A marriage can handle just one hysteric. That would be me. I only make this cake once a year, at Christmas. It’s a major production, for me anyway, because I give it as a gift to friends and I need six or eight of them in a short span of time. This year I decided to replace my old cake pan, which was still functional after decades of use, so what was I thinking? I went to a chic kitchen store downtown that advertises itself as:

“A Unique Culinary and Housewares store that specializes in the hard-to-find tools and supplies that home and professional Chefs desire….over 18,000 cookware and bakeware items….Our friendly, knowledgeable staff of cooks, bakers, and gourmands will help you find what you’re looking for or just let you browse!”

Well, the latch on the cake pan I bought from the gourmands broke after the third cake and I had already gotten rid of the old cake pan. I had a huge bowl of lofty batter waiting to go into the oven and no cake pan. The trick with this cake is to beat a lot of air into the batter and then get it in the oven. I’m ashamed to say I pitched a hissy fit, kicking cabinets and throwing things. Jim was horrified.

“Stop that,” he said. “I can fix this.”

“You can’t put duct tape in the oven, it’ll melt,” I yelled. He started laughing.

“Why do always think of duct tape? You wanted to duct tape the Christmas tree to the floor. It’s always duct tape with you.”

“I understand duct tape. It’s a Zen thing.”

“Well, I’m going to wire the latch shut,” he said. (Wow. I never would have thought of that!)While Jim wired the latch on the cake pan I called the gourmands who sold supplies that professional chefs desire and asked the grumpy manager to order me another, but better cake pan. She said it could take months to find one, she had such a huge list of vendors. I don’t know how I ever lived without Google. I found a German-made cake pan within five minutes and ordered it. I should probably take a moment to praise my husband and to point out once again that a marriage can handle just one hysteric.