All the arrangements were made, the venue, catering and entertainment booked, invitations issued, responses received and a feeling of mild panic rising as I realised that there were more people coming than available chairs. Mild panic became moderate to extreme panic when I suddenly remembered. Cake. There was no birthday cake.
A party without cake is no party at all, even if the meal is breakfast. Just to clarify, breakfast is my favourite meal, I can eat it any time of day and like a Hobbit, can have multiple breakfasts. Unless you’re in Greece, Italy, or some other European countries, cake isn’t on the breakfast menu. But still, this was a birthday party and cake is compulsory.
Of course, I could have made it easy for myself and bought one, but that just didn’t seem right, Mr Kipling may bake exceedingly good cakes, but not good enough in my book, plus it would have cost a fortune, I am from Yorkshire after all with short arms and deep pockets, and I couldn’t justify all that packaging. Seriously, a plastic tray, a plastic wrapper and a box? No, just no.
A quick Google for lemon cake recipes, my favourite, a trip to Morrison’s and the ingredients were weighed out, scaled up for a giant cake. You Tube is a treasure chest of sparkling ideas, along with hints and tips. I soon had six cakes sandwiched together with the contents two jars of lemon curd and a kilo of buttercream. It was a heavy cake, supported by bamboo skewers to avoid toppling. I decorated it with another kilo of buttercream, white chocolate shards, various other sweets, though fewer than I started out with as Noel ate some, pretending he was in charge of quality control. It was all topped off with a stack of lemon puffs, skewered together like a giant biscuit kebab. Several dentists were on standby as it made its way to the party.
It was a very relaxed and informal celebration, spending it with some of the friends who have in some way, great or small, made my life better, happier, fun, that’s what friends are for. When I look at what I’ve done, what I love, what I enjoy, nearly all of it is thanks to friends, who have encouraged or involved me in some crazy scheme or other whether it was singing, running, climbing, skiing, starting an allotment, gardening, baking, singing, mosaic-making, drawing….the list is endless. I know I am the sum of all my friends, and I am so thankful.