I always read platitudes about how to recover from disappointing events. I don’t have a recent disappointing event, but almost every day I wonder if what I’m trying to write (or cook or say or whatever) is good.

I grew up on a farm adjacent to my cousin’s farm. We would meet in between and swim in the old swimming hole (don’t know if it’s still there). So much carefree summer fun.

My aunt, who was a great cook, would have freshly made bread with apple butter at her house. She also made a cake she called a “lemon sag cake.”

It was buttery around the edges lemony, crispy around the edges, and it did indeed sag in the middle of the pan. No frosting needed.

When I was older and was a little interested in cooking, I asked her for the recipe. She said, “oh–it’s just Betty Crocker’s lemon cake recipe. It failed because, you know, we’re at high altitude. I could have corrected the recipe, but everybody likes it this way.”

For some reason this stuck with me, especially when someone says they made “lemonade from lemons” after a sad or bad event.

I’m trying to make “lemon sag cake” from my recipe for books.