Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What's in a Name? Let's Discuss it Over (Yellow) Cake

Friends! Romans! Countrymen! Have you ever been fascinated by names? I have been, for a very long time. And it turns out that one of my very best friends shares that interest (see below). I love my name, and I'm very proud of it. There was also a time when I was jealous that Megan's name meant "pearl, or priceless treasure," because I was pretty sure that I was the princess in the family. But Megan really is a pearl of priceless worth, I can tell you that.

I promised you a cake recipe today as well. And thus I give unto you,

BETTER THAN BASIC YELLOW CAKE (and what's better than regular yellow but sunshine and daisy yellow? See decorating and consuming suggestions beneath recipe.)

4 eggs, separated                 2 3/4 cups flour                       1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt                           1 cup butter, softened              2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla                          1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350*, and grease and flour two 9" round pans. 

(For egg separating tips, please see notes from the White Chocolate Cheesecake recipe.) Beat egg whites stiff, but not dry, and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. I used Swans Down cake flour, which has been America's favorite cake flour since 1894, and is 27 times finer than all-purpose flour (how do they even get that specific?). You can use regular flour, too. Don't worry.

In large bowl cream butter. Gradually pour in sugar. Mix until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add vanilla and continue to beat. Add the flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk. Fold in egg whites gently and thoroughly. You don't use high speed mixers to "fold gently." You want to keep the fluffiness in the cake. I used a rubber spatula.

Pour batter into baking pans. Spread with spatula, Bake 35-40 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Another trick I learned from Daddy is to tap the top of the cake lightly. If it's springy, it's good. If you leave finger prints, it's not done. Cool in pan for 5 min before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. (If you're using a 9"x13", bake 45-50 min.) If your cake turned out crumbly, it may have been underbeaten, or the eggs you used may have been too small. Don't use tiny eggs. If it's dry, you may have baked it too long. Or left it on the counter in the open for way too long before frosting it.

Decorating and Consuming Ideas: Now, the best way to eat yellow cake is with a good chocolate frosting, made with cream cheese and butter, not with shortening. It tastes better that way. I would say to lovingly slather your cakes in said good frosting, and stack the cakes. Maybe some flowers would be cute, since it's getting to be spring. I like to use colored tootsie rolls instead of fondant, since I think it is so tasty. Make daisies for your Better Than Basic Yellow cake. That's what I did for my birthday cake one year, with leaves and stems. It was very cute. Too make everything perfect, serve with vanilla ice cream. 

NOW, since you've been prepared to make food for the digestive system, read on to find some food for the thoughtful system. And the part of you that wants entertainment. Have you ever been on Facebook, but there's nothing to look at on there, and you don't know what other site to go to for distraction? Try Tanney's blog. She's way more entertaining than staring at the blinking cursor in the URL bar, trying to figure out what to type and where to go. She's also one of my dearest friends. You may remember her from this post here about why she's my best friend, or this one about how we're twin sisters. I also did a guest post on her blog about the Arabian way to stop a smoke alarmYou should meet her.

My name is Tayler Morrell. Tashya knows me as Tanney Christiansen. (Nickname, Maiden Name). I am married about 8 months to my best friend, Justin.

I love to read fantasy and historical fiction, as well as just plain fiction (I am currently reading The Secret History of the World by Mark Booth. It is taking all esoteric and religious traditions and trying to make one solid history/truth out of it). I love writing--blog writing, journal writing, poetry (which honestly, I haven't done in a long time), and fantasy writing. One day, I hope to be published and be famous!

I love playing volleyball and soccer and would rather get down and dirty in the snow and mud with the boys, then sit on the sidelines cheering or even watching college/professional sports. I also love to cook!

I am a history teacher, hoping to teach English next year. I am currently doing a student teaching internship at Springville Junior High. I am trying to make sense of all my feelings and of my students here.

I want to travel. I have learned Welsh (Dw i'n siarad yn Nghymraeg.) and have studied abroad in Great Britain. That was almost 3 years ago, and I miss it so much, sometimes it hurts.

I mentioned before that Tashya knew me as Tanney. Looking at my name, Tayler, one wonders, how in the world did she get that name. Well, long story short, I wanted a nickname and Tayler doesn't really have nicknames besides Tay-Tay. Tanney is an amalgamation of my first name (Tayler) and my middle name (Bethany). Not a perfect one, but workable. You can read more about it here. I now go by Tayler, but a few close friends still call me Tanney, and I'm still juggling whether or not I want it to be my pen name when and if I become a published author.

However, I have always been entranced by names. In elementary and middle school, even reaching up to midway through high school, I would spend hours looking through baby name books and exploring websites of the same. My favorite was actually babynamesworld.com. So helpful! I loved learning what each name meant (Tayler=Old English for a tailor). Natashya= Greek for born at Christmas (or Christ's birth). I've always believed that names describe who you are--they hold the key to your personality. The rest of who you are is based on your name. (Unless you are a silly, weird named Utahn)

Names truly hold a certain power. Catholics are given a new name during their confirmation. Other religions do the same in special "coming-of-age" ceremonies and rituals. Why do we do this? Because of the power behind a name. I am fascinated, truly fascinated at the importance that names, and naming things, has in a culture. That is why I feel so empowered now, because I am actually using my name, rather than Tanney. Don't get me wrong, I still love Tanney--it holds sentimental value to me, but Tayler is my name, and thus the source of my power, my personality, my essence.

I would love for you to explore yourself as you explore my world. What similarities do we hold, what advice can we give each other? I am very good at following those who follow me, so if you want an extra reader, come and read Our Fairy Tale.

Our Fairy Tale

1 comment:

  1. But your name has to do with CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!! What is better than THAT? "Food for the thoughtful system?" haha. Do you know what would be even better than sending a recipe of a cake?... sending the CAKE!