Things I’m good and bad at.

I can’t remember when it became a tradition for me to bake Betty a fabulous chocolate birthday cake.  Part of it was wanting an excuse to bake, but part of it was wanting to give a single mom friend something nice.  Birthdays are meant to be celebrated in my opinion.  At any rate, for I don’t know how many years now, we’ve had a tradition of chocolate cake for Betty’s Birthday, usually something decadent.
I made Martha Stewart’s Moist Devil’s Food Cake for the second year in a row.  It’s a triple layer cake.  I learned the hard way last year the best way to transport a triple layer cake from your house to anywhere else is in pieces and assemble it there. 
See?  It’s tall.   Looking at that picture, I now see that it was going to be dry.  I didn’t bake it as long as the recipe called for and it was still dry. (Not terribly, just enough to bug me.) And the frosting….the frosting takes 2 1/2 hours.  You read that right.  It makes enough to cover 3 layers and any imperfections you have with putting 3 layers of cake together (including the cake being a wee bit on the dry side), plus, it’s really good, so I find it worth it.  However, I followed the recipe to the T and for about an hour and half of that 2 and 1/2 hours, I was worried my frosting wasn’t going to turn out.  While I was slightly freaking out, I googled it and found this. The video of Mrs. Millman making her frosting, which not only is informative, but a fabulous Martha moment.  Really wished I had watched this first.  Oh well.  Next time.

I grabbed some strawberries from everyone’s patches and used them to decorate the top. Another tradition that seems to have sprung up while we weren’t looking.
Happy Birthday Betty. 
I already have next year’s cake in mind.  Pat has suggested a few from the repertoire that I haven’t made in while, like this one. Otherwise known as 2 day cake around here, because it takes 2 days to make.  But worth it.

The weekend wasn’t all baking though.  Spent some time at the pool, trying to get the sun and the pool chemicals to help clear up the poison ivy.  It worked fairly well, I must say.  Took Edie strawberry picking out at Chile’s.  We wanted some strawberry shortcake and our little patch just isn’t producing for that this year.  It was a good mother-daughter field trip.  Once this crazy week full of lots of end of school year events is over, I’ll head back out and pick oodles to put up for the winter. 
We also took our annual Memorial Day canoe trip.  Once upon a time, this was also part of Betty’s birthday celebration.  The ladies of the ‘hood took the children by our lonesomes one year.  We did about a mile stretch of the Rivanna, the nice, little, local river and it took us all day.  We hit every rope swing, had several beer & cupcakes stops and by the time we got home, everyone had had a meltdown.  Since then, we have decided it’s best to have our husbands around for the trip.  If nothing else, they help keep the kiddo meltdowns to a minimum. (Okay, they are good to schelp canoes too.)
This year we did the Rockfish River in Nelson County.  Absolutely Gorgeous.  And we had it all to ourselves, which was even better.  Somehow I ended up steering a canoe with Edie & her pal
Sophia, but that didn’t last long.  I completely and totally suck at steering.  Not only did we run smack into a downed tree that came darn close to throwing me from the boat, we flipped over, all within a few hundred yards of putting in.   I got to go in unexpectedly a second time when I was in Virginia’s boat too.  Good stuff.  Edie says crocs float and I can assure you they do, because I had them kicked off when we went over the second time and had to quick swim downstream to save my shoes.  The only things lost besides my dignity were a few pairs of sunglasses.  Thanks to my Becky Bucket Pat got me for Christmas a few years ago, everything that needed to stay dry, like my camera, did.  So, I might suck at steering a canoe, but I can put a tight enough seal on my bucket to keep it dry under water.  Which really is comforting.
All in all, it was a completely relaxing, rejuvenating weekend.  

4 thoughts on “Things I’m good and bad at.

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