While I am a good short order cook and can make a healthy and tasty meal without a recipe, I don’t bake much. If and when I bake, I use a recipe – to a point. There are those who suspect the reason why my baking isn’t famously delicious is this bias for recipe tampering. It generally amounts to reducing the sugar or oil – putting healthfulness ahead of flavor – or making impromptu substitutions.
Over the holidays, with still a few dozen-honey crisp apples left over from the four bushels I bought this fall, I decided baking an apple cake would be a good idea. I would make a large one, keep most of it for the family and give away a portion.
I followed the recipe perfectly. No reductions or substitutions. Full portions of sugar and spice and oil.
I peeled 15 large apples, then turned to my trusty hand held slicer for the slicing. The slicer is extremely quick – appealing to my short order mentality – and sharp. So I have one rule – always use the hand protector over whatever I’m slicing.
Only this time I did not use the hand protector, reasoning that the apple core would provide protection as long as I rotated each apple carefully.
This went well for 14 apples then, while slicing the last one, I yelped. I must admit that I had simultaneously tried to speed up the slicing while my mind drifted off to another subject.
Two fingertips were bleeding. Throbbing, too. I grabbed the cleanest dishcloth and wrapped my fingers tightly to stem the blood flow. I washed and disinfected my fingertips but found the sting was worse than the throb. I made a bandage. As blood soaked through the cloth, then through the gauze and tape, I managed to layer the first pan with the batter, added the apples, and then another layer of batter. Just like the recipe said.
I put it in the oven, at the prescribed temperature, then had some time to find a solution to stop the bleeding. I wrapped my fingers again with fresh gauze, held them in the air and applied pressure. I also set a timer for 15 minutes. When the buzzer went off, the bleeding had mostly stopped.
As I re-bandaged, I noticed that a slice of skin was missing from the side of one fingertip – about the size of a match head. Also missing was a similarly sized piece of fingernail.
I couldn’t quite risk giving an apple cake gift with finger bits as added ingredients so I set out to make fresh cake.
This time, I didn’t break my cardinal rule of always, without fail, using the hand protector when slicing.
I am proud to say, both cakes turned out exceptionally well.
And, ten days later, my fingers are healing perfectly.
Apple cake lessons that can apply to other slices of one’s life.
My family, relationships, movement, nature, flexibility of mind, exploration of alternative perspectives & openness are central to my life.