Various and Sundry Poetry

duncan hines

There's nothing quite like cake mix. Especially when you have the urge to bake but don't necessarily have all the ingredients or the patience to sift or the inclination to roll dough or whatever it is. And though I'm usually up for putting on my Betty Crocker persona, l was quite content last night to delve into the cupboards for the renegade box of cake mix I knew was lurking in there somewhere. All I had to do was add water and eggs, mix, and bake. I love that. And I needed the cake because it was the necessary vehicle for what I REALLY wanted - frosting. I love to make frosting. I don't follow a recipe, but I have an idea of what goes in it. First, there's butter. Usually a whole stick. You put that on a low-ish temperature on the stove, then add a bunch of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and some half-n-half. And last night, on a whim I added some of the leftover coffee sitting my French press, so I had a little mocha thing going. Oh my GOD it was good. And somehow making cake and frosting at 11 o'clock at night feels very...6th grade sleepover. And the only real difference is that this time, I got to the beaters and bowl ALL TO MYSELF.

Food is actually quite important to me. I enjoy it. I appreciate its role in my life. For example, right now, I just finished eating an extremely satisfying roast beef sandwich from Say Cheese in Cole Valley. Today is a perfect roast beef sandwich day. It's not raining (which would call for soup, preferably Campbell's Vegetable) but it's overcast, which makes me want to have something hearty but not something that'll stick to my ribs for too long. Whenever I eat roast beef, I am reminded of my carnivorous ancestors. There's something fundamentally...early man...about eating red meat. I love that. I love the rigorousness of my teeth and jaw during meat consumption. It's very different from the tender mouthings at tofu, or the artful slide of the tongue over a creme brulee. It's basic, uncomplicated, and I notice sometimes how my nostrils flare at first contact with the meat, something I imagine the early homo erecti experiencing during the hunt. Feeling the rewards of the flesh, both of yours and the 4-legged creature who was being sacrificed for your culinary enjoyment. Although I suppose during those early days, there wasn't much choice in the matter. No organic or soy-based products on the supermarket shelves just yet. No chai tea. No barbecue potato chips (the perfect accompaniment to a roast beef sandwich). No yellow cake with chocolate frosting for desert. How awful.