Friday, March 20, 2015

It took a neighbourhood to make a cake

2012 - the last time I made these cakes!
I've been obsessing. Obsessing about a particular type of cake – Tropical Carrot Cake – stuffed full of plump raisins, chopped nuts, juicy pineapple chunks, and sweet coconut. Oh. So. Good.
Finding all of the ingredients was a bit of a challenge. I posted on my FaceBook page asking friends for the Spanish words for baking soda and baking powder so that I could find the items in the store. 
The responses flowed in, including where to find them; baking powder is usually shelved with flour and other baking supplies, but baking soda is in the pharmacy section of a store. Weird but true.
Lynda & Patty
Then several friends emailed offering to share their supply of baking soda, or baking powder, and oh, did I need anything else? Raisins! I couldn't find raisins on the island. No worries, Patty had extra raisins and her friend Steve arriving from Cancun would find me anything else I needed. Patty and Steve dropped them off at my house along with the baking soda. 

Dèanne & Brent
Dèanne promised to pass along an extra unopened baking powder. A short time later the bell on our front gate announced that her esposo, Brent, had arrived with the promised ingredient. 
That's the joy of living on a small island, in a close knit community, friendly, helpful and caring.

Checking my list of ingredients I realized I was still missing one item – liquid Coconut Cream for the icing. Rats! I started walking to the big grocery store about fifteen minutes south-west our our house, passing neighbourhood friends. “Hola Lynda” (pronounced Leenda) they greeted as I walked past. “Cómo estás?” In the grocery store I met up with Chuck who offered me a ride home. I love this island.
Marcy & Chuck's kitchen - baking the cakes
On to the next step. Sifting, measuring, mixing the ingredients into the batter and it's final ready for the oven – but wait, we don't have an oven. We seldom bake and having a hot appliance in my tropically-warm kitchen just seemed so unnecessary. After a quick walk up the street to Marcy and Chuck's house carrying a big bowl of cake batter, pans, and assorted utensils, I popped the cake pans into their oven. 
An aromatic thirty minutes later and it was time, time to retrieve the pans, and pop in three more – because, of course, we needed two cakes not just one. While I waited for the oven to do its magic we relaxed on the deck, watching the multi-coloured Parrot Fish surf in the waves and the awkwardly graceful Pelicans gliding overhead. Living here is very different than our Canadian lives: wonderfully different.
Sombra waiting in Chuck & Marcy's golf cart
Eventually all the batter was cooked, and Chuck gave me a ride in the golf cart back to our house. It was much easier than walking with two cakes, two bowls, and other assorted oddments. 
I smiled as we drove past Patricio's construction crew, working on a new house on our street. Several of the guys caught the scent of the freshly baked cakes, their noses twitching like our little terrier-cross dog, wondering where and what that great smell was. Sorry guys, not this time. I'll bake you something else – soon.
Later in the afternoon the cakes had cooled I slathered on the icing made of cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and the coconut cream. 

This is a cake that took a neighbourhood to create, and it was shared with the neighbourhood. Friends and family, nieces and nephews, old friends, and new friends – it was the best cake ever!

Linda G's birthday party with kids and grandkids

Que tengan lindo día
Lynda and Lawrie

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6 comments:

Ann said...

Sounds delicious & definitely made with love! I would miss not having an oven--I love to bake ( have worked as a pastry chef & was a Home Ec teacher)

jeanie said...

LOL What a great story. As much as I love cake I would never have gone to all that trouble. I'd like to be your neighbour though. Jeanie

Life's a Beach! said...

Now I want cake for breakfast! Sounds like a wonderful birthday bash for Linda!

TexasEd said...

What a great pastel story!

Diane P said...

After all that, I can't believe you didn't share the recipe! I am SOoo intrigued! Love to bake myself. Also LOVE Isla!!

Lynda Lock said...

Thanks everyone. It's my favorite. Look on the web for Tropical Carrot Cake. Www.epicurious.com