Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Love & Cakes

The Story: Lucy ... eh, Lottie bakes a cake without understanding American units of measure
A cup’s a cup’s a cup … right?

Oma playing in the snow. When she and Opa were dating. He took the photo.

Opa looking handsome in the Alps. (Oma's view)

When Oma first moved to America, she worked very hard to blend in as an American wife.  She spoke English. No, I don’t think you understand, she spoke English English … like the queen. She used words like lift and loo, which had been taught to her in Germany.  Now, remember this was pre-Beatles, early 1950s America.  So Americans, more appropriately southerners, would just look at her funny. Who’s Lou?

Along with ditching German, she also threw out the metric system.

The new bride decided to make a sweet treat for her American husband. Oma, then called Lottie, set out to follow her first American (English) recipe for a beautiful cake — with pink icing, of course.

The recipe called for a cup of this, two cups of that. 

"What are they talking about a cup? I have all kinds of cups," Oma said she remembered thinking to herself (while telling the story and reenacting the confused look she had on her face).

And, she did add one cup of this … And, two cups of that. But, she used glasses, like tall milk glasses.  The whole situation was very reminiscent of an Amelia Bedelia children’s story.

Her cake looked beautiful.  It was a nice shape and meticulously frosted.  She set it on a cake stand and even took pictures (that are now in a box somewhere).

My grandfather, John, came home and they ate dinner together.  She brought the cake out to him as a surprise. She was so proud of herself. 

John cut the cake with a sharp knife, and some difficulty.  He jabbed the cake with his fork and put it to his lips, Lottie eagerly staring at him.  And, he took a bite.

He broke his tooth. 

Not really. Oma said she worried he had because the cake was "as hard as a rock."

I feel like I should close here with some kind of lesson, like you see kids that’s why you don’t …  But really the only lesson that is appropriate here is that love makes you do crazy things.

I’m sure when John saw his new bride’s forearms trembling as she carried the cake, he disregarded the hint that it was a brick and thought it was all nerves.  When he hardly sliced the sucker, he saw her face eagerly awaiting delicious confirmation.  And when he took a bite, he did not complain. He just appreciated his lovely dinner and his even lovelier wife who had worked so hard to make it for him. 

Yes, as Lottie would have said in ~1950, they truly fancied each other.

The Recipe: Oma’s famous Chiffon Cake

The recipe below was typed by Oma in 1967.  I think it may have been for Oma’s sister-in-law (married to Opa's brother Ellis), but now my mom has it and scanned it for me.  

Oma and I baked this chiffon cake a couple of years ago.  She likes to top it with marzipan fruit.

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