Graduation proved to be a busy week for even a novice baking professional like myself. I was tasked with several orders, the most challenging of which was a book cake. But having always loved books, it was a welcome challenge.
Those of you who love to read know how exciting it is to delve into a book and become absorbed for days in a story that gives you a glimpse into another world. I remember sneaking Enid Blyton (a popular British children's author, back in the day) books under the covers as a young girl and reading for hours with a flashlight when I ought to have been asleep.
A love for reading is one of the things that I was excited to share when I met my husband. I was in a book club at the time, one where we read books by South Asian authors. It was a burgeoning genre and I found it exhilarating to read and discuss these books with other Indian friends.
My husband was curious about what these monthly meetings were all about. I impressed upon him that it was a very intellectual group, educated at MIT, Columbia, Carnegie Mellon and the likes. People with diverse opinions, I told him, who shared a common South Asian upbringing which made for interesting discussions.
On the particular night I brought my husband along, we were having dinner and the discussion at a lovely home in an outdoor setting. The book was about India's independence and aptly titled Riot. There was one racy scene, which bore little relevance to the plot but it was so scandalous that it merited discussion. Some discussion...not the entire meeting!
However, one book club member decided that in the interest of not offending neighbors who might overhear the discussion, we should refer to the scandalous sex scene as Cafe Latte; thus we could keep any offensive rhetoric to a minimum. Of course my homilies about how much I love to read and how intelligent my fellow book club members were did not have much of an effect after my husband witnessed us in action that night!
We must have heard, said and laughed about the Cafe Latte incident no less than two dozen times. It was hilarious. Certainly not the thought-provoking discussion we usually had, but it was funny. To this day, my husband jokes about the night we discussed Cafe Latte and we laugh about it. Even now, I try to convince him that the meeting he attended was an anomaly.
That particular book club meeting was many years ago but it still amuses me to think about it and making this cake reminded me of the intelligent, insightful group people who filled that year with stories, entertainment and Cafe Latte!