I’ve told the story
Chocolate covered cherry cake
in the past of how, when we were 23, David came into the ice cream parlor where I worked and ordered chocolate and cherry ice cream. Since that time, the poor fellow has been fed some combination of chocolate and cherries for every single birthday, valentine’s day, anniversary, back-to-school-night, groundhog day… Yesterday was no exception. But as I was thinking about it, maybe it’s sort of a metaphor for marriage. (Hold tight, folks, and fasten your seat belts, it’s an extended metaphor!!) You’ve got your basic ingredients. You know you love them, more than any other flavor ever, and part of the reason that you love them so much is because they work so well together. And the ways that they can be combined is endless and as surprising as you make it. Because each individual flavor is distinctive and variable – bitter, sweet, soft, melting, warm, cool – and when they come together to form a whole, it’s their contrasts as much as their similarities that make them so pleasing. I owe David so much, over all the years since we were 23; he’s made me more happy, more human and more sane. He’s taught me so much about art and music. He has such a beautiful and unique way of looking at the world – really looking
– he sees shapes and colors and patterns and beautiful things that I would pass by obliviously. I feel so lucky to have him with me to puzzle through life. And year after year my way to thank him for all this is a combination of flavors that are good on their own, but work wonderfully together.
This cake, for his birthday yesterday, was supposed to call to mind a chocolate covered, rum-soaked cherry. It has layers of rum-cherry-chocolate chip cake interspersed with layers of cherry preserves and rummy chocolate mousse. And the whole thing is topped with bittersweet chocolate ganache. For some reason, although the cake batter was pinkish (because it had cherry jam in it) it took on a greenish tint upon being baked. Possibly because I have aluminum pans? It was a comical surprise that we took in stride, and carried on valiantly eating large pieces of cake.
Here’s a 23-year-old Johnny Cash singing I Walk the Line. I wonder what kind of ice cream he liked?