Friday, June 24, 2016

Doctors Full of Snit - Old-Fashioned Pound Cake

Sitting here resting my bones ...

Actually, I'm drifting through some light morning chores trying to absorb the news. Brexit and the unsuccessful Democratic sit-in are at the top of the list. The pain we are all still feeling in Orlando. The father who would not claim his son's body because he disapproved of his homosexuality. The recent Supreme Court decisions. Bernie Sanders. The stock market, reeling from Brexit. The very real problem of accelerated climate change; floods, fires, fiercely wild animals moving into residential areas. Falluja. Gun control or its lack thereof. The Magic trading my favorite Victor Oladipo for Oklahoma City's Sir Chewbacca. Those North Korean missiles. I'm all over the place.

(Just in case you were wondering, Otis Redding is not singing in my head; instead, my 2-day earworm is the Aerosmith-Run DMC version of "Walk This Way" which is really a nasty little song with dirty lyrics that must now make Joseph Simmons blush. They make me blush - I seriously need a new earworm.)

Today is the Yahrzeit, the anniversary of my father's passing. It was another Friday, 33 years ago, that he lost his 16-month battle with cancer. I have missed him every day since then, but I have good memories and in the end, that's the most one can wish for.

My unpleasant doctor experiences continue, involving my primary care physician and my psychiatrist. I have been scolded (more like verbally abused) for going to a specialist (the rheumatologist!), accused of pursuing disability because I "don't want to go to work anymore", scolded for recounting my fibromyalgia symptoms after she asked me how I was feeling, because I "have it so much better than people who have cancer", told that "there is nothing else I can do to help you" and just now received a phone call from my PCP's office manager relaying a message from the doctor (in response to my request for two non-narcotic prescription renewals for medication he has been prescribing me for at least 5 years) that was so inappropriate that she was embarrassed to read it to me. This is the same doctor who finally admitted I was permanently disabled from the practice of law, and offered to write something to that effect but never did so. Which all just goes to show that doctors are distressingly human and as supremely capable as the rest of us to act like petty little shits. Thank goodness my therapist still gets it.

Considering that my cooking days have been dramatically reduced, I am pleased to be able to share a recipe with you. It is for an old-fashioned pound cake and the results amazed me. I baked it with my paralegal friend Brenda in mind as a pound cake-craving recipient, and that also gave me an excuse to head to the office, which is still an uncomfortable experience for me, to visit with my friends and also finally deliver the bracelet I'd made for my supervisor Raquel. A heartfelt thank you for all of her help, her support, and her kindness.

The pound cake recipe is from James Villas' book From My Mother's Southern Kitchen, but the recipe is hardly an original, nor would I want it to be. A pound each of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs - now that's a pound cake! It is an easy recipe, but not simple to make. I used a hand held electric mixer, but next time I'm going to ask one of my boys to lift out the stand mixer for me to use. Take your time beating in the ingredients and you will be well-rewarded.

Old-Fashioned Pound Cake

1 pound (4 sticks) butter, softened at room temperature
1 pound (2 cups) sugar
9 large eggs
1 pound (4 cups) all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer, then gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat until well creamed and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the flour and salt, beating constantly.  Add the vanilla and lemon juice and continue beating until well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and from a rather short distance, drop on the counter once or twice to distribute the batter evenly.Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool on a rack. If you can bear to wait, wrap the cooled cake in plastic and let it sit on the counter overnight.

Still knitting ...

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