Life’s sweet enchantments with cats, cake crumbs

Dear Readers, Beneath a pale blue sky ringed with a thin outline of white clouds, Kansas “breezes” rippled across the top of the no longer frozen pond. Sun, wind and water combined to conjure diamonds dancing on the backs of wave’s crests. Though a windowpane protected me from the chill this sight belied, I was so bewitched that my fork-ful of leftover Ice Box Cake never reached my mouth. Instead it all slipped from my hand. My mind registered the resulting plonk-splat of utensil, pudding and graham crackers hitting the floor, but I remained transfixed.

Mother Nature’s spell was only broken when I heard cats galloping down the hallway. As if they were responding to a tornado siren instead of dropped food, my favorite three Stooges tumbled over each other as they skidded into my room. It was my two legs and one arm against three cats. I was outnumbered. I wish I could say they were outmatched. The truth is that my cats lost interest as our wrestling wore on. But it took a “minute” to clear both cats and crumbs away. And by the time I got back to my slice of cake, the water-gem show was gone because the sun had slid under a cloud. So I was able to clean my plate without further incident.

The internet claims Ice Box Cake was introduced in the United States between the 1920s and 1930s but I only became acquainted with this dessert a few days ago when a friend made the same version his mother used to make in the 1960s. As my friend was making it, I thought, “what’s the big deal?” And when he announced 48 hours later that it was ready to eat, I figured I’d eat a spoonful or two of the pudding-graham cracker concoction just to be polite. I could only blink in surprise when I was handed a FORK and served a SLICE OF CAKE. I was intrigued by the apparent nobake refrigerator magic that resulted in this dense, cake—a treat so sweet one can only eat a small slice at a time. Hence, the leftovers. The internet can explain why, over time and at a particular temperature, pudding and graham crackers meld into an entirely new substance. But I’ve discovered Ice Box Cake magic no human (or cat) can explain: it seems never ending AND it tastes better with each passing day.

Until next week— keep your eyes on the stars and your back to the wind.