Having recently read The Girls From Ames, I have been thinking about women and their friendships, and how important those relationships are. My mother had a habit of sitting at the windowsill looking down over the Concourse, where there were always women strolling arm in arm. Sitting with her, I would imagine myself as an adult, walking with a friend, our arms intertwined. Unfortunately it is no longer in fashion for women to lock arms as they stroll, and the art of strolling has all but disappeared. What has not changed is the importance of female companionship.
This weekend my daughter came to visit us from NYC. It just so happened that several of her oldest friends were also in town and were able to join us for various meals. In different configurations, they came for dinner, lunch, and afternoon tea. They laughed, talked, rolled their eyes (mostly at their mothers), shared confidences, and exchanged glances that clearly only they understood. All very accomplished young women, each one passionate and full of life, I loved sitting back and watching them. We have known two of the girls since birth and one since she was six. Three now live in NYC and one in Los Angeles but the distances don’t seem to matter, or the time apart. Having my daughter come home is always special, but knowing that this particular group of friends would be in Los Angeles at the same time, and that we would get to see them, turned the weekend into a celebration. So, I baked the girls a cake, in the shape of a rose.
I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, The Kosher Scene. Norm said it tasted like a glazed buttermilk doughnut. Moist and delicious.
Olive Oil Cake
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 c. granulated sugar
zest of 3 oranges
1 cup confectioners sugar
Approximately 4 tsp of orange juice (Mix juice with sugar until you have the consistency of a loose glaze, slowly, add more juice if needed)
Mix eggs in a large bowl. Slowly add sugar, beating till egg mixture is light in color. Add orange juice and stir till fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Alternating, slowly add olive oil, and then flour, to egg mixture, and beat until batter is smooth. Mix in orange zest.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Add batter and bake for about 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack for about 20 minutes and remove cake from pan. Combine ingredients for glaze and drizzle over cake.