The arc of the calendar spanning December to February claims all of the gifting holidays in our house. This year, we two agreed that no gifts of monetary weight would be exchanged, due in whole to the constriction of Wedding Budget – The Final Countdown…
are you singing along in your head? You know you are. “It’s the final countdooooooowwnnnn! Da na na na!”
This leaves one with a puzzling conundrum – or a really fun challenge of love and logic. How do you elucidate how much he means to you when your wallet is locked in a weld-sealed box? How do you express the how much without spending the how much?
Well, when you’re me, and I’m pretty sure I am (today at least), you bake. And you write. And you sauté his favorite comfort food: pierogi with onion and a stick of butter in its creamy, salted entirety.
But while you may be deft at the writing portion of this birthday event, the cooking and the baking are a proposition aside.
The pierogi turn out swimmingly, and the birthday boy is aglow with delight. How a stick of butter does cover a multitude of sins.
But then there was the cake. You might, if you happen to be me, bumble about the baking aisle waiting to be stricken by Le Inspiration Sucre. You might see marshmallow fluff, and chocolate cake mix, and think, “Egads! S’mores cake!”
And you might say under your breath, “I don’t need no stinkin’ Fluff. I’m using the real McCoy”, whilst headed towards the marshmallow aisle.
You perhaps then gather the rest of the sweetest fixin’s in your basket, and practically skip up your drive after work with your haul, plastic cutting pink and purple bengals into your arms from the shopping bags slung up and down the length of each.
And you set to work upon your mixing and your making.
Looking at the cake stack, you think, “Marshmallows! That indentation is just begging for marshmallows!”
But wait. You have not yet frosted it. Remove marshmallows.
Now! Now, for marshmallows.
Hrmmm… This cake looks like it has teeth. Crooked teeth. Crooked teeth do not a comely confection make.
Perhaps eat a few. They got frosting on ’em!
Continue to frost. Resist the opportunistic advances of Dakota the Fluffer Wolf, and Sir Toast.
Now, how to make marshmallow frosting… I know! Melt them! Like when making Rice Krispy Treats! Only without the butter.
Or… with the butter.
Yes. Absolutely with the butter.
You may be a Sweet Genius (man that guy is creepy).
Melt the butter. Yes. More butter. Cayn’t evah have too much buttah. Ask Paula Deen, y’all.
Put them graham crackers into a ziplock and squish with a spoon.
Don’t forget to stir the ‘mallows!
Wait! Add more ‘mallows! You know. For texture. Don’t question me. I’m a Sweet Genius, remember?
Now, pour over the cake. Oh. Dear. This doesn’t seem to pour very agreeably. No matter. Sweet Geniuses prevail at all times. Now get to prevailing.
Crisis averted. Now, take those graham crumbles and and pour them over the top of that cake.
Look at that. Ooey, gooey, s’morey perfection.
You Sweet Genius, you.
Happy birthday, Blue Eyes! Make a wish and blow out your candle!
The blowing… The crumbles…
Moral of the story? Consider your topping when planning birthday cake. Crumbs are not advisable when blowing may transpire.
Hmmm… A little bit gooey…er… than I’d originally surmised…
How about that cake?! Oh! And wait! There’s a card!
Sweet Genius right here.
A for effort.
Truth be honest, the cake was more a pleasure to the eye than the tongue. Something about the filling or the cake mix… Not sure how you go wrong with box cake but… I did so stupendously find a way.
Maybe that’s what love is. Rushing home from work, fumbling furiously over your confounded hands and piecemeal pastry skills. And it’s coming home and being delighted, seeing this pretty if not a tad lopsided and off-tasting cake, reading the card she wrote just for you in her loopiest scrawl. And enjoying every last bite. Not because it tasted that good, but because love… Being loved… To be loved,