Mission to Marzipan.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Around this time last year, I made a decision to start over. 2013, young as it was, had been rough, and my friends and I chose a random night in February as our new New Years Eve. We crowded around a table in our favorite neighborhood bar, counted down to midnight, clinked our glasses. We made resolutions. We started again.

Molly Yeh is one of my favorite bloggers and the creator of the cake below, which she calls resolution cake.  I'm reposting it here today (with her permission) because I love it for all its chocolate-marzipan goodness, and because I think the beginning of March is as good a time as any to assess the year, revise goals, amend resolutions. Like spring cleaning for the soul.

Molly's 2014 resolutions include eating macaroni and cheese at midnight, making frequent visits to the library, and spending more time with cake (brilliant). Mine, right now, is not to fall asleep in the snow - literally, of course, and figuratively. Anais Nin, whose diaries I'm making my way through now, explains:

You live...sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book (Lady Chatterly, for instance), or you take a trip…and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure…Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken. They are like the people who go to sleep in the snow and never awaken.

As the year continues, I'd like to take care that I don't fall asleep in the snow. I'd like to continue to tend to my planet. I hope to read more. And I hope that all of this, and the rest of the year, includes many, many chocolate cakes.

Photos by Molly Yeh. Find the recipe for resolution cake, here. Thank you so much, Molly! 


Sarah Spitz said...

Yummy!!! This looks so good!

Greetings from Germany and thanks for sharing!


Birdy and Bambi

Sarah Noel said...

I love this idea. I find that my new year doesn't start until later either. January I'm exhausted. February I'm brooding. By March I feel myself awakening and I'm ready to make real plans for my year ahead--hopefully with better perspective.

Rachel @ Existation said...

Anais Nin. Yes.

Also, those balls are edible, right? I hope so. I would love to eat little balls like that. (Why does writing that sound supremely dirty? I wish I could think of a better way to phrase those last few sentences, but the first thought that popped into my mind as I was looking at the photos was "I would love to eat those balls", so I'm just gonna stick with that, I guess.)

Kathy said...

I can't help but imagine that David Foster Wallace was somehow inspired by Anais Nin when he was writing his 2005 graduation speech to Kenyon. Living on default settings and falling asleep in the snow frighten me more than loneliness or death. I am inspired by you and your blog all the time, and I'll be taking care to not fall asleep in the snow, either.

auste said...

That quote! That cake!

Yesterday, my husband took our one year old to a 5 year olds birthday party. He came home saying that at one point in the afternoon the next ten years flashed before his eyes: exhausted parents standing around, bleary eyed, talking about problems at work, while the kids are running around and crying and getting in fights over toys. He made me promise we would do our best to keep things interesting and not fall into that monotonous routine.

We don't want to fall asleep in the snow. Thank you for this, Shoko.

Hena Tayeb said...

not a fan of marzipan but that looks great

Chloe said...

this cake looks amazing! I love that excerpt, "you believe you are living... and then you discover that you are not living, you are hibernating."
strong stuff!
love it :)

Chloe said...

this cake looks amazing! I love that excerpt, "you believe you are living... and then you discover that you are not living, you are hibernating."
strong stuff!
love it :)

Anonymous said...

Man, that quote. Love. Anais Nin sounds like someone I need to read ASAP. Any recommendations for where I should start?

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing cake! I love it!

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing - too cute.

Shoko said...

Sarah, exactly!

Rachel, haha! Amazing. And yes, they're edible - they're marzipan :)

Kathy, that means the world to me - thank you so much.

Auste, from what I know of you and your family from reading your blog, I don't think it's possible that you'd let that happen. I think just being aware that it's a possibility means that you're the opposite of asleep in the snow - you're awake, you're thinking, you're moving forward.

Brianna, yes! Start with Volume 1 of her diary, which is where this quote comes from. It's intoxicating.

burntfeather said...

I'd like to join the start over in March and I definitely wouldn't mind indulging in more cake either :)

Joy said...

I love this cake and this post! I need to eat some resolution cake - stat. Mine are already falling to the wayside...

Diana said...

I wholeheartedly agree. I'm starting over, starting today.

Steph said...

Shoko, Thanks for these wonderful entries. This one and the one with Henry Miller's advice made my morning. :) Have a nice weekend.



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