Close your eyes. Make a wish. No really. Saturday was my Birthday and one of MY wishes was to grant all of YOU wishes. So. Please close your eyes and think of something really great coming to you or happening for you. Thank you. May that one and so many more come true for you.
… Blowing out candles
Finding four leaf clovers
Coins in a fountain/wishing wells
Blowing on dandelions
Blowing on eyelashes
Ladybugs landing on you
Of all the things to make a wish upon, breaking a wishbone is my all time favorite. Probably because there is a competitive nature to it and you actually have the chance to ‘beat’ someone. You are granted a ‘lucky break.’ My sister is my opponent of choice because she likes to inspect the harp shaped bone, decide which is the strongest side, and then proceed to choke up on it to guarantee her wish coming true. In other words, she is a big cheater. I think I love the ritual of watching her process and then calling her out on it more than the actual wish making game of it. Some of my best little girl memories were drying out the Thanksgiving wishbone and facing off with my Sissy. She even gave me the sweet silver wishbone in the picture above.
The great thing about wish making is that it is free. Making a wish can happen at any time or in any place. Wishes are different than prayers or dreams – they are light little requests to the universe requiring no effort or work or faith on my part. Wishes affirm to the universe that I am ready and willing for whatever gifts she grants me. Gifts. Extra little bonuses in my already abundant life.
Can you see the little “L” etched onto the handles of these utensils? They were mine when I was a baby and I use them to this very day. I have a little mental ritual whenever I reach for them in our silverware drawer here in New York City. For a flash of a second I imagine myself in my parents’ kitchen in Joplin, Missouri and I thank that little girl for all of her wishes along the way that got me where I am today.
Close your eyes one more time. Make another wish. And then thank the little girl or little boy who wished YOU to the very place you are now.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing adapted from Nigella Lawson
For the cake
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup best-quality unsweetened cocoa (plus extra for pan)
1 ½ sticks soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup sour cream
1. Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to350ºF and line and butter one Bundt cake pan. Tap in cocoa powder like you would if you buttered and floured a pan.
3. Put all the cake ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream - into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter.
4. Using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25.
5. Remove the cake from the oven, place on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of the pan. Let cool completely before icing.
For the Chocolate Ganache
Pour 12 ounces of quality dark chocolate chips or broken up bars into a metal bowl. Add ½ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. In a small saucepan bring one cup heavy cream just to the bubble, not the boil, just scalding little bubbles around the surface of the cream. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate, butter, and salt. Begin stirring and continue until chocolate is completely melted and glossy. Let this cool. I pour it over the cake and create a shroud. A big chocolate drape. Add sprinkles!