Cake is never for later.

I boil the apples in the sugar and butter. The peaches I throw on top of the caramel once it's done. They crackle and hiss like my fingers those times I accidentally grab hold of the skillet's handle without an oven mitt. My fear is if I cook the peaches like the apples, the peaches would release so much water that by the time they caramelized, they would become a sticky, undifferenciated goo. I suppose there's nothing wrong with jam.

Two days later, the peach cake tastes like mildew. Normally, the whole thing gets eaten within twenty-four hours. This last 1/3 of the cake two mornings later is like stumbling on hidden treasure. I congratulate myself for my restraint, before I take a bite. It wasn't really restraint, anyway--I just didn't eat much cake. My apetite for it dimmed after I pulled it out of the oven.

My friend is trying to stay away from gluten--"I've become one of those people"--but still has a mania for baking gluteny things. If anything, she bakes more when she doesn't eat the products. Dozens and dozens of cupcakes. "I like baking."

My father made turkey soup. "What should go in there? Potatoes, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, sour cream, cabbage?"

"Mostly I just like the broth."

Now there's a massive pot of soup in the fridge, shiny and cold. I just stare at it.

My brother has developed a tamarind habit, which is another way of saying he bought some blocks of tamarind mass. "Mass" and not "paste" because you have to soak it in hot water, mash it with your fingers, and then strain out the husks and seeds. Maybe if it were at home I would never bother to make tamarind water (tamarind, water, sugar), but over at his house I love squishing the debris-filled muck. It's like playing in mud--something adults have generally decided they're above. Scatological comparisons are obvious, but, obviously, unwelcome if spoken.

I make it concentrated, so that it can be diluted to taste, like Russian tea. My brother's girlfriend likes it very dilute--"refreshing." He likes it fairly concentrated. I can't decide. Dilute, I drink glass after glass, because every swallow is unsatisfactory. Concentrated, I drink half a glass and leave it on the table. Its cloudy solids settle to the bottom. You'd think there would be a happy medium, but I haven't found it.

There are those things that I repeatedly vow never to eat again, like eggs on toast. Then I look in the fridge in the morning, and think what else am I going to make? There they are, greasy as ever. It would be reasonable to conclude that eggs on toast are, like anything else, something to have sometimes. But I only seem able to think in always and never.

12 September 2013