Whatever you call it... it’s still cake
Saturday, December 28, 2019
My mom made a vegan chocolate cake for almost every family birthday celebration for about 30+ years or more. Some people call it “Depression cake” (it has no eggs, half the sugar, etc. things which were harder to come by during the Great Depression), and some call it “crazy cake”, because you can (theoretically) mix it in the baking pan... which is just crazy! Mom tweaked it over the years, increasing the amount of chocolate, and adding a chocolate glaze, but it was essentially the same cake. The memory of its taste brings back pleasant memories for me, and the smell of chocolate cake baking is a good memory too.
Some times mom would cut small pieces, other times bigger pieces, but there was almost always enough for a few people to have seconds. Sometimes it would get served with ice cream or whipped cream. I especially liked when the cake was served still warm from the oven with good vanilla ice cream on top!
These are all good memories, but whatever you call it or how it is served it’s still cake. I have very little stopping sense when it comes to anything chocolate, but especially brownies or cake. I can handle it when it’s served at a family celebration, because it gets eaten up... and there are (generally) no leftovers. What I cannot do is bake a chocolate cake at my own place... for just myself... because I know myself well enough to know that I will return the pan and have “one more” small piece, until half the cake is gone. So, I don’t bake it for myself. Indeed I have stopped baking almost entirely. The temptation is too great, and my resistance is too minimal (especially if I went to that much effort) to successfully portion out a “serving” and not overindulge.
It’s said of a lot of things that awareness is the first step. I have the awareness down pat. But cake is still CAKE!! So, I avoid it except at special occasions. Sometimes that is the only solution for a temptation. And sometimes it’s necessary to avoid it all together. (When I feel like it’s too much temptation, I wait until everyone else has been served... and then serve out seconds to whomever wants them... and usually the cake is gone before I get around to thinking about serving myself a piece). The mental gyrations required to forestall a slide into carb overload can be silly, but I figure whatever it takes to stop it is what I will do.
The memory of the chocolate cake is pleasant, and you know...? Most of the time it can just be a memory that evokes pleasure and memories of mom. But sometimes it’s a trigger food. The choice to make is whether to avoid it all together on the off chance that it provokes a carb binge, or to try and enjoy it in moderation, because of the visceral, emotional memories involved.
Wherever you are in the world I hope you have a marvelous day!!