June 20, 2012

birthday picnic

Yesterday, in the middle of the day, we packed up plates and candles and one very carefully held sharp knife and headed out for a little birthday picnic. Will's birthday falls exactly one week after Evie's and is generally just a day or two after, if not on, Father's day and I feel like it sometimes gets a little but of a short shrift. He doesn't want a party and says he doesn't need a cake. His gifts get smooshed together with Father's Day gifts and if the day doesn't happen to fall on Father's Day he's usually working (personally I think that no one should have to go to work on their birthday. It should be a law). This year he's already busy with a new project at his new job but happily, was working at home, hence the middle of the day picnic. I hadn't actually planned on a mid day cake feast. But when the birthday boy comes up at two for a break and asks "When is it time for cake?" It's time for cake!

Living in a furnished vacation rental has it's ups and downs. On the plus side there is an electric griddle, which I've never had and which has now become indispensable to me. And we have cable here, enabling my new addiciton for Cajun Pawn Stars and American Pickers. There was a limit the the number of toys we could bring for the kids which is a positive in that they play hard with what they have, and there's less to pick up. On the negative side I'm hearing a lot of "I wish we had (fill in random toy) out of storage!" I can sympathise. The kitchen here is a little oddly stocked. You can tell it's someones second home. Lots of mismatched plates and bowls, plenty of forks and microwavable cups. No rolling pin. No mixing bowls other than a ginormous popcorn bowl and two small salad bowls. It makes baking a little bit of an adventure. I keep overfilling the salad bowls with batter that then has to be mixed v-e-r-y slowly so it doesn't slop over the edge. But we're making do. Last night I used a beer glass to roll out homemade tortillas for quesadillas. Whatever it takes.

Will's cake, other than the requisite overflowing salad bowl o'batter, went off without a hitch. Since we only just finished Evelyn's Neapolitan confection, we needed something  a little less rich this time so I pulled out my trusty yogurt cake recipe, filled it with jam and topped it with whipped cream. Delicious. I remember reading once that every girl should have a good cake recipe and this one is mine. I think the whipped cream frosting is the best topping I've made for it. I'm already planning another like it for my birthday later this summer. (Briton, on the other hand, has requested a bright green cake in the shape of a ninja head with little LEGO ninjas fighting on top. Here comes the food coloring!)

So we sat in the grass and watched the dog watch the cake and ate cake and ran around, swatting away midges and flying ants.  By the time we went back into the house half the cake was gone.

A sure sign of a good time.