It’s October 25, 2014. I’d been a housewife for approximately 6 weeks, and I was feeling the itch to get started with my wifely duties. I’ve always been a homebody, but coming to marriage later in life than some, I never had much of an opportunity to flex my hausfrau muscles. So, I decided, in characteristic fashion, to do EVERY baking project that was on my mind. On the same night. During a windstorm.
Well, it didn’t start out that way actually. It started with some carrots that my new husband and I had planted over the summer at his parents’ house. We discovered happily that some were still alive, and I decided to make, of all things, carrot cake. From scratch. I had never made a cake from scratch. I have yet to make another; perhaps because of The Incident.
So, newly married, with an under stocked and ill-prepared kitchen (and very few baking skills might I add) I enthusiastically decided one evening, while Hubbins was at work, to make carrot cake from scratch with browned butter cream cheese frosting. Well, and while I’m baking why not go ahead and make some fresh homemade bread? And shoot, these bananas look old, I’ll make banana bread. And to top it off, some berry muffins I had a box mix for. Let the games begin.
It started innocently enough. I made the bread dough with my fancy new KitchenAid mixer (thank you to all the people who pitched in and got us this!!!), and set it to rise. Got the banana bread mixed and cooking. Easy peasy. On to the carrot cake! First ingredient: One pound carrots. Oh. Hmm. Did I mention that my kitchen was under stocked? I had no scale. After some minor panicking and wild searching of the house, I came up with what I think was a pretty ingenious solution. I took a plastic lid, and balanced it on a block with a pound of butter on one end and my carrots piled on the other, until it seemed even. Close enough. Things are going great. But then. The wind.
As I was frantically prepping my poundish of carrots, behind on my schedule now, the wind was increasing. The lights kept flickering. I began howling. Howling at the sky, shaking my fist. Demanding that the lights stay on for a few more hours. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, I would wail with each flicker of the fluorescents. By the way, I neglected to state that we live in a duplex. So no doubt my new neighbors were convinced of my insanity as I shouted ,”You just stop it wind, I’m making a CAAAAKKKKEEE!!!” Time passed. Wind blew. I cried.
Maybe I didn’t cry. But I did panic and freak out and scream a lot. But mercifully the lights stayed lit. I got the bread(s) baked, I got the cake done, even browned some butter. The muffins? Somehow the premade muffin mix (which to make I had to borrow a muffin pan as I did not have one yet) turned into a plate full of muffin crumbs. Ridiculous. I made an entire carrot cake FROM SCRATCH in the middle of a WINDSTORM, and I was foiled by a BOXED MUFFIN MIX?!? At that point, however, after six plus hours of maniacal shrieking and flinging flour, I was done. And yet, I wasn’t. Because over the next year and a half I’ve found that I can do many things that I couldn’t before. I love making bread, and no store bread compares to your own straight from the oven. (Sadly being pregnant, with the accompanying nausea and fatigue, has hindered my bread making for a while but I’m getting there) I love to make my own, of whatever it is, and despite the fact that I nearly always end up frantic and sweaty, I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
Oh, and that carrot cake was divine.