For the Women Who Came Before Me Cake


Exams are officially over.  It was a long haul.  Let’s take stock: two breakdowns, 60ish hours of studying, four outlines, a backache, and several hard-to-sleep nights.  I woke up before the crack of dawn to make it to three 8:30 AM exams.  This was even less fun than standing in line for 45 minutes at the Post Office to mail holiday packages.  But, you know what?  I am grateful for this.  Why?  Because there were many impressive women who fought bloody hard for my right to be here.  The first women to take the bar were denied admission on the basis of their gender.  The Supreme Court even upheld the denial of their applications.  Now women account for nearly half of law school applicants, and we have a record three women Supreme Court justices.  Things are not completely rosy in law-land; women still suffer from a terrible wage gap, and an even more horrendous gap in leadership parity (known as the 50-15 problem—fifty percent of law students are women, but only fifteen percent of law firm equity partners and chief legal staff are women).   Nevertheless, my “right” to sit among my peers is a privilege that was hard earned.  The women who came before me had to prove that we are good enough, smart enough, and tough enough to make it.  As for me, I get to bake because I choose to, and I get to attend law school because I choose to.  It’s a beautiful gift.  For all the women who came before me—thank you for teaching me how to make my cake and eat it in style.

For some specific history on women in the legal profession, see: http://www.abcny.org/Library/FeaturedExhibitions2.htm

Lemon Cranberry Cake

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

1)      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two muffin tins, or one muffin tin and a loaf pan.

2)      In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition.  Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon rind.

3)      In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk the ingredients together thoroughly.

4)      Add half the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly, then add half the milk and mix again.  Repeat this step until the batter is thick and even.

5)      Gently stir in the chopped cranberries.  Distribute batter into loaf or muffin pans.

6)      Bake a loaf for 50 minutes; bake muffins for 25 minutes.

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2 Responses to “For the Women Who Came Before Me Cake”

  1. Emily Says:

    The perfect combination of inspiring and delicious! Happy New Year, darling!

  2. Mommy Says:

    So is there any evidence that these wonderful ladies made/ate Lemon Cranberry Cake? :-) Love you always.

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