The Birthday Post

I have a habit of cos playing the character of whatever my big project is each year. No, it’s not constant, but it’s constantly in the back of my mind: what would xxx do? I change around my wardrobe, my haircut, and even my Apples to Apples answers to get into character. And it works. I find that playing the character helps me get into their head. This year, the project is Barrieville (have I mentioned how much I love Peter Pan?) about a small town, and the protagonist, and the eighteen year old Violet who serves as the protagonist is fittingly cast.

Violet’s starting point was playing foursquare, which was introduced to me as “that game that little kids play.” This, combined with living in Barrieville has given her, to me, an atmosphere of childhood and nostalgia. Thus, it was childhood and nostalgia which inspired my birthday dinner plans.

It was on a weekday this year, so we weren’t going tk have much time to cook, and I got to thinking, what can I cook fast, that fits in my theme? Answer: macaroni and cheese. And garlic bread, with baked eggplant dipping sticks if it wouldn’t take too long. And I would invite Ivy and Jan. We were good to go! But when I told my mom about the plan, she didn’t want mac and cheese, so she kind of decided that instead, we would have shrimp and grits. Granted, these were the chile lime shrimp I had intended to make last year, but last year had a whole different theme. I had a different character, and a different cake. (Oh yes, the cake has a lot of factor in the theme for the party. This was going to be a chocolate cake with chocolate-hazelnut mousse, which to me is a simple cake reminiscent of birthday parties from long ago.) So I still wanted my mac and cheese, but it didn’t happen. And Ivy couldn’t get off work.

But the party went well nevertheless. Jan made it and she and my family all got along splendidly. And regardless of my dinner plans being… foiled… the cake was splendid.

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This is the first effectively tilted tiered cake I have made. I did make one once before, but the tilt was so insignificant that the decorations lent more to the rakish appearance than did the actual tilt. But by the end of this cake, I had figured out the method, and made the cake tilt so well that my parents worried the top tier would fall off. I also figured out a method for making chocolate decorations. See, it’s very easy to make chocolate cake decorations out of candy melts, which are like chocolate with oil in them. But the oil is usually partially hydrogenated something something, which I’m less inclined to use. But if you melt regular chocolate and try to pipe it, it hardens in the bag because it has a higher melting point. You can make your own candy melts by mixing chocolate with coconut oil. I tired this, but the texture of each color came out completely different. But I achieved these decorations by mixing the chocolate with just a little bit of cream. And I did them all freehand, so they came out rather big. And the cream-chocolate doesn’t paint as well, though it pipes well, so I will have to come up with a new strategy for painting chocolate. Nevertheless, I think this is my best success yet. Oh, and since we ate the top tier on my birthday, I was able to bring the bottom tier the next day for my co-worker’s birthday. 😀

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