I woke up this morning, and I was like, holy crap, it’s Rosh Hashanah.
Well, not now, but later tonight.
And I haven’t done anything for it.
Then I went to class, and when I got home, it hit me: I should totally bake something. Last year, I baked a honigkuchen (honey cake) so I thought I’d bake it on a whim, and thereby establish it as a traditional honigkuchen (ooh aah). I found my old recipe, and with about two hours to go until class, I decided to give it a try.
That’s So Jacob’s Kitchen Presents
That’s So Nom
Episode 2: Between-Class On-A-Whim Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah
Step 1: Gather ingredients.
Step 2: Realize you don’t have all the correct ingredients midway through preparation, so run out to the corner store to buy the remainder for rip-off prices. Be pleasantly surprised when the store actually has normal prices for things – $5 for applesauce, cinnamon, baking soda, and brown sugar? SWEET.
Step 3: Return home and complete the cooking to the sounds of the Ronnie Spector station on Pandora.
Step 4: Put in oven, for twenty-five minutes.
Step 5: Start your reading for class, occasionally checking on the cake.
Step 6: When the timer beeps, check the cake. If it’s still a watery mess in a tin, close oven door and set timer for another 10 minutes.
Step 7: Repeat step six about 5 times because it doesn’t seem to be baking.
Step 8: If on or about the sixth time you check on it it’s still warmed-up ingredient soup in a tin, call mother and freak out at her. Then put on bottom rack in oven for about 10 more minutes, for the last. fucking. time.
Step 9: Remove hot cake from oven, finally cooked, but realize that the batter has overflowed the pan and it looks like somebody pooped in your oven.
Step 10: Laugh uncontrollably at the fake poop in the oven, then take picture of it and send it to your sister in Washington. Consider leaving the poop outside your neighbor’s door as a prank, but eat it instead because it’s actually not poop but delicious honey cake.
Step 11: Put cake in bag and wrestle with the Cling Wrap (the official baking tool of SATAN) to attempt to cover the hot cake in it to stay hot, but ultimately only pull off a few tiny pieces.
Step 12: Realize that you’re going to be late for class unless you leave RIGHT NOW so wrap that burning hot cake in a bag, tuck it under your arm, and run down State Street like it’s the Superbowl.
Step 13: Arrive in class at exactly 4:00 (phew). Plop cake down in bag, on the table but not yet visible. Proceed to torture yourself and your classmates with the delicious smell of honey, and realize that you are now sweaty, have brown stains on your khakis, and smell like a combination of delicious cake and the garlic sauce you made to go on your salmon last night. Hope no one else notices the garlic emanating from you. Practice saying “honigkuchen” in your head several times.
Step 14: At class’s conclusion, reveal the lovingly-baked honigkuchen to a chorus of delight and confusion. Pretend that you just dashed it off casually while reading Chinese and Japanese performance theory texts as if you are Little Suzy Grad Student. Cut off in hunks and serve on napkins. Serves six hungry and curious East Asian studies graduate students and two confused but relieved East Asian studies professors.
Your results, as always, may vary.
Shana tova, y’all.