On the Cusp (+ Plum-Cocoa Cakes)

[Point Reyes National Seashore, January 2013.]

Fall Song

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries — roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay — how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
~ Mary Oliver

I feel on the cusp. Summer spins into fall, Indian Summer lays its light hands across the city, the sun shines hot and bright. The sky has turned into that deep blue and yesterday was the Equinox. Everything feels about to change (and so it will); where will the path lead? What comes next?

Maybe what comes next is a batch of plum-cocoa cakes, fragrant with cinnamon and rich with hazelnuts. I’d almost call these ‘pudding cakes’ for their fudgy texture but really I think they are more ‘cake’ than pudding. They are dairy-free and this recipe calls for coconut milk but if you prefer to use soy, almond or regular whole milk feel free to substitute. These cakes also freeze well, which is perfect for when you make a dozen and then find your appetite has disappeared (soon enough it will be back, I imagine).

Fall is my favorite season despite the promise of winter that lingers during the blue hour that comes ever earlier each day. Perhaps that is why I love it so: it is fleeting, it is lovely, it encourages us to savor this moment, as brief as it may be. Hold on.

Join the Conversation

  1. Yum! This looks superb! Can’t wait to bake some and think of the new seasons and changes.

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