the farmwives’ kitchen :: thankful

I woke up excited.  It was a beautiful day, with a rather exciting prospect of rain in the afternoon.  The question was, could I make a batch of plum jam, mow the lawn, and bake a three layer chocolate cake before friends arrived?cake 1

The answer, of course, was no.

Today, for once, baking the chocolate cake came to the top of the list.

You only turn 40 once.

The cake was a classic chocolate from Alice Water’s Art of Simple Food.cake 2

With a little help from my daughter and primary baking partner, the cake came together beautifully.  There’s something about pouring boiling water into the batter that really makes it work.cake 3

And then the kids enjoyed the perks of their mother’s fortieth birthday.cake 4

Meanwhile, I whipped up a double batch of honey-sweetened custard filling (a full dozen egg yolks were involved – thank you chickens!) and put it to cool in the fridge.cake 5

After a lovely lunch of fresh roasted corn, grilled sausage patties, and fresh tomatoes, the custard was nearly cool enough, so I assembled the cake.

Each of the three chocolate layers was topped with custard and fresh-picked blackberries.  It was a moist, fresh, chocolately, mess.  I’m pretty sure everyone had seconds.  Well worth the morning’s labors, and a complete pleasure to share with friends and family.cake 6

It is a fine thing, to be alive.cake 7