Yesterday was my first born’s 19th Birthday. I made him his favourite cake – Sybil’s carrot cake – and his dad gave him the day off work. We went shopping for junk to eat for tea – pizzas, ribs, crisps, cider – his choice. I was sad my Mum was not around to share the day/cake but tried to focus on the day, 18 years ago, when we lived in California and I made his first birthday cake – I can honestly say I think that was one of the happiest days of my life – having my own child to make a Birthday cake for. Tradition is a big thing for me and we still put up the card “Happy Birthday” banner I bought for his first party in the park in Pasadena – we hang it up for every Birthday in our house and it’s still looking good – I will use it forever.
We decorated his cake with a selection of random now vintage decorations from our treasured decorations box – there is a Santa and a snowman melting in to the icing and Micky Mouse from my childhood birthday cakes – my kids had fun selecting from our stash of cake/candle mish-mash – I like the dagger cocktail stick.
It’s like the excitement of getting the Christmas decorations out of the attic, when we have a Birthday – and we’re lucky enough to get six a year – we love to rummage nostalgically through the familiar decos. We dont do themes as such, we like to re-use what we have and re-live the many happy parties we and those decorations have shared. Sometimes I do make “themed” birthday cakes but we still put the old decos on!
I now have my Mum’s decoration box – an old ice cream tub – equally full of cake-topping treasure and vintage candle holders from my childhood, including my twin brother’s and my Christening cake decorations – now 45 years old and still beautiful – plaster not plastic tat!
One of our cherubs was used on my Son’s Christening cake – which I also took great pleasure in baking. My Mum also kept the the two silver keys from our 21st Birthday cakes which I know she took great pleasure in baking. Now, before long, I will be able to use one of those precious keys on my own son’s 21st Birthday cake. Shame he didn’t want a jelly for his “party” or I would have been able to use my Granny’s vintage rabbit jelly mold – I’m sure it will have its day out at the next Birthday.