Okay, so this weekend was so chock-full of wonderfullness, that I’m going to have to break it down into several posts over the next couple of days. We’ll do it chronologically, starting with Thursday.

Birthday Cake

July 3 :

Mr. Cleaver’s birthday.

The day dawned and I did NOT want to get out of bed, I was so groggy that I was the worst wife ever and forgot to say Happy Birthday to Mr.Cleaver – who after about 10 minutes decided to jog my memory. Oops!That said, as embarrassed as I was, this ended up low on the totem pole of things to go wrong that day.

As I headed off to work, Mr. Cleaver was hunkering down to watch Wimbleton on the laptop, only to discover that our internet wasn’t worked, only to call our service provider and discover that the phone wasn’t working wither (same company). Mr. Cleaver is probably the first to admit that he’s not the world’s most techno-savvy guy, and was quickly frustrated, especially when it looked like neither phone nor DSL would be repaired for a few days.

Fortunately, I was able to come home a little early from work, due to a co-worker’s going-away party. So I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some ingredients for the birthday cake and the manliest looking flowers I could find for my guy.

Birthday Flowers

Well, the flowers perked him up and so did my present. We also decided to go to our favorite fancy restaurant to dinner, so things were looking up. I started working on the cake, and frosting so it could cool while we were out to eat.

The cake fell a little in the center, but otherwise, seemed to be fine. We walked up the street to the restaurant only to find it boarded up and smelling of smoke. Yes, our favorite restaurant had burned down. At this point, really, we just had to laugh. And eat Chinese, which was nearby and also very good.

When we got home the internet seemed to be momentarily working and we discovered that the restaurant had caught fire in May and didn’t look to be re-opening anytime soon.

I set to assembling the cake and it seemed – well -dry. I did a quick check of the reviews on epicurious and discovered I had forgotten to include 1 cup of water.

How Many Candles?

How Many Candles?

Well, this was just perfect. Again, we could do nothing but laugh, and despite the dryness, enjoy the cake. I can’t say anything about the cake itself, having not made it right, but Mr.Cleaver and I both think the frosting is to die for, so it came out all right. (It also didn’t stop us from finishing off the whole thing by the end of the weekend – fresh raspberries help cover a multitude of sins).

Birthday Cake

 

In the eveing we headed down to the lakefront to try and see if we could catch any of the City of Chicago fireworks (they always do them on the 3rd, more on that in the next post).

Not exactly what I would have wished for my husband’s birthday, but you can’t say it wasn’t memorable.

My New Go-To Chocolate Frosting from Nana Edie’s Devil’s Food Cake

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Bring sugar and cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate, butter, and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill frosting, stirring frequently, until thickened and spreadable.

 

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