With Thanksgiving upon us, I’d like to offer up a holiday recipe that we’ve been discussing over on the Instagram. You may say: “No photo; didn’t happen.” Well, I’ve got the pix to prove it.
Birthday Cocktail Cake, from Monteagle Sunday School Assembly Porch Party Recipes, out of print and out of this WORLD! (Free Bonus: Beer Cheese recipe which actually sounds damn fine.)
A couple of summers ago, brother Clif, sister-in-law Mary Neal, my nephews, and Mary Neal’s family built a Birthday Cocktail Cake during a delirium of heat, free time, and high-end ingredients.
I realize that pine nuts and pickled asparagus aren’t on the ingredients list, but truly, this recipe is just a road map. A loaf of bread is a canvas, a blank slate, an open road when you have a tank of gas and no destination.
I can’t really remember what we put in the layers, but deviled ham may have been involved. Sun-dried tomatoes? Was somebody grating a pickle? I’ve blocked out so much.
I do recall that the amount of cream cheese required to cover all this gluten-y real estate was sufficient to stop the heart of an elephant.
We concluded that the bread-to-filling ratio is key.
Then again, on reflection, maybe not.
I’m kind of hoping that somebody out there will be looking for a family holiday craft project that you can eat. And by craft I mean sculpt, or collage, or otherwise engineer using savory favorites. I think white bread is somehow preferable to actually good bread. Let me know if you take the plunge. With the bar this low, you’ll look like a regular Jacques Pepin.
Wishing you all towering Birthday Cocktail Cakes, enough gravy, and even more naps.
PS Eight Yarns, One Sweater is galloping toward its thrilling conclusion. Stay tuned for the next episode: Mulespun Gulch.