Barefoot Contessa's sour cream coffee cake

just desserts

T
his is Roy’s cake.

Okay, it’s Ina Garten’s recipe, but I make it every once in a while. This one belongs to Roy, though, because he stood up in front of the entire church yesterday and read a passage from the book of Hebrews.

It wasn’t easy. Roy volunteered for the job, but I could tell there were moments when his nine-year-old soul wanted nothing more than to call backsies. He had to practice the reading a few times every day. This runs counter to his nature as performing any task repeatedly stinks of boredom to him. Part of our practice time, then, was consumed with a discussion of why exactly we had to practice at all.

‘For you have need of endurance,’ one of the sentences of his reading began, and every time we reached it during one of his more reluctant run-throughs I would think, ‘you have no idea.’

“This is a short song,” Roy told me as the congregation worked its way through its last number before he would have to make his lonely walk up the aisle to the podium to read in front of a mercifully far-from-capacity crowd. “It’s going to be over really fast and then it’s going to be time for me to read.”

The song ended and off he went to read those seven sentences heavy with exhortations and commas to all who might hear. I felt sick as I watched him go.

‘But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,’ Roy read, and I thought, ‘no, you most certainly are not.’

He can eat the whole damn cake for all I care. He earned it.