Skip to main content

Long Term Decisions

A long time ago, I told myself that having birthdays in the family between Halloween and Thanksgiving would be "no big deal," and better certainly than between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Turns out, since Halloween is like the high holidays here, it isn't terrible, but it's also not super easy.

Until this year, when my OACAH (oldest available child at home) decided that a nice dinner out with her family would be a good way to celebrate. Less pressure, lots of fun, and that freed me up to concentrate on the parts of birthday celebrating I do enjoy.

Cake.

Cake is the part I like.

Not just making cake, but looking up new cake recipes and considering them, and trying them out, and testing them, and everything else. So these late in the year birthdays are all about the cake. This one is The Celebration Cake from Bake it Like you Mean it, by Gesine Bullock-Prado.

I had help, too. Not just from the youngest child, who licked beaters, and the dogs, who tried to get at it, but my sister in law is visiting, so I had competent adult help. Even she couldn't keep me from making bonehead errors, which is why there are three spare wrongly-measured ingredient chocolate layers downstairs in the freezer.

Oops.

Making new ones with appropriately measured ingredients helped a lot.


Layers of vanilla butter cake, flourless chocolate cake, raspberry buttercream, and raspberry preserves make what I think of as a terrifically girly birthday cake.

 

And that girliness is appropriate, I think, for a young lady turning 14.

I can hardly believe it. As we do every year, I told her the crazy story of her 45-minute birth, we made the jokes about her always being in a hurry, and marveled at how big she's getting.


This one is turning into a marvel of maturity, and her shining qualities keep showing themselves. Her friends are lucky to have her, as are we. We're especially glad that tolerance of her siblings is one of her qualities, because brothers will do things like this if at all possible.




I haven't even tried it yet. Last night's dinner was too filling. So maybe a slice with tea today, then the search for friends and neighbors to feed it to begins. This cake called for 10" layers, which is craziness indeed. I did discover a new restaurant supply house, though, so nothing but all future disposable income is lost.

One more birthday cake, then Thanksgiving pies, then at least one Buche de Noel. I'm a happy winter baker!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

'Cause Baby You're A Firework. Come On Show Them What You're Worth

Five years ago today, I stood in a hospital room strewn with used syringes, rubber gloves and other medical waste, looking at the lifeless body of the man that I shared a life with for over 30 years. I should have been thinking of family, love and loss.  Instead, my first thought was, "Wow, I'm a widow now." Pretty pathetic in retrospect, and when Wingman referred to me just before I left him as "The Bitch", probably not too far off the mark.

But in time-warped speed just a half hour before that, I had already talked to the hospital twice, woken son #3 up to go over to the hospital with me, called Wingman's brother on the way, fought with a gimpy legged night watchman who wouldn't let us in the hospital, and finally took "that meeting" in a small private room where the doctor told my son and I that they did everything possible, but unfortunately (UNFORTUNATELY???) Wingman had passed. My brain was filled with what to do, who to call, …

I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt

Wingman use to call me many things. Obstinate. Overcritical. Certainly bitchy. I even recall on our wedding day that he called me "beautiful". But that was a one-time happening, and I don't recall him ever crooning Eric Clapton"s "You Look Wonderful Tonight" after that. So it comes as no surprise that he never called me "sexy".

And I get it.  When I went to school in NYC, a couple of my friends were stopped by Eileen Ford and asked to come to her agency to model.  They were cute, and one was even, in an exotic way, sexy even back then.  But not me. I was and always will be, fine with how I look.




There were some things over the years that got me noticed...like when I stopped dying my hair and grew it out to donate for a wig.  As part of a lecture that I did on The Avon Walk For Breast Cancer, I had my beautician come in and cut my waist-long hair short. The following Sunday at church, I was a Eucharistic Minister, which at a Catholic Mass is a re…

But She Use To Have A Carefree Mind Of Her Own, With A Devilish Look In Her Eye

The first time I went out with Wingman, he remarked about how much I reminded him of his mother.  When we finally met, I just didn't see it: she was a tall, chain-smoking blonde, with a Lauren Bacall-esque voice, while I considered myself just an average size brunette with no distinguishable qualities.



She and I began our own relationship with stories about our lives, and she won every round of "Can You Top This". At 10 years old, she helped deliver her brother when her mother went into labor at home. Later, her alcoholic mother walked out on the family and was never seen or heard from again, so she dropped out of school to help. At 19, she and her husband eloped, and thought no one knew.  A photographer however, took a picture of them outside City Hall which became the cover of the afternoon edition of the NY World Telegram. (Oops.) A couple of years later, her very pregnant self drove her father and his equally pregnant girlfriend to City Hall in Newark to MAKE them get…