Monday, March 25, 2013


The thing about kids is, they can't stay kids forever*.

They pull themselves up on the edge of that coffee table.
And the next thing you know, they've let go.

I've had issues with this whole concept for years.

For example, when my son crawled for the first time, all I could think was, "He's leaving me. Oh God! He's leaving me!**" The whole first day of school separation anxiety thing?  All me. The kids were like, "I got a new lunchbox. You can go now." And don't even get me started on my sleep-away camp problem.

But somehow, even with all of the voice deepening and curve sprouting, attitude copping and privacy seeking, social networking and responsibility-taking, these startlingly mature people have still been mostly defined, at least officially, as subsets of us.

All too soon (well, in a year and a half, but STILL!), my first born will be attending college***. As himself.  Not as an unaccompanied minor, or as the "Kids Stay Free" kid in the hotel room, but all on his own. Considering how melancholy I was this morning about him leaving for a mere six day college tour, when his freshman year actually comes in 2014,  I'll probably have to be institutionalized.

Fortunately, I now own an appropriately institutional emergency Bundt pan.

And it makes a most excellent stress-induced pound cake.

Orange-Rosemary Glazed Cream Cheese Poundcake

by Sharon Graves
Another winning variation of my sisters's amazing Cream Cheese Pound Cake.  I subbed in some brown sugar, added orange juice and zest to the cake, and created a tangy herbal orange glaze.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    For the Cake
    • 1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) butter, at room temperature
    • 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 2 c. sugar
    • 1 c. brown sugar
    • 1 Tbs. vanilla
    • 1 tsp. almond extract
    • zest of one orange
    • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice from that orange
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 c. cake flour
    • 1 c. flour
    • 6 eggs
    For the glaze
    • remaining juice from the orange
    • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    • powdered sugar

    Preheat oven to 325, and generously butter a standard Bundt pan. Set aside.

    Combine butter, cream cheese, and both sugars in a large mixing bowl, and beat together on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

    Add the extracts, the orange zest, the orange juice and the salt, and mix again until combined.

    Next, you'll add the flours and the eggs. Start with one cup of the cake flour, then add three eggs, then another cup of cake flour, the other three eggs, and the last cup of flour, mixing well after each one.

    Turn the batter (it will be thick) into the prepared cake pan. Bake for an hour, then check for doneness. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. It might need 10 or 15 more minutes, but you definitely don't want to over bake this cake.

    Cool for a few minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cooling rack or plate. If using a cooling rack, place the rack over a plate or tray.

    Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Place the orange juice into a small saucepan, and heat until just barely simmering. Remove from the heat and add the rosemary sprigs. Allow to steep for fifteen minutes. 

    Remove the rosemary.  Whisk in enough powdered sugar to form a thick but still pourable glaze.

    Gently spoon the glaze over the still-warm cake. It will drip quite a bit, but just keep scooping it up and pouring it over until it begins to set.

    Cool completely, cut into wedges and serve.

    Goes particularly well with strawberries and cream.

    * They'll actually always be my kids.  But to other people, they'll be grown ups.
    ** True story.  Instead of beaming with pride or cheering, I started crying uncontrollably.  But he was crawling AWAY from me!  My husband and I were worried he'd never crawl, but then I brought him into work and my colleague put his gold Amex card on the floor a few feet away.  The kid went after it like a shot. Never looked back.
    *** I believe there is an old proverb:  "From this blog to the admissions office's ear."  I also know full well that I am insane for worrying about this now, particularly since he forgot something sitting right on the kitchen counter, and left a pile of his dirty socks on the floor in the hall.  I've got time.

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