Wait for the Cake!

18. Holy shit. I can no longer laugh at my friends for being ‘old’. I don’t feel a great epiphany or awakening or anything of that nonsense, but rather the same as I did a few days ago, much to my disappointment. I was hoping that I would magically be healed on such a very important day- sort of the reverse of Cinderella turning back into her old self. Alas, Disney gave us all rather impractical solutions to our problems.

I had a really wonderful time on my birthday the other day. Nancy and Phil came down from up Island for the day, and we had a big family dinner. My auntie and uncle went with me to this seriously awesome wool shop downtown called “Knotty by Nature“, which has everything fiber you could possibly desire, while greatly supporting our local sheep and shepherds! Now when I go into a wool store, I simple must touch everything. There are all these strange and wonderful blends of fiber…merino, cashmere, bamboo, linen, alpaca, kid mohair…each with their own addictive feel and story. After much stroking and color combination, I finally decided on 4 braids of unspun wool (the colors on my lap in this picture) in a blueberry, sky blue, stormy gray, and deep lilac. I can’t wait to start spinning them! I haven’t used a drop spindle in a very long time (actually, a decade), but the motion is one that comes relatively naturally. Just need to get my hands on one, and then I will be set.

Rows of dyed wool braids, and hand-dyed bits below.

After our sojourn to the yarn store, we arrived home in time to start dinner. The menu-> veg Phad Thai, which is possibly my favorite food ever, and for dessert a Vegan Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream frosting. A unique culture-clash. Heaven. We tried the pressed tofu, which is probably the tastiest ‘lil protein pack I have ever had the pleasure of sampling.

Tossing in the sprouts…

Crushed peanuts, lime juice, bean sprouts, tamarind, garlic, tomato paste: these flavors jump right off the plate, fresh from a well-seasoned wok. 

A wish.

Like most birthday girls, I find the wait for the cake almost impossible. No matter how fine a main course, or salad, it is the desert that is the show-stopper.

After much searching and deliberation, I adapted this recipe from one I found on the nakedeats Blog; Community Vegan Carrot Cake.

~Naked Carrot Cake~

Ingredients:
    ⁃    2 1/4 cups all purpose flour  (1.25 cup AP, 1 WW)
    ⁃    1 heaping T cinnamon
    ⁃    2.5 teaspoons all spice
    ⁃    2 teaspoons fresh-ground nutmeg
    ⁃    1/2 teaspoons cardamom, ground
    ⁃    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ⁃    2 teaspoons baking soda
    ⁃    1 teaspoon salt
    ⁃    1/4 cup agave
    ⁃    3 teaspoons vanilla
    ⁃    1 cup olive oil
    ⁃    2 cups finely grated carrots
    ⁃    1 cup crushed pineapple including juice
    ⁃    1 cup shredded coconut
    ⁃    2/3 cup chopped pecans
    ⁃    1/2 cup raisins

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grind all spices (cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, cardamom). Mix together the flours, baking soda and powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
Mix the agave with the olive oil in an electric mixer, then drizzle in the fragrant vanilla.
Slowly fold in the dry ingredients mixture. It may seem dry, but not once all the fruits and veggies are added. :D. Add the pineapple and juice and mix. Then add the carrots, coconut, raisons, and nuts. Don’t overland.
Grease and flour a round 9”pan (easiest with a spring-form pan). Pour in the cake batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is pulling away from the sides.

I know it is hard, but let it cool completely before frosting and eating. Gets better with age! ~

The results were sensational: a pleasantly fragrant and fruity cake, not too sweet, but dense and chewy. Just the way it should be. It got rave reviews and clean plates from the rest of the family. A job well done if I do say so! After such an eventful day, the only missing from this picture of happiness was to register to vote! I’ve had a SIN# in the States since birth, so it was easy to register to vote down there, but alas, the next election isn’t until 2012. And I was so looking forward to exercising my democratic rights. When one comes of age, you can vote, and be in a porno, which were both very exciting options, but I stuck with voting :P. I realized that I didn’t have a Canadian SIN#, so I will have to get one very soon so I can register to vote here. Because the elections happen whenever the parties want (a very odd policy, in my opinion. I like knowing we can get rid of people after four years, thank-you-very-much!), there is no set date for an election, but I bet there is a municipal one sooner or later! One can only hope!

All and all, I had a rather wonderful day. For some reason, people seem to enjoy saying “You are only 18 once”, but it is true of every other age as well! Undoubtedly this year will bring me closer to that elusive “health” and the pursuit of dreams beyond. <3