I’ve had a library card for about as long as I can remember. Growing up, there were two public libraries within walking distance of my house. But I can’t say that I recall being in them much. A lot of my books were checked out of the school library, not to be opened until I was slung across the wing back chair in the living room. That chair was my favorite place to read. My head rested comfortably up against one of the wings and my legs dangled over the arm.
How we got away with disrespecting that piece of furniture, I will never know. Because there was a strict no disrespect policy in our house. But that chair, that chair got abused. The textured upholstery was worn down to only nubby bumps by years of butts and legs sliding over the arm. The once brightly colored fabric muddled into dirty gray. It was the perfect place to slip into a story, to tune everything out and get lost in another world. I think that’s why I never took to the idea of reading in a library or bookstore.
Libraries and bookstores are filled with people. When I read a book, it’s not a social activity, I want to be alone. And when I’m done reading something, I don’t want to sit in a group and discuss it. I had my fill of that in high school and college. No, when I’m done I want to keep those secrets all to myself. Yes, I am greedy like that. That’s why when The Mistah sees me with a book and asks me what I’m reading, I just show him the cover. I don’t want any of the magic to escape or the spell to be broken by speaking the words.
I like the idea of a book club, but only if I don’t have to come to the meetings. So please don’t be offended if you ask me to join your book club and I say no. I’m sure your group will be much happier to find someone who actually wants to talk about books. I just want to read them.
This is the cake I would make to bring to book club…if I were a book club kind of girl. Since I’m not, it’s the cake I make to eat while I’m reading the latest book to come home with me from the library.
Last Minute Chocolate Cake
Ruth Reichl, Garlic and Sapphires
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter
- 3/4 cup brewed black coffee
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (I used 1 tablespoon Creme de Cacao and 1 tablespoon Coffee Liqueur)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Butter and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.
Combine the chocolate, butter, and coffee in the top of a double boiler and stir over low heat until melted. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes then add the Grand Marnier, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir well.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add this to the cooled chocolate mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.