As a change of pace this week, here is a recipe. It comes from my friend Maureen. As I generally do with recipes, however, I have added a few embellishments.
“Earthquake Cake” is a creation sure to add drama as well as good taste to your next social occasion. Here’s how you make one:
1. Mix up a chocolate cake according to your favorite recipe. (What, you expected me to give you ingredients and step-by-step instructions? Why do you think you have all those cookbooks in your cupboard? Go look it up.)
2. Bake cake according to recipe directions.
3. Remove cake from oven, using only one hand because you couldn’t find the second oven mitt.
4. Drop hot cake onto kitchen floor. If you use the correct wrist action as you perform this step, the cake will land right side up. Approximately half of it will bounce into the air, turn over, and land back in the pan upside down.
5. Say, with feeling, several words appropriate to the occasion.
6. Take the 15 seconds you should have spent in the first place to find the missing oven mitt, which is right in the drawer where it belongs. Pick cake up off the floor and place it on a cooling rack on the counter.
7. Notice dent in vinyl kitchen floor. Say several more appropriate words.
8. Study surface of the cake. The half that is still in its original position has developed an interesting pattern of earthquake-like cracks across its surface. The half that is upside down is uneven and bears a certain resemblance to the Badlands of South Dakota. Frosting might help, but only if you applied it at least an inch thick.
9. Take container of whipped topping out of the freezer.
10. Serve cake to friends that evening. Explain how it acquired its unique topographical surface. Assure them that only the pan, not the cake itself, actually touched the floor. Because they are your friends, because they trust you—and, above all, because they want cake—they will pretend to believe you.
11. Cover cake generously with whipped topping. Eat. Enjoy.
12. Join friends in thinking up creative names for this groundbreaking concoction: "Earthquake Cake," “Jumble Cake, “Almost Upside Down Cake,” “Bake and Shake Cake,” “Fallen Angel Cake.” Laugh. Enjoy.
Friends don’t let friends cry over spilled cake.