It’s annual birthday week for The Chef and me: Mine was last Monday, his is this coming Tuesday. On Monday he brought me home a single cupcake to celebrate the occasion: lemon, with lemon buttercream icing and lemon curd filling—lemony goodness, through and through. But we saved our grand celebration for yesterday, and did it up right.
Whilst awaiting dinner I inspected the basil on the deck (which somebody else appears to have been sampling) and invented a new collective noun. I give you, an Embarrassment of Basil. We’ve already pinched back the green and the purple basil once this summer, and it just keeps on keepin’ on.
Here is the proper cake, although The Chef described it as ‘ugly cake’ because he was too rushed at work to give it the attention he felt it deserved. It is dark chocolate with a layer of raspberry buttercream, another layer of marzipan and orange buttercream, and then topped with salted caramel, mocha, and maple buttercream. (I enjoy icing with the gusto of a five-year-old and have been asking for this cake for months now.) The ice cream is dark chocolate chip espresso. And if you believe those are too many flavors going on at once, I assure you taken a single bite at a time they explode in the mouth in a most satisfying way.
Time stood still for a while on a perfect summer evening spent in the company of The Chef and one Scout-the-Goldapeake-Retriever. Living every day like it’s your last seems somehow so imperative just now. It is a monumental challenge most days, but we pulled it off yesterday. The two of us and Scout lingered outside for a long time after we finished supper, enjoying the breeze while the sun set, talking, remembering loved ones now gone, and listening to Carlos Santana’s exquisite guitar playing, while Scout stood sentinel over his backyard kingdom. Another birthday’s in the books; we hope there will be many more.