Monday, March 23, 2009

La Stagione

When I turned 40, my husband surprised me with a trip to Venice and Rome. I know, it sounds like something that happens in movies. But it really did happen. Anyway, I'm a youngest child. And as a youngest child, I can be a little, well, self-involved. So the day after my birthday I was kind of sad to be out of the center of things. That's when we came up with 'La Stagione'. It's short for 'La Stagione della Giovanna', which we like to think (we speak pretty rudimentary Italian here) means 'Giovanna's season'. Why have a birthday last one day when you can stretch it out for a couple weeks?

Somewhere along the way I started to get greedy, and pretty soon I was considering most of the year my time. I did graciously make allowances for Pavel's birthday, and of course for the kids. I'm not a total ogre.

This year, looking for a special gift for Pavel, I decided to cede a few of 'my' days to him. I know--pretty nice! So on his birthday I gave him a year of cakes. That's right--one birthday cake a month, on the 11th.

This month we were out of town on the 11th, so 'Pavel Day' got pushed back a bit. We celebrated with Flo Braker's angel food cake from The Baker's Dozen Cookbook. It was a good choice, delicious, tall, and fluffy. Also, like many people we're trying to eat down the freezer. And we had a lot of odd bags and containers of egg whites in there. Angel food cake was just the ticket.

I always like the part where you upend the baked cake atop a wine bottle to cool. Last time I tried that trick with a chiffon cake, I called Franny in to look. I figured it might be amusing seeing her watch me turn the cake upside down, and then I would reassure her, explaining (with authority, from all my experience) how the cake never falls out of the pan.

As expected, she was worried. "Mom! The cake! It's falling out!"
And it was.

But this time it didn't.

And in the spirit of eating down the freezer, I also defrosted some red currants (we have a bush that gives us zillions each June) and made a sauce. Since angel food cake is fairly sweet, the tart currants were perfect.

There was a little cake left over the next morning. We toasted it and had it with our coffee. Toasted angel food cake tastes a tiny bit like toasted marshmallows. In my book, that's a good thing. Maybe I should have let a piece of chocolate melt on top. Next time.


Grace said...

That is SUCH a good birthday present...

Giovanna said...

And then, of course, I get cake too (so it's kind of my stagione, if I squint)...

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