A couple of years ago, when my friend Thrasso came to visit me from Canada, he mentioned that May had been officially designated as Coffee Cake Month. When I asked how he came by such an important nugget of information, he told me that it was, at least, Coffee Cake Month in his world. He finds it useful as a month-long ruse to get people to give him cake.
His visit, which conveniently occurred during the month of May, was spent spreading The Word. Like some sort of wavy-mopped herald, he trumpeted the news of Coffee Cake Month across San Francisco: to bartenders, shop girls, friends, strangers. He pretty much told everyone he came into contact with about it. The woman behind the service counter at Tartine Bakery even nodded and gave him a wan “I knew that” sort of reply as she wrapped up our non-coffee cake purchases. Not-so-secretly, he was hoping she might drop some of his favorite baked good into our bag. The ploy was unsuccessful, but it wasn’t for lack of trying on his part. Undeterred, he spread the gospel of Coffee Cake for the rest of his visit. I wonder how many people took his announcement to heart?
I did, for one. God protects those too easily open to suggestion.
I decided to do a little research. I Googled “Coffee Cake Month” and came up with little more than mail order Cake-of-the-Month clubs. I did, however, manage to find something called “Coffee Cake Day” at Rumela.com, which was disheartening, as it reduced the amount of celebration by 29 days. At the time of this printing, Rumela.com is a rather creepy website with side bars and ads daring me to click on things like “The Fart Button. Press it. You know you want to.” and “Mate 1 Intimate Dating.” How these things are related to coffee cake, I am uncertain, but there must be some yet-to-be-undertood connection. Here is what I was told about Coffee Cake Day. The grammar is theirs, not mine.
“Every year we celebrate Coffee Cake Day on 7th April, it is an important event to all people because cake is a fantastic food to us at any time we love to eat it, not only a testy food it’s have a good food value. However indulge and pamper yourself with loads n loads of yummy and delicious treats, and share the taste of fun with all your friends, family and sweetheart also make the day more attractive with some beautiful coffee cake.”
So that’s what fun tastes like.
I wondered to myself if this was how holidays get started. Some random person comes up with an object to celebrate and tells two friends, then they tell two friends, and so on, like a Fabergé Organic Shampoo commercial. Or, in Thrasso’s case, this coffee cake business might be a Canadian thing, though I tend to think of them as eating daintier cakes with the tea they drink after stirring a bit of milk into china cups with their 1981 Royal Wedding commemorative spoons. If you happen to be a Canadian and reading this, I know you have one of these spoons. In fact, I believe all 33,098,932 of you own one or, at the very least, have easy access to one. I’ve seen them and I have used them on more than one occasion.
I have decided to join Thrasso in his drive to make May an international celebration of all things coffee cake or, at the very least as a month of Coffee Cake awareness and reflection. My hope is that, by spreading the word and baking these cakes every May, our celebration might blossom and overtake other, competing May Awareness celebrations like National Arthritis Month, Haitian Heritage Month, and National Stroke Awareness Month.
Try making your own sometime. They are fairly simple to make and there are thousands of recipes of varying degrees of palatability from which to choose. Make May your month of coffee cake experimentation and devotion. Join us and bake off a few to present to friends and loved ones and encourage them do do the same.
Together we can provide for the snacking needs of the entire world.
Please join us for next year’s 1st Annual Coffee Cake Film Festival which I will be hosting as soon as I can find enough films in which this underappreciated cake is featured.
And do tell two friends.