Friday, August 04, 2006

Let them eat cake

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I insisted that I would make the cake for my grandmother's surprise birthday party.

First, let me say that it is REALLY going to be a surprise, because her birthday isn't until next month. However, this weekend is the first time in five years that my mother and three of her sisters will be in the same place at the same time. (Unfortunately, the fourth sister will not be's a long story, but, suffice it to say that she was not able to come home.) But, anyway, my Aunt S~ and Uncle L~, who have been living in Uganda for the past ten years, are home for a few months. (My uncle traveled to Rwanda eleven years ago for a three week trip with Doctors Without Borders. He came home and said that he had to go back to Africa, that the need for doctors was so immense, he could not ignore the need. So, he and my aunt and their three children left their comfortable life in Houston*, and went to Uganda. My uncle has been working at a teaching hospital and running an AIDS clinic. My aunt does things like teach about the importance of clean drinking water and woman's health issues. (She had to homeschool their three children until they got to be high school age, at which point they went to a boarding school in Kenya.) They have come home for a few months to bring their second daughter home to go to college. She will be joining her older brother at a small liberal arts college in Michigan.)

Additionally, my Aunt K~ and Uncle P~, who have been living in China for the past year, have also come home. They normally live in Los Angeles, so, we don't see them very often anyway, but, none of us have seen them for more than a year. So, they came back from China, visited their (grown) children in L.A., and now they are visiting us before returning to China for another year. My uncle related. I have no idea, to be honest. I just know his company said, "we need you in Beijing for two years" and he said, "okay."

The point of this is, these people have been scattered across the globe, and for this weekend, we will all be together (save Aunt J~, who is stuck in Washington), so, a surprise birthday party was in order for my grandmother.

At which point I insisted that I would make the cake. Why? Because I am insane, that's why. No, because I hate store-bought cake? Maybe. And even my mother, who is a cake maker extraordinaire (she made all the wedding cakes for my and my siblings weddings, and is the standard cake baker for most family birthdays and christenings and wedding and baby showers) said, "why don't you just put whipped cream and fruit on the cake and call it a day?" But no, I insisted that I would make the cake, and I would FROST IT, with my mother's secret frosting recipe, and it would be delicious, although not particularly attractive, since I lack my mother's artistic ability. (You are wondering why my mother isn't frosting the cake herself, aren't you? Long story...)

The cake is baked, as well as a dozen eggless chocolate cupcakes, as my niece is allergic to eggs, so all family gatherings that involve cake must also involved eggless cupcakes. They are not frosted. I am at work. The party is at six pm.

This is a conundrum of the first order....


I'll let you know how it turns may, in fact, be neccessary to just throw whipped cream and fruit on the cake and call it a day...


*to the extent that living in Houston could be called "comfortable". My aunt insists that living in Texas was good practice for living in Africa. Although she did almost always have working electricity and plumbing in Texas, and she never had to butcher her own dinner...also, she said the bats in Texas are considerably smaller


Blogger Space Mom said...

LM has an urgent matter at home to attend to. She must leave work at 3pm...
That is all!

Friday, August 04, 2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Do we get to see a pic of said cake? And I have a pressing matter and need toleave work.

Friday, August 04, 2006 1:24:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Wow. I never ever bake cakes for family events anymore - Top Foods makes really good cakes and I just buy one of those. :-) Really hope you find a way to get it all done in time.
It's SO cool you have so much family all in one place this weekend - take lots of pictures!

Friday, August 04, 2006 2:54:00 PM  
Anonymous johanna said...

your blog came up when i was searching for a recipe for eggless cupcakes... would you mind sharing your recipe?

Sunday, October 22, 2006 8:19:00 PM  
Blogger Lady of Musotopia said...

I wish I found this page earlier! Would you be able to give me the recipe? I have a function in just over a day!
If you could leave it under one of my comments on my page that would be swell :)
Thanks in advance!

Thursday, August 02, 2007 9:03:00 AM  

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