BirthdayPosted: July 21, 2011
I admit, birthdays are just not as much fun when you’re a grownup. It’s not a free do-anything-you-want day; I still had to change dirty diapers and deal with fussy kids and clean up the house. Actually, I didn’t go to bed the night before my birthday – I stayed up to bake the cake and clean the kitchen. Since our Harry Potter movie marathon, the house sort of fell apart, and it needed my help.
Since I feel indifferent (at best) about my birthday, I decided to try a casual join-us-for-cake gathering with a few friends. I’m not a huge fan of being the center of attention during a more formal present-opening party, so a smaller group seemed ideal. And I always love an excuse to make that delicious chocolate pumpkin cake. This time, we went for a pinkish lavender frosting instead of orange; I got these tall candles (not at all the color in the picture, by the way) and decorated the house with lavender streamers and balloons, which the Romgi kindly provided. (jr even matched the polka dot balloons. It was adorable.) Take a look:
In a nod to the Bwun’s mustache party, I added a bow to my portrait:
Our apartment is very oddly constructed, and the streamers stop at a 2-inch lip in the ceiling. Some old tenants stopped by last month for a stroll down memory lane, and they told the Romgi that the living room used to be a bedroom with a wall where that lip is. The wall was later knocked down, obviously, but the odd construction stayed. It kind of drives me crazy. On a different note, on the back wall you can see our newest art addition – a piece I commissioned (I sound so grownup!) from my neighbor Bridget. You can see a closeup here.
Now, about the cake. It has two layers that have to cool completely before the frosting goes on, and while that could easily be done if you had a real oven, I had to make the layers separately the night before. (I planned to leave plenty of time during the day for cleaning, but instead I cleaned all night.) The Romgi took care of the frosting and ganache; while he went to grab some dinner before dessert, I let the Bwun sit in the middle of the kitchen with the chocolate-covered spatula. Then, for whatever reason – let’s say lack of sleep leading to lack of good judgment – I went to take a picture of the balloons and streamers. When I came back into the kitchen, this is what I saw:
Yep, I seriously left my two-year-old in the same room as my birthday cake. After the initial shock, I decided to find it amusing. And thankfully the Bwun only got to that one side of the cake. I wish I’d thought to get a picture of the cake with candles; it looked really fun with the lights out, glowing like a real birthday cake.
You know what’s nice? The recipe only calls for 1 cup of canned pumpkin, which means I have a lot of extra pumpkin – and I’m thinking of making another cake. This one was enthusiastically eaten by our guests (and me, of course), and I might as well invite a friend or two back over while the house is still clean.
One more note…I made really cool invitations for the gathering. Recently I’ve been more and more impressed with the things I come up with. Maybe my expectations have just lowered? Regardless, I sent them all out before taking a picture, but maybe I’ll make one more just so I can show you. They were pretty spectacular, in their own small way.