Buying a present for birthdays can be difficult. Without hesitation finding a pertinent present for your wife is perhaps one of life’s most perplexing preoccupations. Fortunately, I am in tune with my wife’s mind and I have no problems whatsoever in finding the perfect gift. Many men would have thought twice about a vacuum cleaner for a 5th wedding anniversary present but it proved it worth when I was given orders later that day ‘get in that garage and do something useful’. The improved suction power worked wonders on the car’s boot liner. Sadly, I will have to be honest and say buying presents for children is not such a strength of mine. I believe the reason is that children come out and say what they want. Women want you to read their ever changing minds. Now many people would argue that knowing what you need to get makes the job much easier and therefore buying a present for a child would be easier.
Usually that would be the case; however my 3-year-old boy never makes things easy. Here was how our conversation went the other evening.
DAD: Do you know what is coming up soon?
BOY: It’s my birthday.
DAD: When’s your birthday?
DAD: October the what….
BOY: October the 27th….. and I’m going to get a guitar.
DAD: Well son we don’t want to make any promises as guitars are very expensive. Perhaps you would like something else. Is there anything else you would like?
BOY: I would like a rainbow.
DAD: Excellent, that is a much better idea. I could make you a rainbow on a piece of paper with lots of colour. Could I use your coloured pencils?
BOY: No, I want a rainbow in the sky.
DAD: Well son, that could be hard, we could make one together and then we could put it on the wall of your bedroom.
BOY: No, I want a real one outside up in the sky.
DAD: I think a guitar would be a much better idea. What colour one would you like?
While I am certainly no Gordon Ramsay, I can hold my own with most men in the kitchen. I do a mean chicken curry and my tofu salad is regarded by many as simply divine. But that list of culinary delights has know been increased thanks to my latest effort. A couple of days ago was my wife’s birthday and because she always bakes a cake for me I decided to do the same.
The result was simply stunning and certainly made conversation at the birthday party.
Making a cake of this magnitude is certainly hard and there were some tense moments, especially when the electric beater started outside the bowl showering the entire kitchen in brown icing!!! Most people have been impressed by the piano keys and my crowning piece has to be the foot pedals which might be difficult to see in the photos below.
First birthdays are not usually my idea of fun. However, today was an exception as it was my second son Eli’s first birthday today. Like most first birthdays it was a strong family affair with a special visit from the Christchurch grandparents. Nice as it is to see the grandparents the highlight of any birthday within our family is the cake.
The history of Birthday Cake can be traced back to the ancient Greeks who made round or moon shaped honey cakes or bread and took it to the temple of Artemis -the Goddess of Moon. Some scholars, however, believe that the tradition of Birthday cake started in Germany in Middle Ages. This is pleasing as I thought the only things Germany was famous for was starting 2 World Wars and sports drug cheats during the 1980’s. Sweetened bread dough was given the shape of baby Jesus in swaddling cloth and was used to commemorate his birthday. This special birthday cake later reemerged in Germany for the birthday celebrations of a young child. Germans also baked another special kind of a cake called Geburtstagorten as it was baked in layers. This was sweeter that the coarse and bread like cake that were usually made at that time.
Depsite the stonrg German culture of birthday cakes my wife has her own elaborate style which is without doubt the most exciting part of our birthday celebrations. Other families do presents, some do jokes while others play pointless games. Our family tradition is the birthday cake.
For Eli’s first cake Rachel went with the ‘Jack in the Box’ theme and she once again came up tops. Not quite as good as my duck cake for my 30th but very close.