Dear Friends and Fellow Bakers,
Ah, September 1st – the bittersweet day of summer’s end and fall’s promise! The air might feel like July but it definitely smells like September and a heat wave would do little to stop the leaves from their first tumble. Labour Day is that twilight holiday, linking what was with what’s ahead. Try as we might, we can never make the (seasonal) twain meet. You can still feel, hear and smell the beach or the scent of the cottage on the lake but your spirit is resolute with new marching orders. Factor in an early Rosh Hashanah and the siren call of honey and apples and anyone can totally appreciate that we’re on a whole new path.
I like this season! How could I not? This is baker’s town and time: flour, butter, apples, chilly dawns, slanted sun beams through colourful maple trees. I know who and where I am in fall and I drink it in in grateful gulps. And yet, there are still those moments where I falter. It could be a mood or a moment where I lurch a bit. Or someone (everyone) tells me about a great new movie (I see it; I don’t like it), a stellar book (I read it; I think it’s vapid) or a better way to meditate (I tried, it took me way off course). I waver between knowing what I know and then in service to being open-minded, I relinquish my instincts. When I do, not only do I waste time (fumbling) I disavow everything I know to be my truth. ‘You’d never use someone else’s recipe’ a friend recently reminded me. So why on earth would you use someone else’s ‘truth?”? And there it is: how many times do we abandon the map of our lives only to come back to our own center? Because sometimes we get lost and when we do, we look to other maps or someone else’s North Star. So I remind myself, it’s ok to be a little lost, to take a rest to recalibrate. In time, one’s compass returns.
This brings me to a honey of a honey cake recipe. The free recipe this month is of course, the belle of the ball of the Jewish New Year. To be honest, I never liked honey cake before I created my own and named it Moist, Majestic Honey Cake way back in the 80’s when I set out to break the mold on this spice cake. Back in the day, like many of you, I endured many bad honey cakes: dry, clove-infused, dark with gamey buckwheat honey or bitter coffee. There had to be something better! I was a callow but plucky baker and honey cake was one of my earlier missions. So I played around this way and that and finally got true beauty from the beastly honey cake that went before. I think I changed it for the better. Certainly, thousands of downloads later (and many jars of honey late, many people seem to agree. I just ask that you follow the recipe to the letter; don’t use a Bundt pan (use an angel food cake pan) or Buckwheat honey. In short, adhere to all the caring directions in the recipe to ensure your cake is stupendous. Btw, most recently In fact, this year my honey cake was honored when it was selected as the contest recipe for http://www.ctagfairs.org which means, throughout the great state of Connecticut, bakers are baking up this cake for their baking contest. (Good luck bakers!)
The Moist and Majestic Honey Cake is one of my best examples of following my heart and instincts. On this occasion of a new year, I’m going to remember that with each bite of this delicious cake. I hope it reminds you too of your own navigational system.
In the meanwhile, I wish you all a happy beginning to a fresh September, happy New Year, and as always, happy baking.
Warm wishes from my kitchen to yours,
For those of you who want more recipes and my writing, please visit some recent features of mine at Medium.com, https://medium.com/@marcygoldman/how-to-make-a-recipe-a-rock-star-872af508a067
Free Moist Majestic Honey Cake !