Sicily draws admirers to its seas, sands and sites; Risa took the job seriously. She booked a villa, fully staffed, and stocked it with friends. They gazed at ruins, they crept through caves, they focused on the feast.
Mornings, on the terrace, they acquiesced to wild berries, fresh granitas and Bundt cakes in chocolate, lemon and orange. Midday the view shifted to eggplant, cheeses, gelatos — and a glistening plum-black cake. Nights in the formal dining room, they toured creamy pastas, fat red shrimp, garlic-heavy chicken. They pleaded for plum cake.
On the last day, the group gathered in the kitchen; they had one lingering concern. Choosing a heavy skillet, the chef melted in sugar, packed in plums, smoothed on batter. Baked and turned out, the cake glistened plum-black.
Risa came back with snapshots, with sighs and a single recipe. Puzzling through the prim cursive and odd metrics, she melted and packed and smoothed. Her cake glistened plum-black and tasted of Sicilian sunshine.