Well, this feels a little awkward. I've been away from this blog since last October when I made a little announcement that is not so little anymore. It sort of has that feeling when you're home from college and you know you're home but its just funny enough that you feel you should ask to get a glass of milk rather than helping yourself. I never, ever intended for that to happen and I'm so grateful for those of you who have checked in to see how things are going. I've missed this place quite a bit, my friends.
Truthfully, it's been a rough ride. Like, 22 weeks of daily toilet-hugging followed by another few weeks of zero appetite and now onto waddling about with just a few days to go and trying to get down my required protein each day. I've only cooked a handful of meals this entire time and almost no dessert - even the simplest of recipes seemed daunting and the idea of having to burn valuable energy on something as silly as washing dishes was enough to make me put the cookbooks away.
I miss being hungry. I miss it a lot. But I made you a cake. A cake!
Now, it's not a terribly fancy cake, mind you. It's more of a Sunday-afternoon-I-have-some-strawberries-on-the-counter-and-I-did-just-take-a-nap sort of cake. But I'm just so grateful that I rustled up the chutzpah to hull a pound (a whole! stinkin'! pound!) of strawberries. That sounds like an awful lot when you're nine months pregnant. Then again, getting out of bed without assistance and tying my shoes and trying not to cry at Campbell's soup commercials all sound impossible these days, but I make it happen.
This cake, this humble looking vanilla cake with the dozens of strawberry slices wedged into the buttery batter, is exactly the sort of thing you'll want to put in your oven and forget about for a while. Of course, until you smell the berries turning into jammy pockets of berry goo and you pat yourself on the back for turning such simple ingredients into something so splendid.
It may seem like there's too many berries to go around, but if you really squeeze 'em in there, let them overlap just a bit and don't worry if "just a bit" turns into "one on top of the other," then you'll be rewarded with a cake that is more strawberry than cake. The batter crinkles up around the strawberries as it bakes and really, the cake is more of a vessel for getting all those summery berries into your belly without too much hassle.
You'll want to add this to your recipe box for those summer days when it's unbearably hot but you'd still like dessert before the sun goes down. I can't imagine a summer night without dessert, but then again this summer will be different for me. I'll have a newborn to snack on anytime I please, but for those of you don't, you can have this cake.