Mother’s Day Rum Cake

rum cake bundt pan
Rum cake for Mama!

I made a rum cake for Mother’s Day. I have made this recipe before, the first time for Christmas two years ago. It immediately became a family favorite.

rum cake bundt pan
This cake has an almond meal crust. I usually do pecan. Both are delicious.

The recipe, Carribean Rum Cake from King Arthur Flour, is a bit intimidating to people like me, who don’t often bake cakes from scratch. Not intimidating because it’s hard, it’s actually very easy, but because of the amounts of the ingredients. A stick of butter. A cup of sugar. Add another of each of those for the soaking syrup. Four eggs in the cake batter. A cup of rum overall. You just have to go for it and remind yourself that this is for a special occasion.

Heritage Bundt pan by Nordicware
Heritage Bundt pan by Nordicware

This was the first recipe I tried when I bought this Bundt pan (also from King Arthur Flour). I had never owned a Bundt pan before, and I loved this style. The brand is Nordicware, made in Minnesota!, and they have many beautiful styles of Bundts.

rum cake
The cake rises quite high while baking, but will sink down below the edge on the pan as it cools.

Part of what makes this cake so deliciously moist is the soaking syrup. Butter, sugar, rum and water are heated and poured on top of the cake after it comes out of the oven. The cake sits overnight as the syrup soaks in. This is a heavy cake.

rum cake bundt pan
The cake really will soak up all this syrup.

For all you moms out there, this slice is for you! I hope you had a great Mother’s Day.

Yum!
Yum!

L is for Lonely in a Crowded Playdate

bars of playground equipment
Feeling trapped, but doing it for my kids

I had the strange experience of joining a mom’s group when my first child was a baby. Eager to meet new moms in the area and looking for people to talk to about car seats and sippy cups, I went to a few meetings and playdates.

Within the larger group, there were smaller playgroups that broke off and met more regularly, and I kind of fell into one of those along with several other women who had recently joined. We met at parks and eventually each other’s homes, coming together about once a week to discuss our picky eaters, fussy sleepers, our non-napping, potty-training, preschool-going kids, followed later by our morning sickness, aches and pains, due dates, doctor’s appointments, labor stories, and battles with sibling rivalry.

As this time passed, I realized that these friendships that had seemed so quickly and tightly bonded by all that we had in common, were not progressing. They seemed stalled in the waiting room of mere acquaintances, failing to evolve into something more. This made me feel lonely when we got together. I wondered, “When will we start talking about something besides our kids? When will we start caring about each other’s lives, or even each other’s birthdays? When will we start remembering that we’ve told these same stories before, and then, like friends do, say, ‘Oh, I remember you saying that,’ and then hear the update to that previously listened-to story?”

It seemed to be the same thing over and over, and it made me lonely and bored. It was like meeting each other for the first time, week after week, at a crowded, noisy playdate; all of us talking and none of us listening.

I’ve realized many things since then. Most importantly, and obviously, that just because you happen to procreate around the same time as another person doesn’t mean you are destined to be friends. That first-time moms getting together and sharing the details of common first-time-mom experiences might feel like friendship, but is not quite the same thing as two people who have the same interests in movies, hobbies, shows, food, books, approaches and values in life choosing to spend time together on a regular basis.

I suppose my expectations were too high. It’s embarrassingly obvious now, but at the time I couldn’t figure it out. I wanted them to be my friends, but they became my “mom friends.”

I’m extremely lucky to have a few people in my life who have been my friends since the days before we became parents. Real friends, who will always have something to talk about besides our kids, who will wish me a happy birthday, and who will remember past conversations and pick up the story where we last left off.

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.