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Jeruba's avatar

I've decided to start a new family tradition. Care to join in?

Asked by Jeruba (55737points) November 4th, 2018

It’s not a holiday. It’s nobody’s birthday in my family. But it is a day of note: the end of Daylight Savings. We set our clocks back an hour and watch the night close in.

Starting tonight, the darkness comes on in earnest. From now until the winter solstice, it’s white-knuckle time, waiting for the days to start lengthening. This is always a bit of a tough time of year for me. Even here in California, where it’s relatively mild, the deepening darkness can be depressing.

What better way to mark this transition than a cake? A Dark Cake. To propitiate the Spirits of Darkness and prevent them from shutting out the light completely.

Of course this won’t work if you live where daylight all but disappears in winter, or where the seasons scarcely change, or where they don’t practice Daylight Savings at all.

But you can make a cake anyway. A Dark Cake. Chocolate, of course. That’s what I’m going to do. And, for the sake of the symbolism, I’m not going to frost it.

Join me?

Tags as I wrote them: Daylight Savings, darkness, light, cake, chocolate, ceremonial observances, time.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

I will drink a Stout. Does that count?

ragingloli's avatar

I will sacrifice a newborn to appease the sun god. Does that count?

canidmajor's avatar

My mother had a tradition of calling a number of friends and declaring “Summer’s right around the corner!” on the day of the solstice. She figured that starting the darkest of times with a chuckle was a pretty good thing.

I do that, too.

Which, of course, doesn’t help much today. Sorry.

rebbel's avatar

I reset the clock a week ago (as did the whole of Europe).
Since I’m on a diet, I won’t do dark cakes.
I do only wear dark clothes from the start of daylight savings, till the 21st of December, though.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I’m in favor of anything that brings more cake to my life.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I’m not a baker, but my tradition is using the end of Daylight Saving as a reminder to change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Jeruba's avatar

Cake is just out of the oven. Smells great. I have to figure out what omitting the frosting symbolizes. Maybe it’s about not keeping the demons of darkness in.

In any case, I now have to resist the temptation to have cake for supper.

canidmajor's avatar

Let the demons of darkness win this time! Have the cake for supper!

zenvelo's avatar

Saw this too late to bake or get a cake, but I like the idea of a new tradition.

Do anything two years in a row, and it becomes a tradition. Put this on your phone calendar for next year to remind yourself to bake a cake!

kritiper's avatar

What? A chocolate cake without chocolate icing?? Blasphemy! And no hot cocoa??? HORRORS!

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I have to figure out what omitting the frosting symbolizes.

This make me think of Boston brown bread in a can. Good memories.

Jeruba's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay, we used to have this every Saturday night, along with baked beans and hot dogs.

I still make my own steamed brown bread, better than what you could buy in a can. I used my mother’s old one-pound Maxwell House can (with the metal lid that you removed with a key) until it wore completely out. These days I steam it in a bain marie pot.

augustlan's avatar

I like this idea! Next year, I’m in.

seawulf575's avatar

Nah…I just hike out and observe the beauty of the night sky. Always something to see up there!

JLeslie's avatar

Fantastic idea! I’m in. I think you could put chocolate frosting on it, but maybe you chose no frosting because the sweetness wouldn’t represent the negative feelings you have for the oncoming shorter days?

Side note: I have a brown bread recipe from Disney’s Irish restaurant Ragland Road. I wonder if it’s the same type of brown bread you refer to?

Do we get to make a cake for the time change in the spring? Maybe coconut, or upside down pineapple, or strawberry shortcake, plain vanilla cake, lemon cake, cake with a big sunshine drawn on the white icing?

zenvelo's avatar

@JLeslie In the spring we lose an hour, so maybe a quick bread!

JLeslie's avatar

@zenvelo We need to make a separate Q about it to keep this one one track. I’ll wait to see if maybe @Jeruba wants to do it, since this chocolate cake idea was her original brilliance.

LostInParadise's avatar

Nothing wrong with adding a new holiday, but it fades in significance compared to the winter solstice a month and a half afterwards, which marks the time of increased sunlight and, coincidentally or not, falls a few days before Christmas.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have a feeling that is the reason we have such major holidays in the dead of winter…to help take our minds off of the dreariness. By the time you come up for air the days have started to get long again.
But I’ll eat a cupcake to that!

kritiper's avatar

Since you’re going to nix the frosting, may I make a suggestion? If it were a layer cake, you would do this to one of the layers (top), and if a pan cake, the whole thing. Before baking, sprinkle chocolate chips and/or chopped walnuts across the top to symbolize dead leaves and stuff.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thanksgiving is the only one that applies just to the US. The Southern Hemisphere celebrates Christmas and New Years in the summer. Even in FL and Central America we often are having very nice weather. Although, I do agree that it’s nice to have the holidays when it’s dreary out to have something to look forward to.

Jeruba's avatar

@all, if you like any part of the idea, go for it. You don’t have to do it my way. Put marshmallows and blue sprinkles and dots of mozzarella on top if you like, and avocado slices in the middle, with a side of sardines. There are no rules here. Have fun.

I didn’t frost it because I wanted to taste just the cake and because I’m better off without the extra sugar. Some whipped cream on top would have been great, but I didn’t have any. Everyone loved the cake idea. I even stuck a symbolic candle in the middle, but didn’t light it. People moved the candle as they cut more slices. (It was a 9” x 13” rectangle.) Maybe I’ll light the candle when the cake is gone. Symbolically.

And I had a big piece for breakfast this morning. When you’re grown up, you can do stuff like that.

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