Friday, October 16, 2009

Cupcakes are the exception

I'm not sure what it is, but I don't like cake. It's not like I've had a bad experience or anything. My dad is a cake connoisseur so we Gregg's it up, or get cakes from nice little Italian bakeries when we have occasion to.

I just always feel gross after eating a piece of cake. Even the tiniest pieces are too big, and the most sparsely frosted cakes have too much frosting. The cake part itself is kind of spongy, less dense, sugary bread, and conceptually that just throws me. And frosting is just sugar and butter. Ew. There's a good reason cake is "a sometimes snack." I'm just not sure why someone would eat cake when they could eat ice cream.

After years of experimenting, I still haven't discovered the ideal way to eat cake. If you smear all the frosting around yourself, to get the optimal cake-to-frosting ratio [which I'm not sure exists] it looks like you're destroying your piece of cake as opposed to eating it. If the piece is in a wedge and you start at the tip, you'll have a bunch of cake-less frosting on the outer edge. If the piece is on its side, and you eat it layer by layer, you still end up with extra frosting from the top of the cake. The square pieces that can stay upright still squish a bit when you cut bits with your fork, and each bite ends up uneven.

I'm just a little OCD.

But still, someone should make cake easier to eat. And less sugary.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Festival Food

So I had a caramel apple for the first time. It was easier and less messy to eat than I had expected. The caramel was chewy but not sticky, and not sickly sweet, and Cortland apples might be the most fantastic kind of apple ever, tart and sweet and crunchy and bright white. I'm glad I caved and finally had one, it's a fall festival food stable.

The vile roasted candied cashews and the unnaturally yellow popcorn aside, festival food is amazing. And the key to enjoying festival food is to not consider too deeply what you're eating, how it was made, and how bad it is for you.

The scariest thing I had was a steak sandwich, but it was okay because I had personally packaged the roll and seen the preparation and seasoning of steak and onions. The sandwiches had turned my stomach the first day I worked at the booth, but the second day working to make sandwiches on an empty stomach was a kind of torture. I had to have one. So I did. And it was delicious. Perfectly contained in its foil sleeve, nice and hot to contrast with the chilly air, and, I'm generally a fan of steak and cheese sandwiches. [The best part was arguably that it was free -- the compensation of a volunteer! It was almost worth smelling like a slaughterhouse.]

I had some hot cider from the Boy Scouts, because it's fall and cider is infinitely fitting. And I bought a sleeve of cookies from a friend to stick in my lunch bag the next day, because festivals are the best place to buy overpriced baked goods.

Fall is the season for good eating. Thanksgiving is the culinary mother-lode, harvest-time means everything delicious is in season, soup makes a comeback after being banished for summer, and . . . festival food. It's messy and undignified and horrendously bad for you, and probably prepared in some sketchy ways, but oh so worth it.