Earlier this month, a foodie friend posted a link to the Ding Dong cake from Chocolate, Chocolate and More and a flood of memories came pouring in. My darling friend, Joan, created that blog and made it hugely popular. She loved to bake and loved to spend time in the kitchen with her three children in her lovely Georgia home. But Joan was not a small town girl and she and this big city girl hit it off like gangbusters. She was smart, funny, sassy, irreverent and a good time. But she was also the person most likely to help anyone with anything without ever looking to take credit for it. She was a rare and special light.
Last year I lost my darling friend to a sudden and unexpected heart attack. She was only 49 and the news was so shocking that, to this day, I haven't fully accepted that she's gone. Something in my life will happen, and it'll be the kind of thing I used to tell her about, and I'll find myself about to email her before I remember she is not there. Her sister Gail took over her blog, as I knew was Joan's wish, and uses it to help support Joan's children.
But this past Saturday, the 24th, would have been her 50th birthday and so I baked her a cake. Her cake. The one she was so excited about and which I finally got to try. And it's as good as she raved about.
So, happy birthday, my darling friend. I miss you but you're always still here with me just a bit.
To see the recipe, head over to Chocolate, Chocolate and More and, while you're there, stock up on all her other amazing sweet creations.