Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sweet History

The history HERstory of my daughter's birthday celebration is one I especially like to reflect on every single year. I have already chronicled it in length in the past. Here is the story if you care to take a peek. My Baby Girl's Birthday Story

This year I listened very careful to Scarlett's list of birthday wishes. I think last year when she turned 3, she finally had an understanding what was happening. She's been fairly obsessed with her birthday for a year now. She understands that we take the day to fully appreciate and shower as much love and attention on you as possible. She's has been in anticipation for her special day since the last one wrapped up. Truth be told so have I. I think after reading the detailed blog on her dramatic entrance into the world you probably understand why. It's her birthday, but it's also my.... didn't die day. I just love channeling a little extra gratitude into the atmosphere.

For about 4 months, Scarlett has been adamant that I hand craft her a heart shaped cake. I'm am a baker but, I do cookies and cupcakes. They may taste good, but they aren't necessarily that pretty. I have had all of my kids request a homemade cake at one point or another. A heart shaped cake just seemed as if it had the potential to go very wrong, very quickly. Thus, this venture was making me quite nervous. No one in my household is known for holding their tongue. I'm not overly proud, but a "wow you sure made a mess of this cake" would have surely been injurious to my feelings!

I remember when I was young, my mother who has always been an avid baker, used to make heart shaped cakes during valentine's day. I called her and solicited her expertise in my attempt to fulfill my little darling's request. "Oh sure, I still have those heart shaped pans that I used to make cakes with when you were little was her response. She then went on to tell me that they were her mother's pans. My grandmother was without a doubt one of the finest bakers in the area. I cannot even find words to express the sense of emotion I felt at this point. If you follow my blog at all. It's pretty obvious that I find meaning and symbolism in EVERYTHING.

The fact that my girl was obsessing over what I was discovering was more of a family tradition then just a cake was huge to me. You see, my grandma used these pans to channel her passion for baking and spreading love to her family and friends. When my parents were dating. The first cake my mom ever baked for my dad was baked in these pans. And now, the first birthday cake that my daughter was really hopeful to have was going to be crafted... in these pans.
I have to be honest. As happy as I was to give this an attempt. I was very worried that my lack of craftiness was going to yield a less than desirable product. I knew I could make it taste good. My worry was about whether or not I could make it LOOK good.
My girl and I went to the store and I let her pick out all of the decorations she wanted to go on top. I thought seriously of having her help make it. She loves to cook, more so than I. I think she will be making the family meals in a few short years. If the cake didn't turn out well, at least it was because a 4 year old made it.
I decided against it. I wanted to see the expression on her face when she saw it for the first time. I wanted this to be a present to her and not a project for us. There was history and tradition attached to these pans. The mantle had been passed to me. It was my turn to do my best to commit an act of love that I would pass on to someone special. We will have our time to make one together. But this gift was specifically for her. So I decided to go it alone.
I think this picture says it all. Sure my local bakery puts me to shame when it comes to crafting a beautiful artistic culinary delight. But, clearly what I presented to my darling daughter was acceptable. For that I was relieved and thankful. What a heart warming feeling I received at her response.
My entire family went on to tell me, this was the absolute best cake I have ever baked. Every last one of them said those words to me. I think it was the tradition, the history, and LOVE that made it taste better...

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