Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Honey-Dripping Christmas Cake and the Hungry Crow in the Snow

Then there was the Christmas a friend sent me plum cake lovingly prepared from King George III's favorite recipe. Yes, we're talking about Crazy George here. So I was doubtful, because you have to wonder what a king who's barking mad likes to put in his food. But it turned out he was sane about cake.

I made a buttery, whiskey-drenched hard sauce and enjoyed a dense slice of the cake. It practically exploded with fat, honey-dripping fruit. The last forkful was in my mouth when I happened to look out the window.

It was that moment of a winter twilight when the snow, late hour and dark sky combine to produce an unearthly, plum-blue shimmer. A lone crow was standing on our icy, bare-bones December lawn. It isn't in a crow to be pitiful, but this crow looked as though, under his brave show of black feathers, his ribs were clapping empty.

On impulse I smeared a big slice of the cake with hard sauce, ran out to the back yard to leave it, and ran back in. When I looked out the window, the crow was swaggering over to the cake, but not fast. A crow is always cool. He takes care of business one step at a time. Right now it was whiskey-scented manna from heaven. Well, he seemed to think, why not?

It was now very dark, and my last view was of the crow's silhouette. His wings flared above the cake, every feather tense with satisfaction. He lifted his head, eye sparkling straight into mine through the dark-silver night air. In his scimitar beak was a giant crystallized cherry.

13 comments:

  1. What a fantastic image. I'd never share my cake with a crow. Especially not one with whiskey sauce. haha
    Must be a site to see though.

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  2. "..under his brave show of black feathers, his ribs were clapping empty."

    This, (and the bare bones lawn) had my toes curling in delight. I was standing right there witnessing every wonderous scene play out. Another magical piece dear Margaret, I love the power of your writing.

    Oh, and um, King George III's linage continued on to be every bit as barking as he - I feel a scandalous, name dropping-tale coming on - thanks for jogging my memory!

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  3. Hi TS, I know what you mean about sharing the cake--but it was only one slice. That left plenty for me!

    Thank you Shrinky. I don't know as much as I should about King George's madness--only that he had some kind of physical ailment that made him turn purple and crazy. But he could still enjoy a great plum cake. My kind of person! :^)

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  4. I cannot imagine a better use for King George's plum cake. It suits the dignity of the crow. Lovely imagery, as always.

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  5. You use such divine imagery, Margaret. :)

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  6. I could picture this whole delcious scene, especially the final image of the cherry in his beak. Very nice and generous of you. I agree with TS. I'm too greedy to even share one slice, especially with a crow.
    xoRobyn

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  7. Jane, thank you. I know what you mean about "the dignity of the crow." They always have it--no matter what.

    Thanks W.B. I adore cake bursting with fruit, so my greed made it fun to write about!

    Hey Robyn girl, it just occurred to me--what if the crow got drunk on the whiskey hard sauce? OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Those crow are pretty smart. He's going to figure out how to steal some more cake the first chance he gets.

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  9. Jen, you're right that crows are smart. I get up pretty early, but there's ALWAYS a crow up earlier, at the top of the neighbor's pine tree--looking over the world and seeing what's in it for him. Fascinating birds!

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  10. I wonder how much of a straight line he managed to fly in after he ate the whisky drenched sauce?! x

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  11. Good point, Kitty Moore--I've worried about that myself!

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  12. The cake made you crazily give it some of it to a crow lol.

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  13. Joe, I never thought of that, but it makes sense that Crazy King Cake would have an effect! :^)

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