What's cake among friends?

The Cake Club, by Susie Quick

The Cake Club, by Susie Quick

In the sweet days at the very end of the year, we had a meal with friends that ended with a cake so beautiful my man said, "I have to ask: If you moved to another place, how long would it be before you found someone who would bake a cake like this for you?" Not that anyone really meant to move. We live in a possibly purple town in a red state, and sometimes state politics and the local love affair with chain restaurants grate. We forget for a minute that most of our days neighbors and strangers alike treat us with kindness and a cheerful live-and-let-live decency. We forget about the great food we grow or buy from local growers. While we are forgetting, we drift toward talk that idealizes the food wonderland on the west coast or the politics of Massachusetts.

Kate's cake called us home.

Kate made the Butter Layer cake from The Cake Club cookbook by our neighbor in Woodford County, Susie Quick. All of us want Susie's Honest Farm and her energetic food enterprises to succeed. Anita, another friend at the table, bought copies of The Cake Club for Kate and me - and now it all came full circle, or maybe full spiral, on a sweet night in Lexington. Kate made the cake for Anita, me, and all the others at the table.

Between the first and second layer, and mixed with the whipped cream frosting, Kate spread lemon curd she made from her sister' Meyer lemons. Kate's sister's tree in New Orleans somehow survived Katrina and so, 740 miles north, we shared the fruits' flowery tartness and remembered how much we love each other, and our place on earth.