Thursday, February 15, 2007

The groundhog is such a kidder

Yesterday I did the unthinkable for a person in the news business. I called in on account of snow. In the more than fifteen years I've been in this business, I missed exactly two days of work because of the white stuff. Once, in 1996, I had to turn around and go home when I got halfway to work and my car couldn't plow through the foot-high drifts that were sailing around the backcountry roads. It was a weekly and we weren't on deadline, so I didn't feel so bad.

This time however, I was all set to go. I was planning what to wear, and thinking about my still broken cell phone charger when Jed gave me the stern look that only FATHERS can muster: "YOU ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT GOING OUT IN THIS ARE YOU?"

"I have to," I say, feeling a little like a rebuked child.

"I have to go to work," I continue, with endless reasons at my disposal:
People are counting on me

At least TWO people are on vacation

I know some people just won't show up

and I know there might very well be only TWO people that DO show up. ...

And yet his reasons for staying by the warmth of the fire, petting our sweet ailing dog and forgoing the battle of a potential two-hour commute were equally compelling:



So I acquiesed and got on the horn to work.

It was a good day, though: Annabel got to break in her new snow shovel, a valentine's gift from her dad who trudged out around noontime to go to the store on an errand for baking supplies and who ended up coming home with a new movie he bought on impulse while standing in the checkout line.

Professional guilt, as well as a need for toddler diversion, made me send him to the store for 18 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and enough eggs to get us through the week should I clean us out with my plan:
I was going to bring a "guilt" cake to work.

About 20 inches of snow (and seven hours later) Annabel was helping me put the finishing touches on the chocolate cake we made (only half of which I brought to work this morning because of theiving housemates).

"Look mommy, I'm snowing on the cake."

So here it is:
Zero Flour, All the Guilt

1 cup water

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

18 ounces bittersweet chocolate (bar form) (We added half a bag of Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips because we were a tad short).

1 stick butter, cut into cubes

6 large eggs

Preheat over to 300 degrees F.

Melt chocolate in double boiler (are you nuts. USE THE MICROWAVE).

Combine water, sugar and salt in medium sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is disolved, stirring continuously. (Annabel did this part).

Fold butter into melted chocolate one cube at a time. Add syrup mixture and blend in eggs one at a time. (I'm sure Annabel would have been more precise than I was in this endeavor; I dropped in two eggs at once, then dropped one egg on the floor).

Pour into 9" springform pan and place in oven in a water bath.

Bake 45 minutes.

When it had cooled, I filled a tea ball with confectioner's sugar and let Annabel make a blizzard on the cake ... and in the kitchen and all over her clothes.


wordgirl said...

Sounds fabulous! Only flakes and flurries of snow so far in our neck of the woods. I'm ready for Spring.

Nicole said...

i love the teaball trick. also, will have to try this reciple.

Melissa R. Garrett said...

Woo-hoo! Cake!

We're here in Central NY (Ithaca) where we got about 20 inches as well. The kids finally went back to school today, after missing two days. Snow days are fun, and it sounds like you all had a blast. My husband works for Cornell, which has closed TWICE for snow in its whole history, and he actually went in during the thick of the snow. But no sooner had he gotten to work, he was told to go back home. Of course he stayed a few hours anyway and ended up getting a free personal/sick day out of it.

Me? I would have called in. You have to take care of those little bambinos . . . feed them lots of cake, give them lots of warm snuggles!

Cheers to you!