Apparently, I stole a cake pan.
If you read the post about my grandma, you know all about her chocolate cake recipe. One thing I didn’t talk about was her cake pan.
The cake pan.
A most coveted of family treasures, this pan elevates the chocolate cake recipe to the next level. It looks like an angel food cake pan minus the removable bottom. Also, the tube in the middle is narrower than one in an angel food cake pan. I don’t know what it is about this pan (its metal content maybe?) but it’s the pan for Grandma’s chocolate cake recipe.
I traveled back to Iowa in early December to see my mom and dad. I thought it would be nice to make the chocolate cake for Mom’s 84th birthday, which was on the 11th. Being in an unfamiliar kitchen, I enlisted my dad to help locate measuring cups, baking chocolate, spatulas, and of course, the pan. When he pulled it out of the cupboard and handed it to me, I said, “Oh, wow, Grandma’s cake pan…”
Dad: “Do you want it?”
Me: “Yeah! Are you sure?”
Dad: “What am I going to do with it?”
I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. I would finally get to make birthday cakes for my family with the pan, Grandma’s pan.
Me: “I don’t know if it will fit in my suitcase….”
Dad: “I can mail it.”
Truly, I was a bit emotional and went to bed that night so happy that I would be the proud owner/guardian/caretaker/protector of the best cake pan on earth.
The next day, as we sat at my parents’ kitchen table eating birthday cake, (you can’t eat it the same day it’s baked) out of the blue, my brother said, “I get dibs on the cake pan.”
My heart sank faster than the Titanic.
I said nothing and tried to enjoy the little slice of chocolate heaven left on my plate. My mind was racing. What do I say? Do? I was quiet during the car ride back to my brother’s house. I lay awake half the night wondering and fretting and stewing. This was so important to me, but I felt stupid and petty for placing such importance on a cake pan, except it was the cake pan and my dad had offered it to me.
The next morning, after my brother had left for work, I wrote him a letter about what the cake pan meant to me, the significance of it being handed down from mother to daughter to granddaughter, and hoped he wouldn’t forever hate me for wanting it.
Before leaving for the airport, my dad helped me pack the pan into my suitcase and further insisted I take two generous slices of cake home for John and Ross. I was thrilled to be taking the cake pan to my house, and simultaneously a nervous wreck wondering how my brother would react to my letter.
Once home, I immediately pulled the cake pan from my suitcase and proudly showed it to John and Ross. They could not for the life of them figure out what all the fuss was about—that is, until they sat down with their cake slices, after which, I heard stuff like, “Good call, Mom!” and “Major score, honey!”
I didn’t hear from my brother for about a week, during which I agonized whether I’d ruined a good sibling relationship over a cake pan. I wanted to call him, but didn’t want to call him. Finally, he called and I said to him, “So you’re not mad at me?”
Bro: “About what?”
Me: “About the cake pan.”
Bro: “Oh, why didn’t you just say something in the car on the way home that night?”
I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
About three weeks later, I got a phone call. It was my niece (my other niece).
Niece: “Hello, cake pan thief.”
OMG, the torture begins anew…
And that is why I now wear the label Cake Pan Thief in my family. Apparently.