8/6/08

Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake/ Bittersweet

Funny and snarky have left the building today. They decided they needed a day off, so instead you get to experience something new. A ride on Krysta's emotional hormonal roller coaster. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

When I was a kid I thought that there would be a monumental shift that occurred when I became an adult. Something that would make me feel 'adult' like. It didn't happen when I turned twenty one or thirty, for that matter. I still feel like I am 16. It didn't happen when I became a mom, you know the feeling of being responsible for someone else's well being, something that normally screams 'you are an adult now'. I had been caring for my brothers and sisters for sometime already, so becoming a mom was no big deal. I just did the math and I have been caring for someone in some capacity for over 21 years now. I am now 34 and more than half my life has been spend on the care of others. Instead of waiting to become an adult, I have been one before I even knew it. Rich uses a quote from White Christmas, 'George was born old.' to describe me but I never felt like I was an old soul or even adult like, until now.

Bittersweet: Producing or expressing a mixture of pain and pleasure.

I think that only an adult can truly understand the word, bittersweet. Yes, I am familiar with the chocolate, maybe even too familiar, and I knew the meaning for the word bittersweet but I didn't understand it. It took me 34 years to grasp the feeling and the emotions from that word.

I want to see my kids cut the umbilical cord and go do something. I see lots of parents who don't want their kids to spend the night at a friends house or play on the playground, lest they get hurt. I see parents who don't want their kids to walk around the block because they are afraid their kid is going to be kidnapped. I see parents who want their kids to go to college close to home. I get it but I don't like it. I'm trying to kick my kids out of the nest. I don't want them to have to take care of people for more than half their life, I want them to have a life I didn't have. I want them to be independent, explore, travel, meet all sorts of people, fall down and get dirty just so they know they have had an interesting life. I want them to do this before real life settles in around them. It's bittersweet to know I only have two more years with Katie before she takes off. But oh that flight will be spectacular! I will be watching with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.

Another bittersweet thing is Katie's friend Catherine. Catherine has only been around here for a year or so. She's a senior this year and it will be hard to see her go off to college. I haven't had enough time to get to know her and didn't get to see her grow up like I did with Katie's other friends. I mean when a senior in high school comes over early on a Sunday morning with a fresh warm loaf of Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake, wouldn't you want to get to know her better?

Olive Oil and Fresh Rosemary Cake: (The Babbo Cookbook, Mario Batali)

4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a bowl of an electric mixer, use the whip attachment to beat eggs for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Using a spatula, gently fold the rosemary into the batter. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even coloring. The cake is done when it is golden brown and springs back when touched. Also you know it's done when you do the toothpick trick. Allow the cake to cool briefly in the pan, then tip out onto a cake rack to continue cooling.

*Tasting notes: First of all I want to know why this is called cake and not bread and why is banana bread not called cake? Anyways, this cake was moist but light. Savory and sweet. The rosemary flavor isn't that strong but it's there. A very grown up cake but kids will like it too. Different but familiar. Happy but sad...bittersweet.

23 comments:

Rayrena said...

Ack, you're making my heart ache and my kid's only 18 m/o... I agree, my biggest dream for her is to take her own flight in life and soar. I'll be totally happy if she's a good mom, wife and friend. Good grades and all that other stuff will be gravy.

The cake sounds yummy. Does it taste like foccacia? Sounds like it would make for an awesome proscuitto sandwich!

asthmagirl said...

I know what you mean about the caring for others. It's been 28 years for this marriage and four years for the first one and then taking care of my dad when my mom didn't want to so the 8 years before that... that's forty years of fixing dinner and washing laundry. Yikes!
I'll be happy to take care of fewer people for sure. My youngest may not ever move out but my main goal is that she learn how to do for herself at least!

This is a cake? No eggs? More like bread?
I know... so many questions!

noble pig said...

No way a teenager with a loaf of bread! Send her my way.

I loved this story and you put it beautifully. They need that life, that interesting life before the duldrums settle about them. This is why I like you so much!

Sharon said...

I think it's wonderful and says a lot about you that you love your kids but want to see them explore and make it on their own. Today's culture is all about coddling but everyone needs a little freedom to grow up!

Bread toting teenagers are really the best kind, dont ya think? :)

Krysta said...

@everybody!... this is moist type bread or cake like banana bread. a little sweet, a little savory with the same texture as zucchini bread or banana bread. very good but i wouldn't make a sandwich out of this. it would be great for a tea time type snack. sorry if i confused everyone.

