Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Birthday Cake

Back in the olden days, mothers used to actually bake birthday cakes. It had nothing to do with whether or not she worked outside the home (as mine did), birthday cakes were made by yo' mama. No quick trip to Publix (great cakes, BTW) or Baskin-Robbins. Nope. Whipped it up in the kitchen, where you could lick the bowl of your very own birthday cake batter.

Since my birthday usually falls close to Easter, Mother had a special cake she baked for me - a coconut cake, complete with green coconut "grass" and jelly bean "Easter eggs" hidden in the grass. Candles were spaced amongst the jelly beans, making for a very festive birthday cake. No need for "Happy Birthday" scrawled out in icing. The coconut grass, jelly bean eggs, and candles said it all.

I honestly don't remember how many cakes I baked for daughter Kate's birthdays over the years. I'm not a very good baker - though Mother was no expert, either, so that's a lousy excuse. No, I relied on bakeries and grocery stores. I do wonder where Mother found the time to create her coconut confection every year, but she managed. (Plus, a German chocolate cake around Christmastime - she was excellent at German chocolate.) Coconut cake with jelly beans and candles always made it Happy Birthday.

Thank you, Mother, for the great birthday cakes and happy memories. I'll be thinking of you at 10:12 tonight and the gift of life you gave me 58 years ago.


Liz said...

Happy birthday, mary! If I were closer I would make you a cake!

jcb said...

A very happy birthday from Virginia Highland, Ms. MaryB. May you never have to chop leader into 16mm film again. (And a salute from a fellow April birthday person.)

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite baby pictures, other than the front yard nudes--yes, was the one of my first b'day complete with ink pen for a candle. I don't think we were that poor,someone just forgot to buy candles. Over the years my wife and I also baked a ton of cakes for our 3 boys. Happy ,Happy birthday and many , many more.

TheiaC said...

Hope this is the beginning of a most perfect year! Beautiful memories of your mother!

MaryB said...

Thanks, Liz! Yes, I've been watching your blog-cakes. Wish I had a piece of your chocolate cake!

jcb - Thank you for the leader/16mm wish. From your mouth to God's ears. And Happy Birthday to you, fellow April baby!

Jay - Ha! A pen! Hilarious! Obviously, you and your wife are better parents than I.

Theia - Thanks for the good wishes! I, too, hope it will be a beautiful year -

jomoore said...

Eek - I'm reading this at 10:12! Wrong time zone, obviously, but that felt a bit spooky!

A good excuse for another cup of tea, I think! ;o)

Cheers to you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mary. I wish for you....cake like your mother use to make, health and happiness always and love. I lift my teacup to you sweet friend.... Love, Joy

LPK said...

If my birthday was really close to Easter, my coconut cake was in the shape of a bunny. Still can't figure how Sug did that. Happy birthday month - the celebration continues!