1.23.2011

Sibling Assignment #142: Favorite Birthday Cake

Silver Valley Girl again gave the sibling assignment about January. Everyone was to write a memory about one of my birthdays. You will find Raymond Pert's confessions about liking all those girls here, and SVG's will be posted sometime soon.

I celebrated my birthday earlier in January. Birthdays have always been a big deal in our family. When we were growing up after Mom used up all her energy to make Christmas wonderful at our house each year, then she had to muster up a bit more of that bottled energy for my brother's birthday two days after Christmas and mine January 9th. Even though the birthdays were close to the busy holiday season, they were always special. Traditions included presents waiting at the breakfast table, choosing your own birthday dinner, and picking out the kind of cake you wanted Mom to bake.

Mom always baked our birthday cakes from scratch. None of that cake mix stuff for our birthdays. No bakery cakes, no ice cream cakes... just homemade ones with recipes from the Betty Crocker PIcture Cook Book. I loved to turn to the illustrated cake page and gaze at all the beautiful cakes such as The Daffodil Cake and The Chocolate Joy. Even though I reviewed all the recipes in the Cake section each year, I almost always picked the same one. I loved  Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. I have Grandma's old Betty Crocker cookbook and this afternoon I made guesses as to which recipe Mom used. I think I am pretty close if you check at the collage at the top of the page.

Making a cake from scratch was a big production in our kitchen. The kitchen was small and the counters were quite full, so Mom was always flying around with canisters out on the counter, wax paper ripping to sift the flour, beaters whirring just the right amount to cream the first ingredients, and the Mirror layer cake pans were always on the table greased and floured waiting for the rich batter. We waited eagerly in the background to lick the beaters. As the house filled with the tantalizing aroma of baking cake Mom then worried the cake was going to fall , or it wouldn't come out of the pan right, or she wouldn't get the layers lined up when she frosted them, or the frosting wouldn't turn out. When I think of Mom 's birthday cakes I only remember perfection.
Last year I got to be home for my 55th birthday. It was a special evening watching my sister and brother-in-law on stage in a play first. Later in the evening we got home to have cake and ice cream. Waiting was my yellow cake with chocolate frosting. My sister carried in the cake with the candles lit while everyone sang happy birthday. When I took the first bite , it tasted like childhood. SImple, delicious, and made with love.

1 comment :

  1. I can not remember not one single birthday of mine as a child, there certainly was never a party or a cake or any sort of gathering of friends and family.... not one single photo of a birthday or anything....

    I think that is why I have always tried to make my sons birthdays so very special from their very first birthday... they remember all the fun we have had and all the amazing cakes I made them.... they will never have the same sadness in their souls about their childhood birthdays..

    x

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