August’s Cake of the Month is really a cake from June and the truth is, I was feeling too blue about Dan & Lisa leaving the Big Island to write this post. In Heartburn, Nora Ephron wrote about how when you are part of a couple, you date other couples until you find a pair you want to go steady with, and then you do everything together. She describes a foursome that go to great lengths and long adventures to find great food and happy moments together.
Dan, Lisa, Eric and I cooked pizzas, drank fancy chartreuse cocktails, went on long hikes, paddleboarded, sewed, hot tubbed and went hunting wild turkeys. We spent entire afternoons at our favorite black sand beach. We had very boozy all day long Thanksgiving dinners and Easter brunches. We waited three hours in a parking lot icy Waimea to get Jack Johnson tickets. We went steady with Dan and Lisa.
Their last party was celebrating everything- their engagement, Lisa’s Birthday, selling all their stuff, and their precious time in Hawaii. It surprised me how sad I felt to see them go. After all, we'd only really known each other two years. But these two charming people are so crazy in love with each other, and with life itself, that knowing them makes you feel more in love with the world you live in too. I was sad to lose them as a daily part of our lives- where you don't have to tidy up or change out of your sweatpants before they come over. You can root around in their fridge, and they can root around in yours. You know each other's secrets and complaints, pet peeves and favorites and your text history is pages and pages long.
Anyway, I wanted to tell them all of this but knew I would cry, so I decided to bake a really beautiful cake instead. I spent a few days on an almond cake, in a very classic wedding style. It was a rich yellow cake with a light almond flavor, whipped cream, raspberry filling, loaded up with rich fluffy buttercream and the sides coated with more toasted almond slices. I put two little yellow birds on top and cradled it in my lap on the bumpy south Kona road and through the leafy greens of the coffee farms up to their sweet little cottage in the woods.
All their friends came out to say farewell and everyone brought something delicious to share. Lisa outdid herself (as usual) with braised ribs and bruschetta and stuffed mushrooms and Dan built a big bon fire in the backyard, and his friend who runs the Kava farm brewed Kava and served it in hollowed out coconut shells and we all relaxed and talked and ate and celebrated all the many ways you can love other people. And then they cut the cake, and I made them feed little pieces to each other, and they were embarrassed, but they did it anyway, and then everyone had a slice and a glass of champagne and toasted these two people who so obviously belong together and are so well loved by anyone and everyone who knows them. And I didn’t cry, my eyes just got a little watery, because of love, love, love.