Monday, April 16, 2012

Lemon Loaf Cake for Tuesdays with Dorie


I am not one to stir the spiritual pot with (almost) anyone except my husband. Him and I agree on the level, conversations of this sort are challenging and exploitative, healthy and enlightening. I was raised Baptist by my Grandma, I was educated and exposed extremely liberal at Fairhaven College, I married a Texan with a very religious background. All pieces of a greater puzzle. My Sundays are spent in the woods riding bikes or connecting with nature in some fashion, needless to say I am usually trying to having a good time.


I take it all in, every ounce, every drip of knowledge. I have my believes, they make me want to be a better woman,  I have goals, I have believes, I have no ties.

I believe that a little sweat and hard work puts everything into perspective. This I do believe to be true.


As I said, miscarrying challenged my believes. I stood at a crossroads, questioning what I thought to be the truth, I was and continue to be flexible to my feelings and open to myself and the direction I needed to go, were we need to travel together as a couple. Miscarrying questioned my spirituality more than anything I have experienced to date.  I cursed everything, wanting a baby, even just the bump signifying a little one in our presence. Not this time.


All this being said, I know one thing, this was a little baby, created by two loving people hoping to spread more love and joy in the world. People try and console me(us) by reminding me that it was only ten weeks along. Ten weeks is enough to process this life changing event, adjust the forecast and plan for something far greater than us, the parents. It was enough time to consider myself a mother, him a father, to tell friends and to get family in on the excitement. We were parents for a blink of the eye.


Losing this baby changed me. Changed me for the better, helped me grow but in the end I am not the woman I was five months ago or a year ago. I am softer, more loving, sensitive with a big heart. It hurts, it will always hurt, but there is a piece of my soul that will shine, knowing that someday, somehow I will meet our first child.


In many ways, this is the story about hope, the bolstering effect of positive thinking, and the small measures we take in good faith and the means in which we find to cope.

I am reminded that we all acquire our handicaps. Everyone has their reasons they believe what they do. Circumstances lead us here, where we are, where we need to be.


I challenge you to accept your circumstances. To understand your handicaps and know what they are, move with them without letting them hold you back. Bring your history with you in your back pocket, not a weight on your shoulder. I am different, yes, physically, mentally spiritually but in the end it is just the handicap that I play in life. No big deal, I just play right on through, baggage in tote.

With all this being said, I bring you lemon loaf cake. A slight comfort food. A pound cake of sorts, a beast all of its own. I love the bite of lemon, the soft chew of a pound cake. I love the recipe for a very simple reason, I mixed it with a whisk from start to finish, no harsh mixer, no loud noises.  A task I can do while my husband sleeps in the room next to the kitchen. A recipe I can make when someday our child sleeps soundly as I make us a casual treat. A whisk.

I made this for the the lovley group Tuesdays with Dorie. Please visit the other host for the week, Truc of Treats.


LEMON LOAF CAKE

From Baking with Julia

This recipe begs for poppyseeeds or maybe even a few pinches of cardamom. Don't over think it because like most things in life, simple is okay.


Serves 12-15

4 large eggs at room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
Zest of 3 large lemons
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 cup heavy cream at room temperature
5 1/2 T unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature

Preheat the oven with a rack in the center to 350 degrees. Butter and flour or line with parchment a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.

Working in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and salt for just a bit until foamy and smoothly blended; the mixture should not thicken. Whisk in the lemon zest.

Spoon the flour and baking powder into into a sifter and incorporate about a third of the dry ingredients over the foamy egg mixture. Whisk the flour into the eggs, mixing lightly. Sift the flour into the eggs in two more additions and mix only until everything is Incorporated. Whisk the heavy cream into the mixture. Switch to your favorite rubber spatula and quickly fold in the melted butter.

Pour and scrape the the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50  - 60 minutes or until until the center of the cake crowns and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Place the cake on a cooling rack and rest for 10 minutes before unmolding. Cool to room temperature and slice.

Once cooled the cake can be stored wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to  days or stored in the freezer for up to a month.

48 comments:

  1. Beautifully simple. Nice photos!

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  2. What a great picture gallery. Thanks for hosting!

    Ulrike @ K├╝chenlatein

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  3. What a beautiful post. Please know I'm sorry. If near I would give you a big hug and not let go for a moment. Life throws us challenges. We have had our daughter and three children move in with us while her husbands give up some addictions. It has been a rough road.
    My new saying is 'don't think you have done the hardest you can do'.
    Sometimes not real comforting but I know for a fact that we are stronger than we think we are. I believe in a loving Heavenly Father that loves me and knows me personally. Please know that I write this with love.
    The Lemon Cake was comfort food for sure--I also enjoyed just using my whisk to create this lovely treat.
    Thanks for hosting.

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    1. 'don't think you have done the hardest you can do'.

      Very powerful Cindy. Every day I look back on how far I have come and I seem to gain perspective. I find strength knowing that I will grow exponentially from this day forward.

      Bless you for helping your daughter. We all need people to count on in trying times.

