At 3:30 yesterday, a number of faculty and my Chair from the English Department held a little fare-well reception for me. I walked into the room and there was Mary's cake, repurposed for my little shin-dig! It was really very sweet of her to donate her cake to our party, though I never would have intentionally baked a cake for myself! It was a good thing, because I actually got to have a slice of my own creation, and it was nice to hear how much everyone enjoyed it. My friend Melora said it was the best cake she ever had! What a compliment!
|Last Day in the English Department|
After the reception, I packed up a big box of eight years-worth of stuff and junk, of precious photos and memorabelia, and needed a cart to drag it all out to my car. I returned the cart and remembered the plant Mary gave me as a gift for my new office space. I walked out to my car carrying one lone. little plant. What a cliche vision of someone's last day!
Today I am filled with very mixed emotions. I am so excited and grateful for this new opportunity, but mixed with that is a good bit of melancholy over leaving behind a very happy part of my life. The future is looking good, however, and I will embrace this new job with as much positive energy and enthusiasm as I can. Meanwhile, baking continues. The baking is a constant.
CHOCOLATE ORANGE CAKE
1/4 cup butter (4 tbsp.) softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange oil
1 teaspoon dried orange rind (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare bundt or tube pan: spray with vegetable spray or grease and flour.
Cream butter with sugar. Add vanilla extract and orange oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Add sour cream.
Mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl. Add to butter mixture. Mix on low until all ingredients are completely combined.
Bake for about 40 minutes (depending on your oven). Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, or middle of cake bounces back when lightly pressed. Pay attention - you may need to bake this five or ten minutes longer, depending on your oven.
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. orange oil
Stir together sugar and cocoa powder in medium bowl. Add water, a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is the consistency of Elmer's glue. Drizzle over cake.