My dear friend Murphy

It was supposed to be a fun-filled relaxing weekend... extended of course with a few days off of work. Supposed to be. My dear friend Murphy showed up.

First up, the concert we were all going to attend, The Airborne Toxic Event, a particular favorite of ours, turned out to be a 21 and over venue. We were going with friends, had everything arranged. Now our friends are somewhat known to TATE, and typically, we enjoy perhaps a personal meet and greet and maybe a chair or two in the SRO space. But. We didn't want to chance the youngest member of our party not being able to get in, so we did the responsible adult thing and opted out. After all, we'd just been to their show in Burlington a few months ago. Fabulous by the way.

Event night rolls around. Sitting in the kitchen, having a light supper, ruminating on the fact that we should be elsewhere getting ready to have a blast... and my friend calls and says they can get us in, 21 or not... hop in the car and go!

But hubby had already rescheduled his plans and workload, and it was a few hours drive to get there, and we decided not to go. As we aimlessly stared at the television after dinner, we looked at each other and I asked hubby ever so politely "just when the hell did we get so old we lost our sense of spontaneity and adventure?" I blame Murphy.

Murphy's the one that convinced me to use an internet recipe for my birthday cake. I decided it would be best to practice, so I didn't poison any potential guests for my annual come over and have some cake festivities. Ok maybe festivities is too strong a word. That would imply a party. It's really only my friends next door and my mother. Nevertheless important people I want to keep around for awhile. It's my grandmother's Nusstorte I was attempting. Nobody seemed to have the recipe. I asked my mother and she said, "no" she did not have it. I think that was Murphy talking.

I found a recipe online. I followed all the instructions. Except the pan was the wrong size. But I'm good. I can adjust. I carefully prepared the batter. I watched it in the oven. I did everything they said. And it looked pretty good. See?

So I whipped up some mocha cream. Well, sort of. The ever-present Murphy ensured I didn't quite have enough heavy cream, and my chocoholic self refused to reduce the amount of cocoa. If you bake at all you'll realize what I did was idiotic. Instead of smooth wonderful whipped topping on torte, I had dry whipped cream.

But it spread and covered. I won't show you that. It wasn't pretty. And unfortunately, my previous statement about being able to adjust for the pan size? Not with Murphy over my shoulder.

Alas, the torte was over baked and dry. And the whipped cream that can normally hide any mistake... dry too. All in all, it was terrible. We're talking America's Worst Chef terrible. Hubby came home after several hours of tournament playing... won their doubles match CONGRATS! Should have dove right into the cake. He didn't touch it. Uh oh. Though ever the optimist, I had a slice for breakfast. Hey, eggs and nuts, great protein.

I won't give you the recipe because that would be cruel. I will call it Murphy's not so Hungarian Nusstorte.

But this afternoon I am going to try again. Just as soon as I finish redoing the laundry. Yeah, Murphy had a hand there too. Note of caution to husbands and partners. Want to be the nice guy and wash the linens? Good for you. Here's a few pointers. Extra large capacity does not mean throw all the sheets you can find in the house into the machine all at once. Particularly if some are really dirty and some are really clean... like brand new out of the package clean. Particularly if your machine is nicknamed Murphy. Meaning it's showing it's age. The dirt you remove from the soiled linens will find its way over to the clean ones. And your spouse/partner will end up doing the laundry all over again.

Back to cake. When I'm done redoing the laundry and someone brings me fresh ingredients, I will try again. And this time it will be delicious. Because as it happens my dear mother did have the recipe after all. She told me while disaster cake was already in the oven. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes she said. Murphy said an hour at 325. 1 cup of Hazelnuts she said. Murphy said a cup and a half. See where this is going?

But I will also make my Mary's Miracle Brownies just in case Murphy is enjoying his stay with us and doesn't want to move on to your house. The thing about Murphy is, you have to anticipate. Always have a plan B. It's legal now you know. You have to expect the unexpected. Set a place at the table, like we do for Elijah. And then just roll with it.


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