When my mom was a girl, her family's traditional birthday treat was angel food cake. Her mother always baked it from scratch, of course (this was the 1930s, so there was no boxed option)--using a dozen egg whites. What a production. With a cake like that, how could you feel anything but special on your birthday? I wanted to step into my grandmother's shoes for a moment, and experience the "from scratch" magic for myself. Baking this cake would be like settling into my mother's childhood for the afternoon.
I'm not keen on the modern, boxed variety of angel food. That's the kind my mom made, by the way. To me it has a faint metallic taste with undertones of chemical additives. I'm happy to report that a home-made, "from scratch" cake is delightful. The meringue batter is like ambrosia from the gods. In fact, my kids and I attacked the spatulas while the cake was in the oven, and I was heard to say, "I could eat a whole boatload of this batter." And flipping that cake pan upside down onto a wine bottle to cool really brought back childhood memories. Note the pink tint to my cake. Food coloring...only two drops. My little girls were delighted with the fluffy pinkness of the finished product. And it reminded me of the cake from the Seven Silly Eaters--"so high, and light and smooth as silk"..."it's pink from all my lemonade, I think!" Like Mrs. Peters, this cake made me really happy!