The first chocolate cake of the new house. A new box of peaty dark dutch cocoa, Deutsch on one side, Nederlands on the other and a recipe for Russian tea-cake on the back. German cooking chocolate outrageously called Schwarz Herren and the red cake tin I bought from Ikea. The smell as it bakes is like a memory of everything and nothing, mercifully absent sudden evocations of anything in particular but a stone path many-step-eroded in the middle for it has risen in every oven I've ever had, many times, große dinner party ones and kleine tea party ones, ones for birthdays and ones split through the middle because there are too many strawberries at the market.
Later I'll be carrying this one, smacked like my life with German-inflected sameness, to Mitte on the S-Bahn, covered with a striped tea towel. People will look, and they will smile shyly, because the smell is so good and because someone carrying something from their kitchen to someone else's is like a pregnant woman or someone drawing on the pavement in coloured chalk, ducklings crossing the street, fireworks suddenly visible over the trees and a bunch of strangers stand to look. And smile at one another.