There’s a scene in A Muppet Family Christmas where Ernie and Bert (from Sesame Street) have a conversation with Doc (from Fraggles) and Ernie and Burt can’t help pointing out what letter every word begins with. “Bunk beds: B words!” they say as Ernie chortles. When Doc looks at them askance they explain, “Where we come from, this is small talk.” My sister once said that the scene reminded her of our family — except that complaining, not letters, are our family’s small talk. It’s not that we are unhappy people. We just like to air our grievances. But sometimes it’s good to air positive feelings too and that’s just what I plan to do. For my next 19 posts, I’ll focus on the many reasons I have to be happy.
LEMON BLUEBERRY CAKE WITH LEMON FROSTING FOR MY SON
I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in over a year, but I’m not complaining because I have a good ( and cute, funny, and clever) reason: my son. On Wednesday, we celebrated his first birthday. With the often difficult first year behind us, I can now say that, without a doubt, it was worth it. (For any new parents reading this, I can assure you that there were plenty of days during the first year when I questioned what I had gotten myself into and I’m sure there will be many more such days going forward).
On top of that, I can’t believe how much my baby has changed in a year. Not only does he barely resemble his newborn self, he can do so much more — crawling, standing, talking and even telling jokes. I’m not really sure what his jokes are about. He just babbles and then starts laughing, but his laughter is infectious. Veteran parents tell me that kids only get more fun as the years go by (until the dark period of the tween years) and I am looking forward to all the fun yet to come.
The first birthday cake is all important because it will live on — in cake smeared face photos in my son’s baby album — for years to come. When I was picking a recipe, I knew I had to incorporate his favorite food — blueberries. I thought about trying the blueberry banana cake recipe from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts, but I decided to go with something tried and true instead. I made a double batch of the lemony variation of the vanilla cupcakes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, added blueberries and baked the batter in two cake pans. (To convert cupcakes to cake, bake at the temperature called for in the recipe, but increase the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes. My cakes took 7 minutes more than the cupcake recipe’s bake time.) I frosted the cakes with the lemon frosting from the same book (again a double batch). I’m no cake decorator, but I’m proud of how the cake turned out. And, of course, it tasted great as the recipes from VCTOW always do.