What does Cindi Scoppe do when she’s not producing the best print commentary — nay, the best political journalism — in South Carolina?
She bakes cakes.
Not just a cake here or there. She bakes a lot of cakes. And not your yellow cake out of the Duncan Hines box. She bakes, from scratch, such things as “Cookie Dough Brownie Cake” and “Caramel Almond Torte” and “Orange Cheesecake” and “Apple Sharlotka” and “Pistachio Baklava Cake” and on and on.
And she does it all at once.
Several score of her closest friends were reminded of this over the weekend at her 8th annual Advent cake party. She served 25 cakes in all.
She took off all of last week to complete the task, even though that meant doing the whole week’s editorial pages ahead of time. What of that? Those cakes weren’t going to bake themselves.
Cindi… needs this outlet. What’s more, she deserves it. She works long hours at the paper doing the work of eight people. Then she takes home mind-numbing documents such as legislative bills and academic studies and reads every word of them on nights and weekends.
Someone out there who knows this about her may object, “But she’s diabetic.” True, and I think that may have something to do with the… intensity… of her cake fixation. But there was never a diabetic who more assiduously kept track of her condition or addressed it more readily. More than once, I’ve seen her hike up her skirt and give herself a shot of insulin in the thigh because there was a slice of cake before her that needed eating. (Once, she did this in the governor’s office over lunch. I thought Mark Sanford was going to fall out of his chair.) Cindi’s just a very matter-of-fact person who deals with things, eats her cake and moves on.
I asked her for some stats — how much sugar, for instance. She said she had no idea, but she did offer, “I want to say around 25 pounds of butter.”
She sent me all the recipes. I count, let’s see, 99 eggs, plus the yolks of two others. One recipe, chocolate mousse cake plus chocolate buttercream frosting, called for eight eggs.
Needless to say, I wasn’t eating any of this, or even coming into contact with it. Nothing is more deadly to me than dairy products and eggs. But I took a plateful home, since my wife couldn’t make it to the party. She appreciated it.