My birthday is on August 28th. My brother Mike's birthday is on August 11th.
We are definitely two people who NEVER treat our birthdays as "just any other day".
For his 40th birthday this year, he and his boyfriend traveled through Guatemala, Belize and part of Peru (cut short by a bit of an earthquake that killed several hundred people).
My brother travels all over the world all the time for work. For fun he likes to travel through developing countries, especially the ones prone to terrorist alerts and natural disasters. He spent most of this last vacation traveling through jungles, climbing Mayan ruins and meeting assorted mountain mystics. He saw huge snakes, tons of monkeys and slept in the jungle at night with all of the loud jungle sounds blasting through his hut window.
Me? Well I went to Cape Cod and tried to channel Edna Saint Vincent Millay between swimming, biking and eating ice cream cones.
The point is that my brother returned and asked that I bake him a birthday cake - since we were both away on the sacred date.
He wanted a coconut cake. AND IT HAD TO BE MOIST. And bits of fresh pineapple in the cake would be nice because he enjoyed eating that in Guatemala....when he wasn't stepping on frogs the size of chickens in the rain forest.
So I baked him a cake last night - angel food. And made the coconut frosting to go with it.
I was tired and feeling sad about not being super excited to move somewhere that is not here.
I felt my best vibes were not going through that cake.
When it was done I showed it to my husband and announced that it sucked. It was not as picture perfect as I wanted it to be. Sometimes when I'm bummed out by something I cook, I immediately chuck it.
The cake was on the fence. It could go either way. Brian knew it and demanded that the cake be allowed to live out its natural life.
This afternoon on my way home from work I bought some individual coconut cakes from Black Hound (a FABULOUS bakery on 1st Ave between 10th and 11th). I presented Mike with the three perfect mini cakes and my snowball explosion cake as evidence that I did indeed try to fulfill his wish. He and his boyfriend cast the gourmet cakes to the side and dove into my coconut cake. They loved it.
But boys love coconut cake no matter what. A fact I've noted throughout my life.