“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." - Rachel Carson

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thunder Cake!!

Ever since Rowan was about 1 year old she has been terribly afraid of thunderstorms, as in, heart racing like a hamster, clinging to you with every ounce of her being, pretty much totally incapacitated. We've tried all kinds of tactics to make storms a little more bearable, but nothing seems to work. This summer she was so worried about the chance of a thunderstorm each day that by August it became a question I felt like I was answering hourly. "Mommy. Is it going to be clear today?" "Mommy. What was that noise? Did you hear that?" So, when my aunt told me about a book called Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco, I checked it out of the library faster than a flash of lightning.

What a wonderful book indeed. It is the story of a girl who is afraid of thunderstorms, and her grandmother distracts her from the coming storm by having her collect ingredients around the farm to bake a "thunder cake." They proceed to bake the cake and enjoy the first bite just as the storm arrives over their house. She realizes that it took a lot of bravery to be outside collecting eggs and milk, etc. as the storm was drawing closer. At the end of the book is a recipe to make your own thunder cake, which we decided we must do the next time a storm came. Chocolate is usually pretty heavy bribery or at least a good distraction for Rowan, so I had high hopes that the idea of making our own thunder cake during a storm might be just the thing. Unfortunately we have not been home at the right time for a thunder cake, and today being a rainy day, I decided it was time to make it, even if we had no thunder. This cake is delicious and even has a secret ingredient: tomatoes!

Here's the recipe, I'd recommend it, as well as this book for anyone with a little one afraid of thunderstorms. The book didn't cure her fear, but it has definitely helped her think about thunderstorms in a more rational way. Baby steps...

Grandma's Thunder Cake

Cream together, one at a time:
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs, separated (blend yolks in, beat whites until stiff and then fold in)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup pureed tomatoes
Sift together:
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup dry cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture. Bake in two greased and floured 8 1/2-inch round pans at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Frost with chocolate buttercream frosting. Top with strawberries.

Here's Rowan, salivating and using all her willpower not to shove her fingers into the frosting as she waits for the okay to eat our thunder cake! We'll take any excuse to eat a cake, and a stormy day stuck inside seems as good as any!

1 comment:

  1. So cute! yummy looking cake. Wish my Mom had bribed me with a thunder cake and maybe I wouldn't hate thunder storms so much! :)