Week 46: Birthdays

Back in the day birthdays were simple events – have a few close friends over, open gifts, play a few games like Pin The Tail On The Donkey, break a piñata and eat cake. Or maybe Grandparents and Aunties came for gifts and cake with ice cream and coffee. But always cake with candles, blow them out and sing Happy Birthday to you…1,2,3,…cha cha cha!

Laura invites school friends for her Birthday

Laura had a few friends in for cake and gift opening. This looks like it’s her 7th birthday. Laura shares a birthday with her cousin Marla. Her birthday is in the summer so she often had backyard parties.

Renee gets a special cake

Renee loved the special cakes I made like this butterfly. I also made her a Barbie doll cake (which she then made for her daughters)

Jim had a small party for all boys on his 5th birthday but a little sister had to join in. Jim shared a birthday with his Grandma Weise.

Jim has a photo bomber guest

One year, 2001, I decided to bake a cake for everyone in the family, their choice of cake. I’m pretty sure I did that for everyone… like this chocolate cake. I flew to Illinois from CA to bake this for my step-Dad, Harry. He sure looks pleased with his cake. He didn’t eat all of that though…he had some help!

Harry wanted chocolate cake

I’m sure my son had a cake with “flour frosting” made from a white sauce and creamed butter. Renee requested a pistachio cake which uses pistachio pudding to flavor the yellow cake and frosting.

We lived in CA in 2001 so I had to do some traveling to accomplish this feat. Laura and Steve lived in Montana so we planned a trip in a motorhome so I could bake their chocolate cakes and deliver in person. I also managed to make a birthday breakfast of Eggs Benedict…no small accomplishment in a motorhome!

Naomi wanted coconut cake, I think Bryan requested butterscotch and my Jim wanted lemon squares. I don’t remember the other requests but I’m pretty sure all the kids and grands got what they wanted. I enjoyed the challenge of making this special birthday year happen.

Over the years we tried to celebrate everyone’s birthday with a family gathering and every now and then there was a surprise. The best one I recall was in the 90’s when I was teaching evening classes at the local university. I arrived home about 8 p.m. only to find my daughter, Laura, sitting on the steps in my living room wrapped in plastic and tied up with a bow! She had flown in from San Jose just to surprise me! …no picture of that, just lots of great memories.

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