It's well in the 80's now. The transition from Winter to Summer with no in-between. I took a call outside yesterday. I muted myself between the birdsong and the small panting of Milo, waiting patiently next to me so he could sit on my lap. It's hot - not warm. It's uncomfortably hot in my office, in the foyer. It's hot, uncomfortable in bed. We slept on top of the covers, did not touch. Murphy sidled up to me; he always needs to be cuddling one of us when he sleeps.
It seems that gradual changes are a luxury now. The weather patterns are a little extreme. The definition of a season is a little more fluid, but it's become the exaggerated version of itself. Perhaps it's the same with us, with me especially. I am more an exaggeration of an adult than a gradual transition into one. It was not a slow transition - it seems as though one day I woke up and I had a house and a fiancé and 3 dogs and 10 chickens and a car payment and a loan payment and dishes in the sink and a part-time job so I didn't lose my mind.
But I never said no to it all. And that's okay. I do not mind. I am happy here with the dogs and the dishes and the bills. It was not a transition, but I am not uncomfortable with it all the same.
And so I sit outside and I am proud that the shaggy grass I see is my own. Two weeks ago, it was so stunted and now it stretches to the sky and competes with its neighbors. I sit and make a mental list of all the work that still remains on the house - a new fence for the dogs, cleaning up from a flood last year, mowing the pasture and tilling it for our garden. But it can all wait; there's still so much summer left.
But I'm ready for it, even if it wasn't all that gradual. Even if my day is eaten away with the mundane. Even if I can't hold Milo or it's too hot to cuddle with Murphy. And I think of sipping an ice cold lemonade and add those flavors to the below cake. Just for the hell of it. Just to add a little bit of commonplace luxury to my otherwise gradually changing life.
Pink Lemonade Poundcake
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or vanilla, if you want!)
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cup AP flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350*F and line/grease a standard loaf pan
- In a stand mixer, cream together butter, oil, and sugar (oil will not make this a beautiful, fluffy cream, but it should be light and slightly green)
- Add yogurt, eggs, and extracts; beat. It will appear slightly curdled looking
- While mixer is on low, add dry ingredients
- When all is incorporated, mix on high for 30 seconds to aerate
- Pour into loaf pan
- Bake for 1 hour (at 50 minutes, mine was browning a lot, so I covered with foil then)
- Remove from oven, allow to cool completely before decorating (see note below)
Decorating: You can, of course, go the simple glazed route, but I went a little fancy here. The icing is 4 oz creme fraiche, 1 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar, juice of one lemon, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 TB softened butter, and 2 TB shortening. I beat all ingredients in a stand mixer on high until fluffy. Then, I divided this