In my world of foods, there is a natural order. Some things are perfect enough in their own way to be eaten and savored alone. To douse them with condiments, bully them into pockets of bread, or season them beyond all recognition would be to equal to denying their very existence. Examples: banana bread, baked sweet potato, peanut butter, chocolate ice cream, roasted tomato soup, a fresh orange. Opposing this height of the hierarchy are the vehicles. These foods are doing thankless grunt work. They’re providing all the assists. They are eaten merely as a vehicle for other foods which cannot be eaten so easily alone. I’m REALLY into condiments but probably won’t be eating mustard directly from the jar any time soon. Solution? Pretzels! Guacamole? Tortilla chips! Ketchup? Fries! Lox? Bagel! Hummus? Carrots! Hot fudge? Spoon! (Yeah, I went there.) Buttermilk ice cream and fruit sauce? Pound cake!

Pound cake is not something I’m ever craving. Don’t get me wrong, it’s dense and buttery deliciousness is something I remember from childhood as a favored summertime treat. But what I remember more strongly than the cake itself are the strawberries and whipped cream I would eat it topped it with. With all due respect, I classify pound cake a vehicle!

It should come without much surprise that this particular pound cake was an afterthought. I was making buttermilk ice cream (amazing, by the way!) when I thought it might be nice to have something to eat it with rather than just spooning it from a dish. Once the decision to make a pound cake was solidified, I realized fruit would have to accompany. I love the way a fruit sauce seeps into the golden surface of the cake but doesn’t disintegrate it completely the way it might with a more delicate confection. Add the ice cream as it melts and you have a splendid bite ahead of you. This is a vehicle at its finest.

Pound Cake Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Buttermilk Ice Cream from Bon Appetit

Blueberry Sauce from Bon Appetit


3 thoughts on “Vehicles

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