Tuesday, March 3, 2015

There Will Be Cake

It is the most-delicious cake I have ever had in my life.

I'm not denied many pleasures in life, though the ones I desire the most are among the ones that are held back.

The first time I took a bite, it filled my mouth with flavour, richness, decadence. Sweet, but not too sweet. Moist, but not soggy. Fulfilling, but not filling.

My wife got the recipe from a magazine. It could have been one of the LCBO's publications of Food & Drink, the free magazine that often has the most mind-blowing recipes we've ever enjoyed. We keep one of the holiday editions with our cookbooks, the delicious recipes being plentiful within its pages.

About five years ago, my wife baked a multi-layered, dark-chocolate, applesauce cake with a chocolate-cheesecake frosting. Just thinking about it, now, gets my mouth watering. When I took my first bite, that day, I knew she loved me. I could taste it.

"I want you to make me this cake every birthday for the rest of my life," I told her.

"I think I can arrange that," was her reply.

The next year, we got busy. I don't typically celebrate my birthday. I have a party maybe once every decade. But we will go out for dinner or she will prepare a special meal at home. On the year following my first taste of that awesome cake, we had something else going on during my birthday, and she couldn't make the cake.

"Over the weekend," I said. "You can make me the cake next weekend."

It didn't happen. My heart sank. 

The following year, I reminded her of that cake. "You owe me two, this year: one for this birthday and one for the cake you never made last year."

She laughed. What was so funny? Had I made a joke? I didn't think so.

I didn't get a cake that year, either. With both of our daughters in competitive dance, there just was no time. Weekends, that year, were an utter write-off, as far as finding time to do any housework, shopping, or other errands. By the time an evening came 'round, we would prepare a dinner and then relax with a movie or TV show. There was no time for cake preparation.

And so, with the subsequent years in which the kids danced, that lovingly baked cake would remain a memory. I'm not blaming the dance school, nor do I hold any resentment towards our rigorous schedule. We were helping the kids follow their passions, and we took pleasure in watching them shine.

But there would be no cake for my birthday. If there was, it would be something purchased from a store. Its ingredients would be over-processed. The cake would lack any personality.

There would be no love in the cold mouthfuls.

This week will mark my 50th birthday: my 27th birthday with the woman who is now my wife. It is also one of the few years in which I celebrate my birthday with a party, with as many friends around me as possible. I consider myself a lucky man.

But I swear, there will be cake.

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