Monday, August 17, 2020

2020 Ruins Donuts, Too

 Still here, still have housemates, still celebrating birthdays (it's our birthday season)...

Anna turned 27 this month, which is utterly ridiculous, because that would mean I'm 57 and...oh, wait...yeah, I guess that checks out. So while I was in my room having a mid-life crisis (or whatever you would call a midlife crisis that is occurring over a decade too late), Anna and Brian and Susie created our family's first-ever homemade ice cream cake.

Considering that Theo is allergic to all dairy and Anna and Brian are lactose intolerant, this was a rather Herculean effort on everyone's part. They cut the brownie base (cooked by moi) to fit the springform pan we bought a few years ago but never used because Rachel's cheesecake-making plans fell by the wayside. Oatly (determined to be the best fake ice cream after several months' of diligent taste-testing) and Oreo fragments were alternately layered on top of the brownie by my enterprising offspring.

The top is "all wrong" 

Susie wanted the remaining Oreo fragments dusted over the entire top, with some whole Oreos piled haphazardly in the center. She didn't articulate her vision clearly enough, however, so Brian and I ended up executing the more formulaic version you can see in the image above. Susie expressed extreme displeasure with the result, but the damage had been done. Also, the cake was melting. 

Can't really tell once it is cut, though

For Rachel's birthday, a mere four days later, I ran out to the store in the morning to pick up a few birthday essentials. And here 2020, as is its wont, reared its ugly head. For some reason - even though we have been living with COVID and all the changes it has wrought for several months now - I thought I would be able to select my own assortment of donuts at the store bakery. But no, they were all prepackaged, so people wouldn't breathe on them, I guess.

I hate sprinkles
This is the real fascism, people. First they came for the self-serve donuts, and I said nothing...

Where was I? Oh, yes, Rachel. She turned 18 and spent her day pointing out to us that she was now a grown-up. 

[Narrator: No, she isn't.]

The coup de grace, however, was when Rachel turned to 15-year-old Susie and said, "YOU are the only non-adult in this family now!"

I mean, harsh, right? I miss the days of their fighting over stuffed puppies. Life was simpler then.

And, yes, I do seem to be ignoring the eggplant in the room. I picked it up with the donuts because I made this eggplant-tofu thing from Jennifer's blog for Rachel's birthday dinner. I must admit, the entire time I was making it, I was thinking, This can't be right. Too much eggplant. Too little sauce. How do these bell peppers fit into the picture? What was Jennifer thinking? But I soldiered on, because it was all I had planned for dinner. 

I'm sorry I doubted you, Jennifer. The dish was an absolute hit! Except with Larry, who hates all things eggplant...

Not very photogenic, but quite tasty
Rachel's birthday was on a Wednesday, so she ended up getting a second birthday dinner on the weekend, when Theo could be there. It was a complicated week, all right? We ordered Chinese food, which was incredibly extravagant (hello? I'm still unemployed), but I ended up saving money in the end, because I had offered to take Rachel and her friends to a socially distanced paddleboard outing at a regional park and that got rained out.

Renting paddleboards? Ridiculously expensive. Don't do it.

So now our birthday season is pretty much wrapped up, except Larry's and Theo's in the fall. That means I get a 2-month respite from figuring out how to make a birthday dinner exciting when we have already been cooking elaborate meals almost every night since this whole social isolation thing started. Burned out, I am...

Hey, do you think we'll be able to select our own donuts by then?


  1. I am at the point where I think the option to pick our own donuts is gone forever!

    On that depressing note, Happy Birthday to all your birthday people!

  2. Happy Birthday to Anna and Rachel! As the 61 year old mother of a 38 year old daughter, I feel you.

    I have't been to a local donut shop but we could never handle the donuts to pick them out, a clerk always picked our choices from the bin. I wonder if that's changed? Hmmm...donuts in my near future perhaps.

    1. Grocery stores generally have cases with trays of donuts that you can self-serve from. At least, up until 5 months ago they did...

  3. I had to take Mini to replace her broken phone at Wal-Mart yesterday. I hate entering Wallet, but since we were there . . . I grabbed a few grocery items. They had bakery donuts on sale for a dozen for $3. I bought them as a first day back to school treat. Only 5 kids eat donuts . . . well, some of those 5 don't eat them- they devour them. By dinner all 12 donuts were gone. I reminded must why I don't usually buy donuts - these kids are gross.

    We have a birthday month too. It's December. I like your birthday month better. And I am with Larry in that I do not enjoy eggplant.

    That cake looks amazing!

  4. Eggplant is the vegetable meat

  5. We had donuts too---my grandchildren were here and boy-o-boy, the donuts did not last long! Love the cake idea.

  6. I can't believe you did a food experiment on a birthday supper --- BRAVE. (I'm so glad y'all liked it!)

    1. I knew we had the Chinese food coming on the weekend to make up for any failure. But it was so good! My girls asked for it again today.

  7. Unfortunately no, I don't think we'll be picking our own donuts for awhile! That ice cream cake looks fantastic! Too funny about you not arranging the oreos correctly.

  8. That cake! That birthday! That eggplant dish! Congratulations on all of it--and I do appreciate how you make the memories festive for your people.

  9. Cooked eggplant is rarely pretty but it sure does taste good! Excellent ice cream cake viewing there. I might be hungry now... the homemade pizza with cauliflower-zucchini crust doesn't seem to hold my stomach 2 hours later.