…and I stared at it. Just stared at it in awe struck wonder. How can something taste so perfect?
Carrot cake is my favourite kind, and I hadn’t had any since becoming vegan. Now I’m finally reunited with my beloved in it’s vegan form, and it’s undoubtedly the best carrot cake I’ve ever tasted. Sometimes carrot cakes tend not to have enough of the spices in them, and end up being woefully bland. This was not the case with this beautiful cake. It was plenty “spicy”, just the way I like it. It had walnuts (WALNUTS, PEOPLE! All nuts matter, but none work as well as the walnut with a carrot cake), the icing was just the right amount for me (I don’t like excessive amounts of icing), it was perfectly moist, AND the icing had the nerve to have a tang to it, just like cream cheese… though no cream cheese was used in the making of this cake.
How did I come to such a place of cake appreciation?
1. I learned young. My mom loves cake, and always had some around the house.
2. The amazing Miss Heather of Pie Pie My Darling (no, she didn’t ask me to do this. Yes, I’m plugging her business. Every cake I’ve had has never disappointed) has showed me what vegan baking could really be. To be fair, I wasn’t vegan back in Philadelphia. Lucky her, she got to be the first to pop my vegan baked goods cherry! (I had to y’all).
3. I had one heck of a week, which I will tell you about right now…
I had been enjoying the benefits of having a real schedule up until last month and this month. Unfortunately, you can get bumped back to reserve, and it happened, folks. I was on reserve from Monday-Friday this week. Scheduling called, and I was originally assigned a 2-day. Tuesday morning, that changed to a 3-day, which spilled into Wednesday. Wednesday morning, I was extended until the last day of my reserve.
I was out 5 days, people. From an hours standpoint, that’s a good thing. Here’s why it sucked otherwise:
- I started feeling sick Sunday. I didn’t call out because I had called out last week. I hate calling out, but the cramps were that bad. I experienced the worst of the cold M-W, and barely had the energy to work. All I could basically do was work, eat, and sleep. I think it was the 2nd of the month for 2 days according to my paperwork.
- I started running out of food. 3/4 of the overnights weren’t near any markets that I knew of.
- I was running out of money to get food.
- I forgot my deodorant. I was ripe all of those days because of the reason above.
- I ran out of underwear. Yes people… I committed the traveler’s cardinal sin of not packing enough underwear. Don’t worry, though; there was a sink and soap that I put to good use to rectify the wrong I committed against myself.
Plus, I had to endure a bit of disrespect from someone. It was frustrating, and I was so done with life. I went home, dumped my bags into my room, and promptly turned heel and left the house. At first, I didn’t think I was hungry, but this sort of terrible day called for good food. I found myself walking the well-worn path I’ve made to Handlebar. I’ve started haunting this place ever since I found out I was a 15-minute walk away, and I fell in love with their Nashville Hot “Chik’n” sandwich. AND… they sell Pie Pie My Darling by the slice. What more could a girl want??
So there I was on a Friday night, desperately needing to decompress, and eat something good.
No, I didn’t order the Nashville Hot “Chik’n” this time. They still have the buffalo mac & Chz (vegan) on the specials list, so you know I’m on board; I love buffalo anything. I had this before I became vegan, and lusted over it for months. Now, not only have I found a vegan version, I found THE vegan version! I ate it slowly, slower than I ate it the first time I tried it.
I savored every bite. The creaminess of the “chz” sauce, the tang and bite from the buffalo sauce, the soft noodles, the fried seitan bits, which were crispy, and loved on by that buffalo sauce. Let’s not forget to mention the bread crumbs, AND the crack-laced house made vegan ranch dressing that was on top. They were not shy with it people. (There’s no crack in the sauce, I swear. At least none of which I’m aware, though it is addictive). Stuff that tastes this good is why there are fat vegans. I’m about to be one of them, but at least I’ll be eating good food.
Afterward, you know I had to have my cake!
How did I even find out about PPMD? Well, I
creepily obsessed over found her on Instagram, shortly before or after coming to Chicago last January. I didn’t realize the cakes were vegan at first; they simply looked drool-worthy and amazing. I went to a vegan food fest in the summer, where she was selling some of her cake. I tried the funfetti, and it was so good, I cried. I’ve been obsessed ever since.
Now that we’ve got the back story, let’s go back to the cake.
It was JUST the sweetness that I needed after such a tumultuous week. I felt like I sucked at adulting, life, breathing… just everything. Having the cake somehow made it better. It was nice to take time for myself to do what I love best: eat really good food. I couldn’t finish the whole cake right then, however. I always get to a certain part of the cake before I have to ask for a box. Then I put the remainder in the box, and greedily lick the plate (I promise I use a fork).
I have a lot going on: I don’t know what my future holds as far as where I’ll be living in the next 3 weeks. I don’t have a clear picture on my state of health. I don’t even know what my schedule looks like next week! All I know is that I was fat and happy last night; everything else will work itself out.
I paid my tab and gave a generous tip, then slipped out of the restaurant into the comfortable cool of the night to walk myself home.