I search a lot of baking blogs looking for baking inspiration. A came about the blog of The Repressed Pastry Chef and she posted a nice looking cake called Eddie Bells. It looked very lemony. I like baking with lemons, but as I read on, I discovered that that particular post wasn't about the cake but rather the story behind the cake.
Here's her story:
Many years ago, when I was still interested in climbing the corporate ladder I worked for a very dynamic woman “L”. She was a great boss and I learned a lot from her. Not just career-stuff, but life-stuff too like “quite often you’ll find it’s your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude“. L was a single mother and used to talk about her son J quite a bit. At the time, J was in his late teens or early twenties and an extremely talented artist on his way to a fabulous career. One of those stories has stuck with me all these years.
When J was small, I think about 3-4, he would talk about his friend Eddie Bells all the time. Everytime J wanted to be like all the other kids and ask his mother if he could do it to, if L said no little J would pout and say “but why not mom, Eddie Bells is”. This happened on quite a regular basis where J would come back with “Eddie Bells can” or “Eddie Bells did” or whatever. Eddie Bells was a part of all sorts of things that went on with J but his mother L had never met him.
One night when J was told no to something he got very upset and in tears said “it’s not fair! it’s not fair! Eddie Bells gets to do EVERYTHING and I never get to do ANYTHING”. Pretty upset herself L responded “well, I don’t know who this Eddie Bells is and I’ve never met his mother but I’m sure she doesn’t let him do ‘EVERYTHING’”. Turns out “Eddie Bells” was little J’s way of saying “everybody else” :) So when he wanted to do something and his mother would say no, J was trying to explain that “everybody else is”… and it was coming out as “Eddie Bells is” :)
About a year or two after I stopped working for L, her son J tragically passed away very unexpectedly following a very brief illness. At his funeral I remembered many things that L had told me but what I kept thinking about was the Eddie Bells story. It’s been about 15 years ago now and I still think about “Eddie Bells”. Last Friday night I had my very own “Eddie Bells Moment”. You see, I was making the rounds of my favorite food blogs and checking out what had been posted on both Tastespotting and Food Gawker and was feeling kinda blue. It seemed like everybody else was baking something fantastic! Everybody else… but me :(
Well… that’s the story of my Eddie Bells cake… a cake I made just cuz everybody else was making something. I simply didn’t want to be left out and since Eddie Bells had baked something I wanted to bake something too. Sure it’s a little bit “competitive” and a little bit like “peer-pressure” but isn’t it funny what Eddie Bells can make you do :)