Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Saturday was my birthday. Despite popular opinion on the matter, it was not, in fact, my 30th birthday. I am a mere 29. Really and truely. If I follow my mom's advice, I will turn 29 every year after this one, but this was in fact my first 29th birthday.

I celebrated by first playing hookey from work on Friday. Charlie went to daycare, my husband went to work, and I went nowhere. It was wonderful. After my little rendezvous with Richard Simmons, I spent some time knitting for a sweater for Charlotte--the main part is crocheted, and the cuffs and bottom band are knitted. I have not assembled it yet.

The afternoon was dedicated to playing with the serger that I bought myself as a gift. We had a couple of arguments (mostly over threading, though there was a short scuffle over the rightful owner of the baby pants I was attempting to coverstitch...the serger was winning for a while, but a scissor-wielding human is hard to beat). Charlotte may get a shirt of some sort to go with her navy blue knit pants, but that will wait for another day.

I also baked myself a birthday cake Friday afternoon. I typically bake my own birthday cakes because 1) I like to bake and 2) my husband completely lacks a sweet tooth and it does not occur to him to provide birthday cakes unless I pester him to death for weeks beforehand (I've done that, but it's more fun to just make it myself at that point). This year, I used a devil's food recipe from my new favorite cookbook, America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. It made a 3-tier cake, which is nicely sized for a crowd. Their basic butter frosting recipe claimed to cover this specific cake, but it was a pretty skimpy covering, so I added a coating of ganache made with chocolate chips and whipping cream over the top (usually I use Hershey's dark chocolate in ganache, but seem to have consumed all of my reserves....). It turned out well.

The afternoon of my birthday, we went to the mall and ended up buying Charlotte a stuffed cow at Build a Bear (she picked it out herself). She loved the place but wanted to pick one of *everything* except the hearts--she wanted a whole handful of hearts for herself. She did manage to kiss her cow's heart before he was stuffed. Several friends joined us at Yen Ching, my favorite Chinese restaurant, for dinner. After dinner, we all congregated at our house for cake. All in all, it was a fun day.

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