Jan/Feb 2024  •   Poetry  •   Special Feature

Holly's Homemade Honey Cakes

by Holly Payne-Strange

Rock art by Tim Christensen

Rock art by Tim Christensen

Holly's Homemade Honey Cakes

1 Rainy day
2 Scoops of patience (note: do NOT over patient. The bread won't rise if you do)
1 dram of Gin kissed by a firefly, left under a full moon
3 cups of genius
12 wild stories
Salt to taste.

Cook time: at least six months. Probably more.
Serves: I have no idea, why are you asking me? Three.

1. Put everything in a bowl and smash it around. Thoroughly combine the firefly gin and the wild stories, they'll emulsify to a soft glow. You'll need this when the rain comes.

2. Next take the brownies (Oh yeah, you'll need those as well) and just devour them. Really go at it. If you haven't got it on your nose, you're doing it wrong. Let the sweetness overwhelm you.

3. Take your glowing emulsification, and put it straight in the oven. (Oh yes, you should have already set that to "Wait, What? Why? mode") There's going to be a lot of smoke, because glowing emulsification hates being ignored. It doesn't understand what's going on, and just wants to have a straightforward conversation, like an adult. It's cool though, you can leave it for a while. It has a patient nature.

4. In time (Check every week or so) it will roast into determination. I'm not exaggerating, it really doesn't know what's going on. It only remembers when things were better, with those wild stories, and the respect they inspired. All it's got left is moon-kissed gin, peppered with the taste of half remembered genius. But that's enough. It's loyal, and knows a good thing when it sees it. And anyway, you were right, it ended up liking the oven. It threw a party, dancing with all the crispy bits at the bottom.

5. Take it out of the oven, set it on the side, and let it cool. Admire it. Tell it that it's beautiful, and glorious, and witty and strong, and that you really like it's new shoes.

6. Enjoy!

He asked me how I got through it, the first time he had a mental breakdown, why I had no doubt that things would get better.

This is how.