Mars dreamt last night of Stonehenge. The moment he mentioned it, I could see it in my mind. I was there.
“Not that Stonehenge,” he said. “It was a miniature one.”
Click. The image in my mind switched to a really cool glass paperweight I bought at the real Stonehenge, with the image of the stones (maybe two millimeters high) laser cut from the middle of the glass.
“Maybe six inches high,” he added.
Click. Not that Stonehenge either. Now I was seeing a cake. Oh, but not just a cake. It was an Oreo Cookie Cake with Stonehenge built from cookies.
And just like that I was dreaming about cake.
For my 50th birthday, I threw myself a karaoke party. It was my tenth consecutive one, so it was a bit of a tradition by then.
But since it was a notable birthday, I added cake. Five different cakes, one for each decade. I know I made my semi-famous Double Lime Cake and a marzipan cake, both spectacular but a bit of work to create. I know I made a rather forgettable cake involving some sort of alcohol and fruit that sounded better than it tasted. I probably made some sort of chocolate cake for my daughter, and an oreo cookie cake (my father’s favorite).
My friend Amy helped me bake the cakes. She’s arguably the most talented writer and most original brain of anyone I’ve ever met, so I’m sure it was her idea to decorate the oreo cake with a miniature Stonehenge made from leftover cookie pieces.
Next year, I will be turning sixty, and having set a precedent, I clearly need to make six cakes for my traditional karaoke party. But I think next year, I’ll actually choose cakes that were significant in a particular decade.
For ages birth to ten, I’m not sure. The cake that seems most iconic from the era is Mom’s German chocolate cake, but I don’t actually like German Chocolate Cake that much. I’m leaning toward Mom’s soggy banana cake, but I’m not sure if it’s in her cookbook. Or maybe my sisters can think of a different cake from our childhood.
My teenage years are obvious: Coca-Cola Cake. It was the first cake I learned to make, and I’ve made hundreds of them. It’s a never-fail chocolate cake that is moist and packed with pecans. Yum.
The decade of twenties is also easy: marzipan cake. The recipe came from one of those little monthly Pillsbury cookbooks you could buy in the grocery store. I’ve only made it a few times because it’s a pain in the neck to make: it has an almond-flavored custard in the middle, and instead of frosting, it’s covered with a sheet of marzipan rolled out like pie crust. But it’s soooo good.
Thirties: hmmm, I’m not sure. I can’t think of one offhand, but Mom and I put together her cookbook in my late 30s. So once I get the cookbooks unpacked, I may find a recipe in there that makes me go Aha!
Forties: no question. My Double Lime cake. I was in my 40s when created this cake with a lime curd filling and lime glaze.
Fifties: hmmm. I’ve no idea. I haven’t made a lot of cake in this decade, at least not since the five I made for my birthday. I’ll have to think about this one. And heck, I still have a year to create or discover some amazing cakes. Come to think of it, I pinned a Paris Brest Christmas Cake last year or the year before (year before that?). I bought all the ingredients but never made it. Maybe this year?
Six super yummy, fancy cakes and a big party? That might be worth turning sixty for.
Now I just have to make lots of friends, so I’ll have people to invite.