“Members of the press, what the fuck?” –Beto O’Rourke
This most recent spate of mass shootings has left me completely gut-punched, more so than usual. It’s pathetic and infuriating that I live in a first-world country where it’s normal to type such a sentence.
Despite growing up in Texas, I’ve never been a fan of guns and certainly not gun culture, but the present climate terrifies me. I like to feel as though I’m safely ensconced in a dark blue state with strict gun laws, but I know I’m not safe (Pennsylvania is why New Jersey can’t have nice things). No one is until radical changes that shouldn’t be the least bit radical occur.
We’ve never before had a sitting president who cheerfully and frequently and consistently engages in stochastic terrorism, who inspires and elevates white supremacists, and stokes their ridiculous, misplaced fears about some fantasy “invasion” of people who don’t happen to look like them. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Between the NRA’s choke hold on one major political party, a sitting president actually encouraging such acts of terrorism, law enforcement agencies being unwilling to call a thing what it is, a press corps hellbent on treating this as a partisan tiff, and social media platforms allowing nut jobs to yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater with complete impunity, there’s not much rational reason to hope for a better future, at least not in the short term. That doesn’t mean we stop fighting.
I’m aware that I’m shouting into the void. I’m aware of how useless and helpless I feel, and sound. This is less a composed essay and more of an old-school blog post: me blathering my thoughts and fears into a small corner of the internet, hoping someone somewhere can connect with them, and me. I don’t have a larger point today. Just heartbreak. And cake.
Raspberry Ricotta Cake
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 15 oz. container of whole-milk ricotta
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- About 9 oz. raspberries, divided
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a 9” cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended. Then fold in butter, followed by 6 oz. raspberries. Some will streak on you, this is fine. Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter about 3 oz. raspberries over top. Don’t be too exacting with this step, you just want somewhat evenly spaced raspberries all over your cake.
- Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. When you are testing your cake, you must, must, must dip the tester into a spot right next to the raspberries. Those parts of the cake bake more slowly than the rest, so it’s not enough to just get a clean tester in the middle of the raspberries. The cake is not done until it comes out clean after poking right by the raspberries.
- Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.