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Happy Birthday to Me!

30 weeks, and probably the most domestic I’ve been all pregnancy.

I spent most of the day yesterday in the kitchen. Barefoot, of course, which caused much amusement for everyone else. See, in our family, when holidays and events occur at inconvenient times during the week, we move them. So my birthday got relocated to Saturday this year. It was a last-minute thing, so only a few people were able to join us, but it was still really fantastic.

I decided on Monday to bake myself the World’s Most Ridiculous Cake; not to be satisfied by merely one complicated recipe, I instead adapted from TWO complicated recipes. Why make something simple when you can instead spend ten hours baking something that you will then judge to be Not Good Enough?

Don’t get me wrong, the cake turned out great. By which I mean so decadent it almost killed us, but this is not the sort of thing we do often, after all. But it’s actually only my second layer cake ever, so the frosting did not go on quite as smoothly as I hoped, despite using the much-beloved “crumb coating” technique of frosting (I have a couple thoughts, but that is neither here nor there).

It really was the perfect way to spend a birthday, though. I clearly need more creative outlets in my life, and the cake helped with that a lot. And then getting to share it with a few good friends who I don’t see nearly enough? That made it all just that much better. I told Ben as we went to bed last night, crashing hard from the sugar rush, that I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday celebration.

Just to be thorough, I’ll leave you with a parting image of the damage to the cake. It took FIVE of us to eat that small amount. Yes, that would be not quite a quarter of an 8″ cake.

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Oh Right, This Again

The lovely peach crisp, adapted from a recipe in The Art of Simple Food. Only with a splash of bourbon, because cooked peaches, like a Kentucky grandmother, need a splash of bourbon to bring out true excellence. Wait, what?

Ben has started teaching summer camp this week, which he’ll be doing for most of the rest of the summer. I’m still at home trying to justify my continued existence (my grandmother tells me I’m gestating, which is a full-time job. I still feel lazy). Which means I’m trying to play housewife again. In case you don’t remember how this went last time, let’s just summarize with the fact that I fired myself after a week.

So task one as a housewife: make sure we have something to eat for most meals. That means meal plan! What did I plan this week to cook for us? The most decadent birthday cake possible, and a peach crisp.

Yes, that is actually all I managed to plan for meals. Yes, I should probably be fired again.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited about both the crisp and the cake. Especially the crisp, because it’s currently in the oven, although the monumental I-think-I-might-be-crazy cake is terrifyingly thrilling, too. But I really ought to have something more… nutritious planned out. Or maybe just a full meal. My last attempt at planning a meal? “Well, we’ve got fresh corn, and half a steak leftover from when Dad took us to dinner. So we can each have an ear of corn and about two ounces of steak. Oh, there may also be some beans, too.”

Seriously. Fire me.

Okay, to be fair, this time at least I bought us fresh veggies. And Ben is really excited about the baking projects, so he’s currently refusing to take my resignation. All of which means I’m doing somewhat better than last time, so I have another week to get my act together before this experiment turns disastrous. So next week’s goal: plan more veggies, and maybe work some meat into the equation.

P.S. Turns out Ben brought his leftover meatballs home from lunch, which meant we had TWO portions. So dinner became meatballs, buttered noodles, and those fabulous corn ears from the market. Not too shabby!

Happy Birthday, Lilit!

Note the paws gripping the knee for dear life. If she holds on tight enough, the hat might go away...

Ben indulged my whims today in a major way, which is one of many reasons why he is so wonderful. See, Lilit turned 14 today (I think — I know it’s some time in April, and a few years back, I picked an arbitrary day because, well, she won’t know the difference).

I asked Ben if we could make her a birthday cake, which we did. He got out some of the ground pork to defrost while I was at work, and when I got home, we mixed it with some matzo meal (good breadcrumb replacement), put it in a mini cake pan, and baked it. It came out looking sort of like a hamburger, only with a lovely caramelized top. And Ben asked for party hats, so I made party hats for the three of us. Lilit was less than pleased with her party hat, but the cake pretty much made up for it. She liked that part.