Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's Official! I'm One Year Older Today.

That's right, today is my birthday. And because it is MY day, I thought I'd share a few past birthday cake pictures, some thoughts and maybe a little extra information about ME that you might not know.

I'm 38 years old.

I thought I would just put that out there, since my philosophy has been to always just say how old you are. I think this came about as a child observing several adults (mostly women) who when asked by a child of any age what their age was, always responded with some ridiculous answer like "Oh, I'm not a day over 24"--yeah, right. Even at the ripe old age of 9 years old, I know that you are NOT 24 yrs. old (even my math skills aren't that poor). So since then I decided that I wouldn't EVER lie about my age to both the young and older folks that inquire.

I love October 1st for several reasons (besides the obvious birthday thing).

Reason #1:
Even though the Autumnal Equinox began technically on September 22nd, October FEELS like it is the true fall month and so I begin to recognize it as such.

Reason #2:
Besides January 1st, October 1st is the other day that I feel I MUST set new goals for myself. It's a NEW year for me, and I love that my birthday is on the 1st--very much another type of beginning. A new year, a new age, a new month, etc... The organizer in me is very much in charge today.

The really great birthday year is when October 1st falls on a Sunday--then it's all about the firsts; a new year, a new month, a new week, the first day, etc.

Reason #3:
It still can be warm enough to be considered a late summer, and is still far enough away from winter (unless you live in places like Utah or Idaho that recently had a freak snow storm--then all bets are off).

Reason #4:
As a kid October was far enough into the school year, that you didn't get missed having it in the summer or right after Labor Day. I had a friend who's birthday falls on Veteran's Day and we never got to be at school on her birthday--bummer!

People always ask me if I make my own cake for my birthday and what kind. I have to say that since becoming a Pastry Chef I haven't made myself a special cake for my birthday--which isn't to say I wouldn't, I just haven't yet. I suppose that if I was hosting a little party for myself, I would make something fabulous, but I honestly hadn't really thought about doing it. It's more exciting to make OTHER people's birthday cakes.

But it got me thinking...what kind of a cake would I make for myself? [Answer: Probably something with chocolate and caramel, chocolate ganache, something that would go great with a QUALITY brand ice cream on the side.]

Or better yet, who would I have make my cake?

My Mom has made some AMAZING cakes during my childhood--all of which I remember very well and with fond memories. When we got a little older (past 2 or 3 years old) we got to request what character or shape or theme we wanted our cake to be. I remember thinking I was pretty smart if I could ask for a cake with lots of details, because details on a cake = lots of candy.

I love how clever my Mom was with many of my cakes. See, we have NEVER owned one single shape pan (you know that kind I'm taking about--dolls, animals, etc.), she could just figure out how to carve it from a rectangle or round cake. Many of my cakes were from a cute little character on a napkin or party tablecloth and my Mom would magically create that theme or shape in a bigger-than-life cake that I would watch with such excitement and awe.

Here are a few of my favorite childhood cakes, actually I have eight pictures to share with you. (Eight may sound like a lot, but keep in mind it's way less than 38 potential birthday cakes I could bore you with).

Jill's 1st Birthday Cake: Raggedy Ann (1972)

2 years old: Bunny Birthday Cake (1973)

3 years old: Bear Birthday Cake (1974)

4 years old: Rocking Horse Cake (1975)

5 years old: Elephant Birthday Cake (1976)

6 years old: Cute Hippopotamus Cake (1977)

8 years old: Little Girl Cake (1979)

10 years old: Butterfly Cake (1981)

A big THANK YOU to my Mom for each and every birthday cake she has made me over the years and for making my day a special one!!


  1. Happy Birthday Jill! Glad to see you livin the dream! The cake pics are amazing - both the cakes themselves and that you actually have pictures of them all! Both priceless!
    Best wishes

  2. I can't believe you're not a Virgo! ;-)

    Besides, in Italy Sunday is considered to be the last day of the week, so I would have that sense of beginning if birthday falls on Monday.

  3. Wow, your mom rocks the planet! I especially love the balloons that were attached to the cakes, the ones with your name on them. Love it!

