I still pan for gold in other’s stream of conscious. I still make an effort to read between the punctuation of others, too. Words hang on my tongue, sometimes they crawl out like silverfish. Sometimes they escape, fast and poisonous. They hang in the air, dragonflies stuck in amber. You’ll turn them over in the palm of your hand a million years from now.
I’m almost coltish when it comes to apologies; but I hardly ever think I’m wrong. I stumble, knock-kneed at the outskirts of empathy. I wait my turn, then play the victim. It’s worked this way for a few years now, but I’m giving up the plan these days. I’m saying sorry more, I’m hurting others less frequently. I take my time now and think of the electrons that must be passing between us when words come in asthmatic pulses. How finite the electricity is, but how it won’t run out anytime soon.
I’m more grown up now than I thought I would be in the two months since I’ve been back home. I still have a teddy bear on a chair by my closet. I still have a thousand love notes left in me. I still have an old receipt from a turnpike when I thought I’d run away tucked in my wallet. I still keep track of the cigarettes I hide in my glove compartment when I think quitting is for losers. I’ve forgotten to water the flowers by my bed again, but I’m too busy drinking my fourth cup of coffee to notice.
Strawberry Almond Cake
Yields one 6-inch cake, can top with creme fraiche or whipped cream.
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup almond meal, as fine as you can get it (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- ¾ cup AP flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- ¼ cup strawberry jam
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 large strawberries, hulled and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350*F and prepare a 6” cake pan with parchment paper and butter
- In a bowl, sift together almond meal and flour. Set aside
- Using a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside
- Switch out the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. On medium-high, mix yolks with sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until light and fluffy (ribbons will not form properly, as the sugar ratio is too high)
- Turn mixer speed to medium-low and add juice, jam, and milk. Continue mixing until well-incorporated
- Add flour mixture, a half cup at a time, until all flour is mixed into batter
- Turn mixer off and, using a rubber spatula, spoon in a small amount of beaten whites into the batter. This will lighten the batter. When first spoonful of egg whites are incorporated, mix in remainder, folding gently so as not to deflate
- Pour in strawberries. Fold twice to mix in
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, but begin checking at the 25 minute mark for browning. Tent foil over cake if too much browning occurs
- Cake will be done when a toothpick comes out clean (the meringue component of this may cause middle to not set as timely as the outer part, be congnizant of this). Berries may cause pockets and dents in cake when cooking, but it will be gorgeous nonetheless
- Allow to cool completely before taking out of pan and top with crème fraiche and a small amount of honey or suga