i got into a scuff with my suspenders tuesday morning. & was running late to the office.
i had just a minute or two to glance around at all of the golden decorations covering our downstairs before running out the door, strong coffee in hand. and had taken zzzquil monday night to help me sleep better. so i was feeling quite out of it & tired first thing tuesday. the hot shower i stood in didn’t even phase my sleepy eyes. i rarely take medication to aid with sleep. but i haven’t been sleeping well & i wanted to feel rested. saturday night i had planned a big dinner with all of my close friends and a little bit of family.
weird as it may be, i baked myself a birthday cake. [i’m going to post the recipe here for those of you that do not care to read this massive book of a post– https://lifetastesgoodblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/vanilla-bean-cheesecake/. it can also be found in my blog under recipes, titled ‘madagascar vanilla bean cheesecake’]
because i know what i like and i had a vision. . . .& maybe partially because i am a control freak. that way my cake this year didn’t need to be a stresser. because i shouldn’t have to stress about my cake. i wanted a vanilla bean cheesecake. the same one that i made last summer for a couple of parties. . . .only i was going to add a few golden pieces for this ‘golden year’ birthday. so on friday night, i visited my favourite little chocolate shop in boulder. it’s a bit of a drive but i was already there picking up a few things anyway. i found these awesome golden, hand-painted truffles. some with liqueur. all of them decadent. they were pricey. but going to be well worth it atop the cake.
i found gold luster dust for the top of the. . . .topping.
my first cheesecake bombed. absolutely bombed on Saturday. my mum had lent out my springform pan last summer and i had to go buy a new one for this. only, the one i bought must not have been tall enough. because the cheesecake bled over the sides [by a lot. a whole lot.] and continued to rise and rise and rise. i tried scraping the top entirely & hoping it would just brown again & come out all right. it sort of did. and so when i finally pulled it out of the oven, let it cool a bit & began removing the sides of the pan from what i thought was a salvageable cake. . . .the entire thing fell. all over the counter. being as it was already 130 in the afternoon by this point [and my dinner party was at 730– AND i was scheduled for a mani/pedi with a best friend in between] i started to frantically panic. i had already sent nick to the store to pick up new ingredients & had made up my mind that i was going to attempt [TOTALLY without enough time at all to do it the ‘right way’] another cheesecake and have it ready before the party. in some sort of mad dash i managed to get it finished with literally NO minutes to spare.
it hadn’t cooled for the recommended 4+ hours but was chilled enough to remove the springform pan and have it hold its form.
and with a couple of hours of extra refrigeration at the restaurant while we would be eating dinner, the cake would be fine.
dinner turned into a lot of birthday drinks. and after a while. . . .things got slightly out-of-hand.
ending in somewhat of a hefty, unplanned debacle.
by the end of the night, we wound up forgetting the cake at the restaurant entirely. platter & all. and although the platter was saved the next day, they had either eaten or thrown away my birthday cheesecake. i was mostly upset about the delicate truffles. and the fact that i had poured so much time & love into the cake on saturday. i do hope they ate it. i’d rather it have ended up in people’s bellies than in a dirty trash bin.
so where was i at the beginning of this all. . . .scuff with suspenders. running late to the office. when i got into work my desk was absolutely covered. in silly birthday décor, gifts, & baked desserts. i had two full cakes from two different friends and then a blueberry dessert from another. having to work on your birthday is the worst. and so coming into all of this certainly made my day more bearable. the first cake i saw was an italian coconut cream cake. it looked delicious. it was delicious.
there was a layered blueberry cream cheese dessert with whipped topping that was scrumptious. forgive my photograph as i had to work with the only table-wear we had in the office [styrofoam plates, yuck] & the only camera i had on hand [my phone].
ironically, my other in-office cake was coconut as well! they know me all-too well. this was a special recipe. my friend’s grandmother used to make this cake with her. the texture of this one was much different from that of the italian cream cake. it had a whipped topping and there was a coconut sort of extract incorporated into the batter, making for a lighter cake with delicious flavor!
i was so touched by all of these things! each one was incredible & tasty in its own way and i felt so loved all day long. which i happen to believe is how you should feel on your birthday. LOVED. after i got home, it was time for home-party festivities. thus far, i had celebrated with friends at a restaurant-party, co-workers at an office-party and i had been given random gifts nearly daily during the week preceding my actual birthday. my mum was supposed to be visiting shortly after i arrived home. nick had been asking me for weeks what i wanted for dinner on the big day. i thought about it so long and hard and couldn’t come up with anything. in the end, i asked for the biggest salad ever. we make these salads sometimes with everything in them. everything. kale. spring greens. spinach. arugula. red onion. extra avocado. radishes. mushrooms. peppers. tomatoes. the list of vegetables goes on. seriously. . . .on & on. no meat. i’m not a big fan of meat these days. i felt a little lame asking for a salad on my birthday. my mum showed after a while with flowers for me and a warm hug.
after dinner, the kids wanted me to open my gifts.
remember in the beginning when i mentioned all of the golden decorations covering our downstairs– the ones that i barely had time to take in before rushing out the door?
there were swirlies hanging everywhere, confetti, & an awesome spread laid out with a plethora of gold and some specific english candy that i’ve quite recently taken great interest in. if you refer back to my recipe blog for the easter fudge i made [courtesy of jane’s patisserie — http://janespatisserie.com/2015/03/29/easter-fudge/], you will recall that we drove several hours for those candy bars. last week, nick & eva found some in a little specialty shop in fort collins. which is only a forty minute drive for us. we felt so stupid having trekked all the way to south denver for the easter fudge. anyway. . . .my spread.
gifts were a lot of fun.
a bicycle basket & bell for my vintage english bike. a new tea pot for my collection with some incredible teas. a french press. awesome mugs. specialty irish whiskey & blueberry cooking oils.
expectations are always set so high for birthdays in our home. especially the cakes. we go overboard on everything and the cakes are always the most important. but sometimes. . . .fancy & intricate get old.
and so this year, i wanted silly [oh so silly] & simple. typically, it’s a surprise.
i asked for an ice cream cake. because i’ve never had one for a birthday of mine.
& i had found this insanely absurd monster cake. it was called the party monster. which i thought was fitting. soooo. . . .nick gladly obliged. 🙂
i have one more birthday to celebrate in my twenties.
its surreal how fast time passes by when you get older. i thought for sure this was going to be my favourite birthday because it was my golden year.
it was a good one. for sure. but not my favourite. . . .because deep down, amidst the smiles, fun & golden sparkles surrounding me were worries. worries about turning another year older.