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Eating tons of cake at a sitting nowadays is so fraught with taboos and so frowned upon by Society (as handed down to us in the glossies) that it is akin to visiting a fetish club. Both of these activities make for excellent female bonding rituals for exactly this reason. Much like going on a hunt, or competing in a stupidly dangerous sport, cake-eating and getting naked in public form a common pool of perilous experience which draws people together in a throb of adrenaline and oxycytocin. We shouldn't, we think. It's so dangerous for my waistline/social standing/skeletal integrity. But it looks so GOOD. And, 'I'll just have a slither,' we say. 'Ooh, just a slither.'
Once consumed, the remains of a gigantic cake act as a further injunction to its destroyers to keep together. We can't tell anyone else that we did this. We'll look greedy and silly. But we all know how tasty it was, our own reasons for doing it. So we forgive each other, and get a bit closer... and set a date to do it again...
I could be wrong. I could be over-egging the pop-psychology pudding (although I don't think it is physically possible to over-egg any pudding). All the same, when I get the Girls round for a massive baking session on Sunday, I know we'll come out of it closer - not because we spent time together sitting in my kitchen and drinking wine, although that helps. No, it's the food.