I don't like surprises. So when a milestone birthday of mine was approaching, I told my husband what I wanted as my gift. A cake. No jewelry, no flowers. No surprise party. Definitely, no surprise party. Just a cake.
Is this a test, he asked me in disbelief, was I going to be disappointed if I got just a cake? I assured him, I wouldn't.
And you can see why. I didn't want just any old birthday cake. A Cake Boss-type, amazeballs, I-can't-believe-it-cake.
Maybe, just maybe, I seem spoiled to you. I just wasn't sure if I'd ever really celebrate a birthday again on a larger scale, especially with a young son. So I wanted to do this one my way.
I told him who he should get it from, Bakerbots Baking, which you may remember from the stunning Noah's Ark-themed cake I purchased for my son's baptism.
I also had a few suggestions as to the theme. Paris, Roald Dahl, and vintage tea cups. And I knew I wanted red velvet cake. The rest was up to Bakerbots' Rosanne.
So when I came down a couple of weekends ago, and saw this creation on my kitchen counter, I just about cried.
This cake was me. I couldn't have designed it better myself.
Rosanne incorporated macarons, my favourite, some of the tea cups I actually own, and elements from Paris such as the Eiffel Tower, and the English-language bookstore Shakespeare & Co.
It seems like it could feed a thousand people, but the top two tiers were for decoration only, the bottom tier was the one we ate.
And because the decorations were made of fondant, I kept the "Happy Birthday Mary" banner, as well as the teeny tea cups and Shakespeare & Co. sign.
My actual birthday was spent in Jamaica with my family, who showered me with pearl earrings, a new Christian Lacroix silk scarf, an oil landscape that I had my eye on, books, and kisses from my son, and I had a wonderful time all around.
What do I want for my next birthday? Maybe a trip to Paris is in order. What do you say? What was the best birthday gift you ever got?