Search Lobsterland

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mo's 17th

Autism can make birthdays tricky. That house full of people, the excitement of the gifts, the cake with candles, ice cream, all that good stuff can seem overwhelming.

As a father and shutterbug, one of my favorite shots is to photograph my kid blowing out the candles on her birthday cake. A cake I've made from scratch, with custom-tinted frosting and child-like lettering on it (because when you only decorate two or three cakes a year, you don't develop Ace of Cakes type chops). I love taking this photo, and I'd even learned that a flaw in the past couple I'd had was caused by my UV filter and remembered to take it off, but when we lit the candles on the cake, Mo ran and hid under her covers.

My nephew and Em blew the candles out instead, and I guess that's okay.

I figured out a new trick on the birthday cake. It's still the Chocolate Mayonnaise recipe from Joy of Cooking, but while the cakes were fresh out of the oven, I put the bottom layer in with a layer of marshmallow and turned on the broiler for maybe five minutes, until the marshmallows got melty and started to brown. Then I put the other cake on top and left them to cool. The result looked like the world's biggest Oreo, though I guess in food type it more resembles a Hostess Suzy Q. With the marshmallows in between there wasn't a need for frosting in that area. So my usual recipe of 24 ounces of cream cheese, a half pound of butter, a cup of powdered sugar, and a tablespoon of vanilla yielded far more frosting that required.

I was really gunning for making the frosting yellow, bought a big bottle of yellow dye to get the color rich, but then Mo said she wanted a blue cake, and it is her birthday, not mine, so blue it was. Pale blue, I would have needed a big bottle like I'd bought of the yellow to get it to be a rich, royal blue.

I think a good time was had by all, except possibly for my oldest daughter, who complained that the cats were getting on her lap and that the allergic reactions a couple of my nephews were having to the cats were somehow my fault. Yes, I adopted the kitties, but it's actually not my fault that some people are allergic to cats. I am too when they're new to me, and this weekend my nose and eyes have been telling me about how there's a couple of new cats around. That gets better with time, in my case anyway, and if some people are allergic to cats, and the shelters are over-flowing with cats that need homes, then someone like me who is only slightly and temporarily allergic should probably adopt at least three cats to make up for the people who really can't.

No comments: