Hanging out with foodies is a good thing. You get to bask in a camaraderie of cuisine and take pictures of your plate with impunity. And sometimes you get free cake.
On our recent foodie field trip to Eastern Seaboard we met Caryna of Caryna’s Cakes. In the chitchat over our calamari and pig’s cheek, we learned that Caryna is a full-time baker who sells baked goods at various markets and supplies some small cafes and coffee shops as well as special orders. As a matter of fact she had been working at a market that very day and had driven straight to meet up with us all in Drogheda. She still had all her market gear in her car. She also mentioned that she had made a pumpkin apricot cake for the market that day, and that she had a few remaining slices in her car. She said she thought it was the kind of cake that would be even better the next day.
Pumpkin. We love pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is one of the items we accept in exchange for room and board in our apartment. When my aunt and uncle came to visit us they moved the cans of pumpkin into a carry-on to reduce weight on a checked bag, forgetting that canned pumpkin is, by Transportation Safety Authority definition, a gel. When questioned about this can of gel my uncle explained very passionately, Oh, I have to take that to my niece. She has to make pumpkin pie! Oh pumpkin pie, the agent said, well, of course. And the pumpkin boarded the plane. Pumpkin pie trumps terrorism risk. As well it should!
So, throughout our wonderful meal a little part of my mind kept thinking about the pumpkin cake in Caryna’s car. While eating the black pudding ballotine and sweet potato fries I kept thinking about pumpkin cake. As we left that evening I inquired as to whether I could purchase a slice. Dear reader, she gave us all her leftover pumpkin cake! She even sent it home on the pretty china plate, saying we could return it the next time we meet.
So I rode home from Drogheda with that cake on my lap (see photo at right), and that evening we read about that exact cake on Caryna’s blog. I marveled at the power of foodie fate that led that cake from a stranger’s kitchen into my home on that magical day.
Bill and I each took a slice to work on Monday. The cake was terrific. Full of those warm spices with perfect cream cheese frosting. We had no shortage of baked goods, having returned from Brown Hound Bakery with a gift box and a lemon cake. The pumpkin apricot cake was not overwhelmed by those treats at all.
Caryna has a great story about the provenance of the pumpkin apricot cake (plus the recipe) on her blog. She also has a recipe inspired by our visit to the Brown Hound Bakery and more information about her baking business.
Did I mention she delivers cakes on a vespa?