cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Some Cidade Wandering

my neighbor's pretty chocolate cake,
& Cherry Blossoms for he who's never seen


I think cherry blossoms bloom overnight. I guess all things do, don't they. But they weren't here the night before, it was overnight, just one night and the sky changed from brown little pods to delicate pinky white petals. It's the little things we overlook; things that are often always there, swimming by unnoticed, and thought to appear only after recognition. but they've always been there. I usually take cherry blossoms for granted, a glance, a quiet smile, yeah not much ado, they'll always be back every season. But something's made me look closer, maybe it is to look for the both of us, you who have never seen them, or perhaps they have never been as beautiful before. But be quick! blink and they are gone. You see, time with them is short; really only a few weeks that fade faster than canvas shoes left out in the sun. Two weeks, maybe three, of perfectly perfumed air and overhead canopies so pink and plushy you can't help but exhale a grin and dream yourself into a woodcut scene at the imperial palace, kimono and all--aha, i knew i always loved Mulan the best of all the Disney princesses, though not a princess...what pretty little blossoms, wish i could have them forever.

Yes they bloom in Spokane. Actually, they bloom all over the United States; they were a gift you see, and really don't belong here at all. In 1912 Japan gifted a near three thousand cherry blossom trees (sakura) as a mark of friendship, because that's what you do with friends, send them forests in the mail (did you get the birch saplings i sent you last week yet?) New York, DC, Philidelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle--the Japanese native flaura is as prominent an indigenous figure in this country as is anything else. How lucky. Some people have never seen. So these are for you. Sakura cherry blossoms, in case you were wondering, are not fruit trees they are merely candy for the eyes, perhaps the reason why they are the Chinese symbol for feminine beauty and love. Well. That's that.

There's been a bit of wandering lately, wandering around this city that will only be mine for the next four weeks. Four years down to four weeks, how could this come so fast. let's catch it in a jar before we leave.

Apparently i live down the road from a caterer who is an incredibly talented baker. get to know your neighbors. On my way home from work i picked up E who requested a cookie baking date, he came to the car with a chocolate cake, dome stand and all. May i ask? he replies, i need to request some food photography, i'll pay you with wine. Deal. The cake was baked special by my neighbor (the caterer) as a one year anniversary present, as she is his "mother in law" no they're not married, but what else do you call the mother of your other? Anyways, the chocolate decadence cake available from Colleen Caters was undoubtedly a very pretty specimen, camera candy, if you will. And right down the road too.

oh what the hell, let's click one of those up there ~ theme "Spring"

Chocolate cakes look best with flowers around them. Cherry blossoms, oh how thematically connective. I am too clever. Cherry blossoms are good omens of fortune and spring love; yet simultaneously used in Japanese metaphor for the fleeting nature of life--love it while you can, and remember it when it's gone, because the reality is that it will always come back. Exotic to US soil, they now belong; returning each year to canopy paths even if only to decorate cakes. How romantic, how poetic--you are waiting for me to shout carpe diem, but instead i'll leave you with the fact that the popsicle stick bridge competition is that way, when you see arrows, follow.

a bientot

19 comments:

Siri said...

Still waiting on my birch saplings....

Cute and gorgeous post. Is this not the absolute best time of year, nature wise???

Christy said...

you know, i was surprised to find that cherry blossoms grew in the States the first time I heard it. No, not on this blog. And then he gave me a lecture on the Japanese population in the NW due to the POW that never left American soil, so I thought that's where they came from. So I'm wrong again.

Loving the decoration on the cake btw!!

ivorypomegranate said...

That cake looks beautiful! and I really love your cherry blossom pictures, I live in DC so the cherry blossoms are a big thing, but I haven't seen them yet this season with all the tourists roaming around :-/

Jennifer said...

The cherry blossom pics are so dreamy and beautiful!! And that cake... GORGEOUS!!!!

Marta said...

Thank for the glorious photos! They make me feel like spring inside :) Unfortunately I'll still have to wait some more for spring outside because winter has decided to stick around in Calgary!
This cake look so luxurious, thanks for sharing it!
I've followed your blog for quite some time and I love it. I don't think I had ever told you that :)
I tried your black bean cupcakes and they were great!

Moira said...

Mallory,
Nothing is more beautiful than cherry blossom, and nothing more delicious than chocolate cake ;)
Regards
Moira

matt wright said...

wow, fantastic shots, and great looking cake!

Rita said...

Love the photos, and yes, I agree with you about the overnight blooming of the chrerry blossoms, in fact I was just thinking about it today as I walked up Pike (or is Pine?)and it was all pink. I like to stand under them, it makes me feel protected (from what?)... Anyway, enjoy it while they last, which for me it's never long enough...

MeetaK said...

i love cherry blossoms and will miss them when i move to qatar this summer. reminds to take pictures so that i can at least reminisce! lovely shots!

zee said...

I'm curious about those shoes in one of your pictures.. Are those shoes being hanged there to dry them after being cleaned or maybe you just trying to capture a little bit of "unusual" view ? Hehehe.. Anyway, beautiful pictures of the cake and cherry blossoms.

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

What a beautiul post!

Mallory Elise said...

hmmm the shoes, well Zee i have no idea really, they are not my shoes, they actually were hanging extremely high up (above second story) on a telephone wire in a back alley behind a restaurant where i was stalking some off-shift waiters and chefs to steal their photos (yes, i actually am a creeper in real life) it's in Coeur d'Alene (Idaho...what's in Idaho? exactly.) yeah i just thought they were cute, i suppose an unusual view would be right. they most likely are there simply for some funny sense of decoration, or else an inside joke. perhaps. who knows. maybe they are hanging out to dry after all.

bee said...

thank you for a delicious CLICK entry.

Y said...

I love cherry blossoms (something about them always makes me smile) and your photos look stunning! Another thing that makes me smile.. chocolate cake!

Half Baked said...

Beautiful photos! The cake looks divine:)

Coffee and Vanilla said...

Beautiful images and the cake :)

Chanel said...

Your photos are sublime! I am so glad you commented as now I can spend the next huge chunk of my down time looking at your blog. Very nice.

Hayley said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my site. I think it's so funny how many of us food bloggers are into fitness. It seems we are quite similar, that chickpea thing is too strange. Good luck with graduation, and all the best for your future goals!

Hayley said...

Oh and your photography is really beautiful!