>I decided enough wallowing and wailing and weeping.
After all, it is the Epiphany. Thousands of years ago, wise men in long dresses schlepped through the desert using a star and found their way to the manger where a baby named Jesus lay with his surprised mom and dad.
And so we took this day as an auspicious one, and the name Epiphany morphed over time to mean a great awakening, a happening that changes us. And it happens once a year. So I decided rather than leaving my blog and tossing it away, I would attempt rebirthing myself with a sense of wonder.
I have been working furiously for the past two days, not making money, but taking chances and doing multiple reach-outs. Some things will stick and now I feel as if I am out of the closet on stealing jewels and making amends, and am moving toward being valuable. I feel, after so many folks read the posting and took time to write to me, I feel they are right that we all have things we have done where are deeply ashamed and yet we attempt to incorporate it into the fabric of who we are and move forward.
So today I made the Epiphany cake, the same one my mother made for the nearly fifty years that I knew her and probably before that. In some cultures it is called a KING’S CAKE and my mom, an Italian who spent the first seven years of her married life in France, borrowed liberally from those two cultures to make a family tradition.
The cake looks like a crown; it is not a layer cake. It can be adorned with candied fruit to make the top of the crown more enticing. And here is a must: there has to be a prize or a coin hidden inside the cake. In New Orleans, it is a plastic baby, in our family it was a special coin. Whoever gets the prize will have especially good financial luck all year. My mother used to attempt to get my father to eat slice after slice so the family wouldn’t sink. My kids have a technique that they believe gives them an edge to finding the coin.
The cake our family makes is handed down from a good friend from the old Washington Heights neighborhood, Otta Maligold, and it is an old-fashioned Jewish sour cream coffee cake. My mother — the erstwhile anthropologist — loved the juxtaposition of a Christian holiday marked by Jewish pastry.
Here is the recipe; it is simple and delicious.
A la Elizabeth Piccirilli and Otta Maligold
Pre heat oven to 350
¾ cup butter
1 ½ cup sugar (Reserve a small amount to dust the top of the cake and inside layer. Add cinnamon to this reserved sugar)
1 ½ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ teaspoons of both Baking Soda and Baking Powder
½ teaspoon salt
Cream butter and sugar WELL
Add Eggs and sour cream
Then add vanilla, salt, baking powder and soda then add flour little by little
Put one half of the batter in a ring pan, the more it resembles a crown the better.
Then sprinkle in half of the cinnamon sugar you saved.
Next layer the remaining batter. Do not STIR.
Cook for 40 to 60 minutes until a knife comes out clean.
Turn out onto a cake plate
Let cool, decorate with the remaining cinnamon sugar or candied fruit to make the crown
Keep eating until you get the PRIZE.
Now go out and make lots of money and share it with all those you love and those in need.
Be happy, be joyful, be generous and know that life is glorious.
And that is your Epiphany.