I suspect a whole lot of people out there find Deb, goddess of the Smitten Kitchen, to be their kindred spirit. I don't begrudge them - 'cause heck, I join them - but in one way, Deb speaks to me with the pure clear voice of a prophet. I've known the truth all along, but her persistence in spreading the gospel of both word and action is an inspiration. And that way she speaks about a birthday cake.
Like her, I am shocked and genuinely, deeply upset by the thought of a store-bought birthday cake. A special dessert from your favorite bakery for a holiday, for an anniversary, for a graduation, for a reunion? Go for it! Dream of it for weeks. Spend $38 on a pie from Random Order (or something like that) because they are really, really, really good.
But on your birthday?
Even if you are drafted happily onto Team Pie over Team Cake in debates and at parties, it is your birthday, gosh darn it, and you should have a towering layer cake, made by someone who knows you, likes you (loves you, even) and bakes well. This is a commandment in the House of Emmy, and I've been known to bake cakes for the birthdays of friends of friends - even coworkers of friends that I barely know.
I get to make a birthday cake for myself! You might think this is a disappointment, and that I want a cake baked for me (which, OK, in the interest of blog-world full disclosure, yes, I admit, I would not turn my nose up at Deb's Pistachio Petit-Four Cake made by some other hardy soul since I fear the complexity) but the opportunity to make EXACTLY what I want, on EXACLY the timeline I want to make it, and share it with EXACTLY who I want - divine! Just like Deb, I'm on the hunt for the right recipe. I'm thinking about almond, I'm thinking about raspberries, I'm thinking about seven-minute frosting with some other flavor to dress it up.
And candles!! 31 of them...