Cake n' Sex
Updated: Jun 12, 2021
Hey there lovelies -
It's June, which feels like ... summer and candy and promise all wrapped up into one beautiful package. It's also the month of delicacies, which I've keyed in on because I am one of those crazy baking types. The Great British Baking Show? Yes, please and more. A few years ago, I tried to make a 3-D Lemur cake for my beautiful boy. It was a Nailed It moment, because I don't really do 3-D cakes, so we called it the Frankenlemur. A year later, I tried for a 3-D Unicorn cake for my daughter, which was moderately successful. The snout drooped heavily, so we named it the Uniduck Cake. Not much of a mama win, but we thought it was hilarious.
Today, I want to offer an old favorite of mine. I love Rumcake. Even more, I love to write poems about making rum cakes. I published the below poem in a local zine here in Salt Lake City called the Catalyst -oh, over a decade ago. A woman was so excited by the poem, she insisted I give her the recipe. When I did, she said it absolutely could not be the same cake. My cakes are, apparently, much hotter in the poetic form than on the plate.
Here we go. Happy June to all of you and here's wishing we can all hug wantonly sooner rather than later. That goes for everyone, everywhere. India, Vietnam, Europe. All of us. Let's just hug and eat cake.
Cake N' Sex
It starts like this--there is no other way. You must begin
with a pound of sweet cream butter. That's sweet cream.
Forget the salt. It will pull moisture from the cake.
Keep the butter warm. Breathe on it if necessary.
Tuck it to the base of your spine, let it mold to your hips.
This makes for a good cake.
Blend pure cane sugar and nothing else
into the butter. Do not fear the butter's fragility;
it needs, demands perhaps, to be whipped.
Add eggs, one at a time. Be gentle -
introductions can be intoxicating.
The eggsbuttersugar will swell, nearly doubling
in volume. Do not rush them. Remember your own
shyness. Remember your initial slowness when slick
against the body of another. Let them find their way.
Sing eggsbuttersugar, eggsbuttersugar with love
in your mouth. If the world could see, kitschy hearts
would float off your tongue and kiss the batter passionately.
The batter, being kissed, would rise up
and begin humming the song of itself.
Now, add fat milk. All milk should be fat.
It is in its nature. Follow nature always. Follow
the fat. Fold the milk in delicately, in three sections,
alternating with the flour and baking powder.
The fat and light will take some time.
Milk will sink and flour will scamper
up the sides. Be thorough; like licking
the bowl of your mouth, don't leave anything
out. Separate the butter into four small, slippery
with butter loaf pans. The loaves will invite the soul.
Poets will come to dine with you.
They will see themselves in your rum cake.
Bake in a hot oven.
Or watch the cats eyeing the birds outside.
The cakes will be hot and humming. You can peek,
but don't peek often. Don't crowd.
A cake needs its space to grow.
It isn't easy doing so much mingling.
The rum comes next.
Choose well. Cakes don't appreciate cheap intoxicants.
Pour the rum into sweet, hot
butter until the rum begins to glisten.
Remove the cakes from their pans. Pour
the rum sauce into the pans and replace the cakes.
They will sink slowly, like maidens burdened by heat.
After some time has passed the cakes
will be ready. Wrap them gently, call them by name.
Whisper a secret into each of their bellies. Give them away
clandestinely, with love in your mouth.
This is the only way to make a rum cake.
Love it well.
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