Sunday, July 10, 2011

ISO Cake

My sister, Ellen, joined me in Chincoteague at the end of the week and we spent a lazy day together talking, walking the beach, riding our bikes and sitting in the hot tub. After dinner Friday night we started talking about Smith Island cakes. Ellen had tasted a couple and as she described the many light layers, the delectable frosting, the overall wonder of the thing, we decided we had to taste one.

So we went by a place that advertised the cakes. They were out. The town bakery was closed. As we looked through menus in our motel lobby, the ladies at the desk overheard our conversation. We would be driving home the next day through Salisbury. Did they know of anyplace?

Salisbury, asked one, with a faint smile and a faintly arched brow. Yes, she did. Which is how Ellen and I found ourselves in a little strip shopping center off Milford Drive in downtown Salisbury, Maryland, buying ourselves each a slice of a fresh strawberry Smith Island cake.

Yes, the layers were lighter the air. And there were seven of 'em. The strawberries were ripe and full-bodied. The frosting was divine. No wonder the cake is Maryland's official state dessert. It was a sweet way to end a vacation.

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