Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Cake Lady
Just a little old cake for a party we had on our block, thrown together by Miss Chaquita, the Cake Lady.
I met her on one of the days when I was signing the papers for my new house in early 2006. She was delivering a cake to the real estate office in our new subdivision. I learned then that she would be my "across the street" neighbor, and she would move in to her house shortly after we moved into ours. She was very friendly, and had made such good friends with the realtor that she had baked her a cake!
I snuck a look in her new kitchen one day when the workers were finishing up before she moved in--the stove and ovens were a definite upgrade beyond what was in my "spec home" kitchen. Double ovens, and a nice gas cooktop. You could tell there was a serious cook who was going to move into this house!
It didn't take long for her and her hubby to make friends with the neighbors. Many a hen fest began out on the driveways. The roosters met in the garages, and we planned block parties and get-togethers. More and more neighbors were moving into the new subdivision, and each one was welcomed, usually by Chaquita, and she usually had a delicious cake in her hand as a welcome gift.
She and her hubby were especially helpful to me, because my husband only lived 3 months in our new home before he passed away. And at his funeral dinner, she offered us one of her delicious pound cakes covered with the fudge frosting. My whole family was initiated to what treats were made on a regular basis in that gourmet kitchen, and they all knew her as the "cake lady".
The Halloween cake was created for one of our Halloween block parties, where we all gathered on someone's driveway, a firepit with a blazing fire in it to warm us all, usually planned by Chaquita and Anne, the two professional cooks on the block. We had a great time, chatting, eating, drinking Chaquita's slushies! Who cared if no kids came to get Halloween candy? The grown-ups were having their own kind of fun.
She helped me make my groom's cake for my daughter's wedding, since it had a challenging kind of icing on it. The cake turned out great, even if I did bake it!
We all got the shock of our lives this week. Our dear friend Chaquita, the cake lady, passed away suddenly on Monday. She had been feeling ill with the stomach flu, and in the middle of the night, she got up, but had a deadly brain aneurism and was found on the bathroom floor by her husband. Sadly, the paramedics tried to save her, but to no avail. We had to say goodbye to our dear friend, her sad funeral was held today, with hundreds there to give testamony to her life.
When you know someone whose life is in the hospitality field, you know that this person thinks of others. Her creations in flour, sugar and eggs went beyond a mere baked item, they were her expression of love to all who tasted what she made. She always wanted to make sure everyone was satisfied, that their hungers were filled. It could have been a hunger for food, or for friendship, she tried to reach out and fill the need. We all gave testamony to the fact that our lives were touched deeply by her life, and our lives will have a huge hole in them because she is gone.
We will miss you, Chaquite, aka "cake lady". The memories we have of your tasty concoctions only enhance our memories of your friendship and love. Enjoy it up there on Cloud 9, and give those angels some delicious devils food cake! Sinfully delicious!