Things already showed signs of looking up and then, hello, candy corn cake.
What, never heard of one?
Neither had I until the girls and I made it up.
Oh no, you won’t be seeing this beauty on Pinterest. At least not one like this, with the finger-smudged clean-up markings and the shadows across the top of the photo hinting at a quick trigger finger and another arm gesticulating madly to clean up the sticky kitchen and grab more candy corn before Papa comes home.
And it almost didn’t happen with the candy corn thrown into the batter that, when baked, created a caramelized shellack along the bottom of the pan requiring chiseling that nearly tore the whole thing to bits.
But then powdered sugar and food coloring saved the ding-dong day because not until we saw those three colors and their potential to cover crumbling triangular things did we realize we had done it.
We created something near impossible, really. A delicacy sweeter than a crate of Peeps. Sugar condensed into each and every cake fiber, an instant rush with a smack down you can anticipate lurking just around the corner.
With seconds to spare before Papa’s arrival, we shoved our creation (inspired by one of his favorite candies, I should add) to the back of the fridge with numerous reminders of don’t look on the bottom shelf!
And when we ate our glorious mess the next evening — on his birthday — Michael loved it, like parents love their children’s creations, and the girls loved theirs, too. (And I loved that we made it, and I ate my corner. I just couldn’t do more. Maybe you understand.)
Michael’s birthday afternoon into evening was one of those gifts in time that I want to seal up and open again.
The bowling with “smart” bumpers that rise or fall with a kid or adult bowler and the look on Michael’s face when he bowled those birthday strikes (without bumpers). And the girls’ excitement, independence and personal style striding across those hardwood lanes. Then dinner in which each one of us laughed and appreciated the ambience and the server’s attentiveness (I know, when did they get so old?).
Yes, it was the rare night where everyone wiped a plate clean. With just enough room to spare for cake.
Sometimes I’ve got to get down the everyday moments. Not the profound life-changing, soul-searching ones, just the frosting messes and moments of together so I don’t forget. Thank you for indulging me, friends. You’re so much better than candy corn cake. (Really, you have no idea how much better.)