The Real You

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It was, in fact, pretty dang good. I’m tempted to say, “fabulous” but I’m not all that comfortable saying “fabulous.” It’s not a bad word, and I like hearing people use it, but when I say it I feel a bit silly, as if I am somehow being someone I am not. We’re all different that way. How, given where and how and with whom we grew up, we speak. Add personality and verbal skills and sensibility all that, and you’ve got your voice, and when you use words that aren’t your kind of words, well, it just doesn’t work so well. After a while you’ll get tired, and then you’ll wear down and forget what you’re about. And you don’t want to do that.  Aren’t many people in the world who can remind you of who you are.

Family can. That’s one reason I love a good holiday weekend. There’s always the sweet hope I’ll spend time with family, and it’s working out this time around … even though it is likely we’ll spend a good time playing board games while it rains instead of hiking and swimming and basking in the sun on the dock. Doesn’t matter much what we do. When you’re with people who know who you are and have your back and love you despite all your quirks and idiosyncrasies and all the things that make YOU, you have the pure pleasure of being who you are. The authentic, real you, who interrupts regularly or who says “crapshoot” a bit too often or who tends to go on and on when telling a story, or who would rather remain off in a corner with a book, without a whole lot to say. The you who talks in your sleep, or snores in the night. The you who can’t stand having bare feet, or doesn’t want your food to touch, or is overly attentive about cleaning. The you who says, “Really.” Over and over and over again, while eating only the rye chips in the Chex mix.

What would we do without them? Who would we be? Where might we feel at home? Your witnesses, your confidantes, your guides, and the great keepers and sharers of memories. They understand the language of you. And likely they speak it, too. Blessed thing. Enjoy.

Before you head out for the weekend, take a short while to throw this cake together and bring it along. Good and simple, and something to share. All the qualities of a fine dessert. Though this one works just fine for breakfast, I must say.

Rhubarb Pudding Cake

2 cups chopped rhubarb
1¾ cup sugar, divided
3 T butter, softened
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 cup sifted flour
1 T cornstarch
⅔ cup boiling water

Cover the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch square pan or a deep glass pie plate with fruit.

Mix ¾ cup sugar, butter, baking powder, salt, extracts, milk and flour together (add a bit more milk if it is too thick to pour); pour over fruit. Mix remaining sugar and cornstarch; sprinkle over mixture in pan. Pour boiling water over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

The sugar topping creates a glaze on the top of the cake, something like a creme brulee, as well as making the pudding at the bottom. You can serve warm in a bowl with ice cream, or let it cool a bit, slice and invert on your plate.



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