That Delectable Chain Cake of Friendship

Chain letters. We have all received some form of them over the years. You know how it goes: Send something to the person at the top of the list, add your name to the bottom, and then forward the letter to several friends. You are then promised great rewards as a result of your participation—money, recipes, luck, prayers.

Years ago, I participated in different sort of chain activity. It was called a friendship cake. Here’s how it worked:

I was given a cup of what looked like cake batter. It was actually called “starter” and was a key ingredient in keeping the cake alive for potentially generations. On the first and fifth day, I was instructed to add milk, flour, and sugar to the starter and then cover and refrigerate it. The only work was to remember to stir once a day.

On day 10, I was instructed to remove and give one cup of the batter and pass it on to three friends along with the instructions. To the remaining batter there were a bunch of ingredients to add—sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins, nuts, and fruit—before placing in a pan and baking.

The cake was so good that I kept one cup for myself, which meant I only needed to find two friends to receive the batter.

I don’t see the friendship cake working in today’s busy world where people barely have enough time to go to the grocery store to pick up an already-baked cake. This bakery chain letter takes time and commitment. It’s too bad, because it was quite tasty.

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