Books & Brews: Courtship of the Cake / Ballast Point’s Calm Before the Storm


Two of my favorite things in the world are craft beer and books. On the last Thursday of every month I pair a novel I love with a pint to sip while reading it, under the theory that there is a perfect beer to compliment every book.

This month I read Jessica Topper’s Courtship of the Cake. I’ll start with a warning – this book is going to make you want to eat cake. Even if you wouldn’t particularly list cake as your favorite dessert. Hummingbird Cake, loaded with fruit and spices and covered in a pineapple cream cheese frosting, yes please. It’s also going to make you want to get a massage. You’ll find yourself sitting on the stretch-y machine thing at the gym, thinking if only Dani were here with some essential oils to rub that spot between my shoulder blades, that would be so superior to this. That’s how well you get to know the characters in this book – so much so that you want them to hop off the pages and give you massages and bake you things. Continue reading

Just a Squirrel Trying to Get a . . .

Piece of cake?!  At least in my neighborhood they are.  I’ll explain.

On Saturday this appeared:

When it was slightly closer to its original form than it is now, it was clearly a graduation cake that met an untimely, probably uncoordinated demise.  Needless to say this is a big score for the city wildlife.  I keep imagining that I will come home to find a slew of cake-drunk birds and squirrels hanging out on my patio until they can sober up enough to crawl (or fly wobbly) home.  While this has yet to happen, I did witness a squirrel attempt to scurry up a utility pole and jump onto the roof of a building while carrying a piece of cake nearly the size of his body.  It was a noble effort, but he lost most of  it on the jump:

He (or she, of course) then proceeded to eat the bit that still remained in his paws and plan his strategy for the remaining chunk:

The next time  I went outside the giant chunk had disappeared.  While I realize that any number of things could have happened to it, I like to think that the little squirrel figured it out:  sometimes those big rewards involve a lot of little steps along the way.  Little bites, my squirrel friend, little bites.