Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Annual Piece of Cake

I've been trying to be really good this week, but the food situation here is a bit out of my control. When my mother pulls out an entire pan of freshly made eggplant Parmesan for lunch, how can I say no? If any of you have an Italian mother, I'm sure you know what I mean.

My other big failing this week was I had an entire piece of cake from the Holiday Snack Bar. But, then, I don't really look at that as a failing. We all have to indulge in something we really love to eat every now and again, and I view Holiday cakes as one of those items worth falling off the diet wagon for (and I always remember to get right back on it).

The Holiday Snack Bar is just this hole in the wall hamburger bar on Long Beach Island. It's a single counter of varnished plywood and flies are everywhere because all the windows are left open to counter the lack of air conditioning.

The Holiday was originally opened by two married school teachers who every summer came to the island to serve up hamburgers, and her large collection of family recipe desserts. Several years ago, the original owners sold the place for some large sum, the primary asset of the business being those recipes.

Holiday cake is a simple yet sublime confection. The chocolate cake is perfectly moist with just the right balance of chocolate to sugar. The yellow cake melts on your tongue with a silky smoothness leaving a heavenly after-taste if butter and vanilla.

And the frosting!! I'm not talking about that usual heavy butter-cream frosting. The frosting on the Holiday cakes is light and frothy with the slightest hint of marshmallow. It's some type of whipped egg-white based frosting that I've spent years trolling through old cookbooks trying to find a recipe that will replicate it (the Holiday won't give out its recipes).

Holiday cake is my all time, hands down, favorite cake in the whole world. So even though I've committed to cutting sugar out of my diet for the most part, once a year I allow myself the indulgence of one piece of cake.

After all, I'm only at the Jersey shore for, at most, one week a year. I'm on vacation, and if its something you really and truly love (as opposed to just mindlessly eating sugar based snacks), you have to go for it.

Life is, after all, for living. Despite my lapses this week (for the sake of family harmony, etc.) I've overall been very good.

Next week I'll be back to the usual regime. This week I'm on vacation (and I took an extra long walk on the beach today to make up for that cake).

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