“Pour the mixture into a cake pan and bake until burnt all the way through,” my great-aunt reads out of an old recipe book that is slowly beginning to resemble more of a book of spells as the night goes on.
“Why do we burn it all the way through?” I ask hesitantly, not sure coming here was such a good idea.
“Because it is a breakup cake, the point is to burn all the love you still feel,” she snaps back in that way she has of making you feel like a twit for not understanding simple facts.
“But, don’t I have to eat it?” I dare to throw back at her, wishing one of my friends had picked up their phones and had the time to come over with a bottle of wine, a box of Kleenex and supply of chocolate. Now that most of my friends are parents, they are usually in bed by this time of night and the only shoulder I could find to cry on was my weird great-aunt.
“Well, are you going to pour it into the pan or not?” her sharp voice shatters the pretty picture I was creating in my head of the classic romantic comedy breakup scenes with best friends and junk food. Those scenes are usually followed by a romantic return of the dumb guy. Somehow I don’t think my eating a burnt cake will bring him back to me. The goal here seems to be the total opposite.
“Do you really only have this pan? It doesn’t feel right,” I gesture to the heart shaped cake pan laid out beside the bowl of batter.
“It’s symbolic. You are going to burn the heart, then break it up and eat it. But, trust me, you will be over this silly boy by the end of the night.”