Speaking from a history of impatience, I can tell you it helps, at least a little, if you can mentally psych yourself up for the things you have to wait for. Like, it takes time to learn things, have you noticed that? It doesn’t matter if you’re picking up a new instrument, taking driver’s ed, meeting a stranger or experimenting in the kitchen: nine times out of ten, you’re not going to get it the first time—ten times out of ten, if you’re me.
Then there’s the post office. It will be crowded, trust me, no matter when you go, so bring your iPhone and catch up on Words with Friends games while you listen for your number to be called. Rush-hour traffic? We all know what that’s like. Expect delays or, you know, quit your office job to avoid traffic altogether.
Just knowing these things, simply anticipating the waits, makes it easier to push through them, easier to handle. At least for me. That’s why I wish I could always know time frames beforehand, I really do.
It’s kind of like this carrot cake.
I made this dark, fragrant cake Saturday night, thanks to a mad craving, at around 10 PM, using a quick adaptation of a recipe that is in itself pure simplicity: stir together dry ingredients, add wet, add carrots, bake, frost. When I pulled it out of the oven, it was all I could do (in my classic, act-now character) to wait 15 minutes before frosting and slicing myself a big hunk.
Then. My immediate, in-the-moment reaction? Eh. Quite frankly, I went to bed disappointed. What I’d expected as soft and spiced and comforting was odd and muddied with flavors and unexciting. Ho-hum.
I’d basically written the cake off until for some reason the next day, probably because it was quick to slice, I cut out another piece, and wow, was I in for a surprise. Moist and spiced, nicely complemented by the hints of maple in the ricotta frosting, it was like a different cake to me. Everything was the same temperature now, no longer warm in the base and cold in the frosting. This was the carrot cake I had wanted! This was the one I had to have at 10 PM at night! This, it turns out, was a carrot cake that takes time. I just hadn’t known that.
Of course the problem with always needing to know how much time things will take is that much of life is unknown, indefinite. You don’t always know when change will happen or how. I am (of course slowly) learning that. But meanwhile, while I wait to wait better in many areas of life, I am happy to know what to expect in this one: when you make this carrot cake, eat it tomorrow.
Spelt Carrot Cake
Adapted from Ripe the Organic Grocer
For the carrots – I used about a pound of them, but I did something kind of new to me and after shaving their outsides, threw them in the food processor. This gave me very, very fine pieces and I think an overall better texture in the cake.
1 cup white spelt flour
1 cup whole grain spelt flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sucanat
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 large eggs
3/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix eggs lightly. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add egg and oil, and mix through. Add grated carrot, then mix till combined. Bake in a greased nine-inch-round cake pan lined with greased parchment paper, for around 35 to 45 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from tin.
Ricotta Maple Frosting
2 cups ricotta
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Are you ready for the easiest recipe of all time? Mix ingredients together with a spoon. Done.