I grew up in an icebox cake family. On birthdays, my mother made the traditional treat, or what she lovingly called, “the birthday log,” which consisted of whipped cream and chocolate wafers, carefully pressed together to form — you guessed it — a log shape.
This was the extent of my baking exposure, which involved no baking at all. Sure, we made out-of-the-box brownies for bake sales and, when guests came over, a very special concoction of pre-made angel food cake reheated with a topping of butter and powdered sugar. But my childhood contained few memories of sifting or rising or cutting chilled butter into dough.