add the vanilla, and on low speed blend 15 seconds more.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula, and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake until the cake is well browned and the center springs back to the touch, 58 to 62 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges, shake the pan gently to loosen the cake, and turn it out once, then again onto a rack to cool right-side up. Let cool 30 minutes to 1 hour before slicing.

It is a recipe filled with love and history, perfect for spring and summer entertaining no matter where you live. And it marries well with fresh local strawberries and summer’s peaches. When I bake it, the smell, taste and sight of it all take me back to that day in New Orleans, conversing with a legendary Southern lady in her restaurant’s kitchen, where the sounds from the fryer blend with stories of the past, and culinary diplomacy still reigns.

*Photo of Leah Chase by Blake Nelson Boyd via Wikimedia Commons
*Photo of Leah and “Dooky” Chase with President Bush at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans: Public Domain

LET’S BAKE A LIFE CAKE is inspired from a previous post BAKING A LIFE CAKE from 2015 on my blog but a good friend of mine are baking cakes like the one in the photo below to raise money for her granddaughters and another friend baking for her little dancers and it struck me how important this message is to realize we bake our life cakes every day. So, how is your baking skills? Life is waiting so fire up the oven.

TODAY THE WORDS are BAKING A LIFE CAKE. I have been seeing a lot of luscious cakes baked for a silent auction and it gave me some inspiration on how life can mimic baking a cake. I posted the following message on FB last night and felt I should share it as a blog message.  

My night’s thought: Life is like baking a cake. First you have to gather a lot of ingredients (childhood, school, work, marriage, children, etc.) some of which are sweet and others which are sour by themselves.  It takes a lot of mixing everything and even cracking some shells with sifting to make things smoother. Some separation has to be done (college, military, volunteer work, training) by putting the layers into individual pans. Then life gets hot and trials and opening doors and shutting them while turning the heat up. Once the heat is off and a cooling down period is completed (arguments, compromise, sorting out problems, overcoming life’s difficult moments) it is time to put the cake together by layering them (remembering good times and bad times in memories and pictures of great events and sad losses) and then comes the icing, the sweetest part by seeing your children and grandchildren  who want to sit next to you and say I love you and you look at the finished cake of life with your spouse and you both smile that special smile of love and you think we baked a pretty doggone good cake this life. Sweet dreams of life my friends…Sending a dab of frosting to give you sweet thoughts.  

Life can give you a layering of mixed up layers.

This may not be a visual for all of you but to me, it gives me a good picture of how we layer our lives and how our lives are mixed together and sometimes certain separations occur. Some of life’s ingredients are pretty sour if tasted individually but blended together, life becomes sweeter and more meaningful. We are bakers of our own destiny but we find ourselves using the trial and error method. How many of you have looked at a recipe and thought I am not sure if I want to use a certain ingredient and you choose to substitute something else in its place. Unfortunately, the substitute can cause the recipe to fail and you have to start all over but you usually learn from your mistakes. What about the times when you see a recipe contains an ingredient you love and your thinking evolves into “what if I add a little more, well maybe a little more, etc.” and you end up with a mess? Haven’t we all been guilty of overindulging? They make diets because we tend to add more and more when we should be satisfied to keep the original amount intact.   Here is some additional advice from Chef José Andrés in a commencement speech:

Life Advice from a Chef: Don’t Follow a Recipe

When Chef José Andrés took the stage to address the graduates of George Washington University at their commencement May 18, even he seemed surprised to have been the one chosen for the honor. “Wow,” Chef José said after the crowd had offered its perfunctory applause. But after humbly introducing himself — “My name is José Andrés and I am a cook” — the Spanish-born chef, who made his name and popularized small plates at restaurants like Jaleo, in Washington, D.C., gave a speech that built an instant buzz in the food world and beyond.

José’s speech, which began with a funny video showing some of his more famous pals (Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson, Al Roker, Eric Holder and others) turning down the gig, was as inspiring as it was amusing. It included advice like: “There will always be critics and naysayers telling you what you cannot do, that it is impossible. There will always be more people bringing you down than lifting you up. It seems that way sometimes. But let me tell you: Get a cocktail shaker (if you are over 21). Add your heart, your soul, your brain, your instinct and shake it hard. Serve it straight up, but let me give you a secret ingredient. Add a dash of the criticism on top because those naysayers play an important role too. They motivate you to rise above, to challenge yourself, to prove them wrong.” Chef José continued to say, “What could you do when life takes an unexpected turn? Friends, my advice: Don’t follow a recipe. Funny coming from a cook, no? When we go by the book, we lose our ability to adapt, to be creative. Sometimes you will find yourself without an ingredient or two. It will seem like everything is going wrong. If things don’t go as expected, make the unexpected work in your favor. Change the name of the dish.” The grads and their guests seemed to devour every word of José’s advice, and when he wrapped things up, 25 minutes later, they stood and cheered for the humble chef who advised them to work toward making an impact on the world.

You can watch José’s entire speech here.

Now for the deeper thought……We have our recipe, God’s word, and the recipe uses only pure ingredients but it has helpful hints on how to fix our mistakes or proper substitutes if we find ourselves lacking a certain ingredient. When our recipes fail because of our human weakness; God offers us a second chance and hopes we learn from our mistakes or bad ingredients. We can layer our lives with love, integrity, charity, forgiveness, compassion, and loyalty. Then we have the icing of happiness to top off our cake of life. Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the fullest by baking the best cake of life using God’s directions. Life will be yummy!

 FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

1 Kings 14:3ESV   

Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child.”

(C) Copyright 2012-2019 Arline Miller Property with all rights and permissions reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

Author: sippingcupsofinspiration

A blogger since 2012, a published author of two Five Star romance novels, A MISTRESS, A WIFE and TELL ME LIES; LOVE ME STILL and writing RIDDLE ME THIS, LOVE OR BLISS. Still a small town girl with a lot of experience of people watching.

2 thoughts on “HAVE YOU BAKED YOUR LIFE CAKE?”

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