Tag Archive: liquor


For enduring my ramblings, I will bestow unto you two baking projects bound by a shared frosting.  So you get two and a half recipes for the price of one!  You can’t afford NOT to read this!

I love Christmas.  It is essential to note, however, that I use “Christmas” as a lump term meaning “celebration on or near the winter solstice involving lights, singing, feasts, and acts of generosity and kindness.”  It is a socially expedient shorthand, though I understand if other non-Christians choose to call their particular celebrations by other, more precise names.

What is hard for me to understand is people who hate the holidays in their entirety: the Grinches, Scrooges, and Burgermeister Meisterburgers of the world.  A lot of people are disappointed as they grow up and find that a cold, aphotic December can come and go without Christmas magically sweeping them up in merriment and joy.  In this regard, I come from a place of privilege.  My parents also love Christmas immensely, and by way of teaching my brother and I to love Christmas, they also showed us how to MAKE Christmas, because the making is the most important part.  It’s the point.

The universe is much like a northern winter.  It is overwhelmingly vast, dark, hard, and uncaring.  Life is an act of audacity.  Abstractions like hope, joy, and love are even more so.  They do not exist on their own.  They exist because we make them.  The most perfect encapsulation I’ve found of this idea is in Terry Pratchett’s “The Hogfather”, in a conversation between Death and his grand-daughter, Susan.

Saturnalia/Yule/Christmas/etc. are about magic: the amazing act of making light in the longest night.  The joy of Christmas is not a thing that happens to us.  It is a thing we bring into being, an attempt to be the best of all of our ideals, in spite of everything.

Be the spark in the darkness.

Anyway, for less abstract values of “making”, this post I bring you a cake, some cookies, and a wonderful frosting for both that also stands on its own as an insanely buttery fudge.

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The Cake of Despair

Necessary parts of any survival gear kit.

Necessary parts of any survival gear kit.

Some days, you have to pick up your cat and drop a few hundred bucks at the vet, because your cat has a bladder infection and will now need to be on prescription food for the rest of her life.

The vet appointment runs long, so you miss your last class of the night, which only meets once a week.

You get home, and get a call from your mother saying that your grandfather has stopped breathing, is in the hospital, and probably won’t make it through the night, but you shouldn’t bother to drive up, because the hospital staff wouldn’t let you in anyway.

And you’re due for a full blown Communist invasion at any minute.  (“Red Menace”, get it?  Ha.)

original source unknown

“It’s like there’s a crime scene in my pants.”

At times like this, you make Despair Cake.

INGREDIENTS:
1 box Devil’s Food or Dark Chocolate cake mix
whatever the recipe on the back of the box says
Optional
– substitute 1 snack-size chocolate pudding for one of the eggs
– your choice of liquor (ex. Kahlua, schnapps or cordials)

  • do what the back of the box says.  Seriously, just follow the freaking directions, in the order given.
  • after cake is out of the pan but still hot, brush it with liquor and let sit.
  • don’t you DARE frost it.
  • go to the living room and put whatever you damn well feel like watching on the TV
Or say "f* it" and just pour on the juice.

Or say “f* it” and just pour on the juice.

One it’s cooled enough to hold in your bare hand, get a paper towel, or a plate, if you’re feeling fancy.  Haul the cake out to the living room in as large a piece as you can carry.  I usually do two 8″ rounds, and carry out one of those.  Eat it straight to your face like a piece of pizza.

If you absolutely MUST have frosting, you can carry one of those little tubs of it out as well and eat it directly with a spoon in between bites of chocolatey consolation.  Emotions and cramps are for all those poor sad bastards who don’t have cake.