Yesterday was my son, Max’s 20th birthday.
He wanted a "killer cake," so I agreed to the deed.
Boy, did I ever kill the cake. But it still tasted good. And, he didn’t seem to mind too much.
Well, any cake pans I had disappeared long ago.. so I geared up and bought two new, beautiful non-stick ones (instead of the flimsy, throw-away aluminum ones).
I found and cleaned up the old hand-mixer (Wow, it still worked!) and actually found two mixer-beater-thingies that matched.
But, I realized as I started the process, I forgot to buy the chocolate pudding mix to throw in the batter.
“That’s okay,” Max smiled smugly, “just add extra stick of butter. That’s what Hunni would have done.”
So I did.
It smelled wonderful, but the concoction rose only about a quarter inch. “Oh well, so it’ll look funny, it’ll be all right,” I thought.
I took the pans out of the oven and let the beasties cool.
When it came time to do the building, Max standing ready to assist, flipped one pan over neatly on a plate; the cake dropped right out.
With my pan, I cleanly lifted the flattened cake out with my fingers. It was firm and flat. I made a flipping gesture with it at Max.
Chocolate cakes do not for good Frisbees make.
The cake, just a little too heavy for such a maneuver, broke into pieces and hit the floor.
The clean-up crew was there in a flash, but I held them back and quickly picked up the chunks to salvage what I could.
Of course, both Roxzi and Max EWWWWed and shouted, they weren’t gonna eat that!
Don’t blame ‘em, really.
I let the dogs vacuum up the rest.
Max quickly frosted the remaining disc and decorated it with the traditional chopped up Peanut Butter M&Ms. He was just a little anxious.
Then, to top things off, the fact that between daughter Roxzi and I, we could not for the life of us find a single birthday candle.. or anything of a waxy nature to suffice.
Good ole Max (my genius son) came through with a... wooden match.
Needless to say, we sang very quickly.
Yes, my mother was the cake maker of the family (along with being the story keeper, and since her passing, I’ve feebly attempted to follow her lead, but my passion for cooking is not as great as hers. I always have to look up a poem I wrote shortly after her crossing, To Kill a Cake, to try to remember how to make her famous delicacy, what she dubbed, “Killer Cake.”
The poem pretty much tells the tale… (thank goodness I like to write, or there’d be nothing!)
To Kill a Cake
My dear mother, Hunni, passed away
To other realms, in heaven’s stay.
And with the Love, she took her best
Cake recipe; would you have guessed?
The grandchildren loved to assist
Her mix and stir, they knew the list.
"Secret" ingredients to make a treat
The likes of which all cared to eat.
Thus “Killer Cake” came of fame,
"To die for!" was my Mother’s claim.
Every birthday, fall or spring,
For “Killer Cake” the kids would sing.
Alas, dear Hunni’s gone away,
And with her, “Killer Cake,” I say.
No one could match the way she’d make
That luscious mound, for heaven’s sake!
Of oldest daughter, I did inquire,
For her birthday, what she’d desire?
She looked at me with saddened eyes,
“Killer Cake,” her small reply.
I shook my head, “Uh-uh, not I!
“I can bake a cookie, or a pie
“But cakes were Hunni’s, understand?
"Your wish is not of my command.”
She thought a moment, then she said,
“You can do it!” and bobbed her head.
“Yes, we will help, make no mistake,
"We know how she would make the cake!”
I bought the strange ingredients
And took them home obedient.
“She never followed the directions!”
The kids regaled in recollection.
“An extra egg? A tub of… THAT?”
“Yep! Taste to see it’s thick and fat,”
Turn the oven to five hundred!”
How will this ever work? I wondered.
“Don’t set the timer, just won’t do,
We wait until the thing smells through.
“Mix the frosting while we wait,
with pudding, cream cheese, ain’t it great!”
I figured burning cake and house
Would bring cute firemen to douse
The flames of home and cooking passion
And dreams of birthdays, Hunni fashion.
But soon a smell came wafting through
A chocolate glow, so rich and true;
“The knife will never come out clean!"
A secret to her cake cuisine.
“It’s time, it’s done!” the children yell.
I shook my head, “How can you tell?”
“It’s her way,” they dance and croon
“Believe us! Can we lick the spoon?”
In all, approval took a stand,
“You did it, Mom! It turned out grand!
"We thought you’d kill it, make it dead…
"A treat To die for! you baked instead!”
The moral: cooperation bakes the cake,
With death there's no reason to forsake
Matriarchal cooking passion,
And dreams of birthdays, Hunni fashion.
© Copyright 2002 Quizmo LaGrande. All rights reserved.
Happy Birthday, Max!
~ * ~
3 days ago