Saturday, May 20, 2006

Let him eat cake!

My husband's thirtieth birthday was this past Wednesday. A milestone birthday. Unfortunately, last year, his birthday was overshadowed because it fell on the same day as my father's funeral. However, it was during my father's wake last May, that my husband discovered an old southern tradition: chocolate layer cake. These layer cakes are not simply two, three, or even four layers, on the contrary, these cakes start at seven and go high into the double digits (especially if there is contest and competition involved)!
Yes, these chocolate layer cakes, often resembling very tall stacks of chocolate covered pancakes, are tradition in the American South. Whenever there is a gathering of honor, you will find at least one, if not several, of these cakes on the table. The cake that my husband fell in love with was in honor of my father. These cakes attend wakes, weddings, family reunions, church socials, community fundraisers, baby and bridal showers, housewarmings, and parties for special anniversaries and birthdays. These multi-layered cakes often represent a celebration of life, whether it's the birth of new life, or a life lived long that has come to rest. Each layer is symbolic of so much personal history, of all that is this messy stuff of life.

For his birthday, Daniel declared that he wanted a seven layer chocolate cake, like the one he ate heartily of, during my father's wake. And so, I spent some time in the kitchen, creating layers of love for my husband's first personal chocolate layer cake. I did not stop at seven, but ended up at eleven. I like the irreverence of eleven. The oddest of numbers to reflect the personality of the baker! (An odd number with chocolate syrup drizzled over this first slice.)

As time goes on, taking us to more milestones, many additional layers will be baked to honor our personal history together.

No comments:

Post a Comment