Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The pursuit of my inner June Cleaver

I am an immigrant. I was brought to American to live the American dream and to partake in the "Pursuit of Happiness", which is my right according to The Statue of Liberty.

I learned to speak English, partially, by watching the Incredible Hulk and other sitcoms. High School was going to be either like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club or any other John Hughes movie. Americans families were run by moms that were perfect.

These moms: June Cleaver, Carol Brady, Lucille Ball, etc... These moms fricking vacuumed in pearls, perfectly pressed dresses, coiffed hair and heels! I wanted to be a "perfect mom".
Looking back now, I see the reality:
June Cleaver - kids went to school, came home, dropped their books and ran outside to play until dark. Husband was home by 5pm to "discipline" the boys.
Carol Brady - stay at home mom, live in house-keeper, older kids took care of younger kids. According to a friend, Carol was a raging alcoholic.
Lucille Ball - constantly had a neighbor, or the Mertzes, watch little Ricky while she went off on her hair-brained schemes!

And all across "perfect mom" sitcom land, not an "after school activity" in sight! Kid wanted piano lessons - neighbor did it for a casserole/pie. Kids rode their bikes where ever they wanted. And if they fell into a well, well, Lassie alerted the flippin authorities!

It was in that vein that I decided to make a cake for the big monkey's Fall Open House Bake Sale.

Brazilian Style Carrot Cake from:

4 carrots - raw, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 cups sugar (I use 1 1/4 cups)
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

Grease and flour a bundt pan (or a 13x9, rectangular pan). Preheat oven to 350 F. Put carrots, sugar, oil, and eggs in a blender and whiz until all pureed and smooth. Pour batter into a bowl, add flour and baking powder and stir well with a wooden spoon until all incorporated (but don't over mix!). Pour batter into prepared pan, bake at 350F for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Wait a few minutes for cake to cool (while you make the chocolate sauce) and invert cake into a plate. Pour hot chocolate sauce over the cake while it is still warm. Serve cake warm or cool to room temperature (if you can wait all that long, that is!).

Chocolate glaze
2 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons milk

Put all ingredients into a saucepan, heat over medium-high heat and let boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, until it has thickened up. Pour hot chocolate sauce immediately over the warm cake.

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