I make a lot of birthday cakes. Always in the spring and summer. Always someone else's. I never baked a cake for myself. Which is ridiculous, because I enjoy making them, so why shouldn't I bake my own cake?
I've had plenty of years when I didn't even want to bother celebrating my birthday. This time of year is always so busy. My day is a speed bump between Thanksgiving and Christmas. By the time it comes around, I am in the midst of writing cards or baking cookies I usually spend any birthday money on Christmas presents. I don't really feel like dealing with one more thing, and now it marks how fast time is passing, how old I'm getting. I also feel it is the most pathetic act to beg my kids to bake a cake for me. I know they would if I asked, but I'm not the type of person that wants to ask.
I usually end up with a store bought cake. Which is OK, but it isn't the same as homemade.
I really, really wanted to bake my own cake this year.
In the grand scheme of things, a cake isn't very important, but it does make me happy. To create something unique lifts my spirit. To bake something that everyone devours because it tastes so good is...um...icing on the cake. Sometimes you have to do what makes you feel good. Mothers spend a lot of time putting their own needs last, and this is not a good example. Yes, you want to show your kids that you are there for them and others, but you also want them to see you are there for yourself. It goes back to the old airplane emergency: you want to put your own oxygen mask on first so that you are able to help others. If you honor yourself, your children see you consider yourself important too. And they learn to honor their needs.
This is me honoring my creative need.
Griffin cake. Velvet cake with mocha chocolate buttercream frosting on the lion body and beak, chocolate whipped cream frosting on the eagle head, wings, and chest, as well as the tip of the tail. Talons are chocolate dipped pretzels. I made the eagle portion from one cut of about half a cake, which worked out well as I didn't need to worry about parts falling. I freeze the cake before cutting, and then used melted chocolate as glue. It held together well.