Tomorrow is the first part of Mika’s birthday party (a sleep over with a couple of friends, if that), and I promised to bake her a cake. I want to bake her a sponge cake, that same one that was a specialty of Granny and Gladys. It was delicious with lemon curd, but I preferred it with whipped cream, but Argentina’s whipped cream is so much better than America’s.
I think I still remember the taste, hints of the taste at least. The texture. Their specialty – along with a white cake with chocolate-dulce-de-leche frosting and a chocolate cake with peppermint frosting. I think two of those recipes came from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook, circa 1950’s, which I think was the only cookbook they owned. Perhaps, though, like my mother, they had a copy of Las Recetas Economicas de Doña Petrona, which seemed to be the Bible of every Argentine housewife. If they had one, though, I don’t remember seeing it. They did have a black spiral folder filled with hand-written recipes, mostly on Gladys’ handwriting (would I remember my grandmother’s?). Some are in English and some in Spanish.
Will I bake this cake in homage to my grandmother and aunt? In remembrance? In a mistaken attempt to give my children a slice (ha ha) of the childhood I had and that they will never comprehend? Will the cake even come out?
It’ll be for Mika’s 7th birthday. I can’t remember for what birthday Granny baked me the sponge cake with cream. Did she die when I was 8 or 9? How can I not know?
I still haven’t decided if it’s good to remember or if it’s just too painful, too senseless.