Let them read cake!


Hey, they have cake pans on the shelves of New Haven Free Public Library now. It gives new meaning to the term “Reader’s Digest.”

You can check out the cake pans, many of which are comically shaped to resembled cartoon and movie characters, from the children’s section of the library. You have them out for three weeks. The cake pans are renewable.

We used ours when we first started getting lots of yellow squash from our friends’ gardens. I wondered if there was some sort of fruit bread I could make with squash, similar to a zucchini bread.

Better, there was a cake. I found several recipes online for squash cake, then mingled them into one which best suited my own needs and tastes:

One and a half cups brown sugar

One and a half cups white sugar

Three teaspoons baking powder

One-half teaspoon baking soda

Three eggs

One-half cup margarine, or vegetable oil

Three cups finely chopped or grated squash

Three or more cups flour

One-half cup walnuts

One teaspoon cinnamon, and maybe a little nutmeg

Mix up the ingredients until it’s a batter. Pour batter into greased New Haven Free Public Library cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so.

Our pan was in the shape of Ziggy, the big-nosed Everyman of greeting card and comic strip fame. I mixed brown-sugar frosting for his body and white sugar frosting for the speech balloon above his head (which admittedly came out looking more like a turban). Mabel did the decorating, with food-color markers.

We took the cake to church for the after-service coffee hour, where it was roundly devoured. Our church is just across the street from the library, but we didn’t return the cake pan right then. You have to return it in person, not through a slot in the library wall. The library also wisely insists that you wash borrowed pans (by hand; machines may ruin the surfaces) before returning them.