It may come as a surprise to some but I actually don’t like baking. Now, I do bake — muffins and cookies and pies, and my kids tell me the chocolate cake I’ve always made for their birthdays is decent, but I don’t like having to mix all that butter and eggs with flour and sugar, and then have to babysit the ‘baked good” so it doesn’t burn.
However, I was having family visit and while ice cream in the summer with some berries is nice, having a little cake with it is even better.
Last summer I made a couple of toaster oven pies but haven’t really done any baking since then. At the Red House, I’m also a bit compromised in that besides the fact that I don’t have a “real” oven, I don’t have any of my cookbooks, and most importantly, I don’t have a mixer. Yes, I could have gone online and found a recipe or two but I was kind of lazy. And since I was feeling lazy, I wasn’t too keen on the fact that anything I “whipped up,” I’d have to do so by hand.
Still I dug out some sugar and poured what I thought looked like a decent amount into one of my blue bowls, then added a stick of butter. Luckily, it was fairly warm in the house so the butter mixed up nicely.
Then I added some flour, baking powder, salt and a couple of eggs.
Problem is while I thought I had all the ingredients needed to make a pound cake, I actually didn’t have any vanilla extract. Now everyone knows that vanilla is really what makes the cake. I thought about how sometimes I’ve also added either lemon juice or zest to the batter and since I didn’t have lemons either, I decided to add a couple of tablespoons of orange juice which I did have in the fridge.
Problem was the batter seemed a little thick, especially trying to mix everything up with a soup spoon so I added even more OJ.
Luckily, I had bought a loaf pan that fit perfectly in the toaster oven (which I actually purchased to make old-school meatloaf) so I spooned everything into the pan and flattened it out on top with a fork.
And then I put the darn thing in the toaster oven. If anyone is even remotely curious, the toaster oven is sitting on one of the few pieces of “furniture” I have at the Red House. That would be a baker’s rack. For some reason the baker’s rack and I go back a long, long time, which I find particularly amusing considering I don’t like baking! Somehow though I’ve ended up dragging this one particular item to nearly every single house I’ve ever lived in, with the Red House being no exception.
I’d like to say the cake turned out perfectly, but the truth is I didn’t think it was sweet enough, probably because I know baking is a science and one is supposed to measure ingredients and not wing it. To make it more palatable, I did wash some strawberries and blueberries and put out three different kinds of ice cream to spoon over the top. My Dad has a habit of saying something is “fine,” even when it’s not, but actually I think it was just that.