I Bake My Feelings: Orange and Blueberry Pound Cake

I was going to talk about something else in this post; another matter that is of some importance to me, but no relation as to the reason I baked these cakes.

One of my best friends called me out on my avoidance, so here is the raw truth (in baked form): sometimes I am scared of my feelings.

Sometimes they make me anxious and crash like waves, each successively higher and I feel swamped and cold and unable to move for fear of being sucked under.

Sometimes my feelings are full of bubbles and they gather in my chest and lift me higher, and higher, and I am afraid of coming down.

So, I bake.

Yesterday I baked because I don’t know how to say ‘Do you want to get a drink sometime?’

I baked because when he smiles at me my heart does flip-flops and I am sort-of excited and sort-of scared to feel this way again.

I bake because I want him to remember me, the way he remembers my coffee order every Saturday morning.

I bake because I show emotion through food, it is the language my heart and hands translate their feelings into.

Sugar, butter, eggs, and flour are the way I show my hope, curiosity, and the weird/nice tingly feeling in my toes.

I bake so I can linger a little longer with his smile.

So, yes, I am scared that you don’t speak the language of food, and that I don’t know how to say the words out loud.

So, could you be brave, just ask me out.

(and I’ll say yes.)

Orange and Blueberry Pound Cake with Orange Glaze

This makes two 4.5 inch x 8.5 inch cakes. I kept one for my family, and gave one away… You could also freeze one before you glaze the cake. Just wrap very well in baking paper and then plastic wrap. Defrost when desired, will keep for about two months.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Greek-style yoghurt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries tossed in 1 teaspoon of plain flour (this will stop them from sinking)
  • 1 3/4 cups icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice

 Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and position a shelf in the middle of the oven. Line two 4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf tins with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together butter, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, and yoghurt until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until well incorporated after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when needed.
  5. Beat in oil and juice.
  6. Add flour and mix until just combined. Add blueberries and fold into batter gently by hand. Use an up-and-over motion, and be careful not to squash the berries.
  7. Divide batter between the loaf tins and smooth the tops.
  8. Slide cakes gently into the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. Cakes are cooked when a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  9. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely before spreading glaze over the top.
  10. To make the glaze: mix together orange juice and icing sugar until smooth and thick. Spread over cooled cake.

If you are a baker, or cook, do you show your emotions through the food you make?

If you are not a food person, how do you express your emotions?

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17 thoughts on “I Bake My Feelings: Orange and Blueberry Pound Cake

  1. You can do it, Amy! He’d be a fool to say no! And if he does, you will still be so bewildered and proud of yourself for making that giant leap of faith – and that’s what really counts the most, trusting yourself to go with your heart & make things happen :) (and my heart just melted at the sight of that pound cake!!!!)

  2. If he doesn’t, it’s not because he doesn’t like you – that’s when I challenge you to ask :-P (leaving aside you wanting to bake instead of asking…) argh so exciting and scary and awesome!

    Not that you do this at all, ever, but I used to bake to fill a hole in me. I tried to show others I cared by baking them thing I wouldn’t eat. My lack of baking these days reminds me that I am whole again. One day, I want to bake again. For the right reasons.

    • I used to do the same thing too. I would bake cookies and cakes that I would stop myself from eating, and then I would go through binge periods where I wouldn’t bake so that there wasn’t anything for me to eat. Now, I bake things for my family and friends, and I bake Amy-friendly (gluten free) sweets and I know that I am whole because I can allow myself to eat treat foods, in sensible portions, with no guilt. So I guess now I bake for the right reasons :)

  3. I bake when I feel confident, see I tend to feel like I can’t do very much right a lot of the times, (comes from the past), so when I feel a little better about my self I will bake. But, you know I never actually realized that until I read your post today. You are so right, I think many people must bake with feelings and don’t realize it. On a lighter note, whatever your feelings are about baking and this friend, remember the old saying: The way to a mans heart is through his stomach!!! So bake on, my friend, and share what you bake with him, and you never know!!! Have a great day!

    • I am so glad that baking is a way of spending positive time with yourself Correna. Whenever you make something that is to be shared with friends and family you create those happy feelings for yourself, and those you share with.
      I keep thinking about that old saying too! Let’s see how it goes..

  4. So the fact that he makes coffee earns him BIG brownie points but going to need way more info to see if he gets approval for our Amy!!!!!

    Seriously though – do it girl. I was watching “we bought a zoo” the other day and this reminded me of that. You need that 20 seconds of courage girl (that could change your life).

    I love that you have a way to express yourself and baking is so rewarding. I just wish it had that result for me. I usually leave the kitchen feeling deflated!

    That said I have updated my shopping list and am going to give this cake a whirl :) I will let you know how I go. You know you are truly inspirational when you inspire ME to get in the kitchen. So thank you!!!

    Good Luck girl whatever you decided to do and whatever the result remember everything in this world is just as it should be.

    • I know – a man who can make great coffee truly moves up a few spots!
      My boss actually used the We Bought a Zoo line on me the other day as well. I will find those 20 seconds, before I turn into the creepy old cat lady, I promise :) Strange that we have started talking more just as my heart felt put back together again – as you said the world is as it should be.
      I am so happy you are going to give this a go! Let me know how your cake turns out :) There is about 1/8 of one left on our kitchen bench, which I think will be Dad’s afternoon tea.

  5. Amy,
    You are so cute and you already know I love your writing style. Girl, just ask him out. What’s the worse that can happen? He’ll say no? Well, you’ll have a good cry, bake up a storm and eventually get over it BUT YOU WILL KNOW one way or the other.
    Sometimes men are dense and don’t get our hints OR he may be feeling the same way and too nervous himself. Trust me, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If you are a baker, he’d never say no to a date!!! xoxox

  6. I haven’t had those flip-flops in a very long time. Enjoy every minute of the deliciousness of “liking” someone whether from afar or up close. Your pound cake looks absolutely delicious! I wish that I could have a slice with my lunch.

  7. YESSS. i have been struggling with this so much lately. I can totally show the emotions I feel comfortable with but emotions centered on nerves, sadness or anxiety…I struggle. I feel vulnerable and unsure and I don’t know how to express them and be okay with it. I have gotten better but always a work in progress. I also love to bake. Or run. Running can often help me think through and make sense of a confusing emotion!

    • Feeling vulnerable is always the worst part I think. If there is the possibility of hiding emotions behind a wall it is so tempting to do so.
      Running or baking, smooth repetitive movements where I can get lost in myself are the best way of working things out :)

  8. Pingback: Orange Creamcicle Twinkies | familyrecipebooks

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