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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 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.


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!


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