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  • When I arrived in San Cristóbal de Las Casas in 1977, in many ways I arrived at what seemed to be the butt of the world. There were no cafés, there was no cake, no bread, no toilet cleaning brushes, no shovels to pick up whatever you had joined together as dirt on the floor with a broom....

    We were few foreihgners and if we liked each other or not: we all knew each other, which has long changed. I meet Germans now, who have lived for years in town and I did not know about them and they did not about me.

    Back then any invitation to the house of a foreigner, who might know how to prepare cake, was very special to me. In the then pretty world - famous Na Bolom - Museum of Trudy Blom, the famous - now long - gone - discoverer and photographer of the Lacandon Mayan Indians, lived a gay man named Ken.

    Ken was a difficult carácter, he could be sweet and he could be just the ugly American: scolding Mexicans arrogantly right and left in very bad Spanish that never much improved, even though he worked as Doña Trudy´s right hand in the museum for many years.

    Sometimes Ken invited us to his home, where he proved the stereotype about gays true: that they are great in decoration and baking. I was grateful for that. I enjoyed his house, the art, antiquities, flowers and, of course bakery.

    Soon after my husband and I opened a café - restaurant in town basically justout of my deep need for Kaffeklatsches and cake. I baked three good German cakes every single day for a very long time. Ken sold us his cake, which was absolutely delicious.

    I always wanted that recipe, but then Trudy had a fight with him and threw him out or he went and I have not seen the man Ken in maybe 25 years. But, just a few sdays ago, through a common friend, imagine, I got my hands on that recipe - and I share it here with all of you:

    Cream 1/2 stick butter and 1 cup sugar. Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla and mix. Add 1 3/4 cups flour and 1/2 teas. salt. Cook 1 1/2 cups of cut - up dates in small amount of water until soft and add 1/2 teas. baking soda to them. Stir the dates into the batter along with 1/2 bag of chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped walnuts.

    Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until done.

    Sprinkle white sugar on top before baking to make a "nice top." He doesn't feel like it needs an icing, but you could put one it you wanted,

    Robert Verney baked this right away, he says it needs more butter, instead of dates he used raisins and orange peel.....

    I am still traveling and have to wait about a week to try this out. If you do before: please, tell me, if it Works well!!!

    Art by Kiki
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