Red Velvet Cake as a Metaphor for Appropriate

  i love red velvet cake.  For years i'd only had my aunt's version of it, her special, carefully hoarded recipe, only made at Christmas.
  Eventually she shared it, but without the Special Frosting Recipe. Somehow it wasn't the same.
  Finally, when she knew that what she didn't share now would never be shared, she passed on the frosting recipe too.  And i finally had the chance to bake Aunt ______'s Famous Red Velvet Cake.  And i learned
there's a reason some things are sooooo good.

Simplifying the Recipe-Sometimes Yes

  i'm the sort of baker who doesn't even use separate bowls for wet and dry ingredients.  Two and one quarter cups of flour?  Well, back when i determined that i could put that much in this measuring cup, and it looked about like so, and ever afterward i measure two and one quarter cups of flour in my two cup liquid measuring cup.
  Fast, simple.  i don't even put any salt in the toll house cookie recipe when it says equal amounts of salt-baking soda-vanilla.  For chocolate chip cookies, it works very well.

Simplifying the Recipe-Sometimes Skips Important Steps

  But i can't do that with my aunt's red velvet cake recipe.  It takes eight bottles of red food coloring, and you must put the ingredients in seven different bowls before combining.  Seriously.  Once you get started, you NEED to keep going.  If i try to simplify at all - and of course i have - even the birds won't eat it.  (And beware the foaming vinegar & baking soda.)   This recipe rivals my aunt's for complication.  It looks just like hers, despite the coffee, which my aunt didn't include. 
  Honestly, you can get red velvet cake just as good from the bakery or even a mix.  i love cake mixes.  i almost always make my cakes from a mix.  But i have fond memories of my aunt's special cake.
  Different times, different cakes.

Kitchen to Classroom:  Can We Just Talk?

  So i can appropriately cut steps in the chocolate chip cookies but not the red velvet cake.
  A friend recently told about a fellow teacher, of college students, who was threatened with a lawsuit for sexual harassment because she casually draped an arm around the student's shoulder while looking together at a paper.
Serving the cake - lots of conversation around the table
  Really?  Do we really need to jump to the big guns at once?
  Is it no longer possible to say, Um, you're distracting me, to wiggle away, to ask a potentially well-meaning offender to desist?
  Granted i know no background; maybe that had happened & my friend didn't know, but my sneaking suspicion is, in our litigous society, there were no preliminaries.  This might happen a lot.  And yes, i know college kids may be uncomfortable with such a conversation, a lot of us are, and i was such a kid myself, but this is where it must start.
  It's called self-advocacy.

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