Before marriage, kids, and the life that I have as I know it, I considered myself to be a liberated woman, with definite feminist leanings. In fact, when Husband met me, I was pretty hard-headed about where I thought a woman's place was in the world, and I strongly advocated to him that WOMEN were just as good as men in almost any situation. I even made a point of saying that I didn't need a man to do anything that I couldn't do myself. He mentioned to me after we were married that when we first met, my feminist leanings sort of turned him off (probably scared his quasi-chauvinist self) and is to this day, somehow unclear as to how he ended up giving me his undying love. (Probably the food, I'm guessing, but I'm not sure.)
However, I don't have much time these days to think about my own personal understanding and acceptance with feminism in any sort of thoughtful way; I do however, think more about gender equality how it affects Daughters and Son. I spend a great deal of time trying to treat both genders equally, giving them equal opportunities in whatever they want to pursue, and really show them some measure of equality between the sexes. I kill the spiders, I change the light bulbs, I climb up high to get things, I plunge the toilet. I figure out what is wrong with the car and as much as possible, do not defer jobs to husband as saying, "That's a man's job." I do say, "Ask daddy to do it because Mommy is tired" but never do I say, "That is what a man needs to do." On the flip side, I try and make it clear to Son that he needs to do things around the house like pick up his toys (he's very good at this), put his dishes in the sink, take care of the laundry, and really actively participate in the day to day running of the house. (By the way, this slightly disturbs Husband.)
However, it was Daughter #1's conversation with me while brushing my teeth that really gave me pause. She asked (with her toothbrush in her mouth), "Mommy - I know you had me and sister in your tummy. You carried us because you are a girl. But does that mean Daddy carried brother? Since they are both boys?"
"No. Only women carry babies. Men don't carry them."
"Well, if they don't carry them, then what do we need them for?" she questioned.
I was not ready to give the sex education answer, but rather just went with, "I always need Daddy. Even if he doesn't carry the baby."
And it is true....at the end of the day, I will always need Husband, not because he does things better than I do (although he does) or because he thinks he is smarter than I am (he does), or because he doesn't carry the baby (I do), but I need him because he's my half that I am missing when he is not around. Not that I can't do any of the things that he does (Truthfully there are many things that I cannot do), but more because doing it with him, or watching him do it, or coercing him to do it is all the more sweeter when we are together.
Ah yes, I will always need him.
This cake is a marriage of delicious flavors and a really simple glaze on top. Each on its own is very good and delicious, flexible, but together...they are a power couple. Don't skip the glaze as the cake will be sad without and don't be scared of the ginger - it really sits in the background but you sense its presence. I made this cake on one night and it was gone. Just like that.
Lemon Blueberry Ginger Bundt Cakethe pan I have
Adapted from Tish Boyle’s The Cake Book
Makes 10-inch bundt cake, serving 12 to 14
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 ½ cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked over
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (use the lemons leftover from zesting)
⅔ cup granulated sugar
Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan.
Whisk together flour, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in grated ginger, lemon zest and vanilla extract. At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream. (Add a bit of flour, a bit of sour cream, a bit of flour, a bit of sour cream, a bit of flour.)
Scoop half of batter into pan and spread with spatula. Sprinkle with blueberries evenly over. Scoop remaining half of batter on top of blueberries. Smooth with spatula.
Bake care for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack. Place the cake, on the rack, over a baking sheet.
While cake is baking, make syrup. Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small non reactive saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Using a pastry brush, dab syrup generously all over surface of the warm cake, allowing it to soak into the cake before reapplying. Let the cake cool completely.
Still LOVE LOVE LOVE this book