Today was the birthday of NINE.
I used to make birthday cakes back in the days when they were considering me for Martha Stewart’s position. That was when I had one, two kids. Three. Then, whether it was advanced maternal age or the 4th boy, we will never know, but I reached the limits of my incompetence . Underachieving became an attractive goal. In fact, practice is making me so good at this underachieving thing, I even talked the aspiring nine year old Puppy Whisperer into having ONLY ice cream for his party. No cake. Yes, I said it, NO birthday CAKE. (gasp).
After all, Cake is over rated. Who needs it? Just extra calories. If you can’t have your cake and eat it too, I reasoned, why bother to even make the cake.
Ice cream only. I did sweeten the deal (no pun intended ) with waffle cones for the ice cream, whipped cream you squirt at high pressure out of a can and metallic sprinkles for the top. Boys should start to get used to the gleam of gold and silver. It’s part of their training in future gift giving. (thank me later, future daughters-in-law)
The ice cream wasn’t ordinary though.
I had poured TWO cans of Hershey’s chocolate syrup into the 4 qt Ice cream maker canister and stirred. Yet, the concoction remained strangely pale. Oh no, I thought, a fleeting burst of ambition kicking in. I can’t have a birthday for a 9 year old with NO cake and PALE wimpy chocolate ice cream TOO. That is below underachieving. It’s just not RIGHT. I must do something.
So, I did.
I grabbed the only other piece of chocolate in the house (I have 4 boys. I am 46. My hormones are waning. Chocolate doesn’t last long around here, believe me). I melted a whole GIANT Trader Joe’s bittersweet chocolate bar with almonds, you know the 16 oz size, and poured it into the ice cream brew.
Mix, mix, stir, stir. Let me tell you, that stuff turned as dark brown as Mississippi river bottom farm land.
All the Hershey’s syrup that was languishing on the bottom of canister rose up with my vigorous stirring, mingling with the pound of Trader’s Joes’ bittersweet and almonds. No one, no one and I mean NO ONE would ever be able to call that stuff PALE, anymore than they would call me swarthy!
So, the ice cream was enough to make the mamas at the party swoon and return to the fully charged estrogen state of 20 year old women. It even put hair on the chests of 9 year old boys. It was downright magical. And, amazingly, there is none left. Thank goodness.
I am telling you the truth, ladies and gentlemen, and alpacas, that was no ordinary ice cream. It just wouldn’t have been right to let it be overshadowed by cake.