I had to look back at my planner for this week. I couldn’t remember anything about it. Still don’t recall most nights. It was a blur. Not sure why. Maybe the ebb of the weather, the mornings lying prostrate under a heated blanket. The dogs, the chickens. The chores piling up. The laundry piling up. The anxiety piling up.
It snowed a couple days this week. Couple inches. Enough to make the floors muddy, not enough to cover my boots. That was about it. Most mornings spent in bed. Most evenings spent on work calls. I tested out some new stationery I had made with my new name. Exciting but fruitless. Letters, I’m finding, aren’t boomerangs.
Made the chickens warm meals this week. “They eat better than me!” people joke. Probably true. I feed them well. They deserve it. Wouldn’t you if you knew each chicken by now? I know when one is absent from the flock. I count every night just to be safe. This week they got a dish of eggs, bread, pepper flakes and cauliflower. Last night they got spaghetti to stay busy, cooked al dente and thrown in their coops to forage. Pecked at it, kept them sane. They had to stay indoors this weekend. It hit 6 degrees and their waters froze. The rooster has frostbite. I’m worried sick.
Saturday was a funeral of Nolan’s great aunt. Sunday our nephew was born. The irony isn’t lost on me.
Monday I had off. Made a cake. Kept my hands busy. Salted the stairs so the dogs don’t slip. Ate one slice of the cake and left the rest for Nolan. Can’t do much eating lately. The chores piling up. The laundry piling up. The anxiety piling up.
Unfussy Little Cake: Vanilla on Vanilla
3/4 cup white sugar
6 TB unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs + 1 white
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup cake flour (or AP if you don’t have cake)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk (a TB or two more if needed)
Preheat oven to 350*F and grease a 6-inch round cake pan
Sift together your flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl
In your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar
Turn mixer on medium-high and add eggs & white one at a time
Turn mixer down to low, alternating between your dry ingredients and milk
Pour into prepared pan
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and pugged at top
Allow to cool before decorating (instructions in baker’s notes below)
Baker’s Note: For the buttercream, I used a simple recipe I eyeballed of 3 TB unsalted softened butter, 2 TB shortening, 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, a TB or two or milk and a little bit of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Swirl on your cooled cake, top with favorite sprinkles.