16 October 2007


Happy birthday to the one I love.

True to form, his natal day was heralded by an earthquake. It frequently is. But what could be more appropriate for a man who has devoted his career to studying geologic processes?

The spouse never asks for much for his birthday...he's really not allowed to since I bought him a vintage Cadillac convertible a few years ago. But his really special gift every year is that I bake him a birthday cake...with real buttercream frosting.

How this marvel will be decorated is always a subject of great debate and consideration. The unwritten rule is that it must be yellow cake, and because it's October, hence Halloween, the frosting must generally be orange colored (hey, it's his cake). One year, I drew an elaborate spider web on the cake and made a giant marzipan spider to place on it. Another year, it was decked out with mellowcreme pumpkins, another of his seasonal favorites.

A few weeks ago, we were in the hardware store, and a copy of Country Living caught his eye. Gracing the cover was a cake with orange frosting slathered in chocolate glaze.

So, guess what I've been making all day?

Actually, the project would have been somewhat less time consuming if it hadn't been for Milton, the cat who eats everything and anything. I hid the layers after I'd baked them, but brought them back out to begin the frosting process. I think I turned my back for less than five minutes, but that was plenty of time for him to consume a large portion of one layer. After shrieking the mother of all curse words at him (and yeah, all the windows in the house were open. Sorry, neighbors!) and waving my arms wildly, I regrouped and realized that layer was unsalvageable. So as quickly as possible, I baked another two layers.

Now I just have to hope that I can get the entire thing frosted, chilled and glazed before midnight.

What's an earthquake compared with birthday cake disaster?

Go listen to some good music: "Birthday" by The Beatles from The White Album

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