Mistake Cake

A few years back, I was inspired by this post, to make this cake.  Except that I was distracted.  And I made the buttermilk per the recipe’s notes section, and I added it all.  All.  Despite the fact that the recipe called for half.  Luckily, Deb takes amazing process photos, so I could tell by how the batter looked that something was wrong.  So I added some flour, and some more, and some more, until the consistency was just right.  And you know what?  It was amazing. the perfect, crumbly, not too sweet cake with a hint of berry tartness.  A very delicious mistake.

Havenly Mistake Cake blueberry

Since then I’ve deliberately repeated the mistake, and adapted it to fit my slightly crunchier taste–substituting turbinado and some whole wheat flour for the white sugar and flour.  With berries or peaches in the summer, and apples in the fall, every time I make it, it does not disappoint.

Mistake Cake (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Havenly Mistake Cake before baking

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk (make your own! mix 1 cup milk w/ one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, and let stand 10 minutes at room temp.)
1/2 pint blueberries or 1 cup fruit of your choice

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until there are no lumps, then beat in vanilla, zest, and egg.
  • At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
  • Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter fruit over top and smoosh it down into the batter a bit. Sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

p.s.

Here’s a batter photo, just in case!

batter

Four

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This week, this charming young man turned four.  Four is such an amazing time: every day he makes new connections, and piece by piece constructs the rules of his world.  Play can be nuanced and full of imagination, or it can be very black and white.  One moment the world is full of mystery and lightness, and the next moment things are incredibly frustrating to figure out…  But he marches on, sometimes timid, but undeterred.

May you always be as full of wonder, awe, trust, and curiosity as you are now.  Happy Birthday little love!

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VSCO VSCOcam Society6 vessdsign

Digging Deep: 40 Words

empty

When you unpack a marriage, untangle and unwind all the bits you’ve woven over ten years, you’re bound to hit a snag.  A year ago, as I was packing up the house, selling off the baggage of my old life, and sifting through the physical manifestation the relationship, I had no idea how much lighter I would feel a year later.

Things here have been good for the most part, settled, at least, in this beautiful place we are now privileged to call home.  But I found that the more I dug in to this writing exercise, looking for moments to share and distill, the more it hurt.  There were layers I had pushed back far far away, while living in survival mode.  It’s amazing how a simple writing practice can get at those pain points.  The one thing I’ve learned this year, has been to listen to those feelings, and so, a week in, I realized I just wasn’t ready to go on writing.  I needed to sit quietly, for just a little longer, before I took the feelings on.

As Alice Hoffman said in the opening to the original article that inspired all of this, “Our lives often appear to be moving in one direction, and then, quite suddenly, a door opens and everything changes. A possibility arises, we daydream, we take a chance, we allow ourselves to feel joy. What’s on the other side of the open door becomes the moment that defines us and charts a new path. It could be almost anything. Suddenly we stop and make a turn. We imagine something completely different for ourselves. Something we never expected.”

So friend, if you are walking that same path I am, or rebuilding a life when you least expected it, I have this wish for you: I hope you can let go enough to let yourself feel joy.  And I hope you are kind to yourself, for through that kindness you will find all the strength you need.  It’s right there, inside you.

 

succulent divorce mourning

40 in 40 take 5: Still

Havenly 40 in 40 take fiveSometimes, it’s others’ words that take you back. A taste, the rain, a moment past. Not much for looking back, I fear. Too many souls to miss.
This space I’m in, precarious and still, reflecting brightness in the storm.

Havenly rooted

 

40 in 40 take 3: Sleep

40 in 40 day 3

My children’s circadian rhythms are baffling. Most days, they are up with the sun, rearing to go. Every night, they fight sleep ferociously. Yet once in a while, there are surprising mornings of an overwhelmingly deep and uninterruptable sleep… always Mondays.

40 in 40 day 3 sleep