The Random Crap in My Kitchen Bundt
Imagine it’s November 2015, and you are someone who, for the previous four years, has baked an original recipe Bundt cake in observation of National Bundt Cake Day, which is November 15.
Now let’s fill in some imagine-time details. Close your eyes, and picture a calendar showing November 17. Picture your kitchen counter, showing no sign of any remnants of the cake you baked two days before, because you didn’t bake one. Picture a bunch of odds & ends in your refrigerator and cabinets from various other baking you’ve been doing. Picture yourself just done with the whole idea of ever baking anything else ever for all ever time again ever because you are seriously over carbs and sweets and frosting and you’re already dreading all the Christmas baking you’re going to start in a few weeks. Picture your doneness, your sorrow, your angst, your dread. Now close your eyes a little harder, and picture what you know in your heart will make all of that better.
The honoring of tradition.
What you have just imagined is a true story, the story of me on November 17, 2015. Things had done things and life had snowballed and as a result I did not approach National Bundt Cake Day with my usual enthusiasm and anticipation and verve. I didn’t want to do it. And I had difficulty mustering any sincere belief that anyone would even notice if I did it or not.
But what I did want was to have done it. I wanted to keep the streak alive, because I had to believe next year would be different and better, and I wanted to go into next year with my perfect record intact, not as someone starting over from scratch.
I also kind of wanted cake, once I started thinking about it.
And I definitely wanted to clear out some of the random crap that had accumulated from other cooking & baking projects. Thus, the Random Crap in My Kitchen Bundt was born.
On November 17, 2015. As I type this, it is March 30, 2017. Which gives you an idea of what the past year and a half has been like. All that remains of that day in 2015 are the memories of my determination to succeed, a scrap of oil- and sugar-splotched paper with the list of ingredients I used, and a few bits of the write-up I did in my head as I was baking. I did have pictures, but somehow between clearing off the chip in my camera and switching to a new computer, those photos are lost forever. So you’re just going to have to use your imagination. Which you should be nice and warmed up for now. You’re welcome.
THE RANDOM CRAP IN MY KITCHEN BUNDT
7 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and sliced and stored in a bag in your freezer because when you went to get your hair cut your hairdresser said “hey my tree went crazy so do you need persimmons?” and put 7 in a bag and handed it to you before you could answer and you didn’t want to seem rude because she’s been cutting your hair since 1986 and some months is the only thing standing between you and complete follicular anarchy so you got home and had a bag of 7 persimmons with you that you had no idea what to do with so you just processed them and threw them in the freezer to figure out later (allow to thaw before using)
Slightly less than 1/2 a can of sweetened condensed milk leftover from the day you ran out of milk and needed something to put in your coffee until you were motivated enough to get to the store
1/4 cup olive oil
About a 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger from the jar in the fridge that you really need to finish so you can open the new jar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
Slightly less than 1/2 a can of pumpkin puree leftover from the Hallowe’en cupcakes you baked 2 weeks ago
1 cup sugar
A cup of sourdough starter because you haven’t even looked at the sourdough starter for over a month and it’s very sad and lonely and neglected and about to die a horrible grayish smelly death if you don’t feed & exercise it like right now
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Chinese Five Spice
1/2 a bag of pumpkin spice chips from September when you were feeling all happy and autumnal and baked some pumpkin spice chip cookies but when you tasted one of the chips before you put them in the dough you realized only a diabetic masochist would ever use an entire bag of anything that sweet all at once so you cut them with some dark chocolate and put the rest of the bag back in the cabinet
– Preheat oven to 375°F
– In a mediumish mixing bowl, halfheartedly whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and Chinese Five Spice. Set aside.
– In a large mixing bowl, mash the thawed persimmons until they’re kind of pulpy and sort of smooth and you don’t feel like mashing them anymore. Add the eggs to the bowl, glancing casually to make sure you didn’t also add eggshells to the bowl, and beat until blended.
– Realize you are quickly running out of patience for this whole endeavor, and add everything that isn’t in the dry ingredients bowl to the persimmon bowl. Stir until it looks like someone who cares how this turns out stirred it.
– Add dry ingredients to the bowl. Stir. No, actually stir. Can you discern individual ingredients in the bowl? Stir again. Okay.
– Spray the crap of of your Bundt pan with nonstick spray because this is easily the weirdest thing you have ever put in it and you have no idea how much the batter is going to adhere.
– Bake for 30 minutes. Look at cake and notice it is not even close to done. Bake for another 10. And another 10. After about an hour, realize that “cake” is as done as it is ever going to get, because it’s not so much a cake as a pudding. Not like a custardy pudding, like a plum pudding. Which isn’t really anybody’s idea of a pudding and doesn’t actually have plums, but they call it that anyway. And with persimmons, yours has persimmons. You have made a Persimmon Not Pudding.
– Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then very carefully dump it out onto a plate to cool the rest of the way.
– Eat a huge dinner to create an excuse for not wanting dessert. Accept that curiosity has gotten the better of you and serve yourself a slice of the monstrosity you have wrought this day.
– Be downright amazed that this shit actually tastes pretty good.