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Just Pound It Out

Not much to look at, but I hope it will taste good.  And maybe its appearance will approve when I put it on a plate and dust it with confectioner’s sugar.


I’ve been trying to write a story about stolen recipes ever since I read this NY Times article about Dora Charles, the complexities of her relationship with Paula Deen, and ownership of kitchen secrets. My story is only sputtering along, but today I decided to make the Lost and Found Lemon Poundcake described in the article.

At best I’m only a serviceable cook, but I’m a very marginal baker. I love sweet baked goods but rarely attempt them, discouraged by the rocklike cookies, gummy cakes, greasy piecrusts, and leaden biscuits I’ve turned out over the years.

This cake packs more butter and eggs in it than I would normally consume in two months.  David and I are setting out for Joshua Tree tomorrow, so I’ll bring some of it despite the fact that it’s very unlikely and impractical camping fare.

I had fun making the cake, even though the strenuous mixing wore out my arm. If it tastes decent, it will be because the essence of my mother, my sister, and David’s great-aunt Marie helped me along. I used a cake spatula, electric mixer, and mixing bowl belonging to them respectively.

And if it’s a flop, it’s OK. Some more ideas on how to fix my story came to me as I stirred.

About treacycolbert

I make my living by writing about health care. I've always written about life's chastening effect, but just as a way of sorting it out for myself. After years of doing this and keeping these essays quiet, I decided to put some of these impressions out there on this blog. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think.

3 responses »

  1. You do know what “pound it out” means, yes?

    • Uh oh. Now I am nervous JA. I was making a horrible pun on poundcake, and because I was talking about writing a story, too, I was thinking back to my old days as a journalist, when you would “pound it out” — that meant writing a story quickly on a typewriter, of course. Is there some other meaning I don’t know about, and is it nasty? Maybe I better change my title :-(.

  2. My first thought re: the title involved a typewriter.


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