    Another thing we have in common: I always noticed the stupid lying that women did about their ages and wondered why. I mean, who cares, you are what you are. And, if you take care of yourself you inevitably get the "no, you can't possibly be turning 40 this year!" (I've been telling everyone who will listen how old I'll be.) I also feel it is my duty to educate women (and men) that 40 (or 38) doesn't "look" as old as you think it does!

    Since I have a Halloween birthday, my mom put lots of those candy pumpkins on my cakes, or candy corn, whichever. That was the most embellishments I ever got.

    But, when I got older I started asking for chocolate. One year I said, chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, chocolate pudding in the middle (all our baking inept selves could handle for a filling) with chocolate shavings on top. That cake was so yummy......the only draw back was when I blew out the candles, chocolate shavings flew! :)

    Great post Jill!! Hope your birthday was terrific!

  4. Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to Jill, Happy birthday to you!!! :D
    You are one lucky girl - your mom is amazing!! Those are some precious photos, thanks for sharing them! Best wishes to you!

  5. I love that your Mom carved special things out of cake and made them pretty for you! A piece of her is in all those memories. My mom did that for us, too, and we loved it. I've got to get back to it for my own kids, as I gave up during a hard pregnancy on making cakes and cutting my own children's hair (both required me to be on my feet for quite a long time even though I got satisfaction out of both of them)....time to start making cakes again! Thanks for sharing and happy (one day belated) birthday!

  6. Happy Birthday Jill!! I loved seeing all the cute cakes your Mom made you. That must've been the thing to do in the 70's, because like Sara mentioned, our Mom did that for our birthdays too! My kids love cupcakes, and I've never attempted to cut and shape cakes, mostly because I don't think they'd appreciate it!

  7. Happy Birthday Jill! My mom used to make cakes like that...sadly, I don't think I have any pics. My favorite was the train cake she made for my 5th birthday. Good times. Now, I pretty much have to make my own cake. Anyhoo........hope you had a great day.

  8. Awwww! I so wish I had photos of all the cakes my mom made! This is a great post!

  9. Happy Birthday! Birthday cakes are such a wonderful thing, especially seeing how you evoloved and were interested in as you grew up =D. I don't remember getting cakes as amazing as yours, but birthdays are always a blast! Awesome post, and I hope you had an amazing day!

  10. Happy Birthday!! I loved seeing all your cute cakes!

  11. What a sweet mom you have:) Love all the cake photos!

  12. Happy Birthday! What a great post - the cakes your mom has made you over the years look so cute (especially the hippo!). I don't know what it is about people feeling the need to hide their age. I keep thinking there's a point I'll reach when I suddenly realise I'm doing the same!

  13. Happy Birthday. Thanks for sharing those photos. :)

  14. Jill, I missed you post! I have been so busy lately. Happy belated Birthday!

    I have the puff pastry in the fridge, but for one reason or another I haven't had time to bake it and create the dessert, I will try this morning.

    Great cakes your mom made for you, childhood memories are the best. My kids always ask for the same chocolate cake, not sure why, besides being super yummy.

  15. Happy belated birthday! I LOVE that you have a photo history of every cake :) Wonderful

  16. Boo: Thanks for visiting my blog! I've bookmarked yours as well. I hope things are going well with your business! :)

    Anna: I almost put Sunday AND Monday on here, because Monday starts the work week, but I like that it's more of a European thing--that just sounds better!

    Jeanna: Loved the story from your cake! I can't wait to hear how your party goes.

    Jenny: Thanks for the birthday song!

    Sara: I'm sure you do a great job with everything else you do. :)

    Natalie: Cupcakes are much easier, I agree! :)

    Jeff: Maybe you will find some pictures when you go back home for the winter. :)

    MichaelandKenna: Thanks!

    Lauren: Thanks for stopping by!

    Kerstin: Thanks! :)

    SueSparks: I agree--my Mom is great! Thanks! :)

    Y: The Hippo cake was one of my favorites too!

    Andreas: Thanks!

    Laura: You can never go wrong with chocolate. I can't wait to see your puff pastry! :)

    Bakergirl: Thanks! I've missed your posts, so I'll be by to see your latest! :)

  17. wow they are wonderful memories.. cute pictures ...