The City of Cambridge was incorporated in 1973, when the three municipalities of Galt, Preston and Hespeler and the settlement of Blair were amalgamated into a single legal entity under a new name. (A new name that was not very new as Preston was once known as Cambridge Mills.) Each of the communities possessed a long and proud history and there was considerable resistance among the local population to this "shotgun marriage" arranged by the Provincial government. A healthy sense of rivalry had always governed relations among our three communities. Even today, while our residents will tell the outside world that they call Cambridge home, they will often identify themselves to each other as citizens of Galt or Preston or Hespeler. While the original communities have come together well in the years since amalgamation, they began life apart and as a result Cambridge is blessed with not one but three historic core commercial areas to preserve for future generations. As Cambridge has developed the open spaces between the original municipalities have been filled in a fourth commercial core.
Today, Cambridge is a thriving emerging and modern city with a diverse population of more than 125,000. It is located within the Regional Municipality of Waterloo and is apart of one of Ontario's fastest growing and economically prosperous regions. With its perfect position being located along Highway 401, only 45 minutes from the provincial capital of Toronto, Cambridge is well poised to continue to grow and flourish into a prosperous metropolis and one of the best places to live in the Province of Ontario. www.cambridge.ca
By Emily-Jane Hills Orford
“It’s Dad’s favorite,” Mom said. “He loves angel food cake. It’s also the only cake he can or should have. And don’t ice it. At least leave part of it uniced for Dad.”
“Is it okay to put some cocoa in the cake?” I asked. “It doesn’t sweeten it.”
“Sure. Why not! It is Valentine’s Day after all,” Mom said cheerily. “We have to have chocolate on Valentine’s Day.”
“Definitely,” I agreed whole heartedly. “And every other day of the year, too.” We shared a chuckle. Mom and I were known for our love of anything chocolate.
“I have a special angel food cake pan for you to use,” Mom said. “I found it when I was shopping last week. Thought it would be perfect.” She pulled out a pan, shaped like a heart, but also with the removable centre just like the traditional angel food cake pan.
“A heart shaped angel food cake,” I exclaimed, clapping my hands in glee. “Perfect!”
“It’s a little bigger than the traditional angel food cake pan,” Mom advised. “So, I suggest making a batch and a half, eighteen egg whites instead of twelve.”
“Should I increase the sugar?” I asked, knowing Dad was restricted on how much sugar he could have. He had suffered several heart attacks over the past few years and Mom was determined to keep Dad on a healthy, low cholesterol and low sugar diet. Hence the angel food cake idea as it didn’t use egg yolks which were known to be high in cholesterol. And hence the question regarding how much sugar to use. “The recipe calls for a cup and a half of sugar and if I increase the other quantities, shouldn’t I increase the sugar amount a “Hmm!” Mom pondered my question. “Actually, I don’t think the angel food cake needs that much sugar. I would make one and a half batch of all the other ingredients, but only use one cup of sugar.” “Really?” I was surprised, as that reduced the sugar content considerably, even if I were only do a single batch. “Is that enough sweetening?” “Oh I think so.” Mom handed me the heart shaped angel food cake pan. “Remember to really whip the egg whites before adding the sugar. Mix the cocoa with the flour when you’re ready to sift it into the egg white mixture. I’d say only a tablespoon of cocoa. That should make it chocolatey enough.” Mom turned to leave and then paused at the kitchen door. “Perhaps we should stick to the no icing idea. I have some fresh strawberries. That would go nicely with a chocolate angel food cake, don’t you think?” “How did you get fresh strawberries in February?” I asked. Fruits were minimal this time of year and strawberries were a big luxury item. But, knowing Mom’s determination to keep Dad on a healthy diet, I wasn’t surprised that she would spend a little extra if something like strawberries was available in the grocery store. “They’re imported from California,” Mom said. “Very expensive, so I hope they’re worth it.” “I’m sure they’ll be delicious on the cake,” I commented, but Mom was already out the door and on to other errands. I was left on my own to manage the kitchen and bake the cake. I followed Mom’s instructions, and it wasn’t long until the sweet, chocolatey aroma of chocolate angel food cake was permeating the kitchen and probably the rest of the house. My brothers wandered through, sniffing the air, looking for handouts. “What’s cooking, Sis?” they asked.
“Chocolate angel food cake for supper,” I announced. “Special for Dad and for Valentine’s Day.”
“Make sure you top it with lots of icing,” they both chimed.
“No icing,” I said, satisfied to witness the grimaces on their faces.
“What do you mean, no icing?” they asked. They were known for speaking in unison, as if they were twins, but they weren’t.
“Better for Dad,” I explained.
“But what about us?” they whined.
“It’ll be good. Just you wait and see.”
I lifted the cake out of the oven and propped it upside down to cool. That’s what you had to do with an angel food cake, so it wouldn’t flop during the cooling process. It was cool enough after lunch to push the bottom and release the cake onto Mom’s special cake plate. I was worried it wouldn’t keep the heart shape, but it did. It looked like one very soft, chocolate heart. I left it to finish cooling. Closer to supper time, I would garnish it with strawberries.
I couldn’t resist the temptation to scrape some of the remnants of cake left behind in the pan. I smacked my lips in pleasure. Yup! This was one very delicious chocolate angel food cake, even if I did say so myself. Chocolate angel heart cake – that’s what I’d call it. I knew Dad would enjoy it. We all would – even without the icing.
Emily-Jane Hills Orford has published several books, creative nonfiction stories mostly about her family. Growing up in Toronto, then Hamilton and finally London, Emily-Jane has lots of family stories to warm the heart. In her most recent novels, “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” and “Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure”, the author returns to her roots and the fond memories and dreams, growing up in a haunted old Victorian mansion in London. For more information about the author, check out her webpage at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca