A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

You Will Need:
1 1/3 Cups Water 
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil 
3 Large Eggs

After school, Randy buys Devil's Food cake mix at the Price Chopper. At home he stares at the oven. He's never baked anything before. And so he moves slowly, carefully following the directions on the back of the box.

1. PREHEAT oven to 350 F for metal or glass pans, 325 F for dark or coated pans. GREASE sides and bottom of each pan with shortening. FLOUR lightly.

Randy's hand covered in butter slides along the bottom of the baking pan. He thinks of Dara, imagines her eyes widening in surprise at the sight of this cake. He sees her smiling, and hears her say: "Randy, it's so beautiful."  

2. BLEND dry mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large bowl at low speed until moistened (about 30 seconds). BEAT at medium speed for 2 minutes. POUR batter in pans and bake immediately. 

When the cake is in the oven, Randy sits cross-legged on the kitchen floor. Through the small window in the oven door, he watches. He can feel the warmth radiating from the oven and thinks of Dara's body.

3. BAKE following chart on box. Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. COOL in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Randy takes out a tub of chocolate frosting and begins to ice the cake. He makes sure to apply the icing evenly on all sides.

It's 5 o'clock and Randy's Mom will be home soon. He doesn't have much time. He removes a fork from the silverware drawer and lifts a forkful of cake to his mouth. 

The cake is warm, the frosting slightly melted and sweet on his tongue. Randy closes his eyes, savoring it. He eats another forkful. Then another. Randy finishes Dara's cake and washes the pan before his Mom gets home. 

When you bake a cake, it's a special treat for the special people in your life. You care enough to take the time to bake a cake, so make it the most delicious cake you can.

Randy sees Dara every day in the halls at school. He hopes that someday he will be brave enough to talk to her.

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