The cake is less than she hoped it would be. She tries not to mind. It is only a cake, she tells herself. It is only a cake. ...
According to the clock on the wall, it is barely ten-thirty. She has plenty of time to make another cake. This time, she will prevent crumbs from getting caught in the icing. This time, she will trace the letters with a toothpick, so they'll be centered, and she'll leave the roses for last.
- Michael Cunningham, The Hours
On the left, you'll see the dregs of cake #1, which was an attempt at a double-laayered chocolate cake, aborted when both cakes stuck to the bottom of the pans they baked in, despite my having "lightly greased" each pan per the directions. Cake #2 had the opposite problem. While this time I greased and floured the pan, it was a bundt pan and the cake came out fairly quickly ... too quickly, in fact, as it practically fell apart as I turned it onto the plate. I ran out of time to make a third cake, before I went to pick up the person who said, "There will be cake on my birthday."
Unlike Laura Brown, however, I love my spouse immensely. So I resisted the urge to read Mrs. Dalloway (again) and go for a long drive.
Ah yes, and happy birthday, belovéd. I love you, clearly more than the cake loves me.