04 November 2007

day 5 :: we eat cake

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I baked a cake, classic coalpot style, and it was really really good. Baking a cake on a coal fire is a little tricky. You take one very large pot (with lid) and put a smaller pot (or a cake pan if you have it) inside, elevated on something. Some people elevate the smaller pot on sand, some on bricks, and I use the small tomato paste cans, emptied. It turns out that the exact temperature doesn’t matter all that much, although if it’s very hot, the cake will burn and if it’s very cool, it won’t bake. Whatever time the recipe says is irrelevant, you just have to keep watching it.

I baked a golden yellow cake, but we didn’t have vanilla, so I added some cinnamon. This is the only flavoring we have. Anything I want to bake has to be cinnamon flavored, or bland.

I gave one of the two cakes to the nuns who live down the airstrip. (I used their baking powder, so it seemed only fair, plus I like them and I want them to like me. Nothing makes friends like cake.)

This morning, one of the nuns came to bring back the plate. “It was a miracle!” she said, “A real miracle, to have cake like that here.”

Ha. I’m good.

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