Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cousins, Cakes and Consolation

There is little to lift the spirits of my children like being allowed a piece of chocolate cake for no reason at all. Being much-indulged children, they do expect that birthdays will be accompanied by some form of cake, and that association has, in their minds, cemented cake as a celebratory sort of comestible, a rare treat. Over the last year or so, I’ve gotten into the habit of making dessert to follow Sunday dinner, but cake is rarely the dessert. Pies, galettes, tarts, puddings, cookies, ice creams, crostate, shortcakes have all appeared to finish Sunday dinner, but rarely, rarely does a proper cake come out unless there is something to celebrate. (Curly in a party dress, walking over to my parents' house to have a last, exuberant dinner with her cousins. Curly is a firm believer in dressing up for such occasions, and this one was also an early-birthday party for her cousin, which made it doubly important to dress up. But not, it would seem, to wear shoes)
For most of the summer, out-of-town cousins come to visit; Curly and my boy spend this portion of their summer— the bulk of their summer, really— exhausted and unbelievably happy. They glom on to their visiting cousins with unself-conscious adoration, and, sweetly, their cousins glom right back. They get to show their cousins around Pike Place Market (which for Curly means taking them to Sosio's to check out the produce and for my boy means taking them to DeLaurenti to show them the cheese selection, and for both, if they're lucky, includes baked goods or gelato), nip out with them to their favorite bakeries, go to the beach with them, and generally do what they can to be inseperable.
The next-to-last batch of cousins left earlier this week. The morning of their departure was a quiet, depressed sort of morning, which turned, suddenly, into a jubilant and shining day when the kids learned that their plane was delayed by 6 hours. I’d been planning on making a cake for my niece, anyway, since she said that chocolate cake was probably her favorite dessert, and she was in town for another day and a little. But the bonus time moved up the cake schedule, and thus, the delay of an airplane was gleefully celebrated by Curly, my boy and their cousins with a chocolate cake. I supposed one may as well celebrate a delay, if you haven’t left for the airport (and they hadn’t). And if you’re going to celebrate, why not with a cake?
The leftovers made for good consolation at a low moment the next day, when the kids sadly looked around the quiet house. It wasn’t as celebratory as cake with their cousins the day before, but they enjoyed it, especially since there was, at least for that day, one visiting cousin left, and contentedly talked to one another about how great it had been the day before, eaten with zest, gusto and company.


Fifi Flowers said...

YUM YUM YUM... I want to eat all of those... cheese, fruit and chocolate cake... only thing missing a glass of red wine!

cook eat FRET said...

i know my comments have become painfully boring - but i love this blog...

Krysta said...

that picture of your daughter is heartbreakingly beautiful.

and the picture of the cake isn't so bad either!

Meg said...

Fifi- thanks. I have to agree; a glass of red wine would have been a welcome addition to the proceedings (at least for those of us over 21).

Claudia- I, for one, am not bored to hear that you like my blog. I am not picky about a compliment being turned just so; I'm happy with them in any form (except maybe the backhanded sort, as in: "I can't believe YOU look so good.").

Krysta- thanks. I was just looking at that picture of her, wishing I could keep her at this stage for just a little longer than I'll get to.