Adventures in Elementary Cooking: Dad and Daughter Attempt Carrot Cake

I remember as a child that I used to cook on special occasions for my mother.  I don’t remember many of the particulars and which siblings joined me in these endeavors, but the result would be a bed tray delivered to my mother with newspaper, coffee and some conglomeration of edibles on it and a messy kitchen.

Thirty years later, the kitchen on B Street was perfect for my daughter and myself to, unknowingly at the time, start a tradition of the cooking of carrot cake to be eaten at the end of my wife’s birthday dinners.  This became a tradition due to the maxim known as ‘if you don’t get it right the first time…try, try again’.

Our kitchen had a central table in it which leant itself to the holding of many pots, pans and other instruments of cooking.  And the central right corner of the whole kitchen kind of sloped a little bit south (termite damage in the seventies).  One of my first learning experiences was not to lay eggs on the table…

We were both pretty new to the kitchen (her being young, me being me).  We did read the directions, though and got the conglomeration all mixed up, greased the pan (knew you had to do this from watching my mom and my wife), warmed the oven for the required time, popped the masterpiece in and set the timer.

Well, before the timer even got a quarter of the way where it needed to be, we noticed smoke coming from the oven.  I let it go a bit but pretty soon things started to smell a bit burnt.  Opening the oven door sent torrents of black smoke throughout.  Taking the glass pan from the oven allowed us to see what looked like a lake of mush covered by a black roof.   Hmmmm…..

Two conclusions…. Check to see the difference between broil and cook on the oven settings and be glad there is lots of ice cream in the freezer.

Next year was going to be the time and both E and I were much more experienced in the kitchen.  Carrot cake for Mom this birthday…done correctly.  We did a great job with the preparations…no rolling eggs and the oven set to cook the deliciousness we were preparing.  And things went off without a hitch…  Except for the missing vegetable oil.

We didn’t catch this one until the celebration, if my memory serves me correctly.  The frosting was great.

Two conclusions, devise a system that ensures one follows the recipe and be glad there is lots of ice cream in the freezer.

The next year was a success.  E and I had become pretty good in the making of carrot cake and had also started a tradition that lasts to this day.  There is one thing I forgot to do, though.  I never did ask if my wife likes carrot cake…

This year.


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