I can only remember my early birthdays on faded little reels and browning pictures. Whether I was dressed as Zorro, or atop a pony reciting Shakespeare, the star of the whole show was definitely not me.
It was the cake.
I think when I was three or four I got this little gay gene going where I liked the color pink. Pink frosting, pink cupcakes, pink cakes. I liked the color pink flavor before I knew what a strawberry was.
So what was my favorite birthday cake starting at age three?
Three-layer pink cake with pink frosting.
Later, confetti cake would replace the plain pink cake. I never could figure out what the hell confetti tasted like. But it was very colorful and that seemed to be all that mattered in the Cake Game.
I was never a big chocolate guy. I have eaten more chocolate since I met Karen than I ever did before.
Pretty much anything other than chocolate, although I can’t imagine a world bereft of German Chocolate Cake!
When I was apprenticing en la patisserie, I loved making cakes and tortes the best.
The chef was a large Teutonic woman with a hair-trigger temper. You definitely did not mention German Chocolate Cake around “Aw Fuck!” Anna.
The only two English words she spoke.
Anna had two rules and two rules ONLY in her kitchen. A breach of either resulted in immediate termination.
Do not vary from the recipe.
Take extreme personal pride in everything you do in this room.
When I say do not vary from the recipe, what I am really saying is if you vary one iota from the chef’s recipe, (and make absolutely no mistake) about this—you will get caught.
Go go ahead and pick up your tools and never darken my door again.
Sometimes an entire cake is not workable.
They are totally awesome, except you have to eat at least eight of them to achieve that just gorged-out feeling associated with birthdays. At a party you are lucky to get two pieces of cake.
It doesn’t even have to be cake to be a birthday cake.
The Domestic Despot used to have me make her a birthday baklava.
Anytime that you hand a person an offering from your heart that counts as ten cakes. To a spoiled little kid, a cake might not be nearly enough. But give that same cake to a little girl who has never had a piece of birthday cake or even a birthday celebration, and then you will see the magic.
Besides, if you are a downer on birthdays, then you are just down on kids. That’s who they are for anyway. And that just makes you an asshole.
So wolf down your birthday cake with all the gusto you have. Enjoy all the smiling faces of those who love you and those who could not get out of the invitation.
It’ll all be over soon.
You’ll be dead.