Taking life advice from a pop band is a bad idea. Snow Patrol exhorts you to “just say yes”, and it sounds affirming and courageous. But in real life? Their advice spells trouble.
Or will if you use it too enthusiastically.
I still think my first yes was a good idea- to my man on a beach in Oman. Actually, the second, third and fourth time weren’t bad either, because they involved exciting work projects. However, when all four yes-es involved major deadlines in the same two weeks (hello, wedding rings, international guests, a conference and final meeting of the board), Snow Patrol was not high on my list of favorite gurus.
But the two weeks passed, as they always do. I am still alive and no one got hurt. I even baked some cakes in the mean time. Because life is like that: you need cakes most when there is least time to bake them. A visit to a friend, a goodbye party at work and a trial meal by a caterer all called for something sweet, so I switched on the oven in the midst of mayhem.
The first thing I popped in the oven was a strawberry summer cake (the recipe is by SmittenKitchen, naturally). It became the second and third thing too, because this cake is G.O.O.D. In all-caps. It is buttery and sweet, with a crunch on top and lots of strawberries inside. The strawberries soften up in the oven, giving you pockets of jammy goodness that might as well be wearing sunglasses and a straw hat, they taste that summery. Also, they make the cake wonderfully moist- even a bit soggy on the second day, but that just gives you an excuse to eat it all in one day. I believe you will want one.
My only gripe with the cake is that the strawberries disappear from sight in a robe of batter. I followed directions to the letter, arranging them cut side down in one layer, and “poof”, nary a strawberry in sight. Then I ignored the instructions, dusted the berries with flour to stop them from sinking and “poof”, only three or four small red spots on the top. Even dusting the fruit in flour and then piling it high made no difference. Oh well, I guess I will just have to cede victory to my high priestess of delicious and munch on a cake with hidden strawberries.
I’ll say yes to that.
(As I will to a holiday, starting tomorrow, so I won’t be back here before early August. I have some great summer recipes to share, though, so I hope to see you then.)