Carrot Cake

Friends and family celebrated with us Easter Sunday; nine gullible children searched for eggs in the back yard, their faces glowing with excitement and anticipation. One “golden egg” contained a $20 bill — the older kids aggressively searched for and found it, while little ones happily traded the contents of eight or nine eggs for one piece of their favorite bubblegum.

After the egg hunt we dined on poached salmon with dill sauce, little ham-and-caramelized-onion quiches, asparagus and Gruyere tart, spinach salad with orange segments and an orange-juice dressing (you can find the recipe here) and oven-roasted asparagus with Maldon salt. And we enjoyed no fewer than three luscious home-made desserts — the above-pictured carrot cake, a pineapple upside-down cake brought by a lovely neighbor and a Norwegian orange cake brought by one of our dear friends. Cupcakes with caramel frosting for the little ones, nests of fluffy straw-colored icing in which perched a malted milk robin’s egg candy. A good time was had by all.

The carrot cake was a recipe of my mother’s from the 1970s with carrots, raisins, pineapple and pecans; I omitted the nuts for a friend who’s allergic and it was still quite good. Interestingly, it called for cloves in addition to cinnamon and everyone felt that’s what set this cake apart. It’s a sturdy cake with lots of character; the frosting was a traditional cream-cheese frosting made a bit tangier with the addition of Meyer lemon zest.

Spring is here! The days are longer, the nights warmer and we have so much to be grateful for — not least our good friends, the good food we enjoyed together and the joyous sounds of children making the day their own.

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