The DIY Birthday Cake

Some people are unlucky in love, some unlucky with money.  I have a birthday cake jinx.  It all started when I was six.  While Mom was making my birthday cake she became distracted and forgot to put in the baking soda.  When the cake came out of the oven it resemble a kitchen cleaning sponge in size, density, and texture.  I was six, it was cake, and smothered in two inches of frosting it was good to me.  

When I was seven, Mom accidentally slammed the oven door while my birthday cake was baking.  Seven candles perched precariously on top of a cake that rose from the serving plate at a jaunty 45 degree angle. Mom tried to level the cake with additional frosting which meant my slice of cake had three inches of gooey butter cream. I was seven and in a sugar induced euphoria I was, over course, delighted.

When my eighth birthday rolled around, Mom was determined to produce a faultless birthday cake.  It was chocolate and vanilla marble cake with fluffy vanilla icing.  The cake stood moist and tall topped with great swirls of butter cream. It was the most perfect cake she had ever made.  She wanted to surprise me so she placed it somewhere she knew I'd never see it, on the landing of the stairs which lead to the back door.  

My Dad was the Superintendent of a railroad.  Our house ran like clockwork, everything timed to the precise minute so Mom knew he wouldn't be home until 5 o'clock in the evening... EXCEPT for that day... he was home early.   He drove directly to the garage, parked the car, and in his usual brisk manner,  strode through the back door onto the stair landing and into my beautiful birthday cake!

Swear words ensued, including the query of who would be dumb enough to leave a cake directly in front of the back door.   Mom hotly replied that he should slow down and watch where he was putting his big feet.  I, as any eight year old girl would do, giggled and giggled and pointed and giggled.  

Now, pride is a sin that runs in our family, neither of my parents were going to tolerate being humiliated by an 8 year old kid.  My Dad gave me that stony stare that always stopped me in my tracks.  My Mom, who had become slightly puce in colour, rounded on me and pronounce these words as if they were a fairytale curse, 'The next time you want a birthday cake you can make it yourself!'  The moral of this story....don't laugh when your Dad steps on your birthday cake! 

And that is why, from the age of nine to this very day, all my birthday cakes have been 'Do It Yourself'!