I decided, on the spur of the moment yesterday, to dip my toe back into the Baked Sunday Mornings project. I had made an executive decision, after three months of full-time work (a tough adjustment after more than 10 years of a part-time schedule!) and weekends that saw us run ragged with To Dos, to just do nothing. Putter. Laze around. Not rolling on Shabbos, so to speak.
This, of course, meant that in addition to doing chores and taking a fairly long nap, that I spent a fair amount of time sewing and baking. But at least it was an agenda I set for myself, and by that right, it was very relaxing. And the tangible results of this laziness are quite delightful.
I was actually very irritated while making this cake, particularly while zesting the oranges. “Why would you make a cake calling for fresh orange zest in the middle of summer?! Oranges are a winter fruit! These grocery-store, hothouse, imported oranges are mealy and lame!” (This was all inner dialogue, mind.) One of the cookbooks that I write about in my dissertation says that “Our lives are so disconnected from organic or natural timekeeping and the best efforts of the earth, that once we enter the sterile world of pre-packaged supermarkets it is hard to remember that strawberries and tomatoes are not worth eating in January and that onion soup and oranges don’t make sense in August.” Needless to say, I totally agree.
That doesn’t mean that this cake isn’t delicious — it truly is. The oils from the orange zest did their job and the cake, which was especially scrumptious when it was still warm, is definitely a treat. It’s a little dry this morning, but I wonder if maybe 10 seconds in the microwave would activate the olive oil a bit and awaken the moisture. I just wonder what it would taste like made with locally grown oranges in season (being in Texas means that I actually do have access to locally grown oranges in season!). Maybe I’ll try this one again in December.