Saturday, August 4, 2012

Baking Birthday

27 years ago it was a very hot summer. I remember this because 27 years ago I was pregnant. Very pregnant. You could say I was great with child, but that would be an understatement. Enormous with hippopotomus might better convey the immensity of this pregnancy.

Because the summer was so very warm and humid and because I was shaped approximately like a garden shed, I bought a bathing suit. I wasn't willing to go to a trendy maternity boutique and buy something to show off a pregnant woman's curves because, a) I had zero monies and b) I didn't want to ever go through this again so I saw no point in "investing" in a cute suit. So I went to the thrift store.

Thrift stores are awesome. For a bargain price, you can find just about anything. I say just about, because a stylish maternity swimsuit is one of the few things you cannot find at a thrift store. What I found, and bought, was atrocious. It was big. It was black. If a bathing suit and a burkha mated, this is what their child would look like. But I wore it because it covered my grotesquely swollen belly and allowed a breeze to caress my legs. Not in public, though. There are laws about that kind of thing!

What I did next was cruel. I'll just be up front and admit that. I took my almost 2 year old son with me to the corner drugstore and bought an inflatable pool. Not a large, deluxe kind of pool with a slide or the kind you can actually swim in. Sadly, that was not to be because, a) no monies (see above) and b) I had to carry it home along with the 2 year old in hand and the hippo in the oven. I got a little two-ring job that was barely bigger than my circumference.

Once home, I inflated the pool, stopping frequently to gasp for air and grab for the stitch in my side (I say "grab for" because it was tough to locate what had formerly been my side. ) When it was as taut as it was going to get with my limited lung capacity, I put the hose in it to fill it up. My son, eyes shining with excitement had his swimmy shorts on, ready for the treat of a backyard pool.

Oh, poor boy! His hopes were dashed when I sat in the pool. Between me and my gestating watermelon, there was no room for him! Well, we took turns. But my turns were longer. And when I forced him to take a nap, I'd spend the time in the pool, like a majestically anchored sailing vessel. Or a beached whale.

Thank heavens for that pool! It allowed me to get through that pregnancy. And if I hadn't endured, I wouldn't have the beautiful daughter that I have now, and she wouldn't have the amazing daughter that she has!

My granddaughter just turned two. Time certainly flies. We celebrated with presents, balloons, and cake. I'll share with you the recipe for the delicious grain-free cake that my daughter made. You can share it with your favorite pregnant lady. And remind her that the time is short, she'll get through, and if all else fails, there's inflatable pools.

Happy birthday to my sweeties!

Raspberry Grain-Free Birthday Cake
 - adapted from Cooking With Coconut Flour by Bruce Fife, ND
 makes a 8 or 9-inch 2-layer cake

1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut milk
12 eggs
1/3 cup coconut sugar
3 tsp liquid stevia
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sifted coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
Frosting - recipe below

1- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Grease 2 8 or 9-inch round pans.

2- In a large bowl, blend together the butter, coconut milk, eggs, coconut sugar, liquid stevia, salt, and vanilla.

3- In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour with the baking powder. Whisk this mixture into the batter until there are no lumps.

4- Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

5- Cool cakes in pans on cooling racks. When cooled, remove from the pans. Fill and frost.

Raspberry Frosting

1 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 Tbsp coconut nectar
1 pint ripe raspberries

1- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butters and blend well.

2- Add the coconut nectar and beat till smooth.

3- Add the berries, reserving a few to garnish the cake. Beat till well blended.