One of my dear friends has been known to stop by unannounced with a bottle or 3 of wine or a plant for the yard or something she just baked. I love unannounced stop bys...they are little bursts of unexpected delight in the day, like finding a bottle of wine hiding in the back of your fridge. As I generally know the exact location of every bottle of wine in my house and how much is left in each bottle (“unopened” or “empty’), this occurrence is rare indeed….but it has happened. I do a dance to commemorate the occasion and promptly open it to celebrate its existence...and then to mourn its passing. The life of a bottle of wine in my presence is short one, but a life well-lived. Anyway, my friend. Of course I adore her. But sometimes I don’t understand her.
The other day she told me that she wanted to make “cake topper buntings.” What?! I don’t even know. I mean, I know what those words mean individually but put in that sequence…Is she planning an old-timey 4th of July party? Is it a country parade? Do I need to brush up on my Shipoopi? Or is this some kind of political cake rally? Will I be expected to chant “NO FAKE, MORE CAKE!” while walking in a circle outside the local Sara Lee outlet (hoping that I land on the right number when the music stops because that cheesecake at #6 looks awfully good)? Has the time come to take a stand on cake?
It turns out, no. She just wanted to put some flags on a cake. I don’t know why, Flag Day is over and there are more pressing concerns than cake for Flag Day. Like the fact that it doesn’t even have a signature drink. That is something to get behind. Flags on a cake, though….you’ll just have to take them off in order to eat the cake, so what’s the point? Cake should just be naked most of the time, like cheesecake. But she was on to a more controversial topic: raisins in baked goods.
Apparently, many lines in the sand have been drawn over raisins in baked goods. I generally do not care for raisins in my baked goods and that is not a euphemism for anything except raisins, in my baked goods. Now that I think about it, I do not care for raisins in general. I think it's because I look at raisins and think "What a waste." I stare those raisins down and I say, "You could have been a grape. And you know what grapes do? Make wine.” And the raisins look at me sadly from their little red and yellow boxes and I tell them, I tell those raisins, “But you didn't take care of yourself. And now you're a raisin. Destined to lie forgotten in car seats and under rugs; scrunched down in couch cushions and smooshed underfoot. You are the toddler's go-to snack and the health nut’s pretend friend. You are damned lucky those oatmeal cookies let you into their lives.” And the Raisin Lady nods knowingly from underneath her sunbonnet and I shake my head and wonder if my friend made a cheesecake and if so, where it is.