I know tomorrow is Pi Day, thus pies are being posted right and left. But kids, I couldn’t wait to share this one. I’ll share a pie next week sometime. We cool?
Do you remember the red pistachios? Do they still exist?
I loved those things. They got red dye all over my hands, but I always thought they tasted better than the regular kind. My grandparents always kept them around for me. And then one day, they disappeared. I haven’t seen a red pistachio since.
Things have a habit of disappearing, unfortunately. There’s a great poem by Elizabeth Bishop called “One Art” where she talks about what she calls “the art of losing.” It’s a great poem, and my English teacher self highly recommends it to you. But I sometimes get creeped out by how much I’ve lost without even realizing it until after the fact.
It’s normal, of course. My childhood houses are gone, the cities I grew up in, all in the past. And while I’d like to think that they’re still out there somewhere, it’s hard to factor in the existence of a house I no longer live in, or a city I haven’t seen in years. But that’s life.
Luckily, pistachios still exist, even if they’re not red. And they come in great flavors. If you’ve never tried a salt and pepper pistachio, you are missing out. And if you’ve never had pistachio cake, that needs to end right now.
This cake recipe was handed to me years ago by a friend, and I just never tried it. To be honest, it didn’t look right at first. Pistachio pudding mix existed? And I could put it in cake?!
Oh, I was such an innocent. Cake mix rocks, pudding mix rocks, and when you put them together, they create even more delightful results. In this case, you get a perfectly dense, does-not-taste-like-a-mix, beautifully green cake.
Just in time for St. Patrick’s, might I add! That’s right. I’m getting into the holiday spirit here. And the glaze pushes this cake right over the top. I put some almond extract into the glaze (which I would inhale straight if I didn’t suspect it tastes icky by itself) and that really made that pistachio flavor pop.
The thing is, we never notice some of our favorite things until they’re gone. Or people, really. I miss a lot of people. I miss places I grew up. I miss red pistachios. And while I hope never to miss pudding mix, you never know. The time is now. Cherish what you have!
1 box yellow cake mix
2 boxes (3.4 oz. each) pistachio pudding mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk (I used 2 percent)
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a bundt or tube pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix all of the cake ingredients together until everything is smooth and incorporated. Your batter should be nice and evenly green.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Depending on the size of the pan (a smaller and/or deeper pan has more baking time), bake for anywhere from 45-60 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool until the cake is no longer hot. Invert the pan onto a plate and continue to cool.
- While the cake cools, make the glaze. Combine the butter, almond extract, and powdered sugar. Gradually add the milk until the desired consistency forms. You want a thick glaze, but it needs to be liquidy enough to pour.
- Carefully remove the cake from the pan. Pour the glaze on the cake and let it set.
- Cut into slices and serve.