Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Pink is for Patty
When I was little, my Mom color-coded my brothers, sister, and me. It wasn't for everything, mostly those things that we all used and needed to keep straight like bathroom cups, camping towels, etc. I think my sister and I were most closely associated with our colors, which also showed up in our bedroom decor, our clothing, and even gifts from our grandparents. I don't know when or how our colors were chosen, but since my color was blue, I do wonder about it.
My sister Patty was pink. So when I was choosing a recipe for her birthday cake last weekend, the promise of pink icing was too much to resist. Against my better judgement, I chose the "Illinois Jam Cake" from my go-to cake cookbook, The Wooden Spoon Dessert Book. Though I love fresh strawberries and good strawberry jam, I've never been one to choose strawberry flavored anything. In fact, I expect that if I'd come across this recipe in any other cookbook, I would have flipped right by it. But as I've said before, I've come to trust this book... and the idea of presenting Patty with a pink cake was irresistible.
The cake itself has a whole cup of strawberry jam in it, but it is merely a background for the spices. The cream cheese icing has a more modest 3 tablespoons of jam, but the tanginess of lemon juice and cream cheese bring out the strawberry flavor nicely. The cake was very good - I'd describe it as "strawberry and spice" - a very moist spice cake complented by a tangy strawberry icing. Oh yeah... and it's pink.
Happy belated birthday Patty!!!