Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My son's birthday--Lenora Worth
Today is my son's twenty-first birthday. He truly is grown. I decided to bake him an elaborate cake I found on Oprah's website. It's a twelve layer chocolate cake. I love this cake and my sister makes it a lot when I go home to visit. It's so good. So I decided I could make one to celebrate his birthday. Of course, I'd forgotten that I gave up cooking and baking to write more books. It has been a while since I tackled such a task. I went to the SuperStore (you know the one). Big mistake since I'd just gotten over a migraine and I was still grumpy and groggy. An hour later, I had all the stuff I needed--flour, butter, eggs, sugar, chocolate--all the bad stuff that makes such good cakes. I came home, ate a quick sandwich then hauled out the heavy duty mixer and got started. First, I had to cut parchment paper to fit in tweleve different foil pans. I had foil pans all over the kitchen. And who knew parchment paper could slither and slid when you're trying to cut it into a circle. This took quite a while but I had some passable lopsided circles to place in the bottom of the sprayed pans. Then I got the ingredients together. First came butter and sugar. I dumped that in and turned the mixer on high and sent sugar flying all over the kitchen. Then each time I took a step, I felt sugar. Next came the eggs. I was a bit more careful with them. Then the flour. That went everywhere too. Finally I had the batter done, the pans ready, the oven heated and every bowl in my kitchen in use. I poured the batter in the pans but it was too thick. It just sat there in the middle of the pans. I tried spreading it out with a spatula, with some shakes to the pans and with some shouts and a few prayers. Then I put the pans in the oven and started making the icing which required yet more butter, sugar, evaporated milk, chocolate and vanilla. The chocolate went all over the stove each time I stirred it. It finally boiled and then I cooked it until it was suppose to thicken. It never thickened. I checked the cake in the pans. Lopsided and not so good but done. I took them out and wondered how in the world I'd ever get them to look like a cake. I had pans everywhere. The chocolate didn't want to cool or thicken so finally I poured it over the first thin, lopsided layer. Luckily, I had a big round platter to catch the syrupy chocolate. Twelve crooked layers later, I had something that looked like a giant stack of chocolate pancakes. But hey, it was the effort that counted, or that's what my son and my husband said as they tried not to laugh. It's so tall, we're afraid to cut it. I used to be a good cook, honestly. No matter. We will eat the funny looking cake. It has layers of memories, layers of love, and layers of prayers, lopsided and broken at times, but always covered in such a sweet love from a mother to her son. Thank goodness God feels the same about us. He loves us, lumps and messiness and all. So happy birthday to my son. Now I have to go and wash the chocolate icing off my face.