Happy Birthday!


Writing 101, Day Ten: Happy (Insert Special Occasion Here)!

Today, be inspired by a favorite childhood meal. For the twist, focus on infusing the post with your unique voice — even if that makes you a little nervous.  Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.


*** I haven’t written in a while, and I am about three assignments behind, so I decided to start with the latest assignment and work backward.



You know what kind of cake I would always ask for when it was my birthday?  Chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.  My mom was not exactly Betty Crocker when it came to baking, but I remember her getting a peanut butter frosting recipe from a girl at work and decided to use it.

I can recall the countless tries she gave this recipe.  Over and over, year after year, the frosting would come out different.  I remember peeking around a corner once, wincing at the sight of my cake.  The thing looked like a crocheted blanket with the frosting patched together, not spread, across the cake because it was so thick and she didn’t know how to fix it.  One year, there wasn’t enough peanut butter in it, the other, there was not enough powdered sugar.  Finally, she ended up adding peanut butter to vanilla frosting, and it spread better than the rest.  She never told me she didn’t do it from scratch, and I never asked.  It was delicious!

Birthday’s meant that we got to choose our dinners too.  Most of the time we would go to the restaurant, The Beach House.  We never went anywhere as a family, ever, except on birthdays if asked.  In fact, this was the only restaurant we ever had a meal at outside of my home as a child (aside from the McDonalds and pizza runs).  Going there was a special occasion.  It meant little quips and brief conversation, but it meant we were all sitting at the table having dinner together.  That is something we only seemed to do at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Even when I was young I ate in the kitchen and my parents ate in the living room.  Going out to dinner was a big deal.  It meant a Happy Birthday, even if everyone wasn’t in a good mood.

Now that I put that out there, it seems kind of sad doesn’t it?  Wow.  I never thought of it that way until I saw it in black and white.



3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday!

  1. Writing is cathartic, some say. I find that I write things that I would never say to someone, then go back and read them over and over, trying to decide whether to bury them or send them on to my blog. One of my favorite cakes was also chocolate cake with peanut butter icing. My grandmother made it, and I don’t know how she created the recipe, but I think your mother hit on something when she just stirred the peanut butter into ready-made icing! I enjoyed your writing.


  2. Your post didn’t make ME think of your situation in a sad manner. Perhaps it’s because I can relate. Both of my parents were very hard workers, leaving my brothers and me to grow up as ‘latchkey kids.’ I didn’t go out to a restaurant (such as the one you described) until my 13th birthday. I still treasure that memory…some 30 years later. 😀

    ~ Angela


  3. I wonder how many people would have similar stories about not sitting down as a family for dinners. In my family, my dad was on the road, and we all ate when we wanted to. It was VERY few and far between when we’d sit together at home and eat.


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