Dangerous Compassions

carrot cake

Hello, reader.  How are you? My dad loved carrot cake for his birthday, with cream cheese frosting and walnuts. We were a no-raisin family, thank goodness.

I remember how he looked forward to the cake, and we joked about it. Like–what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?  We asked, even though we knew the answer.

Was it enough, just on his birthday? I wish I could go back in time (he is no longer among the living) and surprise him with a carrot cake in some random non-birthday month. But maybe once a year was enough.

Grating carrots, which cake pan to use, leaving cream cheese and butter on the counter so it could soften. Those small rituals I feel nostalgic for this morning.


Later I learned some people put pineapple in their carrot cake. Mostly crushed pineapple from a can, I’m guessing. Seems unnecessary. The carrots and the frosting were always my goal. The walnuts added tasty richness and more fat. I didn’t need more sweet at all, or pineapple fiber.

Pineapple burns my mouth, when it’s fresh. I can’t eat it at all anymore. But I think the canned kind never burned me. The wacky enzyme must get cooked out, in the canning process.

Later yet I made vegan ginger carrot cake over and over. For years it was our birthday cake, me and my ex-husband. It was pure joy with maple syrup. I made it with soymilk sometimes, orange juice sometimes, and apple juice sometimes. Each way tasted different and delicious. A happy memory.


I hate it when people say white people have no culture. My dad was a white guy, and my ex-husband was as well. I see a lot of white culture. Could the carrot cake be part of it?

How about football? Any ethnicity person could watch football, but it seems extra white, to me. Carrot cake anyone could eat. My dad liked comfortable sweatpants at home, but never outside. Maybe just to check the mail. That sounds like culture.

His red Ford truck. His love of dogs–he would have only one dog at a time, as a man’s best friend. Serial mandogomy. Hahaha–good one, Laura-Marie.

Baking Yorkshire pudding and sausage rolls seems white. Hiring the “mow and go” yard workers seems white. The yard workers were not white–that’s how that goes.

White people who say white people have no culture remind me of the musk deer who couldn’t recognize the smell of its own belly button. Or I hear people say you can’t hear your own accent. I hear accents well– I hear my own when it changes depending on who I’m with. I accent codeswitch all the time.


My accent is slightly different among:

  • young people
  • Ming
  • other Mexican-American people
  • people I’m afraid of
  • people I’m trying to enunciate better with because they are low on English
  • hard of hearing
  • my own self

My doctor is Canadian–I knew it before I read the degree on her wall.  She said the word “out” and I knew.  Maybe I should have been a linguist.

carrot cake

Well, I have strayed far afield from carrot cake. Thank you for accepting what I dish. You’re a sweet reader, reader.

Apropos to nothing, I embroidered garlic as an offering to my snake goddess. I had never embroidered garlic before, and I think it’s pretty good.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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