My family really doesn’t do much of “plain.” Our salads always had at least six ingredients in it (we never did Caesars); the ice cream was usually the ones with all the goodies inside; and our pancakes were usually covered and smothered in peanut butter, blueberries, chocolate chips and other odds and ends in the kitchen. I remembering asking dad for breakfast once if I could have eggs. Just eggs. Nothing else added or dressing them up. Yeah, just once.
Growing up, my grandmother was not one to skimp on birthday cakes. She would make a three-layer round cake, of the birthday person’s choice, and then add a bunch of goodies. From peanut brittle to Hershey Kisses to English Toffee to sugar wafers, the cake would be transformed into this unique art creation with “sugar spikes” sticking out of it from all sides.
In the book “Living Artfully: Create the Life You Imagine”, author Sandra Maqsumner defines art as “every possible medium of human expression. It’s in what you say and how you say it.” My grandmother’s homemade cakes were her tasty way of expressing her love and creativity. It was an outlet for her in which she connected with us.
It’s been awhile since I had a birthday cake — and my husband took up the challenge.
On Monday, I turned 36 – two days before we are scheduled to leave for our delayed honeymoon. Since I didn’t have any plans and allergies had begun their attack on my senses (darn you, ragweed!), my husband viewed it as the perfect opportunity to try his hand at making a birthday cake.
He made a simple devil’s food cake with ganache icing, which he cut down into a third. He made one round cake layer, cut it in half and then stacked it with the icing as a separator. For the topping, he added chunks of marshmallows, peanuts, Reese’s sticks and Wonderbar.
I sent a photo of his creation to my family, telling them he may be a keeper and they all agreed. I think he wanted me to feel the same connection, bonding and loved even though I was on the couch, surrounded by tissues. It was a touching gesture that came from his creativity and a place of love.
It was, in short, a fantastic birthday.