I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future even if you fail
My friend Sarah and I have been talking about a tangerine cake for a few months now. I missed her birthday celebration earlier this year and she admitted that what she really wanted was a tangerine cake, like the one served up the Diane Keaton character in Because I Said So. So when I was down in the Cities last weekend, I made it a priority to bake up a tangerine cake with Sarah, which we brought to a game night gathering. We used Paula Deen's Fresh Tangerine Cake recipe, which incorporates tangerine juice and zest, as well as a tangerine cream cheese frosting. It wasn't quite as pretty as the cake pictured above, but I can assure you it was delicious: moist, light, and fresh.
On the ride home, as I sat with the remnants of the cake on a plate in my lap, I couldn't help but let my mind wander to some warmly-lit, yet to be realized, cozy space, with a glass display case filled with homemade bakery items baked by me. You see, ever since I was a little girl I've dreamed of owning my own bakery. For a long time now, if you asked me what my ideal life would look like, I'd tell you I'd spend the mornings in my bakery, my afternoons in the garden, and my evenings writing (creatively). A happy life really boils down to good things to eat (in moderation, of course) and nice things to read, no?
Oh, I'm a realist. Don't worry, I know that everyone fancies themselves a chef or baker and I know that restaurants/bakeries are some of the most volatile small businesses ever due to high start up costs and the low profit margin. Besides, I live in a small community which already has an established baker, along with a beloved donut shop. Any bakery of mine will have to wait until I have nothing to lose.
Loaves of freshly baked bread. White and chocolate layer cakes and a seasonal cake of the month (tangerine, strawberry shortcake, carrot, apple spice, maple cream, etc.). Fruit pies. Cinnamon rolls. Blueberry muffins. White chocolate scones. Normal sized cookies (no one needs a cookie the size of a dinner plate and normal sized cookies make them kid-friendly) stored in cookie jars: chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar, thumbprint. Carafes filled with coffee and Earl Grey tea. Shelves with a selection of homemade jams and granola. No dairy-free and gluten-free items, just old fashioned, homey baking. And for the love of God, no caking decorating! And despite my affinity for them - no cupcakes except for holidays. (I'd rather frost the cake in one shebang, rather than frosting 24 individual cupcakes, thank you very much.)
I find comfort in my bakery fairy tale. Just imaging the design of my bakery cases calms me down and makes me smile. So I hold my sweet bakery dream dear and in the meantime, I keep my eyes peeled for the next perfect recipe.
What castles do you build in the air?