[Spoiler alert: This post discusses the problem with enjoying TV these days because of all the spoilers floating around on the Internet and then I go ahead and SPOIL something that happened in Game of Thrones two weeks ago, so if you're not caught up to Season 3, episode 2, stop reading! Thanks!]
The NCAA gymnastics championships took place this weekend, which I watched online while making this date cake. It reminded me that this time last year, I actually attended the NCAA championships as they were held at UCLA, which turned out to be one of my favorite days of 2013. Incidentally, I was also pregnant at the time, though I didn't yet know it.
Yesterday, I heard someone on NPR say that she thinks we've reached the height of the spoiler problem—referencing the fact that sites like Twitter, Facebook, and even CNN often spoil major plot points in our favorite TV shows. I bring this up because this time last year, I was super into Game of Thrones, and though I swore the show off after the last season, here I am watching this season, totally and utterly invested.
I've missed my dad a lot ever since Teddy was born. I catch myself wanting to call him or even stranger, wanting to call him via FaceTime or Skype (something we'd previously never done) so that he can see Teddy's face. But recently, I've been wanting to call him just to talk Game of Thrones. He was such a fan (one of those nerds who had read all of the books years ago). After the infamous "Red Wedding," when I told him I was through with the show, complaining that it seemed like nothing good would ever happen, that Joffrey would never die, I remember him laughing and saying something like, "Oh, no. Joffrey lives!" I'm not sure what he meant by that because well, spoiler alert: he doesn't. Part of me thinks he might have meant that he doesn't die right away, while another part of me thinks he may have been messing with me, setting up a joke with a punchline a year away, ("Of course Joffrey dies!") but either way, I'm glad he said it because not only was that big reveal not spoiled for me by the aforementioned sites, but I was doubly shocked when it happened. So, hey, thanks, Dad!
Fun fact: When Mom (who is a major Lord of the Rings fan), was here visiting last week, Matt and I got her into season one, and during the first ten minutes of the first episode, she turned to me and asked: "Now is this the kind of show with good guys and bad guys?"
This time last year this cookbook had just come out and this date cake was one of the recipes I'd meant to make right away. And look, a year later, here I am. Or rather, here it is. In my opinion, it serves a much different purpose than last month's date cake. This one isn't nearly as sweet or as celebratory. Before sitting down to write this post, I ate the last slice with a bit of peanut butter on top and called it my afternoon snack. Matt would probably say it's best at breakfast.
But perhaps most shocking of all is that this time last year, we didn't know this guy. I can hardly believe such a time period even existed.
Rye-Honey Spice Cake with Dates adapted from Vegetable Literacy
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 cup rye flour
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon Jamaican allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup kefir or buttermilk
3/4 cup chopped Medjool dates
Heat the oven to 350F. Brush an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with some of the melted butter, then dust it with extra flour. Tap out any extra flour. (The original recipe calls for an 8-inch tart pan with removable sides, but I used a 9-inch springform one and baked it just a few minutes less than the 30 minutes called for.)
Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the honey, eggs, the remaining butter, and kefir. Pour the honey mixture into the flour mixture and combine them quickly using a rubber spatula and a light touch. Add the dates and fold in.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes (or as previously mentioned, about 27-28 if you're using a 9-inch cake pan).
If you're using a pan with a removable bottom, gently push the cake, while still hot from the oven, upward to free it from the pan, as the honey can be sticky and cause it to adhere to the pan. Cool completely before serving.