When Life Gives You Lemons


A Very Lemony Mother’s Day

Yesterday I welcomed the day with my usual mix of anticipation and gratitude.  Sundays are lovely times around here- low stress days full of empty hours to putter around, be together and chill.   Even though my three children were not going to be around for Mother’s Day, my stepson, Jeff, asked if he could come for dinner.  I was very touched and was looking forward to the visit.  So David and I decided to make our slow-roasted pulled pork and homemade cole slaw dinner (yum!) and I decided that in order to make my day even more special,  I would make the perfect glazed lemon pound cake.  I’m sure you can already sense that this may not end well.

I feel most comfortable with Mother’s Day being a low-key affair, much like the day I was planning.  David was on board and was genuinely interested in ensuring I had a nice day.  But for some reason my expectation of the perfect me-centered day complete with both obliging husband and baked goods was not to be.  And my disappointment resulted in my being transformed from “queen for a day” to something more akin to “toddler on a bad day”.  Yikes.

So why lemon pound cake when oatmeal cookies would have been so much easier? Well,  if you read my post about doing the New York Times puzzle you saw this photo:


This is actually a photo of a painting that David and I bought in Sedona last year.  The lemon pound cake depicted in the painting was a favorite of ours from early on in our relationship.  Apparently Starbucks stopped offering it and they received such an outcry from their customers that they recently brought it back.  I’m gluten-free now so I seldom eat it anymore but it’s part my and David’s history and I’ve been wanting to try to bake a gluten-free version.  A special cake for a special day. OY.

Once the pork was in the oven we got to work on the cake.   I was using a recipe from Smittenkitchen.com, one of my go-to sites for all things delicious.  Actually she borrowed the recipe from Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) so I pretty much knew  it had to be good.  Unfortunately, we did not have the right size loaf pans or bundt cake pan so we used a single larger loaf pan.  I had a hunch we filled it up too high but it wasn’t until I smelled the burning, gloppy batter that was oozing over the sides of the pan that I knew we had a problem.  With all the histrionics of the aforementioned  toddler, I heaved it out of the oven and dumped it into the trash.  Then I burst into tears.  Wow.

When the Thing Isn’t the Thing

Believe me when I say that this type of reaction is very rare for me, especially after years of therapy.  In most cases I can look at my building emotions and understand what from my past is getting lit up and avoid this kind of drama.  Of course, this wasn’t about cake.  But this kind of over-reaction is really a signal to me that I have some exploring to do.  Perhaps this over-the-top attachment to a perfectly baked cake is about an attachment to something else that I need to let go of.  This is but one possibility, and at this point I don’t know for sure.  But I know I need to look.  And once I look I will grow.  And in this story anyway that growth is the “lemonade”.

And since I didn’t take any photos of the sorry, sad cake in the trash I leave you with this:


Oh yeah.