My father brought home a whole carrot cake for my 12th birthday and I knew immediately that he no longer loved me. Giving a teenager a cake, especially for her birthday, with bits of vegetable chunks is like passing out boxes of raisins to trick-or-treaters at Halloween. It’s just wrong. And totally not cool.
It was only later that I found out that my father bought me the carrot cake because it was the biggest and the most expensive one he saw in the glass showcase at a local bakery. He wanted me to have (his interpretation of) the best cake possible for my special day. He must have been so disappointed seeing my face turn sour after opening the pink cardboard box, wishing it were one of those colorful cakes with lots of strawberries on top of the sugary icing. I was too young to appreciate my father’s kind gesture then, as well as the delicate and spicy flavors of a carrot cake.
This must be why I feel warm and protected whenever I have a piece of carrot cake now, like my father is giving me a big papa bear hug (though we’re Asians and we don’t hug … but you know what I mean). As it turns out, carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting has become my favorite cake of all time over the years, and I enjoy it every time I’m away from home and feeling a little homesick. So it was no coincidence that I ordered a big sliver of the cake when I was in Indianapolis for business last week. I was in Indy for only two nights but I ordered it each night for dessert!
On my second night of the carrot cake indulgence, I invited my coworkers P and J over to my hotel room to enjoy this gigantic, six-layer carrot cake together lying around in bed, and watch So You Think You Can Dance. It was so nice to relax after a long day of work and enjoy the cake with grated carrots and zucchini, a hint of sweet maple syrup, smothered in delicious cream cheese frosting! And the waiter who brought up the cake to the room was so handsome, J was tempted to order another piece just so that he will come back to the room. I didn’t care too much about the waiter, but I would not have minded ordering another piece of the cake. And after we licked the plate clean, I called home to let my parents know that I love them very much.
(A side note: Above is the picture of Downtown Indy taken from my hotel window. I heard that Michael Phelps was in town for the swimming championship and was staying at the same hotel. I wish my sister could have been here because she is the biggest Phelps fan!)