When Life Gives You Lemons…Make Trifle!

This past weekend was rough. I had my plans all laid out before me for baking Daffodil Cake. The spring flowers bursting forth after their winter slumber was my inspiration and as I tend to be impatient, I was ready for a recipe from the old days that would hopefully bring a little sunshine into everyone’s lives right now.

However, best laid plans tend to never come into fruition. I went to bed Thursday night with a headache and woke up Friday morning with a migraine. I struggled through the day with the usual nausea and what came with it, praying I could keep down the pain medication my doctor prescribed and hoping I could just get through the day. Maybe tomorrow would be better. “After all, tomorrow is another day,” to quote Scarlett O’Hara.



My recipe for Daffodil Cake came from the archives of one of America’s most famous and trusted resources for homemakers of the previous century. I will not mention the fictional character by name as not to cause a panic of die-hard fans to attack me online. But I will say, the pictured cake from the cookbook resembled the opening of a daffodil, hence its name. Topped with a orange gelatin and frosted with yellow tinged icing swirled over the edges and draped over the top, I had not seen a prettier cake in years.

The cake tasted great, I just wish it had risen up into a fluffy masterpiece as pictured in the cookbook. Two attempts using an all-purpose flour and again with a cake flour, did nothing to change the texture. I had four orange flavored pancakes on my countertops. Now I am down to my last cup of flour and remembering my mother’s memories of rationing during and after World War II. I’ve already become like those millennials I keep reading about…it’s all about me. I feel so ashamed.

But as our state goes into stay-at-home orders by the governor at 5PM tonight, and neighbors hoard toilet paper, and what would seem to be otherwise rational people give in to fear and panic making runs on gun stores for pistols and ammo, I am just trying to unravel the mystery of why my cakes never rise, and if I will survive another headache from hell.

But even in the current chaos, people are trying their hand at baking for the first time. Maybe they have decided to give it a go as a means of keeping the peace in their own homes where bored children are driving parents to scratch out every morsel of hope to keep their sanity with the little ones home all day. If so, just remember what the Bible says, “This too shall pass,”

From years back, I can remember those colorful posters from childhood classrooms. Those with a monkey dangling from a long string with slogans like, “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!” Or, the drawing of someone with a frown being rained on by a bucket of lemons, and the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” with the person smiling in the next frame with a tall glass of cool lemonade in their hand.

Well, many of us feel we are at the end of our rope, and life is sure pelting us with lemons right now, but we can turn it around if we just, “tie a knot and hang on.” Instead of lemons, I had oranges and a cake that didn’t rise very well. But I still had cake, so…I made trifle!


Author: Sissy1Pip

Born in Georgia and raised in North Carolina, I inherited the baking bug like so many of us; through childhood memories and standing by my mother's side as she prepared our family meal. I began this blog as a way of sharing my love of Southern baking and its treasured heritage.

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