Tuesday, August 24, 2010
make a wish
Speaking of birthdays.......
The Nymans lived two doors down when I was about seven. They were missionaries and had traveled the world, working in places I couldn't pronounce.
They were different. You didn't go 'over' to their house to color or roller skate or play any of the normal suburban games. There were other things to do. Like roll out the snake skin!
That's right; we'd gently unroll the mighty, South American skin as we walked from room to room, seeing how far it would reach.
I'm shuddering as I type this. Why the heck did they want that huge snake skin?
By age, I was between the older and the younger daughters, wanting to play with the big sister but usually ending up with the little one at my side. She would constantly knock on our door and ask, "Becca can come out?"
I forgave her the daily intrusion since I was invited 'over' whenever any of them had a birthday. That meant cake!
The Nymans introduced me to my first sheet cake. With the exception of Jessie's glazed pound cake at our family reunions, all I'd known were layer cakes so this big, rectangular pan was exciting... Until I realized........there were no roses. No roses!
They seemed to know the best part of a birthday was the cake but didn't they know the best part of the cake was the roses?
It wasn't like I was spoiled and had to have a rose every time. I would gladly share. I even liked getting a cut rose; when the knife had sliced through it cleanly, you got a view of what the inside of a real rose must look like.
Even as I got older, my family carried on the tradition of the traditional birthday cake. I tell you, the planning that went into those cakes.....
I could spend days choosing the color of the roses and then deciding whether they should be circling the top edge of the cake or be clustered on one side, maybe cascading over the edge.
It seemed very mature and avant garde to cluster them but that really screwed up getting a rose with every slice.
I've a dear friend.....Ann, who adores birthday cake. White cake. Perfectly light, white cake with butter cream frosting.
Her birthday is coming soon. I wish I could bake her one of those and load it with roses. Pink, I think. And definitely all around the edge.