Let Them Eat Cake!

All I have to say about this post is YUM!  Let them eat chocolate cake with Portsmouth frosting, it's delicious!  (and p.s. Pat I love strawberry shortcake so let's share some sometime, shall we?)

Mom’s Birthday Month – Let’s Eat Cake!

Most people enjoy celebrating their birthdays and I used to – in fact, I loved having a birthday so much that I’d regularly issue regular written and verbal reminders in advance of “Mom’s Birthday Month,” a 30-day period in which I blatantly attempted to force my family to cater to my every whim for a change.

Sometimes it even worked. For example, I’d say things like, “Honey, could you walk the dog? I’d do it, but it is Mom’s Birthday Month.” This usually resulted in a look of outright hostility from my children, and much grumbling, but also in them walking the dog.

I tried one year to proclaim Mom’s Birthday Quarter, but there was a revolt. I understand:  I can be very demanding during MBM, saying things like, “Clean your room -- after all it is Mom’s Birthday Month.” Or, “I know I’m the only one who likes strawberry shortcake for dessert, but it IS Mom’s Birthday Month….”

Along with trying to get my way for 30 straight days, I also “persuaded” my immediate family to participate in some sort of adventure in my honor. One year, it was driving four hours to see if we could spot moose in the wild. Another year, we visited a Maine island portrayed in one of my favorite paintings. Then there was the “Mom’s Milestone Birthday National Scenic Vistas and White Trash Tour” that included a bucket-list pilgrimage to the Grand Canyon, as well as visits to Hollywood, Area 51 of UFO fame and, of course, Las Vegas.

In my house, everyone also is feted on their special day with a Happy Birthday banner erected in the kitchen, daylong use of our single set of special occasion fake gold-plated silverware, a menu of their desire for all three meals (No. 2 son demanded far too many consecutive years of waffles for dinner in my opinion, but I digress) AND the Remick Family chocolate birthday cake (recipe below). And when I hear about the intriguing and fun birthday traditions of others, I try to incorporate them, too, so please do share yours in the comment section below.

This year, not only did I declare there would be no Mom’s Birthday Month, I wanted to avoid the actual day because I dreaded this birthday. Coincidentally, a study released a few days beforehand stated the risk of people dying on their birthdays increases with each passing year, which did NOT improve my mood.

“So you probably ought to call early on my birthday,” I solemnly advised my youngest son.

“You really have to stop reading these studies, Mom,” he said.

“Nonetheless, I think it would be best if you called on the early side in case I want to offer any last words of advice.”

I’m pretty sure I heard the wheels turning in his head from 400 miles away. Would he dare so close to my birthday to reveal that he no longer needs or wants advice from his mother? I considered his silence a gift.

Care to guess what time he finally called?

It surprised me, too, but I suppose 3:30 p.m. is still early if you’re only 21. I was so happy to hear from him that I didn’t even bother to offer any words of wisdom -- which I think my age and motherhood entitle me to do forever, by the way.

Now that I’ve passed the feared milestone, I’m planning to resurrect Mom’s Birthday Month for 2013. In the meantime, let’s eat cake!

Remick Family Birthday Cake


3 c. flour

2 c. sugar

6 TB. Cocoa (unsweetened)

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 c. cold water

2/3 c. vegetable oil

2 TB vinegar

2 tsp. vanilla

Directions                                       Preheat Oven to 350

1.  Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large mixing bowl.

2.  Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla.

3.  Beat 3 minutes at medium speed until well blended.

4.  Pour into 2 round, 9-inch cake pans. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

5.  Let cool completely before adding icing/frosting.

Portsmouth Frosting

¼ cup butter

¼ cup milk

About 3 cups white powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

(6 TB unsweetened cocoa for chocolate icing)

Melt butter in large sauce pan. Remove from heat. Add milk and vanilla. Beat in enough powdered sugar until thick enough to spread. Add cocoa. Mix well.

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