Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. Man, here is your dang cake.

Dear Future Daughter in Law,
For Mr. Boy's birthday, he likes the cake from a box mix, preferably whatever is on sale. I kept the bar really low, you are welcome.
Much Love,
PS. I want one million grandbabies, s'il vous plaƮt.

It's Mr. Mans birthday and we adore him so much. I still am not quite sure what he sees in me. He puts up with a lot of crazy being married to me. We are lucky to have him in our lives.

Mr. Man has one glaring flaw, he was spoiled rotten growing up. When I was growing up, my mother, bless her heart, she could not cook nor bake. Even worse my younger years were spent rice free, gluten free, and vegan. Oh did I mention sugar free as well?  Mealtimes were not pleasant and my mothers food tasted like sawdust. It is was the 80's and eating vegan or even gluten free wasn't as popular as it was today.  My family's diet made me a social outcast.  Case in point:  At my birthday parties, my mom would pull out a pan of vegan sugar free jello with candles on it instead of a cake.  No ONE wanted to come to my birthday parties.   This is my 10th birthday "cake." Notice how I'm pretending to blow out the candles, as we weren't allowed to blow out the candles.  My father felt that was the equivalent of spitting on the cake, I mean Jello, so we just had to pretend to blow them out. 
Mr. Man on the other hand was blessed with a mother who was an amazing cook and baker.  When he was growing up dinners would be balanced...protein, carbs, fruits, vegetables and dessert. For special occasions his mom would make lavish deserts from scratch, in other words she spoiled him.   At my bridal shower she gave me a cookbook of all her recipes, and it is one of my most prized possessions and biggest thorns in my side.

The first year we were married for Mr. Man's birthday I asked him what he wanted for dessert on his birthday, he said, "Oh, make my mom's chocolate cake, it's my favorite."   I opened up the family cookbook and looked at the mile long ingredient list.

4 oz bittersweet chocolate from the East side of the Andes Mountains
1 cup goats milk from an unspotted calf
2 quail eggs from a white dove
1 cup fine powdered sugar (so fine, that each granule is the size of an atom)
3 cups pre-fluffed cake flour
1 tsp Madagascar Vanilla (*preferably Northern Madagascar, Southern tends to have a bitter aftertaste)
And this list goes on and on.  You have to fluff and fold things into the batter and the pans have to be airbrushed with fairy dust.
I slaved away for six hours making "Mom's Chocolate Cake" and when it was done it was a lopsided disaster.   Mr. Man ate it with a smile and when I asked him how it tasted he said, "I really love how much effort you put into it."   We will give 10 points to Mr. Man for being polite, but we all know it was a failed attempt.

I have tried since to master the chocolate cake and it's never been a success.   Since my mother in law is a saint and loves me,  she has taken over the duties of baking the "6 hour chocolate cake" which she claims only takes her less then an hour to make. 

Since Mr. Man knows my skills are limited he requests a simple dessert with three ingredients. Only problem, those cookies are like the holy grail of ingredients. 
The Holy Grail of Cookies (not pictured powdered sugar)
I went to seven stores trying to hunt them down and after store number three, I started to get bitter.   "Mr. Man and his fancy family...with their fancy ingredients.  I would just be thrilled to have something that had real sugar in it."  I lamented to a friend how unfair it was that Mr. Man had been raised with fancy taste, and my friend, ever the optimist, said, "Oh, but just think... Mr. Boy's wife won't have this problem.  You set the bar.... real low.  I mean... really looooooow."

Happy Birthday Mr. Man!  I have serious envy of your gourmet upbringing, thanks for tolerating my mediocre food all these years.   You are a trooper and today I will spoil you by taking you out and letting someone who knows what they are doing feed you.


... said...

I just laughed myself silly reading this.

Sandra Brown said...

I think it is awesome that you make the chocolate cookie roll with those cookies as well ... I do fancy desserts to but honestly the simple things are often the best!