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I love a red, white, and blue dessert for the 4th of July.

It was fun to bake an angel food cake from scratch over the holiday weekend. Especially eating it with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and fresh whip cream. Delicious! Before you continue reading, please read the disclaimer:

Remember I am a relaxed cook and baker. In other words, I’m high on ideas and low on ambition. If there is an ingredient I do not recognize, I will move on to another recipe. If it seems complicated to make, I will enjoy the photo and move on. I need lots of time and a lot of counter space. I do not cook or bake as often as many, so everything takes time. I’ve made a lot of things one time because cooking is an adventure not a routine for me. Keep that in mind. If you are an experienced cook, there is nothing new here for you. If you are a casual cook like me, this might inspire.

The story continues…

First, I prepped the ingredients. This always takes me time, but saves time later on.
The recipe called for 12 egg whites at room temperature. I wasn’t the only one sweating in the summer heat on Saturday while waiting to reach “room temperature.”
Separating the eggs does not mean placing them around the house one by one like for an Easter egg hunt. I am intimidated by the work it takes to get that white away from the yolk. It hasn’t always gone well in the past. I set my expectations lower this round. I went for “good enough” and “close enough.” After doing this twelve times, I was relieved to get to the last one! What do you do with the yolks?
Lemon juice is a better situation. I love my lemon juicing tool. I am fascinated by placing the lemon butt up and pushing. I like squeezing the device and the fresh lemon scent. I like how it catches the seeds. The leftover juice went in my ice water. Perfect.

Next, I got to beat the egg whites in the KitchenAid mixer I got for a wedding present 29 years ago. Still going strong. On both counts. This part was also fun because I got to watch for “until foamy.” Then “soft, billowy mounds.” After that came “glossy peaks.” Watching those stages actually appear in the shiny steel mixing bowl brought a smile to my face!

Next up: Folding the flour into the egg whites a little at a time. Who doesn’t love the calming curiosity brought about by folding in ingredients? It is not like folding laundry that then looks neat and tidy. It is a gentle shoveling of one thing into the other, encouraging the ingredients to blend. That’s a slow process that is calming to me. The curiosity for me comes from wondering how this will ever work, since I really just want to stir it all up quickly.
Time to plop the billowy, pillowy goodness all into our rarely used angel food cake pan.
Off to the oven to bake almost an hour. Sorry the photo is a little blurry. I was too excited by this point.
Time to watch, wait, and…clean-up. The hired help had the day off. [No kitchen staff in real life.] The house rule is: You cook or bake? You clean up. That gave me something to do while I waited hoping the cake would turn out OK.
More mystery wondering if it worked, while I endured more waiting. The cake cooled 2-3 hours before it was time to remove it from the pan. But how great are the little legs on the pan that permit setting it upside down?! Just like the three-legged stool we did in elementary school physical education, building to a headstand.

I don’t think the plate underneath was necessary, but I was wondering if the cake would just succumb to gravity and fall out. It did not.
Oh, relief! It looked OK. It was a little sticky, so perhaps it should have baked longer. But in the end, it tasted delicious and had that lovely, light texture.
I had to follow directions as carefully as possible. I need to do this a few more times to get more comfortable with it. Oh, and we will just have to eat it after my practice sessions.
Here is the source of the recipe. Who doesn’t love America’s Test Kitchen recipes?

Such a fun afternoon of baking something in the hot weather! Who doesn’t like to fire up the oven on a summer day? Ha, ha. The reward was a tasty treat we enjoyed during fireworks to celebrate the 4th of July.

Stay cool, my friends!

P.S. I made fresh whip cream to go on top. Thank you, Alton Brown.