You may have noticed that I haven’t written about a book in a while—since October when I wrote a hugely long post about Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze. Now, don’t be me wrong, I’ve read a bit over the last few months. For starters, I thoroughly enjoyed The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon of the blog Oh She Glows (see here, here , and here for the recipes I made from the book). I also read Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close, which was a fine book but it didn’t rock my world…maybe I should read it again? If you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts on it. I almost forgot—I also read The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich, but let’s just say that was different. Then, for our travels to and from Michigan over Christmas break, I read Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray, which I loved. I’m always excited to read a book that focuses on food, especially sweet treats.
The first few pages of this book were the best—the concept made me ridiculously happy. Let me start by asking if you’ve ever practiced mindfulness or stress-relieving techniques? If not, essentially what it means is to visualize a place where you feel completely safe and peaceful, a place where you can regroup and feel calm. I’ve had to do this before in seminars and whatnot and my mind has always gone to a beach. For me, a beach equals peace and relaxation. Seems typical, right? Well, in this book, Ruth visualizes herself inside a cake. INSIDE A CAKE, you guys!!!! Pure genius, if you ask me. Bear with me because I have to share this quote from the book with you.
The place that I went, the place I still go, was the warm, hollowed-out center of a Bundt cake. It is usually gingerbread, though sometimes that changes. Sometimes it’s gingerbread crowned in a ring of poached pears. The walls that surround me are high and soft, but as they go up they curve back, open up to the light, so I feel protected by the cake but never trapped by it. There are a few loose crumbs around my feet, clinging to my hair, and the smell! The ginger and butter, the lingering subtlety of vanilla…I press my cheek against the cake, which is soft as an eiderdown and still warm. (Page 2)
I’ve done the whole imagine yourself in a cake thing since reading this book and do you know what cake I found myself in? A Better Than “Anything” Cake (similar to this) that my co-worked made and let me devour a few months ago—a from scratch chocolate cake, poked with holes to let a can of condensed milk soak in, top that with a layer of Butterfinger bits, then a layer of marshmallow fluff whipped cream…and on top of ALL that, yet another layer of Butterfinger bits. Helllloooo!!!! Do you feel better already or what?!
Eat Cake is about more than just cake. It’s about love, family, risk, perseverance, and success. Ruth—the lady who imagined herself inside a cake—finds herself needing to come up with a way to support her family after her husband is laid off from his job. Baking cakes has always been her go-to when feeling stressed or overwhelmed, which is often considering both of her parents (who despise each other) live with her, her husband, and their teenage daughter. After a few weeks of struggling and stressing, Ruth’s father tells her on a whim that she should go into the baking business. Her friend encourages her, but all she can say is It’s a lovely thought, but it’s crazy. So I can bake. Everybody can bake.
So does she or doesn’t she follow through?! I could certainly tell you, but what fun would that be? You’ll have to pick-up the book to find out, but until then let me share with you some more quotes from the book.
Here’s what Ruth has to say about those who turn down dessert…
..But that isn’t a person with discipline, that is a person who has completely lost touch with joy. A slice of cake never made anybody fat. You don’t eat the whole cake. You don’t eat a cake every day of your life. You take the cake when it is offered because the cake is delicious. You have a slice of cake and what it reminds you of is someplace that’s safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what’s served on the happiest days of your life. (Pages 2 & 3)
+ a few more…
She gave into the cake. She allowed herself to love the cake. It wasn’t that she surrendered her regrets (Oh well, I’ll just have to go to the gym tomorrow, or, I won’t have any dinner this week). She had no regrets. She lived in the moment. (Page 97)
I’ve lived my whole life outside the box. People feel so bound down to their possessions, their responsibilities, that they wind up not even living their lives. (Page 107)
Everything changes. Sometimes when your life has been going along the same way for a long time you can forget that. (page 216)
…But other times things change and all you have to do is find a way to change with them. It’s when you stay in exactly the same spot when everything around you is moving that you really get into trouble. You still have a chance if you’re willing to run fast enough, if you’re willing to forget everything that you were absolutely positive was true and learn to see the world in a different way. (page 216)
Let me end by saying that there are several incredible cake recipes included at the end of this book that I’d love to bake, and I’m sure you would too! Can I tease you by just naming a few?…
Do you want a piece of cake now? I sure do!