My cousin Jennifer IM’ed me today. I was sitting on the back porch with my friend Nancy who comes over to write with me. We write together because it helps to have someone notice when you’re getting up too many times and perhaps not writing your novel. If she weren’t here, as I told her today, I would most likely be at the store. Or I might be wanting to plant things in the dirt patch that needs to turn into a garden.

Instead, I’m working, and that’s a good thing.

But Nancy is sitting across the porch from me, and so she doesn’t notice when I check my email or when someone IMs me…and today that someone was Jennifer who reminded me how when she lived in Boston and would come over to visit, we would often make the best chocolate cake anybody had ever heard of.

Every now and then a person needs to remember that there is chocolate cake in the world…and that even though it’s right now nobody’s birthday, you can still make one.

We agreed that we would both go make chocolate cakes, in solidarity with each other. And because it’s spring and we don’t live close together anymore.

And well, because sometimes you need a chocolate cake.

Here is the recipe we’ve always used–and I promise you it’s good:


Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

4 oz. ounces semi-sweet chocolate

1 stick butter

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

½ cup buttermilk

2 eggs

2 cups unsifted plain flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Melt chocolate, butter, and water together in a saucepan. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine and beat sugar, eggs and buttermilk. Add flour, salt, soda, and vanilla alternately with liquid chocolate mixture. Mix well. Pour into two greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done. Cake should almost cool before removing from pans. Frost as desired.

Here is the frosting I use:

¼ cup butter

2 squares of chocolate

1 1-lb box of confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


Melt butter and chocolate. Add sugar and vanilla. Add cream to obtain spreading consistency.


And oh, yes, I’m visiting the Night Owl Romance blog tomorrow (Friday). Lots of hunky guys on the covers of the books.