Birthday Feast Weekend
February 6, 2009 § 2 Comments
Meredith, frequent commenter and analyzer of dreams, turned…actually I’m not sure, so let’s say… 85 over the weekend and we celebrated her birthday at the homestead with a glorious feast and an evening of crafting, that could only be described as ‘nerve wracking’.
As some folks know, my weakness, or maybe my strength, is CAKE. I love cake, I want to marry cake and have cake’s babies. I want this so much that i want to dedicate my life to the scientific study of how cakes and people can reproduce a successful offspring. Comedian Jim Gaffigan (one of our family’s favorites) has a Cake Hunk (hunk is what we call a stretch of jokes on one subject) that makes me howl every time. He says that every time you’re offered cake, you act like you’ve never had it before. Oh what is this, cake? Ok I’ll try it. Not me. When I hear that someone in the office, town, world is haing a birthday/baby/wedding/promotion, my first question is ‘are we getting a cake?’. Because while I am ashamed of my very nearly immeasurable girth, I will stand proud and steadfast in my love for cake. Even as a child, when most children are hellbent for candy or icecream, cheapy, grocery store, sicky sweet frosted cake was my snack of choice. We used to have cakes at church for the arrival of a new baby, or an engagement, or milestone birthday, and it would be cut (I’ll have a flower piece m’lady), slipped onto plates and set out on a table for “Coffee n Conversation” time after the service. My strategy was simple here. I took my appointed piece of cake, then I would look out into the crowd, vaguely direct my gaze to where someone I knew was standing, and I would pretend to listen to a request. Then, loudly, I’d say “OH SURE, I’LL GET ONE FOR YOU!” and behold, I’ve got two pieces of cake.
I did this at church.
But we’re getting off track. The point is that I wanted to make a good, unhealthy, ridiculous cake for Meredith’s birthday, knowing that, as the hostess, the majority of the leftovers would rest on my counter for…well, AT LEAST fifteen minutes after she left. So I poked around online, did a browse of Smitten Kitchen and Epicurious, which always inspires me to cook, and finally I found a great recipe in my favorite, now defunct magazine Cottage Living. That’s right kids, good ol’ fashioned Caramel Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting. It was, in a word, caramelectalous. I could eat the sugary, grainy, thick and sweet caramel filling by itself, out of a bowl, all day long.
But you can’t just have cake for dinner can you? Well yes, I’ve done it, but I feel like Saturdays call for big kitchen endeavors, so I made Meredith a Turkey Feast, the king of the roast dinners. Seven pound turkey breast, mashed potatoes, whole wheat stuffing with apples and onions, niblet corn, turkey gravy and my fave side dish: Brussels Sprouts n Bacon, mm mm good (sung to the tune of Cabbage Rolls and Coffee from SCTV)
We were just plain STUFFED after dinner. So we set out to do some Sculpey work. I had plans to make a little clay ski lodge/A-frame house that I could put in a little diorama, but it didn’t work out, so I made a two tiered, decorated birthday cake out of pink and lavender and white sculpey, complete with little tiny candles. Meredith made a breathtaking replica of Rayman’s Raving Rabbit that should be in some sort of Wii museum. Then I did a little embroidery and paper stuff for Valentine’s day (a special gift for grandmaaaaas!).
I really wanted to celebrate to the hilt because Meredith is one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had. Funny, brilliant, proudly nerdy, strong, brave, beautiful and an ooold soul in a shiny new body. It was by luck that we met, and we’ve seen each other through some rough seas…but in the end, we’re just a couple of goofies who like doing crafts and eating cake, and in terms of friendship, I’ve never really sought out much more.