Saturday, November 22, 2008

Birthday in Absence

This is a cake. And yes, it is shaped like a turkey. Why? An excellent question.

Allow me to explain.

Today is Dean's 29th birthday.

29 years ago this day was Thanksgiving Day. So his mother, as a tradition, has always baked him this "turkey cake" in remembrance of that year when she did not get to eat any Thanksgiving dinner because she was busy. You know, at the hospital.

So now, as his wife, the ritual of baking this cake has passed to me. Dean is still in Afghanistan, obviously, but in our 4 years of marriage the boys have come to also expect the turkey cake this time of year. So I told them that even with Dean away we would celebrate his birthday by making a "practice" cake, and then we could bake him another one when he got home. The reason for this was twofold: One-Who doesn't like to eat cake? and Two-I really did need the practice. This freakin' cake is COMPLICATED.

In case you can't tell from the picture, the frosting is applied in tiny swirly dots all over the cake in various colors. This takes the patience of a saint, which I clearly am not. When my mother in law makes this cake it is beautiful, all the dots are uniform in size and shape, and in neat little rows. But she has had 28 years of practice, so I can't really expect to compete. Plus I had to do said icing application with a crying toddler (who had spent the morning in the ER due to an ear infection that just won't quit) on my hip. So I was using the icing applicator with one hand and bouncing and rocking Hannah with the other.


When Mary came in and saw the state of things in the kitchen I said to her "Just imagine 20 something years ago your mom was doing this with YOU on her hip!" which made us both laugh. Then she took Hannah out to the little house for a few minutes so I could use both hands for a bit. That didn't last terribly long, so then Mary stepped in and finished the icing so we wouldn't be eating a turkey that looked half-plucked. It was a learning experience, but it turned out pretty good anyways.

Then we sang a quick Happy Birthday to Dean and had cake and ice cream in his honor.

Happy Birthday, baby. I love you.

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