Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Little Pedro

My little brother ("Pedro", as I have lovingly nicknamed him) has a birthday coming up in a few days, which will be his last before he leaves for a mission at the beginning of June. I will miss him so much, although I promise to write him more letters than he wrote me (so at least 2). Pedro and I have always been and still are pretty close - I remember taking him out for brother-sister dates when I was a teenager, where we'd usually go for pizza and a movie. Lately he loves to come over to our place and play board games with Benjamin and me as we are total board game junkies and there's only so many two-player games. Last weekend, he came over just to hang out with me while Benjamin was away for the weekend, and we watched Bollywood movies and ate perogies. Because Pedro and I are cool like that. We also love to take pictures in kung fu poses:

Showing off our ninja skills in Christmas jammies.
Kung Fu poses are appropriate for all occasions.
The bathrobes in the Tokyo hotel were begging for our classic shot.
Mummy asked me if I would make Pedro's birthday cake this year. Let me insert a small account of the history of birthday cakes in our family. Growing up in my family, we all ate a lot of birthday cake in November. It started with Daddy's birthday on the ninth, then sisters' birthdays on the eleventh, eighteenth, and twenty-third. Needless to say, by Nenzie's birthday on the twenty-third, we were all pretty sick of cake. Kudos to my amazing Mummy who made four birthday cakes every November growing up.

On the other hand, Pedro and I were born in April, one week (and seven years) apart. We always got awesome cakes by my Mum as well, including probably 3 years in a row when I was little that she made panda cakes for me. Now that my sister and I are both married to April birthdays and my other sister had an April baby, we have another birthday season in the family - the entire month of April, which also requires the few requisite cakes.

I've always loved baking, but I started really loving cakes in particular when I took a cake decorating course at Michaels with Nenzie and Mummy. I'm not like all those people you know on facebook who make fondant cakes with perfect gumpaste replica's of their child's favourite cartoon characters, not by a long shot. But I do love making delicious cakes is scrumptious flavours with tasty filling.

Two weekends ago I made a devil's food cake for Benjamin with raspberry jam filling and chocolate buttercream frosting. We shared it at Mum and Dad's place for a combination of Benjy's and Little Skinner's birthdays. I had so much fun icing it. However, my cakes are usually big enough that they last a long time, so we had leftovers for my birthday last week.

I especially love making cakes for Pedro. He somehow appreciates my cakes even more than most people. It started many years ago when I made him a lemon curd cake from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, which, now that I think about it, I think he even bought me for Christmas. I knew we had some sort of connection over my cakes! He's made so many of them possible through the gifting of my favourite cookbook ever!

Anyways, He loves this lemon curd cake. I've made it for him several times, including the variation that he requested this year, raspberry curd cake. I've had a great morning making it for my favourite brother (just because you're my ONLY brother doesn't mean you can't be my favourite!) who I will miss so much when he leaves for his mission. I can only let him go because I know he will love it and he will be amazing. Happy nineteenth birthday Pedro, I love you!