Some dreams you never forget. You can’t.
This one didn’t involve a soul mate (for once), but a raspberry pound cake.
I spent most of this dream trying to bake it. Other things kept interrupting, like a running faucet on the verge of flooding the kitchen, two-three ovens overheating with nothing in them, running out of sugar, a missing whisk, endless distractions.
I think I got as far as mixing the batter together, transfixed by the texture the flour and butter made as they enveloped the garnet berries one by one. I wanted to live in that luscious batter the texture of almond cake.
Ever since that dream, I’ve been haunted by this elusive raspberry pound cake. I wasn’t even sure it existed, or if I was just making a big deal out of the commonplace.
Friday night, I sat in front of the kitchen TV for some reason when a thought dropped in my head: moonstone, a new, waking obsession. Right alongside, for some other reason, that raspberry dream in the middle of winter.
I then got it in my head that I had to make this damned dream cake, whether it existed or not. But I didn’t see raspberry at the Costco I went to for some other ingredient (distractions, remember?). I didn’t think raspberries were around anymore, even though seasonal produce seemed to go by the way of the Dodo bird with Mexico and other Southern countries picking up the slack.
A series of Olive Garden commercials earlier in the week started me fixating on spaghetti, so off I went to Trader Joe’s to start the sauce. As I drove into the James Village parking lot, I thought, If I see raspberries, then it’s a sign.
First thing I saw at the entrance were raspberries, a ton of them.
I spent eight hours Saturday making spaghetti sauce and then raspberry cake. I didn’t go to bed until 4 a.m. But I went to bed happy, a big deal considering…
Earlier Saturday, I accompanied my husband to the walk-in clinic. He’d experienced his second scary bout of bloody gas, which kept leaving this jelly-like clot in the toilet. The walk-in doctor checked him out and referred him to a gastro specialist, which is what I suspected would happen. But before he did, he ruled out any really serious cause, priceless peace of mind.
When I’m stressed out, I like to bake. I also like to crochet, read, write, listen to music, listen to people talking on the radio, go bird watching, play jacks, paint by numbers. But baking more than anything else takes me out of my anxious state and comforts me, a kind of meditation, a mental getaway.
I like to engage in activities with results, which is why I enjoy reality TV competitions where the contestants make something with their hands and why watching “Fixer Upper” is the equivalent of a spa getaway. I could literally watch contractors banging away on a house for days, just sit there watching them paint or raise the barn, or put up wallpaper.
Maybe there’s something to this dream. Maybe not.
Quite often, I’m left alone to my own devices. I very rarely have someone real to talk to. So I take out my pans and my handy dandy mixer, turn on the radio, and disappear. That’s my idea of perfect conversation — or the best I’m going to get.
I’m the kind of person who does well in the middle of a crisis but awful in the calm before the storm. The quiet forces me to consider the what-ifs until I’ve wound myself up into a frenzy. When the shit hits the fan, however, I’m Supergirl. At least I’d like to think so.
This raspberry cake recipe turned out well, beyond expectation, even though it’s technically not a pound cake. The tang of the lemon and the berries (I threw in a cup of blueberries I had lying around) offsets the sweet of the buttery glaze nicely. It was so delicious, I had two and half slices. My neighbor and her family inhaled their share in seconds. Even my picky son wolfed it down after exclaiming, “Holy bleep! This is good!” and he hates cakes, much less fruit in cakes.
The Smitten Kitchen recipe is a keeper. I plan on making it again many times, especially around Fourth of July.
I’m still on the hunt for a true pound cake recipe featuring raspberries. I might even make up a hybrid of my own.
What does the dream mean, though, and what is my reward for fulfilling it?
A moonstone ring? Happiness? Full bellies?
A sliver of raspberry cake leftover for tomorrow’s midnight snack?