The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Celebrating the small stuff

Rachael Conlin Levy
Ivan joins the family at the big table

Sure, life’s milestones, anniversaries and birthdays deserve a party, but I think tiny things warrant a cake, too. So we baked a buttermilk pound cake and sliced the first strawberries of the season in salute of … what?

“You can tell what’s worth a celebration because your heart will POUND and you’ll feel like you’re standing on top of a mountain and you’ll catch your breath like you were breathing some new kind of air,” writes naturalist Byrd Baylor in “I’m in Charge of Celebrations.” “Last year I gave myself one hundred and eight celebrations — besides the ones that they close school for. I cannot get by with only a few.”

This week, we celebrated Ivan outgrowing the high chair and claiming a permanent spot at the big table.

Small? Yes. Insignificant? Yes. But important to a boy who is 2 and his family.

Buttermilk Poundcake

Cruse Farm Buttermilk Poundcake
Adapted from the New York Times Magazine, April 9, 2009
Serves 10 to 12

For the cake:
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup shortening
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons lemon juice or one lemon

For the glaze:
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

Cream butter and shortening. Slowly pour in the sugar and cream the mixture well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding the next when the last one is incorporated. Pour in the vanilla.

Sift together flour, salt and baking soda. Mix in one third of the flour mixture until just combined. Add a third of the buttermilk and mix until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk. Add the lemon juice.

Pour the batter into the bundt pan. Bake for about 75 minutes. Cool for 20 and then invert onto a cake platter. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with the lemon glaze.

4 responses to “Celebrating the small stuff”

  1. boatx2 says:

    ugh, what an exhilarating quote!
    I want to live my life like I'm in constant celebration….

    I should get started on that.

    -^_^ the roe.

  2. Heather G says:

    Whoa – that's no insignificant event! That's huge. That's a massive step in growing up. Congratulations Ivan! And good riddance to the high chair – now there's all that room that it used to take up available for things like a painting easel.

  3. mochiv says:

    Yay for Ivan! and thanks for the recipe… I made it for a party sat night with strawberries and whipped cream. Huge hit!

  4. […] only the common clementine. That’s okay. My weekend holds a promise of sunshine and mint tea, cake and friends and clementines in ginger syrup. I cannot peel an orange without thinking of Gary […]

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