Fertility isn’t power; it’s more like the universe reaching through us to pursue its own ends.
Revisiting old friends this summer with Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye. I picked up this copy at my friend’s father’s wake. He enjoyed reading and had traded books with me before. We were invited to take books from his small but bursting shelves in remembrance.
Cat’s Eye was my first introduction to Atwood. I had checked it out of my local library before a family vacation driving across the States in a Ford Bronco. Lying on my stomach on a pallet of blankets in the back of the vehicle, willing myself not to be carsick while reading, ignoring the majesty of the Rockies passing us because family vacation, ugh. I suppose I was primed to appreciate the quiet terror of navigating the world of girls, where secrets are currency and loyalties are always suspect. My parents seemed equally clueless yet well-meaning, my brother lost to me fighting his own battles in becoming a man. I read about the protagonist peeling her skin while biting my own nails down until they bled.
For the Fourth of July, a rich, dark chocolate, raspberry cake celebrates the flavors of summer. The raspberries were harvested from Pahlman Farms, but the blueberries were store bought. Our blues won’t be ready for a couple of weeks yet. The frosting recipe was gleaned from Giada De Laurentiis’ Chocolate-Raspberry Layer Cake. The cake is triple layers of devil’s food from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine’s The New Best Recipe. I probably over-beat the batter as the layers came out a little thinner than expected, although they were still moist and had a light crumb.
The secret ingredient was a generous brushing over each layer with Chambord liqueur, which is optional if you are abstaining.
I served this a my father-in-law’s lake party. As soon as I began cutting, a line of appreciative friends and family began to form. I managed to sneak a slice for myself but forgot to set one aside for my husband at the grill station. Alas. Perhaps I only need an excuse to make it again.