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  4. Lovely post. Even though I didn't love this recipe, your blog made me want to make it again somehow. :)

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    1. There are defendant better lemon loaf recipes that I swear by but I like that this one is truly easy to make.

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  5. Thank you for the challenge Michelle... I accept! Just now you helped me pause and try to make peace with my mess.

    I am thankful to have read your post today:).

    Beth

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  6. Very touching post! Delicious looking Lemon Loaf too!

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  7. I agree - we should go forward and accept our limitations without letting them hold us back. A beautiful cake - thanks for hosting.

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  8. What a thoughtful post. It's true, we all carry our limitations and weaknesses with us. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  9. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss...

    Your cake looks perfect; thank you for hosting this week :)

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  10. So sorry to hear of your loss. I understand; I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks, and I know the heartache.

    Your loaf cake looks lovely! Thank you for being a gracious host!

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    1. It is amazing how many couples go through miscarriage. I had no idea how real it is. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Great photos, Michelle. And I love that this batter can be mixed up with just a whisk.

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  12. An absolutely heart felt story and I am sorry to hear of your loss.

    The pictures are lovely and your cakes looks divine.

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  13. This recipe look great! I would love it if you linked up this post to my blog hop for a chance to win a cookbook prize package: http://ow.ly/aj76a

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  14. You cake is perfect and your words of wisdom are so honest, sincere and very much appreciated.

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  15. I am so very sorry to read about your loss, but hope just sings in your post. Baking has brought me so much comfort while coping with loss and I am sure it is helping you. Your lemon loaf looks wonderful. Thank you so much for hosting this week.

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  16. Lovely cake, great photography. Hang in there!

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  17. It looks good!!
    SO sorry about your loss...I am praying for you.

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    1. I just read your post on FOOD52 about the chocolate espresso cookies, I really enjoyed it and saved the recipe. Thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Sorry to hear of your loss. Thanks for hosting.

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  19. I am so sorry for your loss, and so appreciate your honesty and thoughtfulness in writing about it. I just had a miscarriage, and feel lucky that I clicked on the link to your blog this morning.

    It's so hard to focus on other things, but I did love this cake. Cooking can be so comforting.

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    1. If you ever need someone to chat with please don't hesitate to get a hold of me. It is good to talk about it. I am a broken record but it is so helpful to be able to spill my thoughts out.

      From the bottom of my heart, take care.

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  20. Good idea using the parchment. Might have kept mine from overly browning. So sorry about your miscarriage. Blessings

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    1. I love parchment, I never ever have to worry about the loaf sticking to the bottom of the pan.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. So sorry for your loss. I agree that baking does help bring comfort. It's helped me through many a tough time.

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  22. Thank you for your honesty, I am truly sorry for your loss. Baking can provide all sorts of comforts.
    My best to you.

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  23. I'm sorry for your loss. You're right, sometimes simple is best. I too love that this was made with just a whisk. There's something meditative about working with just your hands. It's one of the reasons I love to bake yeast breads.

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  24. What a lovely sweet post, I'm so sorry for your loss,and I so admire your courage and sharing this experience with us. Thank you. Pretty pictures and beautiful lemon loaf.

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  25. Thank you so much for hosting this week- I was touched by your story and awed by the honest words you have used...I am very sorry for your loss. And I did love your photos, especially the bright colors - your Lemon Loaf Cake looks delicious. Take good care of yourself...

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  26. I am so sorry for your loss. Your writing today was beautiful. I felt like I was on a journey with you. Thank you so much for hosting.

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  27. There is definitely comfort in the rhythm of baking, especially by hand. Your loaf is lovely; thanks for hosting this week.

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  28. Lovely words about something so difficult. I find baking very meditative and the process of making food and feeding folks is very healing. Take care.

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  29. What a thoughtful and honest post. I enjoyed the beautiful process photos accompanying your words. They show how much care you bring to your baking project. Thank you for hosting this week.

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  30. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Beautiful photos and thank you for hosting!!

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  31. I am sorry to hear about your loss - and a loss is a loss, no matter what. It is yours to greive and work through and no one should try to judge or qualify that.

    Thank you for hosting this week & for the thought provoking words.

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  32. I'm sorry for your loss. I know I find comfort in the kitchen when I am down. Thank you for hosting.

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  33. Your emotions and honesty moved me and so sorry for your loss. The photos captured the moment.

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  34. your process photos are very nice! thanks for hosting this week

    I also love your rainbow wizard of oz cake below! :)

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  35. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing!

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  36. Thank you for sharing - it's a lovely post - and a beautiful loaf. You should be proud - it's stunning. Thanks also for hosting - I know it's quite a feat in itself - and I'm glad baking is a part of "therapy"... it sure is for me!

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  37. Praying for you. For me, it gets better with time-and I now have a beautiful little girl named Larkin who is turning one this week, and one on the way, but I never forget the baby I lost. Keep doing the things that you love, and be gentle with yourself.

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  38. sounds like you have good outlook and perspective on life. how lucky and loved your first child will be! oh, and your loaf is lovely...it's nice when something so simply-made turns out so well. thanks for hosting!

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