BY AMANDA HAWKINS / PHOTOGRAPHY BY LAURA MATRANGA
They say this as if to say eat your vegetables. But what if I bake cakes, and eat them—what does that make me?
Sometimes they are ridiculous, huge and sugared and over-the-top. I call them grand. Sometimes they are coarse, bitter-edged, and not fit for company. I call them humble. What if I want to be like that? Humble. And grand. At times decorated and dressed up, layered and complex, and other times not layered but laid bare, tender and easily broken. They are all of them all-natural. They have integrity, and poise. Could be I am taking this too far, this cake. Or could be this unhealthy habit is the health of healing a perspective: Wonder and whimsy are essential to wellness.
There is grace in grace given and grace received: A good cake met with good thanks rather than guilt or gluttony. This could be transformation, seeing food not as enemy or as fuel but as multi-valent. It feeds my human and my divine, my mortal and my sprite.
We are what we eat and we are how we eat it. We become our own creation. I want to be not only grown, beets bursting from a dark earth, which I am. I want to be created. Recreated. Simultaneously delicious and delightful and deserved. I want to be another slice please, every molecule in place, every history of how I make clean-billed, conscientious, well-balanced, well-bred, well-fed, and, what is more, I want to be more than the sum of my parts. A sweeter version of my former self.