Friday, September 24, 2010

Nectarine golden cake

The first thing I wrote about on this blog was how I am the progeny of packrats.  My dad isn't around to dispute this, although I doubt he would -- he was the man who saved nearly everything either out of frugality (busted appliances he swore he would fix); superstition (a jar of dried wishbones); or the idea that he would someday use whatever it was in his art (leftover wood to fashion a little creature; plastic toys to turn into jewelry. This is no joke; my sister and I each own a necklace with a tiny Barbie hanger cast into silver. Hers has a silver Barbie shoe dangling from it, of which I was, and still am, fiercely jealous.)

My mom's a packrat, too. She can comment on that if she wants--she's still alive and kicking (and saving stuff), but I doubt she'll dispute it beyond saying she has a "system." Whatever. To each her own.

Me, I do not like to save things.

Weird, right? Based on this blog, you'd think I am a very nostalgic person, constantly looking back to my childhood, holding on to bits and scraps for posterity. There's a little truth in that. But, I don't care so much about things, unless someone made them for me. So chances are, if you've given me a birthday card, unless you drew it by hand, it stuck around for a few days, max. I give away books I'm done with, clothing I don't wear. And--this one is probably going to be a little controversial -- I don't save photos. I mean, I save some. But not many.

The husband is like me in this regard and we help each other in moments of weakness. When one of us pauses over a particular thing-- a holiday card featuring a friend's baby wearing reindeer ears--and murmurs uncertainly, "Should I save this?" the other immediately replies with a stony glare, "Forever?"

That's the thing. Are you going to keep everything you ever acquire forever? If not, why not get rid of it now, if you're done with it?

Frequently, the husband and I go through our place and purge. Lest you think we are total jerks, we make every effort to recycle or donate stuff and minimize our (immediate) impact on the landfill. Last weekend, I got around to a giant stack of Gourmets. My goal was save a few and recycle the rest.

In addition to streamlining (although, has anyone reading this who has been to our house wondered why it's not tidier, if we so resent clutter?), I also came across numerous recipes I wanted to make.

Here is the first one: nectarine golden cake.

This recipe was good but not a knockout. Just a basic cake really, and I think sprinkling the nutmeg over the top was a weird touch. So, what are you gonna do with a mediocre recipe?

In my house, recycle it. 


  1. Ya know, it's the kids' stuff that I have a harder time getting rid of. Not their "stuff," but their artwork, school stuff, photos, etc. In that way, I'm kind of a pack rat.

    And if you have a cake you aren't crazy about, you can "recycle" it by sending it to me. : )

  2. The name of the cake sounded marvelous, but yeah, it's so hit and miss with magazine recipes. I love your whole intro about pack racks. In my family, we didn't have pack racks as much as lazy ass people who didn't want to throw things out. But I don't keep a lot of stuff mostly out of necessity as I've lived in studio apartments for the last 10 years -- with no storage rented off site anywhere! So that just forces me to downsize. I always say, it's the memories that's worth keeping. And if I lose my memory, well, then how will I remember what I forgot? :P

  3. Yeah, I'm with you on the nutmeg being a little weird. Stone fruits rarely need any embellishment, in my opinion.

  4. There is nothing so healing as a good purge of the closet! I love to do it and love the way I feel afterwards. Love the recipe that you found also.

  5. oneordinaryday: I'd probably save that kind of stuff if I had kids too :)

    Ben: I've moved from apartment to apartment too--I think that is a good, enforced reason to get rid of things! As it is you always end up having more things to move than you want.

    camille: the nutmeg would have been ok inside the cake I think...but it was very powerful on top.

    cookiecrumb: yeah. totally.

    agrigirl: It feels good to do a big purge/clean-although would be better if I did not continue to buy things ;)

  6. ha ha ha Hungry Dog, I loved this post. My mother was/is a pack rat and my father would have six-monthly clear-outs where he'd try (notice the word try), to get rid of stuff. She never used anything, they were for "just in case". I live in an apartment too and am sually pretty good about keeping things to a minimum, but struggle with saving the kids "stuff"- there are drawings the kids have done that are just so funny/cute/ whatever, i cannot bring myself to part with them (yet).

    Shame the cake didn't turn out as expected, it looks good though.

  7. Loved reading this post!

    I used to save a lot of stuff but no longer, thankfully. I used to have tons of cooking magazines as well, collected for 10 years or so. Recycled most of them one day, after moving for the billionth time. Magazines are freakin' heavy!

  8. I am NOT giving up my old Gourmets. in an apartment means you can't be a pack rat. But really, I have never been much of one and purge regularly. My kids get very annoyed with cards and Barbie dolls got dumped...there was hell to pay about that!

    Anyway, your cake LOOKS good, but Gourmet didn't come up with a winner every time!

  9. shaz: yes, "just in case" is a familiar phrase from my childhood... ;)

    Connie: yeah, magazines are incredibly heavy and they take up a lot of space!

    Barbara: I know, it was a little painful giving up some of those issues...but I had to do it! Saved the Christmas and thanksgiving issues though.

  10. I think it's a wonderful thing to periodically take stock of what's hidden in the closets and drawers, and just get rid of what you haven't touched or looked at in over a year. Plus, it makes room for new stuff. Hah. Is that wrong? ;)

  11. I'm like you. My mom is a total pack rat. Growning up the house was so messy and full of junk. I hated it. Now as an adult I'm quite the minimalist. I hate saving junk. THe great thing about having an ipad is that I have all the Martha Stewart and Everyday foods on it :D.
    Magazines i throw away.
    THey end up mocking me LOL :)
    gorgeous cake daaaaahling, i can totally help you clean that off if your house is getting too full :D
    *kisses* HH

  12. CJ: It's wrong, but true! :)

    HH: You are welcome to help me polish off any goodies, any time!

  13. oh I really need some packrat therapy... I just purged 20 years of clipped recipes that I probably will never try, so that must mean I'm sort of on the brink of a breakthrough right? I'd like the cake drizzled with gloopy glaze.

  14. foodhoe: A gloopy glaze is a brilliant idea!

  15. Didn't know how much you liked the shoe necklace...I always thought your pasta one was pretty great. With luck Emily may dodge the clutter gene. The other day we visited a senior friend who lives amongst piles of junk, and E said later, thoughtfully, "K is really sentimental. She likes to tell stories about her things."

  16. am i a hoarder? yes, yes i am. i'm convinced (and it has proven itself!) that the second i throw something out, i'll have a need for it. so there.
    great cake. :)