i just can't help it - i love birthdays. perhaps i'm not old enough yet to understand why people start grumbling about this annual recognition of time passing. what's not to love about attention, presents, food and, at a legal age of course, copious amounts of boozing? there's no stopping one year from turning into the next, so i say revel in the moment, maybe say a silent little prayer of thanks that you're still alive on this earth, and eat a piece or half of your birthday cake!
our dear friend elisha gathered us last weekend for a special dinner. as much as she didn't want to admit it, it was also a birthday dinner, to be done in the potluck tradition. e is a wonderful artist and a master baker, the kind of girl who can make 4 dozen cupcakes, all with different fillings mind you, without once consulting a cookbook. i knew she needed something extra special for her b-day dessert. the plan: a double layer chocolate cake with pale pink frosting. so after consulting a tried and true cake recipe i proceeded to get going in the kitchen...
as i had hoped, the chocolate cakes came out beautifully. a batch of vegan buttercream frosting followed (god, i hate making frosting) as i let the cakes cool. some sour cherry jam, courtesy of the amish, became the cake's middle filling, and a handful of lovely small purple flowers topped the lady cake off.
okay, so perhaps not the most perfect of cakes; indeed, a pastry chef, i am not. but i was pleased with its homespun feminine charm, a good aesthetic for this occasion, i think. the cake was cut at midnight (after candles, singing, and, yes, wishing) and we toasted elisha and our friendships in a warm, dim west philadelphia kitchen. i do so love birthdays.