05 August 2010

The Color Orange

Sorry for the lack of originality regarding the titles lately; they're about as bland as Jeopardy categories.  I have never been very adept at brevity, especially when it required me to create something appropriately descriptive and original in a mere phrase.  But that's beside the point.

I like orange.  It's a warm, cheerful color for which I have developed a particular affinity since high school.  (My dress for senior prom in high school was a deep peach shade that complemented my date's even deeper orange suit--a coupling that might sound a too "matchy-matchy," but believe me, it actually did work.  The look certainly diverged from that of the majority of prom-goers, and we had great fun with it.)  Years on, I tend to stick with orange accessories, like my favorite, floppy, 10-buck steal of a purse.

I'm also fond of orange-colored edibles.  When I was a child, cantaloupe was always my top choice among the melons readily available each summer, beating out honeydew and watermelon.  Something about that distinctly sweet and refreshing flavor still makes the orange-fleshed melon a favorite seasonal treat.  Normally, I eat it as-is, but I thought I'd take it in a different direction by turning it into something drinkable, taking advantage of the melon's watery nature.  In an attempt to make something reminiscent of the melon-flavored bubble tea I consumed regularly during my freshman year at university, I brewed and cooled mango black tea, then blended it with fresh cantaloupe, ice, and a little bit of almond milk.  After filling the bottom of a glass with cooked mini boba--tiny tapioca pearls soaked in brown sugar syrup, hence the common "bubble" moniker--I filled the rest of the glass with the drink mixture.  All I needed was a straw to slurp up the tapioca.  The cantaloupe and mango bubble tea was a sweet departure from a typical smoothie, and brought back fond memories of me and my roommate frequenting the tea house across the street from our dorm.
Carrots, another typical example of orange edible items, have never been high of my list of preferred vegetables.  I do, however, enjoy them on occasion, especially as a key ingredient in carrot cake.  I made the carrot cake to celebrate the birthday of my beloved goldfish, Jimmy.  Not only does a multi-year lifespan of a goldfish strike me as particularly impressive, I also figured that everyone deserves a cake in his honor, even  a goldfish (who wouldn't obviously eat cake).  Granted, the occasion gave me an excuse to bake (and eat) dessert.  But hey, if I could salvage the remaining carrots in the refrigerator while paying tribute to little old Jimmy in a coincidently delicious way, why not?
I made the Carrot Cake with Orange Frosting from Celine and Joni's 500 Vegan Recipes, with one addition: as if the cake wouldn't be sweet enough already, I decided to spread a layer of vegan dulce de leche on the bottom cake layer before topping it with orange frosting.  To make the cake even more decadent and give it a bit more visual interest, I drizzled even more dulce de leche over the top of the orange-frosted cake.  The dulce de leche didn't add a very prominent flavor, maybe contributing subtle caramel notes and certainly sweetness to match the citrus-infused frosting.  In any case, the gold and orange colors were a cute homage to Jimmy, a decidedly orange-colored goldfish.  And despite the fact that Jimmy couldn't even enjoy his own birthday cake, needless to say, it did not go to waste.
That was just the first of many birthdays populating the month of August.  I couldn't possible justify baking cakes to honor all of those August babies, but I can guarantee that there will be quite an abundance of sweets around nonetheless.  Maybe they'll even be orange.

4 comments:

  1. Your carrot cake looks awesome! The dulce de leche sounds super!

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  2. I love bubble drinks. I could drink them every day! I actually had my mom make bubble drinks at our wedding reception! I'll have to try your recipe.

    I think it's adorable how you have a birthday cake for your fishie:) the carrot cake sounds super yummy!

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  3. I love bubble drinks. I could drink them every day! I actually had my mom make bubble drinks at our wedding reception! I'll have to try your recipe.

    I think it's adorable how you have a birthday cake for your fishie:) the carrot cake sounds super yummy!

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  4. Your carrot cake looks awesome! The dulce de leche sounds super!

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)