Let Them Eat Quiche.

“Don’t run in the house! You’ll make my cake fall!”

My mother would yell this at me sometimes and I’d immediately come skidding to a stop. Then I’d spend the rest of the day creeping quietly around the house because I didn’t want to ruin the promise of cake. Even if it was just for company I knew I’d get at least a slice if I were good.

Then I started thinking it was a control thing because it wasn’t just running in the house.

“Don’t come in with that dirt on your shoes. You’ll make my cake fall!”

“Take that jar of bugs outside. You’ll make my cake fall!”

“Turn off those Godzilla movies! They’ll make my cake fall!”

Sometimes it even seemed like there was no cake. And I’ve never found out what happens if a cake falls. My best guess is that you get a flat, dense cake. Maybe that’s how brownies were invented.

For a time when I was a kid soufflés were also haute cuisine, which translates as “hot cuisine” if you don’t speak French. And I remember they’d fall too, but they were even worse than cakes. A soufflé would fall if you swore, breathed too hard, or looked at it cross-eyed. Maybe that’s why nobody makes soufflés anymore. They kept falling and eventually that was how quiche was invented.

If you do speak French je suis perdu. Ou es le Metro? Merde. Mais cela est une autre histoire.



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  1. Gina

    Your mother was brilliant. I would have never thought to use the “falling cake” excuse on my son to help calm him down. The fact that I never make cake might be a problem. I buy bakery cakes for special occasions. Even then I get it wrong. I’ll probably put this in a future post but my husband recently had a birthday and before I could even get the cake in the house, I somehow managed to make the top layer of the cake slide about an inch off of the bottom layer. When I tried to push it back my finger left big fingerprints in the icing. I’m like the anti-Martha Stewart. Oh well. I have other redeeming qualities! Probably.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      You have a sense of humor. That’s definitely a redeeming quality. And, hey, it was your husband’s birthday, and while some might consider a store-bought cake impersonal you managed to personalize it with your fingerprints. Next year get a really big cake and put handprints and footprints in it.

  2. PinkNoam

    I’ve read the internet, and I can tell you two things:

    1 – The cake is a lie.

    2 – ‘haute’ is French for high, not hot.

    I’m assuming that haute cuisine is cake with marijuana in it. I can live with that. I believe ‘chaud’ is hot. (my other half is fluent in French.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I should have learned early on that the cake is a lie. It’s also why I could never join the Church of England. As Eddie Izzard pointed out they just didn’t prepare for how many people would take cake over death.

      As for the rest, je ne parlez pa Francais. Je suis plouc de pays.

      Hopefully your other half will find that hilarious.

      1. PinkNoam

        He thinks it’s a suitably ironic piece of humour 😉

  3. Spoken Like A True Nut

    I would imagine a fallen cake is like a fallen angel. Still a heavenly creation, just a little more sinful.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      What a great comparison! Now that makes me want to bake an angel food cake and purposely make it fall.


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