Honey Cake & Things You Don’t Want to Fall out of Your Pants

Sep 19, 2012

I’m not a shopper.  I’m the kind of person who runs into a store as though under time clock pressure, grabs the item in question, tries on twelv pairs, likes one, buys it, and leaves.

And yet when it came time to try on jeans, I still found myself pondering…

-When did we all decide it was okay for jeans to cost as much as a monthly car payment?

-Who needs jeans so low-cut they deserve their own gynecologist?

-Why are jeans that looked bad in 1988/1992 back in style?

-That said, I miss my old Levi’s.  No, probably I just miss the me that wore them, eg the me of my youth, oh – and I miss my old car, complete with the burn mark in the backseat from when Mike Hovance dropped a cigarette I told him he shouldn’t have in the first place out the window and it flew back into the car. No, I don’t miss my youth, I miss the jean that I loved so long that they became cut-offs and then, like Cat Stevens sang, vanished away. And then, in the midst of my denim revery, this thought:


On the list of items one hopes not to find in a garment, a cockroach has to be right up there.  I was at a store that prides itself on aesthetics, on urban hipsterdom (so much so that all of the items except jeans were unwearable unless you are a 23 year old quirky, wide-eyed awkward librarian).  I had the quickly nabbed pile of denim, had gone through all but one pair, stuck my leg in only to think “Hmmm…was that a security tag that just went down the leg and onto the floor?” Why, no.  That was a giant, dead cockroach.

And that, kids, is why Mummy doesn’t like shopping.

How about some honey cake instead?


Honey Cake

My Grandma Ruth always said to add coffee to most cakes. Traditionally, honey cake, served at the Jewish New Year in an ode to sweetness, is neither that sweet nor that good. Made better with coffee, yes, and some good olive oil. This recipe tweaks Grandma's, lightening the batter a bit with fewer whole eggs, and with a fuller flavor thanks to some spelt and some applesauce. Many honey cake recipes call for orange juice, but I find that distracts from the honey. This is a great dessert but an even better breakfast.

1 1/2 cup hot coffee

1 1/2 cups honey

3/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup applesauce

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 whole eggs plus 2 additional whites

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup spelt flour

2 tbs baking powder

½ tsp salt

powdered sugar for dusting the top if desired

Oven to 350. Grease a Bundt pan (or two loaf pans). Pour the hot coffee onto the honey and let sit, stirring a few times to loosen the honey. As you continue to stir, add the olive oil and applesauce. Add the sugars and stir well until mixed. If mixture it still hot, wait a bit before you add the eggs (warm is fine, hot will cook the eggs). Add eggs and vanilla and stir. Gradually add flours, powder, and salt. Pour into greased pan. Bake for 60-75 minutes until cooked through. Let cool 30 minutes in pan, then invert on cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Save some for toasting the following morning, alone or slathered with jam or butter.

1 comment

  1. Unprofessional Critic
    September 19, 2012

    “23-year-old quirky wide-eyed librarian” – haha

    Those jeans don’t really work on the 32-year-old office drone/theater critic/burlesque dancer either.

    Which is why I mostly wear skirts.