Aggie said...

What a thoughtful post...I found myself (at moments) feeling like the mom who is always "protecting"...but I can see your point - my kids are only 3 and 1 so all I know right now is to "protect"! My mom always told me to live and experience, something she didn't get to do since she married so young...Anyway, on to the cake...

I love rosemary and love olive oil, I can just imagine how wonderful this smelled! I may have to make this for my inlaws next time they come over, I think they would enjoy this!

me again said...

Well, as I know you know, my nest was officially emptied this past weekend. An exhausting experience, the move, but exhilerating nonetheless. As I wrote on my blog, I know I'm supposed to feel sad about it but I JUST DON'T. I'm happy for my son, very thrilled that he's started this chapter of his life. This is the whole point of parenting .... to raise them up so they have wings!

I am not a rosemary fan -- I like it but I sure don't love it -- but this is intriguing so I think I'll give it a try. And any teenager who bakes is first-class in my book!

Grace said...

krysta, i'm glad to know that there are at least a few parents out there with their heads on straight! your kids are lucky, and i hope they realize that!
meanwhile, this cake/bread/heaven on a plate sounds wonderful. keep that young lady around! :)

Kim(ayankeeinasouthernkitchen) said...

What a sweet story. I shed a tear. My children are now grown starting families of their own. Where did the time go? Hopefully you will get to spend more time with your daughter's friend during breaks, she sounds delightful.

Mental P Mama said...

Bittersweet is one of my favorite words. And a feeling I am all-too-familiar with. I have two seniors this year. *sigh

jennyonthespot said...

What a creative post... I was drawn to how you winded us down a path of emotion, and splashed us into yummy food. I am a woman who ties emotion closely with food, so... this is like - the perfect post. That bread looks yummy.... and this post - very good :)

jack's utter lack of surprise said...

a teenager who brings over baked goods as presents. sigh. you're blessed.

Annie K. Nodes said...

Well, if Katie picks friends like Catherine, than you've done a great job raising her.

I'm 100% with you about pushing my kids (in my case, kid) out into the world.

melissa said...

I love when you get personal and reflective and write things like this.

I'm sure it will be bittersweet, but oh what an amazing woman she is going to be...

My mom used to tell me I was born older too. ;)

MeadowLark said...

Rosemary is one of my favorite flavors. (next to bacon perhaps) Appreciate the recipe.

BabyGirl (at 22) recently moved back home, so empty nesters we're not.

YoungSon is 20 and last year dropped out of college (a 4.2 gpa!! a 1370 SAT!!! eeeek!!! what are you thinking) but we just said "look... this is probably the only time in life that you can afford to do -nothing- . Do it and enjoy it." He's been working at a farm stand weekends, learning to slaughter chickens, fighting wildfire in NorCal and preparing a bug-out bag for Peak Oil. :) Gotta let 'em go, even when it's difficult.
PS. Make sure your kid has read Fluke.

Stacey Snacks said...

Krysta,
I have a 19 year old cat, and I will be sad when she leaves (probably will not go off to college.....not smart enough!). Your post is so thoughtful, it made me smile.

I love this Babbo cake (I always make it, great for breakfast, Giada also has a good version). And when do get your butt to NYC, I will take you to Babbo in the West Village, as well as a REAL turkey sloppy Joe!!!

EAT! said...

Eventhough my 15 yeear old and I are usually at wit's ends, I know it will be a bittersweet day when she walks out the door and off to college. I hate sounding like "old people" who always say time flys by so fast. Some days seem definately longer than others.

Cheryl said...

Now that's a great kid! I had no idea you were so young, I am 42! I loved the story, as always!

Cheryl said...

Now that's a great kid! I had no idea you were so young, I am 42! I loved the story, as always!

cook eat FRET said...

i love this cake/bread. isn't mario the greatest. god i love that man.

but tony is mine. remember that.

i may make some of this right now...

cook eat FRET said...

made it
brought to a friends house
big hit

white on rice couple said...

I know what you mean. I'm the oldest of 6 (diane talking here) and became a parent as soon as I learned how to change my siblings diaper. I think I was 5 or 6 years old. I had no choice but to become an adult right away.

Your kids will leave the nest and become great adults, judging from the type of folks their parents are like. But of course, we only know you through your blog. One thing is for sure, your kids will probably be the best darn cooks in their dorm building!

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