Last weeks reading was a compilation of different stories. It was fun to write!
My mom looked at me suspiciously as I walked down the stairs.
"Where is your friend?" she demanded.
"What friend? There's no one here." I countered with a teenager's annoyance.
"We saw someone standing in the back patio door as we drove past, there was definitely someone there. Did you just change?"
"No. I was just having a nap." This had been my first time staying alone at home while the rest of the family drove to the East coast and I didn't appreciate getting in trouble for something I hadn't done. I followed Mom upstairs with one of the suitcases. As she entered her room, she stopped abruptly when she saw the painting of her mother on the wall, and with a pale face turned to look at me.
"You look so much like your grandmother - do you think it was her at the window, looking out for you?".
I thought back to the last few weeks - lights had mysteriously been left on, curtains opened and then closed again. I thought that I'd heard something in the basement a few times and had stopped going down there. My grandmother had passed away years before I'd been born, but a close friend who was a psychic said that my grandmother had contacted her to let her know she'd be looking out for us all. Could it be? To this day my mom swears it is.
As I sit here writing this I wonder if it could have happened that way. I was named after my grandmother, so maybe there is a special connection. I know there have been incidents in my life where a helping hand has materialized just when I needed it. Maybe she is that voice deep inside me that doesn't let me give up? My own guardian angel.
She was serving alphabet soup, but I knew the bowl she handed to me was poisoned so tried to pass it back while the rest of the kids at the table pretended that nothing was happening. Suddenly we were all in the huge belly of an aircraft and I was fighting with someone who wanted to throw me out the cargo door. Just as I was about to go through the hatch my eyes popped open and I was in the velvet darkness of my bedroom.
I tried to make the dream stop re-winding itself in my head, but even with my eyes wide open it wouldn't stop. I couldn't understand why the lady across the street would want to poison me. After all, just a few weeks ago she had made me a special cake for being so helpful with cleaning up their basement.
I did eventually fall asleep that night when I was an innocent 7 years old, but there are times the memory still haunts me.
A Magical Marriage
The cup of sugar slowly melts to a dark amber liquid as it is shaken on the hot stove burner. Boiling water is carefully added when it is at the right hue of golden brown. It is left to bubble away on the stove until thickened into a thick, honey like consistency, and is then set aside to cool. I get started on assembling the rest of the ingredients. Butter, lots of butter, is whipped until it is a pale golden fluff, then heaps of sugar are beaten in and a bit of flour and milk is added to make a thick batter. Finally the cooled amber liquid is added, turning the cake into a delectable burnt sugar delight.
No cake is complete without icing, but no ordinary froth will do for this cake. Brown sugar, butter, and a bit of cream simmer on the stove until it is bubbling like the fumaroles around a volcano. At just the right moment the pot is whisked off the stove and the electric beaters immersed. For 5 minutes it is beaten, then just as it is about to harden, the brown sludge is quickly poured over the top and sides of the cake. Hurry! There isn't a moment to lose as the icing is quickly turning into a hard fudge shield. The crowning glory is not beautiful to the eye, but the first bite of sweet fudge and moist cake blurs the eyes to its shabby exterior. A sugar rush of staggering proportions intoxicates.
Once a year, on Carm's birthday, the simple ingredients of sugar, butter and flour come together in a magical marriage to create this decadent dessert.