Tomorrow is my birthday . . . and I’m not sure I want to celebrate this particular birthday . . . because it’s my first birthday without my Mom . . . and it’s the first “holiday” since she died . . . and, well, not celebrating your birthday with your Mom just seems horribly wrong . . . and sad . . but I know if I don’t celebrate, she’ll come after me and send a lightning bolt from the blue to make me change my mind.
So I’m celebrating . . . we’re having a family dinner of sorts at our favorite pizza place with as many family members that can be there . . . with restrictions and work schedules it’ll be about half the family . . . but there will be pizza so that makes it a little better . . .
And I kinda want to make myself a birthday cake . . . just like what Mom would have made me when I was growing up. Devil’s Food Cake with Peanut Butter Icing . . . cake is out of a box, so that’s not a problem . . . icing, however, is a totally different story. It was homemade by Mom . . . and I don’t have the recipe . . . because it doesn’t exist . . . the icing was a “happy accident” and she never expected it to work so she didn’t write it down. It was all in her head . . . and since she did it every year for my birthday, there was no need to write it down. I asked for it a few times and she said “Oh, just put some peanut butter in a tub of vanilla frosting and it’ll be okay” . . . well . . . it wasn’t . . . and I thought I had a lot of time to bug her for her recipe . . . yea, that strategy never works for me . . . you’d think I’d learn that by now . . .
Anywho . . . I found a recipe that might be similar to hers . . . but I’m afraid to try it . . . not because it’s complicated or I need fancy ingredients or anything . . . but because of THE STAPLETON CURSE . . . see, there’s a family legend that anytime Mom made a cake for a special occasion (birthday, first communion, baptism, baby shower, graduation) there would be a problem with the cake . . . something was misspelled, the cake cracked in the middle, the icing melted . . . but if she made a cake for no special reason (because it’s a Tuesday) the cake was PERFECT . . . it was a family joke . . . but we all learned not to tempt fate . . . so I’m afraid if I make a cake for my birthday, it’ll be horrible . . .
Which brings me to another issue . . . I live in almost the middle of nowhere Ohio . . . we’re in the middle of a heatwave . . . I don’t really want to fire up the oven and actually BAKE a cake . . . it’ll make the kitchen hot . . . it’ll make the AC run more than it already is . . . and I’m cold most of the time anyway because yea the dogs are spoiled . . . and that leads me to this . . .
Dear Mom . . . thank you for always baking me a cake for my birthday . . . in July . . . during a heatwave . . . and never complaining that it was too hot to turn on the oven . . . because when I was growing up we didn’t have Central Air . . . we didn’t even have a window AC unit until I was in high school . . . or maybe it was after I moved out . . . anyway . . . thank you for standing in a hot kitchen, baking me a cake, and “inventing” peanut butter icing to keep the icing on my cake from melting into a puddle on the cake pan . . . Love and hugs, Pammie