Spring break went out with a bang. I made a big ol’ pan of lasagna (with fresh pasta, homemade tomato-pesto sauce, homegrown chard, ricotta, and mozzarella) on Saturday night, and Henry’s brother, Trevor, came over to eat with us. On Sunday morning, Trevor as well as my friend Lisa showed up for a bagel party. I made nine raisin bagels and nine more garlic-porcini ones. Also I baked three loaves of Tartine sourdough and put out a ton of condiments. We ate well.
Some of the topics of conversation covered between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon: bombardier beetles (They have “turrets” that spray acid at predators out of their butts!), the slave history of Suriname, cargo cults (Whoa!), Nicki Minaj song lyrics (Ack!), the definition of the word “gank” (I’d never heard it before, which shows I’m really behind the times.), Ras Tafari and Snoop Lion, the ethnic and cultural differences between Ethopians and Eritreans, the fact that Guy Raz is neither old nor bad looking, Trevor’s fancy UV finish-curing equipment that leaves your hardwood floor usable immediately instead of being stinky vulnerable to scratches for a week or more after finishing (Contact info here. He does outstanding work!), Radiolab (I mentioned this podcast short at least five times.), how Masha Gessen is a badass and how Trevor and I really want to read her book about Vladamir Putin, Crimean Rastafarians (apparently they exist), seals in Lake Baikal, anadromous sharks in Lake Nicaragua, sake that comes in a carton, dairy sheep, creepy Greyhound bus stories, and on and on.
I really love my people.
Sunday afternoon in a fit of insanity, I decided that I should bake one more delicious carbohydrate bomb, a carrot cake. It was over the top, but definitely worth it. Here’s the recipe…
Preheat a gas barbecue on medium-high with three or four fire bricks on the grill topped with a Lodge cast iron pizza pan or similar insulating apparatus. Make sure the lid can still close tightly. (There’s a photo of my set up in this post.)
Butter and flour a bundt pan, making sure to grease all surfaces thoroughly to ensure an easy release of the baked cake.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer or egg beater until light and frothy. Gradually whisk in the oil, butter, and then vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until just mixed. Gently fold in the carrot and nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. *Place the bundt pan in the center of the cast iron pizza pan in the barbecue. Close the lid tightly. Check for doneness after 45 minutes. Continue baking for another 5-10 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
*Alternately you could bake the cake in a 350° oven for 50-55 minutes.
Cool the cake for about 30 minutes and then invert it onto a plate or cake stand. Cool it completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese-Honey-Orange Frosting
Cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer or just a wooden spoon. Add honey to taste, and mix well. Stir in the orange zest and juice. Add extra orange juice if you desire a runnier frosting.
Smear the frosting over the cooled bundt cake.