The middlest one has reached the lovely, anticipated, pre-pubescent age of twelve.
Having taken examples from his older, relatively newly pubescent brother, he spent much of his actual birthday in a state of Surly, as those in the pre- and presently-pubescent have the absolute right to do, and you hate me, and everyone is against me and you don’t understand me and things were different in the olden days.
Despite being excessively unavailable around the home at the moment, I still made considerable effort to construct some cupcakes for him to take to school on his birthday, day.
Typically, the busier I am, and the less time I have, the more likely I am to convince myself it is a fabulous idea to Try Something I Haven’t Done Before.
Or that I have tried before and I know is more time consuming.
Sometimes, I swear my brain is against me.
Anyhoo, I decided bi-colour cupcakes would be a great idea, because, I don’t actually know why.
This did not stop me from going ahead with the idea. I was also well aware that I had already lowered the expectations of his teachers and classmates considerably, with last year’s efforts. A lolly stuck to a chocolate butter cake cupcake was nearing about as half arsed as one can get.
To be clear, there was no actual icing on the cupcakes. Just a cake, with a lolly pressed into it.
Because I rock to the max.
Grumpy, being a little less busy than I offered to finish the cupcakes off, and take them up to the school just before pickup.
No lollies from a leftover packet for him.
Oh, no. He had to go and ruin it all for me, by simply “whipping up a ganache” and piping it onto each cupcake individually. Thank goodness Godzilla is at high school next year, and there will be nothing expected from me.
Actual birthday out of the way, I could focus on the birthday parties cakes, because, yes, again two parties ensued. Scheduled only half an hour apart, instead of a full 24 hours or more, I had resigned to the fact that I had seriously fucked up.
Not only that, but I did the whole We’ll Just Have It At Home thing, because Godzilla is way more low key than his brothers, and every single year I tell myself I will never, ever host another party at my house again.
The creating of a cake I had not made for some time, and the paraphrasing of the stupid recipe I had googled … if I may digress for a moment, whilst it is also very clear you should never, ever google anything medical, because you will always end up self-diagnosing (or google-diagnosing) yourself with cancer, you should also never, ever google cake recipes.
Anyhoo, the cake recipe, which required much microwaving of stuff, and which always ends up in disaster for me, also proved to appear to be enough to serve 406 people, and take two hours to cook.
Not satisfied with this I figured that dividing it into five, roughly proportioned portions, and adding copious amounts of food colouring to each one – in the five colours I had at my disposal – was also a great way to avert any possible disaster and, I don’t know, make the process quicker.
Oh, and it was white chocolate mud cake, which a) tastes revolting, b) is a pain in the arse to work with, and c) only restores my strong held belief that white chocolate is stupid and can go fuck itself. It doesn’t even taste good and is an imposter.
For a change, and possibly the Universe having more important things to do, or giving me a cake-break this year, the resulting version was remarkably similar to that which resided in my head.
Not quite, but close.
In order not to overstimulate the kids and cause some sort of issue that had mums the social-media going on about the dangers of copious colours and food, I turned my white chocolate ganache (more of a bitch than the cake bit) into a grey one, and hid all of the colours.
I must admit, I was most impressed when the cake was cut into, and my doubts about how it would look as the colours had all merged in together when I poured them into the cake tin were assuaged.
I must also admit that the fact that I was required to “pour” the colourful mixes into the tin, given they were more a highly viscous liquid than a dough, should have been the indicator that the colours were all going to kinda merge.
The kids not only liked the colours, but scoffed the rainbow cake, and I quickly smuggled one of the proper-chocolate mud cake, with a dark chocolate ganache, into a safe place for my own benefit later.
Kids picked up and taken away, the house was quickly filled with family. Not so many as usual, given some were away, some were playing golf, and others were working. Thus a nice, low key gathering ensued, commencing with the opening of a bottle of the nice bubbles, and concluding with the second cake; a boring white chocolate (see aforementioned reference to cake recipe catering for entire population of Shanghai) with more of the lovely, dark chocolate coating.
With some weird symbol I had to put on it, because his Birthday Lordship requested it.
The Smartarse Lordship, unable to contain his need to show his superiority, sauntered up to be as I was lighting candles, and said “Do you even know what that is?”
You could feel the sanctimonious sneer wafting off his very being.
“Yes. Yes I do. It is the Tri-force from the game, Zelda.”
This was enough to force him back a step, before regaining his consciousness, looking me in the eyes and saying “Who are you?”
The final lot of guests farewelled, a mass cleanup concluded and it was time for dinner.
Leftover BBQ, because leftover BBQ is what we always have at the end of days like these.
And for the three days following …