Thursday, April 9, 2009
It's about time.
March 26, 2009 started off like many days. I'm sure I woke up abominably early like I always do, shuffled to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and went bleary-eyed to the gym (without my Shuffle, as that was lost/stolen the week before). I probably showered and made my default breakfast of reconstituted steel cut oats with bananas, walnuts, and copious amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg, and then prepped my lunch for the day, and also dinner because I get out of work later.
Once at work, it's likely I brewed myself a cup of some kind of fruity tea that I picked up last time I was at Target. Not that I'm particular fond of fruity teas, but it the sampler pack was appealing during my last visit for some reason. Around 11:15, Eddie, our UPS guy, bangs on the back gate 5 times, like clockwork. It's my unofficial job to respond to his pounding so at once I jumped out of my seat to answer the back door.
"So what'd you buy?", was the first thing that came out of his mouth.
"Mmm...nothing?" Was this a trick question? Were we engaging in friendly banter already??
"Well, you must have bought something. This big box is for you."
"Mmmm...are you sure? I don't know what it could be."
"Well, let's open it!" He grabbed his box cutter from his chest pocket and sliced open the packing tape with three deft strokes, as if he did that for a living.
I rustle around some of the packing paper in the box and then I see it.
Yep. That box within the box, emblazoned with "Kitchenaid" -- that was for me. And I was beyond surprised.
Who could have gifted me with something so generous and completely appropriate?? My sisters, of course, and later I find out that all of the friends I first texted about my new prized appliance contributed to the mixer as well! I felt so sheepish, but though I may not have thanked them personally right away, my elation was undeniable.
Now on to the bigger question -- how should I christen such a bold specimen? I wanted to pick something that made use of its full potential so something requiring lots of beating was in order, and after much deliberation, pound cake was the decided winner. Only a couple weeks earlier, Deb at smittenkitchen had posted about a cream cheese pound cake with strawberry coulis and as someone who cannot ever deny the elegant simplicity of pound cake, how could I better de-virginize the new object of my affection than with something as age-old as that?
I impatiently waited for my butter to soften one mild Saturday morning and then when I finally poked my finger into the square to test its softness and there was a gentle give, my heart beat a little bit faster. I dumped the butter in the bowl and let the stainless steel paddle attachment steadily build up speed and the rest was magic. My butter has never been fluffier. I've always been very patient with the creaming process, but I don't think I ever fully understood what "light and fluffy" meant when describing creamed butter until now.
The addition of cream cheese was a bit of an unorthodox touch, but I could not have been happier with the result. The crackly top was a welcome textural contrast to the fine, soft grain of the interior. And then the strawberry coulis lended the perfect sweetness and acidity to the comfortingly rich cake. I've mentioned my soft spot for Sara Lee pound cake before and with this slice, a wave of memories rushed back once more. I could be happy eating this every day for the rest of my life.
And also obese.
Eh -- it's a give and take.