I’ve just got to say she makes a mean carrot cake.
I expected it to taste good. It certainly looked good. Sitting there in a little white box, cream cheese icing. A hand full of chopped pecans on the top.
I was at the Farmer’s market, two weeks ago. Downtown. Had to park a hundred yards down the street. Every pickup truck in the county was there. And, my friend, that’s a lot of pickup trucks. They parked on the grass, they parked on the sidewalk, they parked crooked and some blocked the nice people who parked where they were supposed to park.
The soccer moms were there. They parked right up next to the dirty pick up trucks. They wanted the organic, whole foods coming directly from the farmer’s gardens. Real food from the farm.
A few folks like me were there. Knowing that field peas and butter beans come in zip-loc bags, out of a cooler, fresher than this morning. And, already shelled and peeled. Ready to cook. Something you cook and mix with cornbread and a porkchop.
I was with my wife. She was hunting late season, home grown tomatoes. I hate tomatoes with a passion. How in the world do you people eat those things! If you want tomatoes, eat catsup.
My mother-in-law tried for forty years to get me to eat a tomato. I didn’t like tomatoes then and I am old enough to know that I don’t like tomatoes today. My wife loves tomato sandwiches.
Back to the carrot cake. She’s a small lady, her hair isn’t blue, just a well-seasoned gray. She’s a widow. She cooks cakes at home, in her kitchen, using her mixer, her pots and her stove. She sells cakes out of the trunk of her car. They look like they come from a bakery. They are perfect. And, that’s just while you’re looking at it, that’s before you taste it.
She had cut one open. Inside the icing was the perfect cake. She knew what she was doing. Like the melon farmer a couple of tents east of her. Samples, doled out on a napkin. You had to eat it with your fingers. She’s a better sales person than a hungry insurance agent.
“Would you like a taste?” she asked.
Was I wearing a T-shirt that said “I LOVE CARROT CAKE” in big bold letters.?
“Just a smidgen.” I said. Knowing all the time I was going to buy the whole cake and hide it away in the pantry at home.
I just wanted to help that little old widow woman a bit, you know, financially speaking, of course.
Standing there, on the asphalt, at the farmer’s market, the hot sun bearing down, not a bit of wind blowing….I fell in love with a little woman who cooked carrot cakes.
Absolutely fell in love.
You can’t get mad a woman holding a fresh carrot cake. She can leave dishes in the sink, let the dirty clothes pile up shoulder high, even demand the toilet lid be down all the time. She makes everything alright with a carrot cake.
Even if you get a little mad, even if you think you ought to get mad at her for some major indiscretion, she evens the playing field with a fresh carrot cake.
The cake cost me $16 and was worth every cotton-picking cent.
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